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Frequently Asked Questions

If you do not find the answer to your question here, please ask for help in our Contact Us link.

Top Review FAQs

Do I have to have made the recipe to review it? If not, why not?

No, we don't require that people prepare a recipe before reviewing it because it would be impossible to enforce. You may find a recipe that you have made before and will want to review the recipe even if it is not the exact one you used before. Usually these comments offer valuable suggestions or possible substitutions..

We think it is great when folks mention whether they made this recipe or not, and anyone reading the review will use that information to decide how they treat the comments in the review. Above all, honesty is the most important quality we seek in reviews.

Also, if you haven't made a recipe but just have a helpful suggestion, please do not add a starred rating — just add comments.

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What does each star level mean on the recipe ratings?

Five stars is the highest rating and one star is the lowest. Everyone has their own thoughts on what each star represents, and the law of averages will make the overall rating generally accurate. But here are some guidelines for what ratings should mean:

  • 5 Stars = Outstanding!
  • 4 Stars = Loved it
  • 3 Stars = Liked it
  • 2 Stars = Just okay
  • 1 Star = Didn't like it
  • No Star = Posting a comment only
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Do I have to write comments to go along with my review?

No, but they are definitely preferred. Surely, you have some information to share, such as how easy it was, any changes you made, etc. People who post the recipe will appreciate the feedback, and by sharing your experience, you will help make a better place for future visitors as well.

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What are the "helpful votes" on the reviews?

They allow you to tell us and other users which reviews you find helpful. Reviews on recipes are sorted by most helpful, so that the most helpful reviews are most visible to people.

Please click on the reviews that you find helpful. We keep your votes completely private.

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Someone gave me a low rating on a recipe my family and I love. What can I do about that?

Well, everyone has different preferences, so even though you and your friends and family may love a recipe, not everyone else will. Take pride in the fact that your friends and family think it's a winner, and please don't take another person's opinion of your recipe as a personal insult. They are rating their experience with your recipe, not you personally.

Also, not every cook who tries your recipe has the same level of cooking experience -- therefore their results may vary greatly from yours. Have you checked over your recipe for any errors? Could you clarify any instructions that the reviewer may have had trouble with? You may submit a correction to a recipe at any time using the "Submit a Correction" link on the recipe page.

Even if there are no errors, the reviewer may have done something differently that affected the outcome -- you may even have an idea what they did wrong based on their comments. Take heart in the fact that other more experienced cooks will know this from reading the review.

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Can I post in the Forums about a (bad) review on a recipe?

Yes, if you are looking for suggestions on how to make a recipe better. But please be polite and respectful — do not name the reviewer specifically or provide any information that would allow others to identify the recipe you referring to. Personal attacks are against our site rules. Please don't vent in the forums about negative reviews. This only discourages others from posting honest reviews elsewhere on the site.

NOTE: You may publicly discuss how you choose to offer reviews �such as what things you look for in a good recipe, how you personally interpret the meanings of the star values, etc. Just do not publicly discuss and/or analyze how others rate recipes.

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Tips for writing helpful recipe reviews

New to writing reviews? Here are some tips on sharing helpful reviews:

  • Remember to select the stars.
    5 stars is for highest rating, 1 star for the lowest. If you just want to leave a comment without any stars, then select "no stars." This is allowed and does not count as a zero star rating.
  • Leave some comments about the recipe.
    Whether you loved the recipe, hated it or just thought it was okay, we want to know what you liked or disliked and how the recipe can be improved.
    Things you might mention would be:
    • How did it taste to you?
    • Did your family like it?
    • Were the instructions clear or vague and what did you do?
    • Did you feel the need to make any changes? What were these changes?
    • Would you make the recipe again?
    NOTE: You don't have to answer all of those questions and you don't have to write a lengthy review. Even just a few words can be very helpful.
  • Be polite and tactful!.
    No one likes to hear that you "fed this to the dogs it was so bad" or that the finished dish "wasn't even fit for the garbage." You can say the same thing politely and still get your message across, such as: "I did not enjoy the taste of this recipe and would not make it again" and "I thought the dish looked very unappetizing."
  • Always be HONEST.
    Don't be afraid to write your honest comments and rate the stars according to your particular experience with this recipe. You are not rating the recipe submitter but the recipe itself.
  • Don't deliberately over-rate or under-rate a recipe.
    Leaving a bunch of inflated reviews for recipes your friends have posted really isn't helpful. Definitely feel free to rate recipes your friends or family members have shared but be honest. Also, reviews are NOT the place to "get even" or start feuds with other members. If you have an issue with someone, contact us or that person directly.
  • Note any changes you made.
    Many chefs like to play with the ingredients of a recipe or choose to make substitutions due to cost, ingredient availability, dietary needs and personal tastes. Please remember that changing the ingredients or method may be successful or unsuccessful. If your changes affect your overall impression of the recipe, it might be helpful to leave a no-star comment explaining what you did, and you won't falsely lower or raise the star rating of the "as directed" version of the recipe.
  • Reviews are not the place to ask questions.
    If you want to ask the recipe poster a question or just to let them know that you think their recipe sounds great, you can do this two different ways. Either select the "Contact This Chef" link on the recipe description box or you can post a question in our forums (often a speedier option).
  • You can revise or edit reviews.
    f you would like to re-write an old review or update your star rating, you can. Simply click the "Rate it!" link again and re-enter the stars and/or write new comments in the review box. This new review will replace the old one. You can fix typos this way, too.
  • You may not review your own recipe.
    If would like to address a point made by a reviewer, submit a correction and update your description, ingredients or steps.
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What do I do if I have a concern about a review?

If you question the legitimacy or content of any review, you should contact us privately using the Contact us form (link at the links at the bottom of every page) and include the recipe ID number and your question in the message. We are happy to investigate issues.

You may also try contacting the review privately via our messaging system. Do this to answer a question posed about your recipe, to discuss any substitutions they might have made that affected the outcome or to thank them for trying your recipe.

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Have another question? Ask us in our Contact Us link.

Is there something we should be answering here, but don't? Let us know in the Contact Us link.


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