Bing Launches a Recipe Feature

Cooking with Bing! Bing announced last week that it is now offering a recipe feature. And beyond just listing recipes in the search results, you get images and reviews and much of the recipe itself.

This feature does not have its own URL; instead you do a search within Bing itself. I went to and kicked off with one of my personal favorites, red beans and rice. The results I got included links to recipes, but not the recipe feature itself. If you’re not getting recipes, add recipe to the end of your search result. I tried that and my search results included links to recipes in the middle of the page:

You’ll note that in this result three of the results came from the same place. Bing is pulling its data from specific recipe Web sites, not the entire Web. This is something to keep in mind — if you’re looking for more esoteric recipes, you might have to do a regular Web search. Summary results in the main result include an image if its available, and a star review. The page of recipe-only results gives a bit more data — mostly a brief sentence about the recipe — and the ability to narrow down your search results.

Now, looking at this part is where I have to say, “Aw, c’mon Bing!” You can narrow down your recipe search by star rating. You can narrow it down by cuisine. You can narrow it down a variety of other ways, including cooking method, occasion, main ingredient, or how convenient it is. But I couldn’t find a way to narrow results by special diet needs. Wouldn’t it be useful to have a way to easily find the vegetarian or vegan recipes? Or low-sodium or diabetic friendly? It might be difficult to parse, but is more difficult than figuring out which recipes are appropriate for a baby shower? I would really like a special needs option for this sort.

Individual recipe pages have a lot of detail:

You have the ingredients and the nutritional information. Looks like the only thing you don’t have are the assembly instructions, for which you have to click through to the original recipe page. You also have to click through to the original source to get details on the star reviews.

On the one hand I like that Bing put this together; the images and level of detail that you can get from the recipes make it more than just a “me-too” search feature. On the other hand, the inability to look for special needs recipes is a big hole in this feature.

Even if it’s hard to parse that level of detail from a recipe, how about adding a few more sources? There are plenty of vegetarian/low sugar/gluten-free/etc recipe repositories on the Web.

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