Do you use ebook cookbooks?

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Do you use ebook cookbooks?

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1MrsLee
Maggio 16, 2017, 9:52am

I keep getting tempted by deals to purchase cookbooks on my Kindle. I do have a tablet so I can load it there and see the photos and such, but I don't find it satisfying. Perhaps just my age?

I love to thumb through my cookbooks, sometimes using bits and pieces from several recipes for inspiration, and that isn't easy in an ebook. At least for me. I've decided not to buy them unless they are more for reading that using in the kitchen. It's just too hard for me to find what I'm looking for.

I do think it would be handy if I could remember to search the internet on my tablet for recipes, so I could then take it into the kitchen. Old habits die hard.

2MarthaJeanne
Maggio 16, 2017, 11:04am

I like to mark up my cookbooks with dates that I used a recipe and what changes I made. I think you are supposed to be able to do that with the ebooks, but I can't.

I do take my iPad into the kitchen for certain recipes that I use from the web. That isn't perfect either, as you have to touch it now and again to keep it working, and that is not optimal while you are rubbing fat into flour, for example.

3Lyndatrue
Maggio 16, 2017, 11:08am

Let me count the ways:

How many times have you accidentally spilled a bit of flour, or worse, on the page you were looking at?

How often have you flipped back and forth between two books, with slightly different recipes, combining them to achieve something?

Perhaps you're one of those who like to make notes on a page where you use a recipe infrequently, and want to remember to change the amount of sugar, or to use another spice instead of the one in the recipe (I use bookmarks for those, because I don't write in books, but I recognize the desire to).

I could go on, but I'm just now drinking my first cup of coffee, and my brain's still fuzzy.

As you might guess, my answer is no.

4hfglen
Maggio 16, 2017, 3:06pm

I'll join the majority here. There's space for a bookstand on top of the microwave in the Glen kitchen, and that will support most cookbooks almost within a sight-line of the stove. I did once all up a recipe on my laptop to cook from. That meant standing the laptop on the dining-room table and having to make a mad dash from the kitchen every time I needed the next step, or to wake the computer. It's sort-of viable for large and heavy books like bound volumes of Gourmet magazine, but one step short of a disaster with an e-recipe.

5lesmel
Maggio 16, 2017, 4:19pm

I don't use ebook cookbooks; but I do use my iPad when cooking sometimes. Either I find a recipe on a website or I use Paprika to display the recipe.

Either way, until recently (when the top of my iPad case broke off) I would prop my iPad on my kitchen bar, embiggen the screen, and prep the food on the kitchen counter. No getting the iPad dirty or wet. I also kept a damp towel nearby so I would wipe my hands before touching the screen.

That isn't to say it's my only method. On the days I'm doing all-day cooking, I print the recipes in really large font, tape them to my cabinets, and crank the music.

ebook cookbooks, generally, are a nuisance. They are poorly formatted or don't embiggen correctly...and rarely ever do they have luscious photos of the food.

6MrsLee
Maggio 17, 2017, 10:00am

Ah, glad to know I'm not alone here!

I am one who always writes notes on the recipes in books which I try. And yes, theoretically I suppose that could happen in an ebook, but, not by me. :)

7Yervant
Maggio 18, 2017, 12:10pm

I like e-cookbooks mainly to access historical cookbooks from the early 20th century and before. There are so many out there, available for free, and I love seeing how different generations conveyed recipes as well as what they favored. Many of these cookbooks are ones I could not access in a library or even purchase if I wanted. That being said, if I want to use or adapt any of these recipes I generally print out the recipe to use in the kitchen.

8southernbooklady
Maggio 18, 2017, 12:56pm

I don't use e-cookbooks per se, for similar reasons that others have cited, but my recipe box is now kept in Evernote and I don't think I could go back to index cards. Unlike most ebooks, I find Evernote very easy to mark up and add comments to, and very easy to navigate if I am, for example, trying to combine two recipes.

I do have to be careful not to get it all gunked up from oil or whatever on my hands. But then again, neither do I have to buy multiple copies of favorite cookbooks that have been worn through from use or suffered some kitchen accident.

9Bikebear
Maggio 19, 2017, 6:33am

I copy (most computer printers have a copy facility) the recipe I'm going to use and place it in a plastic sleeve before starting to cook. If you have a major accident just do a new copy and the original is protected from vanishing recipe if you drop some oil on the page which should not happen thanks to the sleeve.
If you wish to have a number of pages on the go for comparison it's simpler than having two or more books propped up around the kitchen, a little bit or sticky tape will hold them on the wall for quick reference while cooking.
Protects the recipe book from accidents and I don't feel guilty about scribbling all over the page.
Yes it uses paper but how valuable is your recipe book
Keep my regularly used ones in a folder for quick reference the next time.

10ChristinasBookshelf
Maggio 25, 2017, 11:11pm

According to my tags, I have purchased 72 Kindle cookbooks. I mostly use them for reading for pleasure, just like my cookbooks. When using most any cookbook or online recipe, I will look at multiple recipes for the same thing and then create my own fusion version. I have yet to cook a recipe directly from my Kindle, but I think that it will happen soon. I'm running out of room for physical cookbooks, but my collecting bug is still going strong. When I wanted to make semi-authentic paella a month ago, I consulted my Kindle for my Spanish cookbooks to see if I was on the right track.

I have the difficulty of multiple complicated food allergies/intolerances, so finding just 1 recipe that I like that I am not allergic to is hard, and I have to go through a lot of cookbooks to find recipes that work for my persnickety immune system.

11reading_fox
Maggio 26, 2017, 4:23am

Another no. NOt really thought about it to be honest. I don't use cookbooks that's religiously, I tend to flick through for ideas and concepts when I'm deciding what to make, and then leave the recipe to evolve as I cook. - partly as above because I normally have to make a lot of substitutions. I've not found ebooks in general to be good for reference material. Certainly I'd want a large font so that I'm not squinting at it from across the kitchen, which means I'd need to turn the page very frequently.

12Dilara86
Maggio 26, 2017, 11:53am

I have only one "proper" e-cookbook, and that's For Those About To Cook Pure Metal: a (partly) jokey compendium of recipes provided by heavy metal band members that I received through Early Reviewers. I did try a couple of recipes (the ones involving neither bears nor beers). Using the Kindle was ok for short recipes, but slightly annoying for the one recipe that was reasonably involved and ran to several pages.
For the same reason as >7 Yervant: I also have dozens of digitised cookbooks, mostly from Project Gutenberg, because I'm interested in the history of food and cooking. I read them mainly out of intellectual curiosity and for inspiration, so I've never had to take them into the kitchen, which is just as well, because my first-generation Kindle isn't very practical in that environment. If I had a reasonably big tablet and a stand, I would use them though, at least for Internet recipes. At the moment, I either jot down ingredients, measurements and maybe a couple of instructions (like >10 ChristinasBookshelf: possibly from several recipes) on a piece of paper, or if accuracy is key, I might print the whole recipe, and then keep it in a file. I still feel sentimentally attached to paper books, and especially to paper cookbooks. My very first cookbooks are quite badly stained in some places, but I'm clearly a lot less messy now than I used to be, so taking paper books into the kitchen isn't a problem anymore.

13southernbooklady
Maggio 26, 2017, 12:07pm

The thing about recipes is that we don't usually "read" them from start to finish so much as consult them as we follow along. We refer back to ingredient lists for quantities, jump ahead to steps to see what we can be doing while we wait for something to bake or boil, take note of sidebar information when we are looking at substituting, check the photo to see if we're on the right track. And we do all this by taking in the entire page at a glance -- moving up and down and side to side as necessary. eReaders and tablets, already challenged by the fluid nature of html formatting, do not lend them well to that kind of information presentation. We find it awkward to constantly scroll around on a device whose "page" we instinctively feel should be bigger. We're always aware of the stuff that's off the frame and out of sight.

Of course e-readers do have their pluses --making the type bigger being one obvious example. But to date the awkwardness of using them doesn't compensate for the legibility in the kitchen, even if you get past the fact that cooking tends to make you and everything within reach a little grubby, even electronic devices.

14TLCrawford
Giu 1, 2017, 3:01pm

There is no way I would purchase a cookbook in e-book format.

Having said that I use an app called Paprika to track the recipes i actually use.

15MrsLee
Giu 2, 2017, 9:51am

I'm going to have to try some of the apps mentioned in this thread. Of course I say that and then wonder when I will find the time. I can't even find the time to catalog all my books yet. *sigh*

16hipdeep
Giu 2, 2017, 12:32pm

I cook from web sites all the time, using my laptop and iPad without significant mess issues, but I just haven't made the leap to ebooks in general. (I check ebooks out from the library occasionally, mostly for book clubs.) I think >13 southernbooklady: makes a great point about formatting - I've seen some ebooks with significant formatting annoyances, especially around notes and illustrations, and those could be fatal flaws for some high-production glossy cookbooks. (But I wouldn't expect publishers to put even more money into an already high-cost cookbook on the hopes of selling more electronic copies.)

17kerrlm
Lug 16, 2017, 7:51pm

I use web sites often, but not whole cookbooks! Eat your books is a great site to peg your owned books for specific info.

18soniaandree
Modificato: Feb 4, 2018, 12:42pm

I don’t use electronic recipes. I use and occasionally adapt recipes, I also spot mistakes (which I correct directly on the book), so it’s important for me to be able to manipulate the cookbook.

19PhaedraB
Feb 4, 2018, 12:58pm

I use online recipes often. If something catches my eye, I bookmark it. But unless it's something with which I'm really unfamiliar, I'm likely to adapt it. If it's something I use often, I'll print it out, put it in a sheet protector and add it to my recipes notebook.

However, it is awkward to use my laptop in the kitchen. I suppose it is easier with a tablet, but I don't have one. I do have an older kindle, but there are no cookbooks or recipes on it.

20soniaandree
Feb 6, 2018, 5:29am

We French have invented QOOQ, the cookery tablet, with sturdy materials, which doesn’t fear splatches, scratches etc.