Recipe Testers

Good Tester's Guide

Thank you for your interest in recipe testing for Leite’s Culinaria! We have an amazing group of volunteer recipe testers who love nothing more than cooking and baking and discussing all things pertaining to food. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Each recipe that ends up on our site has first been made by home cooks just like you, which we call recipe testers. Our recipe testers and our rigorous recipe testing program are the reason our readers have such remarkably reliable results when they try something on our site. And we hope that you’ll consider joining our ranks. 

Here’s how our recipe testing program works. Twice a month our staff culls a couple dozen recipes from various new (and often not-yet-published) cookbooks  that we think have terrific potential. Each two-week recipe testing session offers an extensive representation of recipes, chefs, and cuisines. We endeavor to always include a mix of recipes that spans simple and sophisticated, cooking and baking, healthful and far from abstemious, vegetarian and otherwise, and so on. As a tester, you’ll pick at least one recipe from the list to make and evaluate.

We ask that you follow the recipe precisely and take copious notes in terms of any questions or inconsistencies that you encounter. Then we ask that you complete a questionnaire about your experience with the recipe. This evaluation consists of both specific questions that we inquire as well as space for you to write your thoughts about the recipe, to rate it, and to let us know if you feel the recipe is a keeper.

Another benefit of being a recipe tester, in addition to advance access to newly published recipe, is access to other recipe testers. If you’re the social type, you’re going to love being able to share your thoughts, questions, comments, and musings with like-minded home cooks. (And if you’re not the social type, no worries! Participation in the forum is not mandatory.)

 If you’d like to join our community, please read the tester agreement and fill out the registration form at the end of the agreement. Once you’ve agreed to the terms of testing, we’ll hook you up with access to the private testers’ site and you’ll be on your way. 

We’re dedicated to having the most reliable recipe website on the planet, and our recipe testers make this happen. We hope you’ll join us.

And here’s what some of are testers are saying about ther experiences:

The testing experience for me as a whole has been very rewarding. Testing has become quite a regular part of being in the kitchen for me and I thoroughly enjoy it. I have grown as a chef by expanding my techniques. I have had many firsts as a recipe tester, including making puff pastry for the first time, making meringue for the first time, and so many other recipes I would have never tried if it were not for the testing program. And whenever I make something new, my family now asks, “Is this a tester recipe?”
—Dawn English

I really enjoy the variety of possible recipes to test each cycle. It’s really nice to be able to choose from a baked item or a weeknight dinner or a simple cocktail or even a condiment. I’ve tested recipes I’d not have chosen on my own, and when they were published on the site, was surprised at the cookbook they were from. It’s been a lot of fun being part of the community.
—Lou Ann Traster

Even after testing recipes for Leite’s Culinaria for more than six years, I still get very excited when the new round of recipes comes out via email.  I love seeing the wide array of recipes to choose from because they always represent something popular going on—y’all do a great job of choosing recipes that are both pertinent to the current culinary climate and that range from simple to a bit more complicated. I love trying all types of recipes, especially when the recipes are a flavor combination or ingredient that I’ve never thought about trying or have been meaning to try. Testing for a fabulous site not only gets me in the kitchen more than I already am as a personal chef, it gives me a sense of accomplishment that I’m a part of a larger group of like-minded culinary folks such as myself.  I have enjoyed every minute of it.
—Anna Scott

It is a true honor for me to be included in this group. I have learned so many new things and tried recipes I probably would have never thought of trying.  It’s very exciting to try something new and find that it works! I have a collection of recipes that are now included in my tried, true, and trusted list of meals. To think my name is on a website that has tested certain recipes and to be included in such an amazing gropu of people…pride doesn’t even come close to how this makes me feel.  Honored is a much better word.  Thank you very much for giving me this chance. —Sandy Owen

Thanks to the recipe testing program, I’ve grown more confident in my baking, which has been useful. I work as a chef and I’ve found recipes that I could try at work and also little tips that improve my cooking overall.
—Lydia Brimage

I am so proud of my affiliation with Leite’s and I religiously read all of your social media posts to get ideas for meal planning. You guys are a great team that makes us feel appreciated even if we don’t participate as often as we’d like. I love that I can always ask a question and not feel like an idiot—that’s huge, especially when I’m far from advanced in the kitchen. I still consider myself a beginner/intermediate cook, even though I’ve been testing for five years (where has the time gone?!), because I still have so much to learn. I love reading through the various recipes to learn new techniques, flavor combinations, and what other testers thought of the final products. And because I’m limited on time, I know that I can always rely on whatever you guys post so that my time will be well spent on something delicious. I also like knowing that I’ve been a small part of that process.—Amy Iacopi

I’ve enjoyed being a part of this testing program. I’ve been able to see and appreciate what all goes into producing great and useful recipes.  I think it’s also helped my creativity and has introduced my to new kinds of food and methods of cooking. My husband and I both enjoy discussing the results of tested recipes at dinner and seeing how we can tweak and improve them to our taste.  Thanks for letting me contribute!
—Krista Ramsey

Being a tester has affected my cooking life in that I’m a little more inspired to get out of my cooking rut. And I love not having to decide what to make for dinner when it’s a recipe test night.
—Linda McElroy

All the best,

Beth Price
Director of Recipe Testing

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