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How To Write A Recipe

Jan 29, 2008
It amazes me how many great chefs can cook fantastic dishes yet fail to be able to write recipes in a clear and concise way that makes for easy reading and understanding. Many could do with working in manufacturing industry for a number of weeks and learn the skill involved in preparing a bill of materials for a product because in this way they would get to understand how certain ingredients can be grouped together to make a "sub assembly" before the preparation into the final assembly.

Some top chefs have mastered this of course and they truly produce excellent food, freshly prepared and in a short space of time. It simply boils down to storing the food in it's sub assembly state until you're ready to serve then throw everything together and give it a blast.

I'm a barbecue and smoker enthusiast and I love to experiment with different marinades, rubs and mops as well as making some really tasty accompaniments for my BBQ parties. It wasn't until last year that a friend suggest I should "bottle" my knowledge and share it but my confidence wasn't too great because first of all I'm not a professional chef and second I've never written a recipe.

I guess everybody has to start somewhere and when I thought about my day job it in manufacturing and also how some recipes really annoy me I found the way forward. All it took then was to think about how I prepared the meal and write it down.

One thing that really frustrates me is when there's no clear information about how long the recipe is going to take, admittedly it's not that important for barbecue recipes because the BBQ cooking is part of the fun and if you're into smoking most people already know the rule of thumb that it take a minimum of 60 minutes per pound of meat and a thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the food. What's really annoying is when you get half way through a recipe and then see the words "put the mix to one side and marinate overnight".

So aside from ensuring that the method clearly states how to put the ingredients together in a manner that ensures the final assembly is as easy as possible, it's essential to state clearly in the opening summary whether that are any time constraints with the recipe. For another example just a quick note at the top of the page to state preparation time and cooking time will work wonders.

There is a protocol when writing ingredients that the largest constituents go first running down to the inevitable pinch of salt and pepper at the bottom. For me it doesn't make sense because I like to see the ingredients together that get mixed together. For example if we're doing a rub then I would prefer to see all the rub ingredients listed separately, this way it's clear to read and I don't forget anything. That's my way, you may have yours but if together it brings more great recipes to the internet then hopefully we're onto a winner.
About the Author
The Barbecue Smoker Recipe Man writes free barbecue recipes & outdoor smoker recipes on gas, charcoal or electric. Outdoor grilling tips, easy fire pit menus, healthy rotisserie suggestions and best homemade bbq sauce recipes are all available at Barbeque Smoker Recipes
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