If you like trying new recipes, you might enjoy “working” from your home for a test kitchen. A friend of mine is enjoying herself with it.
America’s Test Kitchens is soliciting new recipe testers for their many websites, magazines and cookbooks they publish. You can join them by using the link here:
They try you out slow at first. My friend had a wait before receiving her first recipe to test. Then a wait before they sent her another one. Now, however, she gets one or two every week or two.
What are the requirements?
- You have 2 weeks to make the recipe and complete a short survey
- They want you to make the recipe exactly as stated at first, so they can discover if there are any problems with the recipe
- The questionnaire will ask if you ran into any problems, if you would make the recipe again, and if you would prefer to change anything about it
- You can’t discuss the recipes until after they are published
- You can always turn down (or ignore) an assignment if the dish doesn’t interest you
What will you be cooking?
My friend gets all sorts of recipes from salads to main dishes to desserts. She likes the surprise and the fun of doing something she hasn’t before. She’s made a pork chop dish, a roast, creamy vegan salad dressing, cookie cake bars, chocolate dessert, a quick bread, a chicken dish, a beet salad and more.
She’s also pulling out all her pots and pans and several of the cooking gadgets she’s bought over the years. However, if you get a recipe that requires something you don’t have and don’t want to buy, you can either:
- Ignore that recipe, or
- Email them to ask if they have an alternative to that gadget or if you should instead just not make the recipe
Are there any negatives?
Their websites are pretty hard sell. My friend says they bombard you with their constant selling of their cookbooks, equipment, and cooking lessons. Most of this is because she signed up for a multi-subscription to their America’s Test Kitchen, Cook’s Illustrated, and Cook’s Country websites (but did not buy their magazines). She likes participating in their online groups and reading other recipes. They offer this membership when you join — but you do not have to sign up for or buy anything to be a recipe tester for them. My friend just deletes the emails.
While you don’t have to buy anything from them, you will have to buy the ingredients for the recipes from your local store. And those ingredients can include fresh ginger, or a fresh herb, or a bottle of wine as well as the other ingredients.
If you live alone, another potential negative is that most of the recipes are for 4-6 people. Once in awhile for 12. You can either delight neighbors or do what my friend does and freeze it in 1-person portions for later enjoying.
Fun with the grandkids?
If you have day-to-day access to a grandchild who enjoys cooking, America’s Test Kitchens now has recipe testing for kids 7-18. You can join that group as well when you sign up. It might make some fun times to share with a grandkid who wants to learn to cook.
So… is recipe testing for you?
With apologies to Forrest Gump, my friend says recipe testing is like a box of chocolates — you never know what you will get. Which is just the way she likes it!
Marlene Jensen is a 71-year-old full-time marketing professor. Previously she was a VP at CBS and ABC and spent decades as an entrepreneur and pricing author/consultant. Sadly, none of these prepared her for the onslaught of marketers who now think her daily interests/needs consist solely of hearing aids, wheel chairs, adult diapers, medi-alert buttons, medications, and bath tubs you walk into.