Food Network was launched in 1993 and includes a lifestyle television network, website, and magazine that connect fans to recipes, cooking shows, advice from celebrity chefs and restaurant recommendations.
The Food Network site averages more than 9.9 million unique web users monthly and the magazine is distributed to more than 100 million US households. Headquartered in New York, Food Network is aired in more than 150 countries.
Food Network's site effectively spotlights seasonal recipes, keeping content fresh and relevant for users. There is a huge selection of recipes to choose from, most of which are contributed by chefs featured on Food Network's various TV programs.
There is a search function in the header of the site, which is the best way to find recipes on Food Network because it doesn't feature traditional recipe categories such as Main Dish, Ingredient or Occasion.
In the footer of the site, there is a Help tab, which features the site's most frequently asked questions, as well as information about the Food Network Magazine and My Recipe Box accounts.
Users can sign up for a My Recipe Box account for free, which allows them to save recipes, rate recipes, and submit reviews. They can also sign up for the daily newsletter that features an easy recipe each day, which is a convenient option for cooking enthusiasts that may not have the time to browse for new recipes.
The site also features episodes of Food Network shows, how-to videos and interviews with the Food Network celebrity chefs, and restaurant listings.
Food Network's site layout makes it difficult to find or browse recipes. There is a search function in the header of the site, so users can enter keywords to find specific recipes they have in mind. However, if users want to find recipes based on food allergies, level of difficulty, or main ingredient - or simply browse - they won't be able to. There are no recipe categories in the header to choose from. This oversight means users are likely to spend much more time searching for recipes and won't be able to browse efficiently.
The recipes on Food Network do not offer substitute ingredients or nutritional information. There is not a feature that allows users to search for recipes based on level of difficulty, which is helpful for newer or less experienced cooks. Users who aren't as comfortable in the kitchen may prefer to use a site that will make it easy for them to find simple recipes.
Food Network's site also features a variety of ads. Many of the ads do not directly relate to food or cooking, so users may find them to be distracting.
The Bottom Line
Food Network fans will enjoy the site's offering of videos, shows and celebrity chef recipes. The site features a hearty selection of detailed recipes, however finding them may be a bit of a hassle. Users can make best use of the site if they typically have an idea of what they'd like to cook, as Food Network's search capabilities are much easier to use than the browsing setup.