How do you test a recipe?

Steel's staff makes sure they will work in a wide variety of kitchens.
  • Transcript


Tanya Steel: Usually what we do is if, say, we have commissioned a recipe from a recipe developer or chef, we will tell them what we want.  And then once we get the recipe in, we will have an editor go over it very carefully and ask the developer, or the chef, or the cookbook author all the questions – like are you . . .  Is this the right amount of salt?  Are you sure you meant to do this?  Is this the right timing for this or that?  And then once we’ve got all the questions answered, we then ask somebody else to test it in a home kitchen; not a, you know . . . some kind of high tech kitchen; but in a home kitchen that everyone would have so we can make sure of times, you know.  Because different ranges and ovens will react differently, so we wanna make sure we’re using kind of the broadest range technology.  And we have that tested, and they will often have questions themselves.  So things will get tested . . .  Recipes can get tested two, three and four times before the finished product; before we actually feel like this is completely dummy proof; everyone can do it.  And then we have it, you know, copy edited and put on the site.  The magazines that we use for our database do the same thing.  They test in their kitchens both in New York and in LA recently.  So . . .  And they both test on both home and professional equipment to make sure it works.  So we really know that those recipes will definitely work.  Because there’s nothing worse than inviting people over and making a big dinner, and then you think, “Oh, this wasn’t so good.  I’m kind of embarrassed,” you know?  So it’s very important to us that the recipes are absolutely doable and a success from the beginning.