The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Wonderful (and Important!) Changes

Posted by in Miscellaneous

(Photo: Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes submitted by Elana’s Pantry.)

Beginning today, we’ve made some important changes in the Review/Rating system here on Tasty Kitchen!

As many of you know, Tasty Kitchen was launched less than a year ago. It’s been just wonderful watching so many of you join, participate, and share your best dishes with the community of awesome folks here. All bias aside, it has seriously become my new go-to recipe source whenever I’m in search of something specific.

Of course, all new sites are works in progress and I knew from the get-go that I’d need to continually tweak things here and there to make everything work perfectly. One of the most important areas that has needed work—and the number one source of concern from the community—has always been the Ratings/Reviews system for recipes. As many of you pointed out, it was a little too easy to click on the red mitt rating system and assign arbitrary ratings to this recipe or that, and many who submitted recipes found it frustrating (rightly so) that anyone could click on one or two mitts and lower the overall rating of their recipes. Also, it was a little too easy to accidentally click on the wrong mitt rating—and with no way for this to be undone, the rating stuck.

Another common complaint: the Reviews section. The “Reviews” were actually more in line with a regular “Comments” section—while there were many legitimate reviews from folks who’d made the recipe in question, there were also just general comments relating to the recipe, things like “This looks yummy” or “I make something similar to this at Christmastime every year.” Both categories of dialog are absolutely welcome and an important aspect of the community—but we realized over time that it was important for Reviews and Comments to be separate.

So here are the changes, which just went into effect today:


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1. On recipes, Reviews and Comments will be in separate (tabbed) sections. You must be logged in to leave either a Review (feedback if you’ve made the dish) or Comment (general discussion/remarks)


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2. In order to leave a Rating (1 through 5 mitts), you must also leave a Review. Assigning the mitt rating is part of the Review dialog box.

These changes should really make a difference when it comes to searching for tried and true recipes. You can read honest Reviews from those who’ve made, served, and gobbled down the recipe, and you can read general feedback from others in the Comments. Best of both worlds!

A few important things to keep in mind:

* All Reviews posted before today will automatically revert to Comments. There really wasn’t any way for the system to discern the difference in past Reviews/Comments, so to be on the safe side, we’ve made them all Comments. If you have tried and reviewed recipes here on Tasty Kitchen and would like your Review to be included in a recipe’s overall rating, feel free to go ahead and leave a new Review.

* All Mitt Ratings before today have been erased. We realize this is a radical move and will mean that we are all, in essence, “starting from scratch” with our recipe ratings. However, we felt that it was important to the overall integrity of Tasty Kitchen’s ratings system to begin with a blank slate and remove all ratings from the old system, which was fraught with error. Don’t worry, though—I intend to make my way through many of my favorite recipes I’ve tried and bring the ratings up to date. In no time, the ratings will be built back up again.

* You will not be able to review and rate your own recipe.

* You can only rate and review a recipe once. If for any reason you want to change a review or rating that you’ve made, you can now delete your review AND rating, and leave a new one.

* If you’re used to sorting recipe searches by rating, keep in mind that the pages will turn up empty/scarce while the ratings being to repopulate throughout the site. To help with that process, we encourage you to go back to the recipes you’ve tried and review them.

And that’s it!

Implementing these changes ensures that all ratings are based on reviews left by those who have actually tried the recipe. So while it may be painful to see everything reset to zero, in the long run, this will make the recipe ratings a more reliable gauge of people’s actual experience with the recipe.


Thank you for being patient, not only throughout this post…but during this small adjustment period! I’m confident this new change will be a super improvement for the recipe community here on Tasty Kitchen.



Comments are closed for this recipe.

Wrenetta on 6.3.2010

Glad you made these changes. I hope people will actually try the dishes before commenting on them and thereby give the rating real credibility. Thanks for all your efforts!

Bindi on 5.24.2010

Thank you Ree. This is a great solution to the problems. I was so disheartened to see one day that someone had gone through each of my recipes and rated them all as a 1 when they obviously hadn’t tried to make each of them. Of course my hubby thought I took it a bit too personally, but I am sure we all only post our favourite recipes and to us they are great!

courtney on 5.23.2010

This is a great improvement! Is it at all possible to add a feature where you can view recipes by season? Maybe the recipe authors could somehow have the option to categorize when they upload? I try to only cook with in season produce, and it can be tough to wade through pages and pages of recipes made with winter root veggies when I am looking for a spring or summer dish.

PeachRainbow on 5.22.2010

I think this is a good idea too!

Peggy on 5.21.2010

My thanks to you Ree and to all other wonderful TK cooks
who share great recipes with us.
Makes looking for a new recipe an adventure!


Nancy on 5.20.2010

I hadn’t actually realized the comment/review problem yet, but I am thrilled with the way you’ve adjusted it. I’m always frustrated with reviews about how great something looks. Or reviews of products that are fabulous, and just showed up on the mail that day and got LOOKED at. So, thank you.

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meeshiesmom on 5.20.2010

Cleared my cache as suggested by Erika and I still can’t leave a review. I’m going to use another computer later and try again, but since I use both wondering what I can do.

Laurie on 5.20.2010

I think that is a great idea. I agree that it was frustrating the old way.

Can I make another suggestion? I sometimes search the site for dinner ideas. I will put something in the search box, say Vegetable Soup”, and although I get a few Vegetable Soup recipes, I also get recipes that don’t seem related to my search at all! I look at the tags in the recipe listing, and they don’t seem to match either.

Am I using the search feature wrong?

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whatmegansmaking on 5.20.2010

great improvements! Although I tried to enter a review and rating and kept getting an error. It kept telling me that I have to enter a rating, but each time I already had. Am I doing something wrong? I clicked the mitts to give it a 5 rating, and I typed in a review…

Renee on 5.19.2010

You made a great decision here, it is a much needed and appreciated improvement!
Thanks! Renee

karen on 5.19.2010

thank you, thank you, thank you!! it always bothered me to see five star ratings and then a bunch of “this looks so good – can’t wait to try it!!” reviews. keep up the amazing work!!

Krista on 5.19.2010

Oh man, am I SOOO glad that you did this. I visit the site daily and was always so frustrated with the “comments” when what I really wanted was reviews. THANK YOU!!!!

Audreystyle on 5.19.2010

I’m glad for the changes. Good ideas all around.

Adaire on 5.19.2010

This will definitely be a big improvement! My daughter and I have often said that it would help if people wouldn’t comment unless they’d made the dish. Separating them is a marvelous solution.

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randi on 5.19.2010

I found that sooo frustrating!

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hansongirl2 on 5.19.2010

Thank you for the changes, they are wonderful. Tasty Kitchen is the best website for recipes, hands down.

I have another suggestion…

Could you add an option to make the recipe photo smaller when you choose to print the recipes that have photos? A lot of times when I print a recipe it ends up being two or more pages because the photo size is so large. I can of course print without the photo, but I think the majority of us like to have photos with our recipes. I know other recipe sites give you the option to choose picture and font size.

Just an idea! Thanks.

Katie on 5.19.2010

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love reading reviews. For the life of me, I could not figure out why people did not the the difference between reviews and comments — we all know it all looks delicious!! :)

Val Reimer on 5.19.2010

Thanks Ree! Your website is awesome and your doing a wonderful job?My relaxing and down time is spent on this website

Tracy on 5.19.2010

I’m really glad you did this. I always hated finding a recipe with good reviews and then realizing that none of the reviewers had actually made the recipe.

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Pam (Bored Cook) on 5.19.2010

Forgot to mention: I was having a problem leaving a rating, but was able to do it last night, so it seems to be working.

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Pam (Bored Cook) on 5.19.2010

Thank you for doing this. On more than one occassion I’ve mistakenly hit a low mitt rating for a recipe and then felt horrible when it couldn’t be fixed.

Stacey on 5.19.2010

Great changes. I think everyone will benefit from the new system. Thanks Ree.

Alexandra on 5.19.2010

Great! Love the changes. Maybe this will inspire me to submit a few recipes of my own! :-)

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RestrainedChaos on 5.19.2010

I’m glad you were able to make these changes and I’m sure it was hard work! But could you do one eensy-weensy little thing? Could we have the ability to search our recipe box. I find that trying to organize it by category is haphazard and doesn’t actually put, say, entrees all together. It can be frustrating knowing, or wondering, if I’ve put a certain recipe in my box and having to wade through the, admittedly, large collection of recipes saved.
N.B. I’m referring to my recipe box for community recipes, but a search function would probably be welcome for the personal recipe box as well.
Thanks for a wonderful site and thank you for bringing us all together!

Taryn on 5.18.2010

this is definitely a step in the right direction…the next thing I would love to see would be a better way to sort recipes in the recipe box. They way it works now, it seems rather arbitrary what comes up (for example, when I try to sort by category, there doesn’t seem to be any real sorting done, and I can’t choose what category I want to look at). I’d also love to have a easy link to click on to leave feedback about the site…unless there is one and I’ve just missed it.

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levunger on 5.18.2010

I’ve tried to leave two reviews and both times I click the mitts and write my review, when I hit submit I get an error message.

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jocookie on 5.18.2010

Yep, all good now. I was able to post my review.

I agree with the other poster who hates when people give a recipe a low rating because it has one ingredient they don’t like. It also drives me crazy when people change so much of the recipe that it’s hardly close to the original and then give it a low rating either because they didn’t like it with their changes or simply because they “needed to” make changes to it. But the one that makes me scream into cyberspace is when a recipe with ingredients like cream cheese, chocolate, and butter gets a bad review complaining about how fattening or bad for you it is, like they couldn’t figure that out before they made it and they’re so angry about it that they give it one star. One more pet peeve of mine is a review like this “I loved this recipe. It was the greatest thing I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. If I could only eat one thing forever, it would be this amazing thing.” And then they only give it three stars out of a possible five. I don’t get it.

Sorry for complaining. I don’t actually see any of this happening here, but is rampant with insane reviewers, and that’s why I will never post a recipe there.

One other change I’d like to see on TK is an easier entry system for the ingredients. I’d much rather just type “Two 15 ounce cans green beans” than have to pick whether it’s a liquid or dry measurement, whole or sliced, can or jar, etc. for each item. It would be so much faster and easier.

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Stephanie Deal on 5.18.2010

I just left a review and a rating — worked perfectly!! Love the site Ree — thanks for all your (and Flash’s) hard work. :)

Shyla Thompson on 5.18.2010

I love that you’re ballsy enought to make such a drastic change (deleting all mitt ratings, reverting all reviews to comments) for the better. Too often, some sites are worried about upsetting their users.

Love the site!

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Ree | The Pioneer Woman on 5.18.2010

Hey, guys—checking in. See Erika’s comment above if you’re having lingering problems leaving reviews…but I think Flash has it all ironed out!

Thanks for your feedback, everyone. So glad you’re happy about the change!

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culinarycapers on 5.18.2010

Love the changes!

mnheather on 5.18.2010

great changes!

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mannadonn on 5.18.2010

I’m pretty new to Tasty Kitchen but I think these changes are great!

dawnalee on 5.18.2010

I just thoroughly enjoy the site when I have time to visit. The changes are welcome…and hey, whatever you’d like to do as TK is another one of your punks. :o)

Thanks to everyone who contributes recipes. I’ve found and used so many scrumptious ones.

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mzsnapcup on 5.18.2010

I actually laughed out loud at the sample comment. Poor Aunt Myrtle! :D

Karna on 5.18.2010

I’m so glad for the change. When I have needed a recipe that I knew was really good, I had been going to other sites with a more reliable review system. Now I can stay here and find what I need. Great improvement.

Alyssa on 5.18.2010

I hesitated from signing up from Tasty Kitchen for a long time because of the comments which skewed the rating system. Thanks for listening to our suggestions and implementing them!

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Erika (TK) on 5.18.2010

Hi everyone! Some of the lingering problems may be due to browsers that were launched yesterday before Flash worked on the glitch. You’ll need to clear your browser cache to get it working. If you need instructions on clearing the cache, you can refer to this site for information.

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kauai17 on 5.18.2010

I just left a review for Spinach Balls and it shows my rating, but not my review.

Linda J on 5.18.2010

Great idea. When previous reviewers had not actually tried the recipes, it made no sense to me when they rated them because “they sounded good”. Keep up the good work!

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rozanie on 5.18.2010

I am still unable to post a rating/review for my favorites, which are also the same ones that I had posted a review (now under comments) on earlier. I just keep getting that “you must submit a review and a rating” message.

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Ree | The Pioneer Woman on 5.18.2010

Hey, guys! Keep lettin’ us know if you have problems leaving reviews. As of last night, we’d nipped the little glitch in the bud…so let us know if you run into any wrinkles!

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karend on 5.18.2010

I tried to leave a review plus a rating this morning. The system wouldn’t let me. I would click on 5 mitts, write my review, and click on submit. Then the line “You must submit a review and a rating” would highlight and nothing else would happen. Please fix :)
I hate the idea of my favorite recipes sitting lonely without mitts. (But love the new review process)

Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) on 5.18.2010

This is a great step. One that’s going to make sure I begin using Tasty Kitchen more!

Kevin on 5.18.2010

So glad for the change. It was very disappointing to check a recipe review to see if it was worth trying; only to find out that it wasn’t a review at all. Thanks for the redo.

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cookincanuck on 5.17.2010

These are very smart changes. The reviews and ratings will now be far more objective than they were before. I also like that I can still add a comment to compliment a great idea or start a dialogue.

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helev on 5.17.2010

I tried on and off to post a review today with no luck. I was successful the first time I tried on my ipod. Safari worked and IE didn’t.

When you view a recipe the comments tab is the default showing. Is it possible to have the ratings tab be the default showing? The comments about dear Aunt Myrtle’s passing or that it sounds delicious are certainly interesting to some but I’m one who loves to see that your results using self-rising flour produced surprisingly good results.


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lorieg on 5.17.2010

I also am having trouble submitting a review. I tried twice but neither posted. I will try again tomorrow. I think the changes are a good idea.

Sara on 5.17.2010

I haven’t gone through to check it out yet, but I’m already very happy with the new system. I often get so frustrated looking online for reviews on what a recipe was actually like, or how it turned out… only to find a bunch of comments only on how it looks good or someone just can’t wait to make it. Friendly comments and encouragement are wonderful, but not helpful when looking for a new recipe. So, thanks for the adjustments! :)

Caroline on 5.17.2010

Awesome improvements! Totally understandable about the erased ratings and such – some things cant’ be helped.
Thanks Ree! Glad to see the new organization. :)