Links To The Best Food And Drink, Websites And Other References

In this section I have attempted to create a guide to quality food and cooking info on the net. Why send my readers elsewhere? In fall 2009, when Conde Nast announced it was pulling the plug on Gourmet magazine, Christopher Kimball, then publisher of Cook's Illustrated, a competitior of Gourmet, wrote a thoughtful op-ed in the New York Times on its demise. He blamed free content on the net and the advertising business model that keeps it alive, and argued for the subscription model his site uses. He said "Google 'broccoli casserole' and make the first recipe you find. I guarantee it will be disappointing. The world needs fewer opinions and more thoughtful expertise..."

So I Googled "broccoli casserole" and the very first recipe was in (not related to Cook's Illustrated). is a humongous recipe database and it had 395 (!) broccoli casserole recipes contributed by, well, anyone. The very first recipe, by someone identified only as "CM" called for "sliced chicken" to be placed in the bottom of the casserole and the rest of the ingredients go on top. Then it said "brown on the top third shelf in a 350°F oven for about 15 minutes or until nicely golden." It doesn't say if I'm to use bake or broil, but I'm here to tell you, if you use raw chicken, 15 minutes on either setting is not likely enough time to kill salmonella, rampant in raw chicken nowadays. You could be more than "disappointed" in the first recipe you find, as Kimball predicts. You could be serving everyone a nice case of food poisoning.

I randomly clicked on some of the other recipes. A few looked like they might be pretty good. But many had confusing ingredients lists, failing to specify what kind of cheese, and other recipes had sketchy instructions. The latest thing is "crowd sourced" recipe sites like and the recipes section of Anyone can edit any recipe they want. The theory is that the wisdom of the crowd will produce something better than any individual can. It works fairly well on, an online encyclopedia. So, if I hate cilantro, I can whip through the site removing cilantro willy nilly. If I like spicy food, I can add a splash of hot sauce to everything. It I work for Velveeta, well, you get the picture. These are new sites, so only time will tell if they produce anything useful, but I am skeptical.

Real recipe writing is hard work and it takes experience. It can take a dozen attempts to get it right. Adjust one ingredient and you probably have to adjust others. After you get it down you have to explain each step so there is no ambiguity. A serious food writer lives in fear of ruining somebody's meal with an imprecise instruction. So where are those serious food writers and tested recipes?

Google uses a computer program to determine its rankings and far too many of the goods sites are buried. Most of the time it is pretty good. But when it comes to food, Google and the other search engines are bringing us quantity, not quality. So it is left to me to bring us quality.

If you want us to add a site, please read our links policy first.

"The need for connection and community is primal, as fundamental as the need for air, water, and food."

Dean Ornish
barbecue class
Barbecue and judging classes are a great way to learn from the masters. There are many across the nation. read more
red wine glass
According to the Chicago Tribune, the oldest written recipe in the world was for making beer. It was written on a clay tablet in Mesopotamia, now Iraq, in about 2000 BC. Here are some good buying guides and resources for info about wine, beer, and spirits... read more
hot dog lady
Here are links to some of our favorite hot dog websites. read more
Pioneer woman cooks website
The web is brimming with sites devoted to food and cooking covering everything from recipes, to politics, to humor. There are references where you can look up a strange ingredient, searchable databases, sites dedicated to gluten free cooking, Korean cooking, you name it. read more
icon for web links
This website is all about serving people who love food and drink. I carefully select links that I think meet the needs of my visitors. I spend a lot of time selecting links and writing about them. read more
students at le cordon bleu
Want a career in the culinary arts or restaurant management? There are many cooking schools, but only a few are accredited and degree granting. Here are some. read more
large pit
Here's tips and links to help the do it yourself build a grill or smoker. read more

grilling steak cartoon

Subscribe to RSS - Links To Our Favorite Websites

bbq support

Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, and it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! And remember, we only recommend products we love. If you like, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon.

If you love barbecue and grilling you should join our Pitmaster Club. We can up your game.

  • No-risk moneyback guarantee.
  • The Pit forum brims with recipes and info.
  • A real community with no politics or flame wars.
  • We block ads on the entire site.
  • Two monthly newsletters.
  • Video seminars with famous pitmasters.
  • Weekly podcasts with Greg Rempe.
  • Weekly BBQ cartoons by Jerry King.
  • Comprehensive Temperature Guide Magnet ($10 retail).
  • Monthly giveaways of Gold Medal grills and smokers worth up to $2000.
  • Discounts on products we love.
  • Support for!

 Click here to learn more and to join

Post comments and questions below


1) Please try the table of contents or the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can't help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.




 Click to Show Comments or Add Your Own