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Google's Recipe Search Refinement Review

Posted on March 8, 2011 by Joelle

Google Recipe Refinement

Since I spend a lot of time on Google in any given day, I love to review the new services they offer. A couple months ago I reviewed the Boutiques service, and most recently I heard about the recipe refinement and really wanted to take it for a test spin. As an avid lover of all things baked and broiled I am always in the market for new, creative, healthy and economical recipes. I cook for myself and large crowds at least twice a week and need recipes fast, that can cater to the many ever changing tastes of my guests. Here are some features that will make me come back to Google Recipe View and others that will not.

What I Like

Recipe Searching

Equally broad and specific search terms like “salad” or “cobb salad” are great for getting you on the right path to “your perfect recipe” as Google claims to help you find. I would suggest if you have an idea of some of the ingredients you would like to use, and it makes sense to include them in the search term, to do so. Some of my searches for broad terms returned a lot of results, so it would be more advantageous to refine through your search than by clicking through the ingredient refinements.

Example of Google Recipe Search

Refining Your Search

On the left hand side Google included a refinement for ingredients used in the recipe. This is great if you have a growing collection of canned foods that you never seem to use, or simply want to experiment using new foods. I found, on average, when I put in a food item as the search term I only had to refine 2-4 times to return a result I would actually want to make. During the holidays when pumpkin and cranberries seem to be flavoring everything and finding a recipe for excluding these can be difficult, the ingredient exclusion option will be very helpful! Refinements include ingredients, cook time, and range of calories. I also thought it was really great that for recipes that had ratings and Images that were viewable right from the search page without any clicks.

What Needs Work

Making Recipe View Better

I found it difficult to switch between searches as Google Recipe View saves your refinements. Searching for salad, refining by pomegranate, then changing your search term to enchiladas will result in getting a  “Pomegranate-Avocado Salsa with Spiced Chips” which is not enchiladas last time I checked. You will have to reset your refinements with every search. This could be good for people who have allergies and will need to exclude certain ingredients from all recipes but not good for the general population.

Serving Size Refinement

I would also suggest a refinement for serving size, so that you can chose larger serving size recipes when cooking for larger groups of people. Some recipes are great for 2-5 people but start to get really pricey when cooking for a large group, so having this refinement would be really helpful. Also, having an average cost per ingredient multiplied out for ingredient size would give a great estimate on how much the recipe will cost.

Overall, I think this is a really cool new feature from Google. I admit that it probably doesn’t appeal to everyone, but for those that love to cook I can’t wait to see where Google goes next with the recipe refinement, and I plan to use it a lot in the future.

What are your thoughts? Do you like to cook? Does this appeal to you? Let us know in the comments.


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