Food blogger friend Stephanie Stiavetti, who’s working on a cookbook, likes to usage “divided” when listing ingredients in receipes. Then she obtained this email from her editor, shooting down its use:

Recipes into Type advises versus using ‘divided’ in ingredient lists. These kinds of instructions belong in the recipe steps listed below ’97 where it will be clear how the ingredient is to be divided.”

“I’ve constantly used “divided,” she emailed me. “What execute you think?”

Sorry. I don’t like separated either. Here’s why that doesn’t work:

1. People don’t recognize what the means.

You are watching: What does olive oil divided mean

“Divided” is some kind of password that is left unexplained. When readers see “3 tablespoons honey, divided,” they could think it method cut in half, which is not necessarily so.

2. They need to read the an approach to uncover out. when they proceed on come the method, it gets complicated. It claims to usage 2/3 now, and the staying amount later, or gives numerical accounts, such together 1 tablespoon currently and more later. Why make the cooking recipes so tough to understand, or presume that readers will even pay attention?

3. It’s simple to screw up. when I’m roaring with a recipe, prior to I know it, I’ve dumped the totality ingredient into the first mention that its use. Once I find what I’ve done (10 minutes later when I’m reading the recipe for the umpteenth time), I obtain annoyed.

Undeterred (or maybe stung), Stephanie inquiry the Cookbook Friends team on Facebook just how they felt about “divided.” your answers to be um, mixed. Part authors claimed they chosen it. Rather admitted that, choose me, they had actually dumped the whole amount in by mistake (so satisfying!). Barbara Gibbs Ostmann, writer of The cooking recipes Writer’s Handbook, confirmed that while civilization are an alleged to check out recipes through prior to proceeding, ” in reality, that rarely happens.” like a few others, she said her solution, whenever possible, is to divide the ingredient list into parts.

Exactly. Whenever I watch that word as soon as I’m modifying recipes, my score is come delete it. Ns hope you will perform the same. Right here are my suggestions for choices to “divided:”

1. Use 2 measurements. Now, this doesn’t job-related when the measurements are equal, but there’s nothing wrong through “3 tablespoons olive oil + more to oil the pan.” the is much clearer come me than “4 tablespoons olive oil, divided.”

2. Division the ingredient list into parts. This is my favourite edit. If a cake cooking recipes calls because that sugar in the batter and also sugar in the frosting, division the ingredients list (sorry). Include the heading “Frosting” and put the frosting ingredients under it. This way you specify the amount of sugar for each component of the recipe, and there is no confusion.

In the end, Stephanie said, “Our editor chose to save ‘divided.’ however due to the facebook conversation, I’m thinking around adding each ingredient multiple time in the perform wherever it’s used.” Good.

Are girlfriend a fan of “divided?” Or maybe you have actually other options for not using it?

Photo by approve Cochrane,


faith kramer says

July 24, 2012 at 3:17 pm

it’s my selection of critical resort as soon as I don’t have an are or layout options to perform something else or if the other alternatives are as well confusing, however I carry out use it as soon as it is much better than the alternative

LiztheChef says

July 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I used to think that “3 tablespoons olive oil, split use” sounded an ext professional than “2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon come grease the skillet”. You make a good point, however, around how this deserve to be both confusing and also misleading. Truly, that had actually never crossed my mind till I an initial heard you rant (mildly) about this. In fact, whenever I read “divided use” in a recipe, i smile and think, “Dianne wouldn’t walk for this edit”.

Daniel Robinson says

July 24, 2012 in ~ 3:27 pm

Not everyone needs to write recipes “for dummies.” If someone is to impatient or impulsive to review a recipe v before beginning it, ns don’t believe the error lies in the hand of the writer. Sometimes I even leave points deliberately vague, since I to be trying to help readers build a more intuitive food preparation style that isn’t “paint by numbers.”

stclairdrake.netacob says

July 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I kind of agree through you, Daniel, and also I sort of don’t. While i don’t think recipes should define every little thing, i have also learned the making someone confused or uncomfortable is not the mark of a good teacher. Over there is naught intuitive about using “divided.” i think we are talking about different things.

Aunt Clara says

July 24, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Totally agree through you. I use an approach no. 2. The thing is the if my reader are on regular basis bothered and confused they are simply going to dump me. Psychic you, several of them have trouble following directions on how to boil water (lots that beginners), so i learned real fast that it’s better to describe things that would seem trivial come the experience chef than to answer the same concern 30 time in the comments.

“What is soft butter? Where carry out I buy it?”

I’m v you ~ above this one Dianne. I recognize I’m an alleged to check out through the entirety recipe, get whatever out very first and then proceed in a measured way – I know all that. Yet what usually happens is that ns skim with the recipe, grab most of what i need, start to do it, price the phone, have actually a conversation with the kids, remember that ns haven’t called my mother etc, etc, so the ax “divided” generally slips my fist & ns bung the entirety lot in in ~ once.I’m a large fan of option #2 – dividing (oops, there it is again) the ingredient list right into sections.

As a previous instructional designer, I always ask myself “what mistakes will the reader make if the instructions room not crystal clear?” i also try to follow the dominance “the reader is constantly right.” If “divided” is just clear after analysis the whole recipe, climate to me there’s the potential because that mistakes.

I’ve always thought “divided” sound clunky, anyway. A cooking recipes divided against itself can not stand!

I don’t use words divided, but i specify if that is the very same ingredient, what the amounts are and when they room added, especially as in most of my cases, they are not in between a cake and a frosting. I agreed with you Dianne on this one!

Even though i don’t use it often, i don’t psychic it in ~ all. I do think that sometimes the recipe yes, really does usage the ingredient–divided. (Of food I had to check my own book, and sure enough. . . ). I have actually a recipe for a topping in i beg your pardon 1/2 cup full cornstarch is used, yet divided. Cook a custard with 1/4 cup cornstarch, cool, then include the other 1/4 cup cornstarch, and also beat. It’s not favor your instance of cake and also frosting; this is all the same mixture. I intend I might have written, “1/4 cup cornstarch, while cooking, and 1/4 cup an ext later on, as soon as cool” or something–but to me that’s means more clunky 보다 “divided.” I additionally always incorporate the quantities in the instructions in a instance like this, just in instance the leader didn’t go with the entire recipe an initial (eg, “place the milk, agave and 1/4 cup cornstarch in a pot. . .”; then later, “add staying 1/4 cup cornstarch. . . “:). Not sure what else one might do in a instance like that. . . Any kind of suggestions?

Hmm. That’s a hard one, due to the fact that as you say, the cornstarch is supplied within custard in 2 steps. I certainly prefer separated to your tip of just how to compose it out. That is absolutely clunky.

While it might be “correct” to say 1/4 cup now and 1/4 cup later, i wonder how many readers dumped the entirety 1/2 cup in appropriate away and also then realized their error later. We might never know.

In that instance, I would write:1/4 cup cornstarch, step 11/4 cup cornstarch,step 2

And then additionally write in the instructions as Ricki suggests.

when i watch “divided” in one ingredient list, ns take it as a “heads up” to follow the recipe carefully when it pertains to that ingredient. I see it as code for “something’s up with this measurement, so salary attention.” therefore i usage it that means when i compose recipes too. Come me, calling because that 1 1/2 figs (to usage your example) in one part of a recipe, and 1 1/2 figs in a 2nd part, is an ext confusing and also needlessly specific than calling for 3 figs, with the “divided” as a heads up.interesting topic, as always!

That’s my approach, too. When I review the recipe, I prefer to watch the full amount mentioned, since I somehow do a mental inventory that the ingredients. I normally handwrite a streamlined version that the printed recipe, analysis something like: “4 yolks, 2 +2” – absolutely a vote for “divided”. An off comment: I likewise favor water mentioned as an ingredient.No matter how detailed the explanations, a beginner will certainly make mistakes until things start to get clear.

I fully agree v listing water as an ingredient. It’s hard to stage all of the ingredients quickly & effectively if you have to read into the body of a recipe to recognize water amounts.

I am religious about listing each use of one ingredient separately. Ns think the civilization is an ext full the ‘where fools rush in’ cooks and also bakers (me included) than it is the the ‘read with thoroughly’ crowd.

I firmly believe in setting up the the recipe individuals for success.

Wthout uncertainty I say NO come ‘divided’.

I carry out the 2nd option which you to speak is your favorite, list sugar double – batter and also frosting, v 2 ingredient lists if there room two stages/parts to the recipe, i.e. Batter and also frosting.

It gets tricky once it’s only 1 main thing you’re making, lets simply say brownies and also you have butter melted through chocolate and also then after that it’s butter melted v peanut butter for part swirls, I may write 12 tablespoons butter, divided. And also then i’ll speak 8 tbsp v choc and also 2 tbsp v the PB…but yeah, it it s okay tricky. I never really recognize what come do.

and it’s to be a lengthy day b/c mine “for example” math, doesn’t even pencil out. Lol

Personally, I execute like to usage “divided” to administer some type of warning to the impatient chef who might otherwise dump every one of that ingredient in in ~ once. I’ll describe it further in the text, however I’d quite not rubbish the an are in the ingredient list. Likewise, it might be simpler to miss the full amount of that ingredient necessary to complete the recipe, and so the cook might no buy sufficient when to plan quickly.

I am v you Dianne. Separated is tricky and also in most cases, I would certainly advise against it. Commonly it does offer me a heads approximately pay fist later, but I will most likely forget. Also, you never know exactly how much to “divide” and also you have to read to directions prior to you finish setup up your mis en place. Divided is tricky, annoying, but sometimes unavoidable.

I always get confused if I view ‘divided’ in a recipe. I don’t check out anything wrong at all through spelling points out really clearly. At job-related once we had actually to do an exciting exercise wherein we divided into 2 groups and also each group attracted a snapshot of a home in secret. The groups then created instructions on just how to draw the house, provided the instructions to the other team who had to monitor them and draw the residence (without see the final picture). Also when we assumed we to be being yes, really careful about writing instructions that were straightforward to follow, the end results to be poles apart and it really carried home to me the truth the person adhering to the instructions is not going to do the same presumptions that you make. I most likely didn’t describe the exercise an extremely well yet I think it’s a really necessary lesson for us all.

I don’t like separated either. I choose to divide them in the ingredient list due to the fact that when I’m express instructions together I’m cooking it makes it much easier to be able to glance up and see what amount you are an alleged to include without having to perform the math in your head.I’m happy you hear other people don’t like split either! I always thought ns was alone!

I’ve never ever met a recipe with the word split that I chosen to follow. As soon as I am mix ingredients I want to follow the list together it appears without having to referral the instructions because that the amount–that is tedious. The other trouble with that is the problem of scaling the recipe. I use cooking software to organize my personal “keepers” and also if I scale the recipe electronically native 4 come 12, the does not pick increase the adjust in the instructions. So, in mine opinion, “divided” can cause an ext frustration than the saved an are is worth. With the end user in mind, spell it out, conserving frustration or a destroyed recipe from dumping it all in (done numerous times) is more important 보다 saving room on the web page — IMO.

My editor likewise nixed the use of the hatchet “divided,” yet instead of listing the article twice, the intake was simply declared in the method. I’m currently wondering if that isn’t even more confusing (and even an ext likely to lead to all the sugar gift dumped in at once).

I’m also a huge fan that listing ingredients twice, and also using ingredient subheadings if possible. I think the just removes up the whole worry – that at the very least makes it easier for me to follow once I shot to follow a recipe. That’s actually what i did top top my recent blog post, due to the fact that the original recipe used separated to explain the amount of sugar. I produced subheadings for the ingredient for chocolate pudding cake, and then noted the sugar independently within every section. I agree, separated just makes it too simple to by chance dump the whole amount in in ~ once.

I’m simply glad to recognize that everyone has as much trouble with this as I do, specifically Dianne. I have actually a fajitas recipe the I’ve make dozens that times and also still forget to division the lemon juice (or is it the cilantro?).

I’m a photographer, not a recipe writer, yet I carry out blog recipes and I try to write them as merely as possible. I follow Diane’s suggestion, 2. Divide the ingredient list into parts. That provides the most sense. Specifically if there are an ext than one component to a recipe, favor cake batter and also cake frosting.Also, and also this is a digression, I’ve discovered when adhering to recipes, I regularly get shed when the instructions room written in paragraph form. You monitor one bit, come back, and have to search for the following bit. On my blog I compose the accuse in one or two line sentences. Lot like the list of ingredients. Not certain if it’s any kind of better, yet it certainly works better for me.

Wow, that knew we’d have so many opinions on divided. My 2 cents: I offered to think the was sort of an elderly recipe writer talk. Now I simply think it’s confusing, and shot to stay away by creating the cooking recipes in procedures with sub-heads. That in itself deserve to be irritating if you’re making use of a recipe because that the shopping/pantry list, as in ‘oh i need much more onions.’ So, yes, it does creep in however only as soon as I can not think of a much better way come say it.But, what i really want to recognize is: Where perform you to buy the soft butter?

I certainly remember the day I very first came upon divided USE and wondered what the heck it meant. Divided seems come be had in older recipe layouts of years past. At any time I see divided, i jump immediately into the body of the cooking recipes to look because that the amount offered initially and then wherein the second amount will certainly be used. For this reason technically, a leader is spending much more time figuring the end the instructions rather of concentrating on directly on assembling and also making the recipe. Composing a cooking recipes is about guiding the reader so they can understand what is essential without spending any kind of time do the efforts to number out what the cooking recipes writer meant. As soon as I read a recipe where I start having actually questions as to what is exactly meant, i most regularly will no make the recipe or just start adapting immediately. As soon as I need to spend time figuring out what, when, where, and how, the is a badly created recipe.

like other commenters, ns now consider “divided” a heads up. I absolutely hated it once editors very first started insisting top top it, however the other solutions in complicated recipes shortly becamme even more unmanageable: 1 T oo + 1 1/2 tsp oo + 2 tsp oo+ etc. This began to happen in mine last book which included some very facility recipes with numerous steps. The numbering an approach paragraphs doesn’t necessarily work since it is not frequently a publisher’s home style. My preference is the old-fashioned method we provided to perform it way back in the dark ages before we spelled everything out, in other words to list complete amount in ingred list and also then specific amts in the method.All this begs the next evident question: due to the fact that you cannot avoid every error, just how much responsibillity perform recipe writers bear? by “dumbing down” ours recipes, space we and also our readers acquiring dumber, too?

I’m v you on this, Penni.…i.e. To list complete amount in ingredient list and then certain amounts in the method.By that i mean simple cooking technique–old college apparently:1) check out recipe carefully2) Pre-measure all ingredients & have actually them all in place3) monitor recipe instructions4) any type of improvisation is her responsibility* I would certainly say it’s not clunky to give details instructions re: divided amounts of ingredients.A- Recipes space not tweets.B- learning to cook can be straightforward or difficult depending on plenty of things yet primarily on treatment in following instructions.C- sluggish down; check out the recipe; enjoy happier cooking.

I constantly struggle with this. Does one write, for example, “2 cup flour, divided”, hoping the person following the recipe then looks right into the human body of the recipe to see just how it is divided, or go one create “1 cup + 1 cup flour”? Personally, i like as soon as it is signaled in the perform of ingredients; I also have ended up dumping the whole amount in at once if the I’m not put on my guard. Although ns don’t always take the moment to check out through the whole recipe before beginning if i am rushed or gift lazy, i do always read v the ingredient list an extremely carefully and take the moment to measure and weigh the end each ingredient beforehand.

When ns was a beginning of the person cook, i initially uncovered the “two measurement” method confusing. Without reading through the recipe method, the was straightforward to imagine the a keep in mind of “1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon oil” intended that the recipe writer was conveying a single-use measure that dropped somewhere in between 1/4 and 1/3 the a cup (though I’m now mindful that would be composed as 5 tablespoons). Simply as confusing together “divided”, I’d say.

I absolutely agree through your instincts here – I’m a large fan of dividing ingredient list – and strive to use “divided” sparingly and thoughtfully when other choices fail to offer any additional clarity.

I prefer this solution the best. I perform write “divided”. It does clue the leader in to pay attention to the ingredient. Ns am every for success in cooking. Therefore the much more info girlfriend can give the reader, the better. The fine heat to me just how to be clean without “dumbing down” mine reader. ,

Several years back an editor insisted that I had actually to perform the whole quantity in the ingredient list and also explain the ‘division’ later in the instructions. That method of doing it never ever felt right and also I favor your ide of Separating the ingredient dimensions per parts, prefer Cake: then, Frosting:. I too am guilty that dumping the totality amount in and having to begin over numerous times.

I use method 2. Or if the doesn’t make sense, I put the totality amount in the ingredient list, then in the directions ns specify the amount each I usage it.

I get it. I never use the word except on rarely occasions once it renders sense and also is easily understood. The word demands to be thought about carefully before publishing recipes.

This object is for this reason interesting. My proofreader (my husband, who doesn’t chef much) doesn’t like “divided” either, yet I don’t want customers to miss out on a second listing of an ingredient and run short. It is distressing to hear that some readers won’t use the recipe if they check out the word.

Clarity in a recipe is a priority. If saying division is confusing climate one have the right to justifiably market a neat explanation one of two people alongside the ingredient or at the beginning of the directions such as: 1 cup street (divided in 1/3 cup amounts); or in ~ the start of the directions: Premeasure & collection sugar out in 1/3 cup amounts.Recipes space not clunky just due to the fact that they sell clarity. Recipes space not tweets.

Balancing functionality and also elegance is a huge component of finessing a recipe. It used to be the you might write a recipe in a few paragraphs however that doesn’t reduced it these days. Readers and cooks desire a in-depth road map since performance tension looms large.

I don’t use “divided” since that assumes the cooks recognize what that means; plus, castle can quickly goof or gain tripped up. (What the hell execute you want me come divide and also how perform I division it up?) Publishers and editors commonly have a layout guide that they prefer for the ingredient heat (IL). If you’re writing for someone new, ask for your house style guide or peruse your recipe composing format. “Recipes into Type” by Whitman and Simon is kinda prefer my “Chicago manual of Style” for recipe writing.

My IL choices for linked ingredients incorporate — and also this depends on the instance (e.g., room and the certain ingredient)

Usually: 1/4 cup add to 1/2 cup sugarI repeat the amount in the instrux, “put the 1/4 cup” and “add the remaining 1/2 cup”. If the 1/2 cup is used first, i list it first in the IL.

However: 1/8 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon saltIf you’re specifying 3/8 tespoon of salt, climate say “put every the salt into the bowl.”

Sometimes: SaltThis is for as soon as the quantity is tiny, overly complex to refer in the IL, and also the ingredient have to be part of the cook’s pantry. Probably it’s 1/8 tsp to add 1/2 tsp to add a pinch that you want world to use in the recipe.

There’s usually just so much an are available. My editor and also I finish up tweaking the IL in particular spots for layout functions right before the book goes come print. I’m very picky about how pages look and also you can’t guess layout outcome when you’redrafting a recipe. Good gawd, these are amongst the things that store me up so late at night.

Yeah, I’ll list “A pinch of salt” if that’s what i want. I work-related with recipes and ingredients that can be unfamiliar come many civilization so I try to detail what I do so they recognize the methodology.

Divided has actually never to be an worry with me. Once I was writing “Asian Dumplings” the copyeditor wanted to include “plus more as needed” to many of the flour and also starch ILs. I collection my foot down and also said no. The extra copy took also much an are and looked awkward. Once you’re working through dough, it’s kinda assumed that it’s a “plus much more as needed” experience!

I collection up a layout sheet for every book that i write, based on what the house wants and also I what ns want and need. Keeps me true.

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I never use “divided” in the ingredient list, preferring instead to carry out detailed indict in the cooking recipes text. I desire the ingredient list to it is in a clear, concise grocery store checklist for the reader–any more than that is overwhelming to many cooks. I agree the breaking out sub-recipes in the ingredient perform (e.g., “For the crust:” and “For the filling”) is regularly helpful.

First, let me say that I’m SO glad to know that I’m no the only one who rushes with a recipe and dumps all of an ingredient right into the key (or whatever) just to find out that several of it was required later. Thanks for admitting that, Dianne!