Enjoying the Recipe Testing Process

I’ve written and tested recipes for many more years than I’d like to admit, and currently Bryan Miller and I are working on our 5th edition of Cooking for Dummies. I’ve learned that recipe development and testing nourishes several facets of my personality. And that’s important because generally recipe developers/testers don’t make piles of money. There had better be a good reason, other than a financial one, that propels a recipe tester into the work […]

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What is recipe testing and why is it needed? A brief overview

Though I regularly introduce myself as a recipe tester, I’m often mistakenly referred to as a taster, making it sound as if my job is all about taste. Even clients sometimes refer to me as their taster – probably because no one likes to think of their work being tested and perhaps found wanting. But recipe testing is not primarily about how food tastes. While taste is important, it’s the job of the recipe developer – the […]

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Cookbook recipes need to be tested. Here’s why.

“You switch one word and you can mess up the entire equation,” I’d explain to the copy editors at The New York Times Magazine, who wanted to cut, cut, cut the recipes. Mess up the equation and you potentially waste someone’s time and money, or worse, ruin his or her dinner. And if that happens, what’s the likelihood that she’ll come back to your magazine, cookbook or website for another recipe? A few years later, […]

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Test Kitchen Conveniences

One reason I moved from New York City to New Hampshire is that I wanted to have a large test kitchen, and that’s what I got. But I have never forgotten my early days testing recipes in a narrow galley kitchen that is typical of a city apartment. Whether your working space is capacious or cramped you will benefit from a few conveniences that, though completely optional, make recipe testing more efficient, productive, and even […]

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