Through the years, recipes have come in different forms. Kitchens used to be well stocked with entire recipe book collections. There were recipe card holders filled with stained index cards with hand-written recipes from your parent or grandparent.
These days recipes are mostly electronic, scattered across many different websites. So how do you keep all of your favorite recipes in all of these different forms organized? Using online recipe organizers of course!
Why keep entire cookbooks when you only like a small batch of recipes in them? Why bookmark half a dozen websites when you can just export your favorites to your own personal digital recipe organizer? In this article, we’ll show you a list of cloud-based recipe organizers you can use to do just that.
If you don’t try any other online recipe organizer on this list, you should at least try this one. The free version doesn’t give you access to the full menu planner and other features, but you do get access to the recipe library where you can add your own recipes. There are four ways you can do this.
- Paste the URL to the recipe page from the site where you want to clip the recipe.
- Write your recipe manually using a simple form.
- Copy and paste the recipe from a text document.
- Scan and upload a photo of your recipe card.
Some of these options are faster than others. For example, if you paste a recipe page and select Import, BigOven will scrape the text from the page. You’ll then need to highlight and specify the title, summary, ingredients, and instructions so that that text will get imported into your BigOven stored recipe.
Taking a picture of a recipe (either from a recipe card or a cookbook) takes a little longer. It appears BigOven doesn’t use optical character recognition (OCR) technology. Instead they have staff who literally transcribe the recipes for you.
It’s a lot easier adding recipes from the mobile app. In just a few steps you can clip a recipe from a URL or scan the recipe directly in using your phone.
Again, scanned photos aren’t added instantly. You’ll get an email when BigOven is done transcribing and it’s added to your library.
You can start using BigOven at the website, or download the app for iOS, Android, or Windows Phone.
ChefTap is another great cloud and mobile based solution to keep all of your favorite recipes stored in your own private collection. You need to use the Android or iOS app to register and sign up for an account. Once you’re registered and signed in, tap Sync to sync the mobile app with your cloud account.
The free account lets you store up to 100 recipes, and doesn’t let you access the menu planning feature. However, since most people have nowhere near 100 recipes in their collection, this should be suitable for most users.
Web clipping is a Pro feature on the ChefTap website, but you can manually add any recipes you like. To copy sites from a website you’ll need to copy and paste all of the fields.
The real value with ChefTap comes from the app. Once you install the app on your mobile device, you can import recipes in several ways.
- Use the built in browser to open recipe sites, log in, and import recipes
- Import recipe boxes from compatible recipe sites like Allrecipes (the US or UK version), or Epicurious.
- Import your own recipes from text files
- Paste a URL to a recipe page
- Type in your recipe manually
Because you can’t use a lot of these features on the website itself, ChefTap isn’t quite as good as BigOven. But if you prefer using your mobile device anyway, then it could be the one you’ll prefer.
You can use the ChefTap website directly, or download the app for Android or iOS from the main page of the website.
Paprika is a bit different than the other cloud-based online recipe organizers listed on this page. There is no website to use. Instead, you can download the software for a Windows or Mac computer, as well as for Android or iOS. Then all of your recipes are synced via the cloud across all devices.
Keep in mind that while Paprika offers a free trial, the software isn’t free. You’ll need to pay a one-time fee of $29.99 to use the software.
With that said, it’s well worth the price. Paprika is one of the most full featured recipe organizers of any. It comes with a built-in browser where you can search all the major recipe sites and just select the Download button at the bottom to import the recipe into your recipe organizer.
Paprika seems to do a better job than most others at pulling in the right information and putting them into the correct fields.
The app includes:
- An excellent recipe organizer with well formatted recipes
- Grocery lists you can print, email, or just sync with your mobile devices
- Pantry organizer you can use to log ingredients you have on hand
- Meal planner for pulling in recipes for each meal
- A menu planner for planning out your daily meals
From the Paprika main page, you can download the app for iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows. All of them sync with one another so you can add recipes and menus on your desktop and have them available on your mobile when you’re at the store.
Evernote used to have a unique offering called Evernote Food, but it has since been discontinued. Part of the reason for that might be that Evernote itself serves perfectly fine as an online recipe organizer.
If you look at the features Evernote offers, you’ll see that it can do nearly everything other recipe organizers do. You can type in or copy over your own text based recipes. You can also install the Evernote Web Clipper extension for Chrome to capture recipes on any recipe website you come across.
Bring these recipes in using any format you like. Import the full web page, use article format, or bring it in using a simplified article format. This ensures that you get an article saved in Evernote that’s cleanly formatted and easy to use.
You can also use the Camera option in the Evernote mobile app to capture a photo of your recipe cards for digital recipe storage.
If you don’t want to start using a new online recipe organizer and you’re already using Evernote, then you already have everything you need.
Use the Evernote web page, or install Evernote on your Windows desktop, iOS device, or your Android device. Just like all of the other options listed here, your saved recipes are synced and accessible across all devices.
OrganizeEat is a recipe organizer that is mobile-based only, available for Android or iOS devices. There is a beta web version available but is no longer accepting signups. Once the beta version goes live, access will require a subscription.
The mobile app lets you store up to 20 recipes for free. There are several ways you can do this.
When you launch the app and tap Add a New Recipe, you’ll see the following options.
- Photo: Take and store a snapshot of a recipe from cookbooks or recipe cards
- Web: Import a recipe from any online recipe website
- Typing: Type in your own recipe manually
To do this, just tap Add a New Recipe at the top of the app and you’ll see the options above. Tap the Recipe from Photo option to capture an image of a photo in a cookbook or recipe card.
You can crop the photo to only include the recipe itself.
This app only stores the photo, it doesn’t transcribe any text from the photo.
The most convenient and easy way of collecting recipes into your OrganizEat online recipe manager is to import it from the web. When you do this it’ll take you to an embedded browser where you can browse recipe sites and then select Save to capture that recipe.
OrganizeEat does a great job importing the components of the recipe and putting them into the OrganizeEat recipe format.
Visit the main page of OrganizeEats to download either the iOS or Android app.
6. Copy Me That!
A few of the online recipe organizers on this list have a subscription or cost. Thankfully, Copy Me That! doesn’t. When you first sign in, you’ll need to select the Get button to add the Copy Me That! extension to your browser.
Select Create Recipe from the main page of the website (once you log in) to manually add your recipe to your collection.
A faster way to add recipes is to visit your favorite recipe sites and use the Copy Me That! Chrome extension icon.
This imports the recipe in a clean and easy to read format inside your Copy Me That account.
Just select Confirm to complete the import and save the recipe.
Other areas of the site include:
- Recipes: Your collection of recipes in Pinterest Style list format
- Shopping List: Quickly add ingredients from your recipe to your shopping list
- Meal Plan: Organize your recipes into meals for each day of the week
Organize your recipes with tags and filters. You can also share via email, and sync your recipes across all devices.
7. Recipe Keeper
The Recipe Keeper app is another recipe organizer that’s app based. Meaning while there’s no website, you can download the free app for your iOS device, Android phone, your Mac or your PC.
As with other recipe apps on this list, the saved recipes sync across all devices. However, Recipe Keeper is far easier to use, and much more aesthetically pleasing than most of the others on this list.
The main page is where you’ll find all your recipes organized into food genre.
Adding a new recipe to your collection is as simple as selecting New recipe.
- Add a recipe manually
- Import from the web
- Scan one from a photo
- Scan a PDF copy of a recipe
The manual entry is a simple form where you work your way from left to right. Fill in the recipe details, ingredients, directions and notes.
Importing from the web is impressive. There’s an embedded web browser that takes input from the search field inside Recipe Keeper. The search will return recipes from external websites. Browse to your recipe and the app will automatically detect the recipe and fill in all of the correct fields.
Just select Save. This will import the recipe into your collection. You’ll notice that recipes here are beautifully formatted. The app even automatically brings in an image of the recipe from the recipe site, if one is available.
Choose Your Online Recipe Organizer
Not every cloud based recipe organizer is going to be perfect for everyone. Some people may prefer more mobile features. Other people may prefer a stronger web app or Chrome extension features.
The best way to choose is to try a few that look like what you need. If the online recipe organizer provides everything you need it for, then that’s the perfect one for you.