Comparing Recipe Organization Options

Are you a recipe collector? There are plenty of options for storing recipes you find on the Internet; a frequent question we get here at BigOven is how we compare to all the other ways of storing and finding recipes.

The short answer is that BigOven is a complete recipe, grocery list and menu planning system for home cooks. It doesn’t treat your recipes as a general “document”, it treats it as a structured recipe, with an ingredients section, an instructions section, nutrition information, images and more. BigOven brings your recipes to you — whether it be at the grocery store, kitchen counter, on vacation, or your living room sofa. Companion apps for iPhone, Android device, iPad provide full functionality, as does your web browser. Items added or changed on one device show up on the other devices, reflecting the changes you’ve made. You can easily add or remove recipes from your grocery list. You can resize recipes up or down. You can even invite members of your household to share and edit your grocery list and menu plan.

Alernative Ways to Organize Recipes

The three basic options we’ve seen people use are:

  • Pinning sites (e.g., Pinterest)
  • Document organizers (e.g., Google Docs, OneNote or Evernote)
  • Dedicated recipe apps (e.g., BigOven)

While pinning sites and document managers are usually simple and free, the disadvantage of these approaches is that they don’t really know it’s a recipe. As a result, they don’t let you easily resize it up or down, don’t let you add it to a grocery list (and have items automatically sorted by aisle for you), they don’t let you see nutritional information, they don’t let you convert it to or from metric, don’t consolidate ratings very easily, and many other features.

Option Notes Pros/Cons
Pinning sites: (e.g., Pinterest) See a recipe on the Internet? Pin it for a handy reference. You can search your recipes later. Easy to use Can't create a grocery list Can't create a menu plan Can't resize recipes Can't convert to metric Can't search excluding ingredients Can't calculate nutrition
Notes apps: (e.g., Evernote, OneNote or Google Docs) Easily paste in recipe documents. They're optimized for general document search. They don't know it's a recipe and it isn't structured as such. Easy to paste in images and complete copies of the original recipe. While they have good simple search, you can't do a structured search like "all my recipes that have chicken but don't have mustard in the ingredients list" Generally sync documents across devices Can't create a grocery list Can't create a menu plan Can't resize recipes Can't convert to metric Can't search excluding ingredients Can't calculate nutrition
Dedicated Recipe Organizers (e.g., BigOven) Built for recipes, grocery shopping and menu planning. Sync your grocery list within a household; add recipes to the grocery list or menu plan. It's a free service for up to 50 recipes, but more recipes than that requires BigOven Pro.

What sets BigOven apart is that we make the entire process of searching, making a grocery list, resizing recipes, and planning a menu simple, from start to finish. BigOven is a home cooking app designed by home cooks. We wanted it to be simple to use, and synchronize your recipe box, recipe folders, menu plan, grocery list and more available to you wherever you need it.

 

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