Cooking at home is the ideal option. It saves us money, and we can often make healthier fare to feed our families.
Unfortunately, cooking at home has its limitations. Of course, you need to find the time to prepare healthy, delicious meals, but you also need to know how to cook.
Thankfully, recipes can help us with the latter. However, some recipes make cooking far more complicated than it should be. While scrolling through the cooking sub on Reddit, I found a fascinating thread asking users to share their biggest pet peeves with recipes.
The responses will likely delight everyone who ever got frustrated following a recipe and give food bloggers vital food for thought.
“I hate it something is mentioned in the ingredients list but never shows up in the instructions,” complained one user.
Others agreed, saying the missing ingredients make them wonder what’s going on. “ It’s like I always wonder,” replied one user, “do I not need it and they just copy and pasted or something on the ingredients list and putting it in would mess it up, or do I actually really need it, and it won’t be as good as it could without it?”
Magically Appearing Ingredients
Magically appearing ingredients are just as frustrating as phantom ingredients. “Wait, where did that coriander come from, and how much?” joked one user, referring to elements magically appearing in the instructions.
Food bloggers should never assume that readers know which spices to use or that something must be coated in oil.
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Many recipes require ingredients that need to be used at different times. You may need two sticks of butter, but one is for sauteing, while the other goes into the cream sauce.
One popular recipe pet peeve is when recipes list the ingredient but don’t mention that it needs to be divided. “Invariably, I end up adding the total quantity at the first mention,” lamented one user.
“That happened to me a couple of weeks ago,” replied another user. “ The recipe specified 1-1/2 tsp cinnamon, which I added, only to discover that I was only supposed to add 1 tsp to the batter and the rest was to be mixed with granulated sugar as a coating for the baked cakes.”
Many online recipes are incorrect with timing requirements. A common complaint on Reddit revolves around sauteeing onions and garlic.
“I’ve noticed many claim that you should caramelize onions/cook until translucent but throw in the garlic at the same time, which is impossible unless you want burnt garlic crisps ruining your dish,” said one user.
Others stated that they had burned garlic on numerous occasions due to following a recipe to a tee.
You’d think that recipes would be step by step, in the order you need to complete them. Unfortunately, sometimes recipes have an “oh, by the way” step hidden inside.
One Redditor said these out-of-order directions are their biggest recipe pet peeve. “When they tell you to do something, then say “…but first,” they replied.
It’s easy to mess up a recipe when key steps are out of order.
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Misleading Cooking Times
“Pressure cooker recipes that say “cooks in 5 minutes”….after 20 min heat up and plus 5 minutes pressure relief,” commented one user.
Others complained that chefs sometimes assume everything is prepped when listing cooking times. Sometimes recipes omit wait times for things like dough to rise or pressure cookers to naturally release pressure, while others only list the actual cook time, excluding time to chop vegetables or prepare other items.
Recipe writers may think they’re simplifying things by combining multiple steps into one, but it often frustrates users. One user expressed frustration at “Recipe steps that are actually four or five steps.”
Another agreed, saying they must reformat many recipe instructions to make them easier to follow.
“Recipes that use already prepared items,” said one Redditor. They offered the amusing example of making the “best salad dressing ever” using pre-packaged ranch mix.
Although these “recipes” may work for easy dinner ideas or quick meal hacks, they might not be the best for folks who want real, homemade foods.
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“Easy” Recipes with Hard Ingredients
Some recipes are super easy to make if you already have a few more complicated items on hand. One user complained about “any “one pot recipe” that calls for portions of 4 different things that they also have a recipe for and that also need to be prepared.”
They added that the worst offender was a Williams Sonoma cookbook, which offered “Easy sandwiches that include leftover char siu that you had to cook in the past week and 2 or 3 other fairly time-consuming dishes.”
Food bloggers need to realize that most of us don’t have complex ingredients on hand.
One user complained that recipes often include vague information. They said some recipes would say to cook “until the texture is right,” but novice chefs may not know what that means. “How is the texture supposed to be? This is not helpful at all,” they added.
Another user agreed, saying too many recipes “use really terrible metaphors such as “like lava” or “billowy clouds.”
Recipe Pet Peeves Cause Frustration for Aspiring Cooks
These recipe pet peeves Reddit users shared cause frustration amongst those trying to cook more at home. If you’ve ever opted for takeout due to annoying instructions, I’m sure you can relate!
Food bloggers should take note and try to make their recipes more user-friendly, especially for those who don’t have a lot of experience in the kitchen.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.