On Recipe Testing

Did you know Recipe Tester is an actual job?  I mean, it makes sense.  Someone has to try out all the recipes that end up getting published in cookbooks and magazines, but I guess it’d never really crossed my mind.  That is, until a local magazine I follow on Twitter, tweeted out a link for a cookbook writer looking for volunteer recipe testers.  Sign me up!

Now that I’ve been chosen, cooked my three assigned recipes and turned in all my evaluation forms, I thought I’d share some more about the experience.  And pay attention because after spending a good amount of money on the ingredients and only liking one out of the three recipes, it’s probably safe to say my recipe testing career is over.


This was Recipe #1, a seafood-stuffed baked phyllo packet.  And then it was topped with a whole grain mustard sauce… yes!  I made this on a Sunday, thinking it would be the most time consuming, but this ended up being the quickest of the bunch.  Also, it was delicious.  Sadly, shrimp and crabmeat are kind of expensive and this will probably be the only time we ever make this dish.  Wah, wah.


Recipe #2: A smoked turkey, hearts of palm and mushroom salad that was all over the place.  First of all, it served EIGHT and who needs to make eight servings of anything??  Also I thought it was going to be more like chicken or tuna salad consistency but it turns out smoked turkey is more like chunks of ham, aka pretty dense.  The whole things was just weird.  Not to mention that part where one can of hearts of palm is $5 and I needed three of them.  I think Joey ate a majority of this one 🙂


Last recipe was a cheese grits soufflé, which sounds pretty fun, but was so bland it hurt.  I should’ve known right away when there was NO SALT in the recipe, but part of being a recipe tester means you have to follow the recipe exactly as written.  Also, this took two hours to make between prepping the ingredients and actually baking the soufflé.  Luckily, we made it on a Saturday, otherwise I think dinner would’ve ran straight into bedtime.  That kale salad, though!

So all in all, the whole experience ended up being a pricey/time-consuming let down.  And there go my dreams of being a professional recipe tester!  Just kidding, I think most people who do that for a career have culinary degrees 🙂  The only upside?  It made cooking things I picked myself extra fun this week!


It’s Friday AND the first day of spring!  Do you have fun weekend plans?