Food blogger friend Stephanie Stiavetti, who’s functioning on a cookbook, likes to use “divided” as soon as listing ingredient in receipes. Then she acquired this email from her editor, shooting down its use:

Recipes into Type advises against using ‘divided’ in ingredient lists. These kinds of instructions belong in the cooking recipes steps below ’97 whereby it will certainly be clear just how the ingredient is to be divided.”

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

Sorry. Ns don’t like separated either. Here’s why it doesn’t work:

1. People don’t understand what that means.

You are watching: What does divided mean in a recipe

“Divided” is some kind of code that is left unexplained. When readers see “3 tablespoons honey, divided,” they can think it means cut in half, i beg your pardon is not necessarily so.

2. They need to read the method to uncover out. once they continue on come the method, it it s okay complicated. It claims to use 2/3 now, and the continuing to be amount later, or offers numerical accounts, such together 1 tablespoon currently and much more later. Why do the cooking recipes so tough to understand, or presume that readers will also pay attention?

3. It’s basic to screw up. when I’m roaring with a recipe, prior to I recognize it, I’ve dumped the totality ingredient right into the an initial mention that its use. Once I discover what I’ve excellent (10 minutes later on when I’m analysis the recipe for the umpteenth time), I acquire annoyed.

Undeterred (or possibly stung), Stephanie asked the Cookbook Friends team on Facebook how they felt around “divided.” your answers were um, mixed. Part authors said they preferred it. Others admitted that, favor me, they had actually dumped the totality amount in by wrong (so satisfying!). Barbara Gibbs Ostmann, writer of The recipe Writer’s Handbook, shown that while people are claimed to review recipes through before proceeding, ” in reality, that hardly ever happens.” favor a couple of others, she stated her solution, at any time possible, is to divide the ingredient list right into parts.

Exactly. Anytime I check out that word once I’m editing and enhancing recipes, my score is come delete it. Ns hope you will do the same. Below are my suggestions for options to “divided:”

1. Use 2 measurements. Now, this doesn’t work-related when the dimensions are equal, however there’s nothing wrong v “3 tablespoons olive oil + an ext to oil the pan.” the is much clearer come me than “4 tablespoons olive oil, divided.”

2. Divide the ingredient list right into parts. This is my favorite edit. If a cake recipe calls because that sugar in the batter and sugar in the frosting, divide the ingredients perform (sorry). Add the heading “Frosting” and put the frosting ingredients under it. This way you point out the amount of sugar because that each component of the recipe, and there is no confusion.

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

Are you a pan of “divided?” Or maybe you have other services for not making use of it?

Photo by give Cochrane,


faith kramer says

July 24, 2012 at 3:17 pm

it’s my choice of critical resort as soon as I don’t have space or layout options to do something rather or if the other alternatives are as well confusing, yet I do use it as soon as it is much better than the alternative

LiztheChef says

July 24, 2012 in ~ 3:20 pm

I used to think that “3 tablespoons olive oil, split use” sounded more professional than “2 tablespoons that olive oil and also 1 tablespoon to grease the skillet”. You do a great point, however, about how this have the right to be both confusing and misleading. Truly, that had actually never overcome my mind until I very first heard girlfriend rant (mildly) about this. In fact, whenever I review “divided use” in a recipe, ns smile and also think, “Dianne wouldn’t go for this edit”.

Daniel Robinson says

July 24, 2012 in ~ 3:27 pm

Not everyone has to write recipes “for dummies.” If someone is to impatient or impulsive to review a recipe through before beginning it, ns don’t believe the fault lies in the hands of the writer. Periodically I also leave points deliberately vague, because I am trying to aid readers develop a more intuitive food preparation style that isn’t “paint by numbers.”

historicsweetsballroom.comacob says

July 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I kind of agree v you, Daniel, and I sort of don’t. While i don’t believe recipes should define every tiny thing, ns have likewise learned the making someone confused or uncomfortable is no the note of a good teacher. There is nothing intuitive around using “divided.” ns think we are talking about different things.

Aunt Clara says

July 24, 2012 in ~ 9:03 pm

Totally agree through you. Ns 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, some of them have actually trouble following directions on how to cook water (lots the beginners), so ns learned real fast that it’s far better to define things that would certainly seem trivial to the experience chef than to answer the same question 30 time in the comments.

“What is soft butter? Where do I to buy it?”

I’m through you ~ above this one Dianne. I know I’m claimed to read through the whole recipe, get every little thing out first and then proceed in a measured way – I recognize all that. But what generally happens is that ns skim v the recipe, grab most of what i need, start to do it, prize the phone, have actually a discussion with the kids, psychic that i haven’t called my mother etc, etc, therefore the ax “divided” normally slips my attention & ns bung the whole lot in in ~ once.I’m a huge fan of alternative #2 – dividing (oops, over there it is again) the ingredient list right into sections.

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

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

I don’t use words divided, yet i point out if the is the exact same ingredient, what the amounts are and also when they space added, particularly as in many of mine cases, they space not between a cake and a frosting. I agreed with you Dianne ~ above this one!

Even though ns don’t usage it often, ns don’t mind it in ~ all. I carry out think that occasionally the recipe really does usage the ingredient–divided. (Of course I had actually to examine my very own book, and sure enough. . . ). I have actually a recipe for a topping in i beg your pardon 1/2 cup total cornstarch is used, however divided. Chef a custard v 1/4 cup cornstarch, cool, then add the other 1/4 cup cornstarch, and beat. It’s not favor your instance of cake and also frosting; this is all the very same mixture. I intend I could have written, “1/4 cup cornstarch, while cooking, and 1/4 cup more later on, once cool” or something–but to me that’s means more clunky than “divided.” I likewise always include the quantities in the accuse in a instance like this, simply in situation the leader didn’t go through the whole recipe first (eg, “place the milk, agave and 1/4 cup cornstarch in a pot. . .”; then later, “add remaining 1/4 cup cornstarch. . . “:). Not certain what rather one can do in a situation like that. . . Any type of suggestions?

Hmm. That’s a challenging one, due to the fact that as friend say, the cornstarch is used within custard in 2 steps. I definitely prefer split to your ide of exactly how to write it out. That is absolutely clunky.

While it might be “correct” come say 1/4 cup now and 1/4 cup later, ns wonder how plenty of readers dumped the entirety 1/2 cup in best away and also then realized their error later. We might never know.

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

And then likewise write in the instructions together Ricki suggests.

when i see “divided” in an ingredient list, i take it as a “heads up” to monitor the recipe closely when it comes to that ingredient. I check out it as code for “something’s up v this measurement, so salary attention.” so i use it that means when i write recipes too. To me, calling because that 1 1/2 figs (to use your example) in one part of a recipe, and also 1 1/2 figs in a 2nd part, is much more confusing and also needlessly details than calling because that 3 figs, with the “divided” together a heads up.interesting topic, as always!

That’s mine approach, too. Once I review the recipe, I favor to watch the total amount mentioned, because I somehow do a psychological inventory of the ingredients. I normally handwrite a streamlined version of the published recipe, reading something like: “4 yolks, 2 +2” – definitely a vote for “divided”. An turn off comment: I additionally favor water stated as an ingredient.No matter how comprehensive the explanations, a beginner will make mistakes until things begin to obtain clear.

I totally agree v listing water together an ingredient. It’s difficult to stage all of the ingredients quickly & successfully if you have to read right into the human body of a cooking recipes to recognize water amounts.

I am spiritual about listing each usage of one ingredient separately. Ns think the people is more full that ‘where fools sirloin in’ cooks and also bakers (me included) 보다 it is that the ‘read through thoroughly’ crowd.

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

Wthout apprehension I speak NO come ‘divided’.

I perform the second option i m sorry you say is your favorite, perform sugar double – batter and frosting, v 2 ingredient lists if there are two stages/parts come 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 v chocolate and then later on it’s butter melted v peanut butter for some swirls, I might write 12 tablespoons butter, divided. And also then i’ll speak 8 tbsp with choc and 2 tbsp v the PB…but yeah, it it s okay tricky. I never ever really understand what come do.

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

Personally, I perform like to usage “divided” to carry out some sort of warning come the impatient cook who could otherwise dump every one of that ingredient in in ~ once. I’ll explain it further in the text, yet I’d quite not waste the space in the ingredients list. Likewise, it could be less complicated to miss the full amount of that ingredient necessary to finish the recipe, and also so the chef might not buy sufficient when to plan quickly.

I am v you Dianne. Split is tricky and also in most cases, I would certainly advise versus it. Generally it does give me a heads as much as pay fist later, however I will most likely forget. Also, you never ever know just how much to “divide” and also you have to read to directions prior to you finish setting up your mis en place. Divided is tricky, annoying, yet sometimes unavoidable.

I constantly get perplexed if I view ‘divided’ in a recipe. Ns don’t check out anything wrong in ~ all v spelling things out really clearly. At work-related once we had to perform an exciting exercise where we divided into 2 groups and also each group drew a photo of a home in secret. The groups then created instructions on exactly how to attract the house, provided the instructions to the other team who had actually to monitor them and draw the home (without seeing the final picture). Even when we assumed we were being yes, really careful around writing instructions that were simple to follow, the end results to be poles apart and it really lugged home come me the reality the person following the accuse is no going to do the same assumptions that friend make. I probably didn’t explain the exercise very well but I think it’s a really important lesson for us all.

I don’t like split either. I choose to divide them in the ingredient list due to the fact that when I’m to express instructions together I’m food preparation it renders it much much easier to be able to glance up and also see what amount girlfriend are supposed to include without having actually to perform the math in her head.I’m happy you hear other world don’t like divided either! I always thought ns was alone!

I’ve never met a recipe through the word divided that I liked to follow. Once I am mix ingredients I want to follow the list together it shows up without having actually to recommendation the instructions because that the amount–that is tedious. The other trouble with that is the issue of scaling the recipe. Ns use food preparation software to organize my an individual “keepers” and if I scale the cooking recipes electronically indigenous 4 come 12, it does not pick up the readjust in the instructions. So, in my opinion, “divided” deserve to cause much more frustration 보다 the saved room is worth. With the end user in mind, spell the out, saving frustration or a ruined recipe indigenous dumping it every in (done countless times) is more important than saving space on the web page — IMO.

My editor also nixed the usage of the hatchet “divided,” but instead that listing the item twice, the usage was simply stated in the method. I’m currently wondering if that isn’t even much more confusing (and even more likely to lead to all the sugar being dumped in at once).

I’m also a big fan that listing ingredients twice, and using ingredient subheadings if possible. Ns think that just clears up the whole issue – the at least makes it easier for me come follow when I shot to monitor a recipe. That’s in reality what ns did top top my recent blog post, due to the fact that the original recipe used divided to define the quantity of sugar. I developed subheadings because that the ingredient for chocolate pudding cake, and then listed the sugar independently within every section. I agree, divided just makes it too straightforward to by chance dump the entirety amount in at once.

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

I’m a photographer, not a cooking recipes writer, yet I execute blog recipes and I shot to create them as just as possible. Ns follow Diane’s suggestion, 2. Division the ingredient list right into parts. That provides the most sense. Especially if over there are an ext than one component to a recipe, choose cake batter and also cake frosting.Also, and also this is a digression, I’ve found when complying with recipes, I frequently get lost when the instructions room written in paragraph form. You follow one bit, come back, and have to search for the next bit. On my blog I compose the accuse in one or 2 line sentences. Much like the list of ingredients. Not certain if it’s any type of better, however it certainly works better for me.

Wow, who knew we’d have actually so numerous opinions top top divided. My two cents: I offered to think that was kind of an elderly recipe writer talk. Currently I just think it’s confusing, and try to remain away by composing the recipe in procedures with sub-heads. The in itself deserve to be irritating if you’re making use of a recipe for the shopping/pantry list, as in ‘oh ns need an ext onions.’ So, yes, that does creep in but only as soon as I cannot think of a much better way to say it.But, what i really want to understand is: Where perform you to buy the soft butter?

I certainly remember the work I an initial came upon split USE and wondered what the heck it meant. Split seems to be consisted of in older recipe formats of decades past. At any time I watch divided, ns jump immediately into the human body of the cooking recipes to look for the amount offered initially and then whereby the 2nd amount will be used. For this reason technically, a reader is spending more time figuring out the instructions rather of focusing on directly on assembling and also making the recipe. Writing a recipe is around guiding the leader so they can understand what is needed without spending any time trying to figure out what the recipe writer meant. As soon as I read a recipe whereby I start having questions regarding what is precisely meant, i most regularly will not make the recipe or simply start adapting immediately. When I need to spend time figuring out what, when, where, and also how, that is a badly written recipe.

like various other commenters, i now consider “divided” a heads up. I absolutely hated it as soon as editors first started insisting top top it, yet the other solutions in complicated recipes soon becamme even an ext 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 complex recipes with plenty of steps. The numbering an approach paragraphs doesn’t have to work due to the fact that it is not often a publisher’s residence style. My preference is the old-fashioned method we provided to do it means back in the dark ages before we spelled every little thing out, ie to list total amount in ingred list and then certain amts in the method.All this begs the next evident question: since you cannot protect against every error, how much responsibillity perform recipe writers bear? by “dumbing down” our recipes, room we and also our readers acquiring dumber, too?

I’m v you on this, Penni.…i.e. Come list complete amount in ingredient list and also then particular amounts in the method.By that i mean simple cooking technique–old institution apparently:1) check out recipe carefully2) Pre-measure all ingredients & have actually them all in place3) follow recipe instructions4) any kind of improvisation is your responsibility* I would certainly say it’s not clunky to give details instructions re: divided quantities of ingredients.A- Recipes room not tweets.B- discovering to cook can be basic or tough depending on numerous things yet primarily on treatment in following instructions.C- slow down; check out the recipe; gain happier cooking.

I constantly struggle through this. Walk one write, for example, “2 cups flour, divided”, hope the person adhering to the recipe climate looks right into the human body of the recipe to see exactly how it is divided, or walk one create “1 cup + 1 cup flour”? Personally, ns like as soon as it is signaled in the list of ingredients; I too have finished up dumping the totality amount in at when if that I’m not placed on mine guard. Although ns don’t constantly take the time to review through the entire recipe before starting if ns am rushed or being lazy, ns do constantly read through the ingredient list really carefully and also take the time to measure and also weigh out each ingredient beforehand.

When ns was a beginning of the person cook, ns initially uncovered the “two measurement” method confusing. Without analysis through the cooking recipes method, it was basic to imagine that a note of “1/4 cup add to 1 tablespoon oil” supposed that the cooking recipes writer to be conveying a single-use measure up that fell somewhere in between 1/4 and 1/3 that a cup (though I’m now mindful that would certainly be written as 5 tablespoons). Simply as confusing together “divided”, I’d say.

I definitely agree with your instincts below – I’m a big fan of splitting ingredient perform – and also strive to usage “divided” sparingly and also thoughtfully when other options fail to offer any additional clarity.

I choose this systems the best. I execute write “divided”. That does reservation the reader in to pay attention to the ingredient. Ns am all for success in cooking. Therefore the an ext info you can offer the reader, the better. The fine heat to me exactly how to be clean without “dumbing down” my reader. ,

Several years earlier an editor insisted that I had to list the whole quantity in the ingredients list and also explain the ‘division’ later in the instructions. That method of act it never ever felt right and also I prefer your ide of Separating the ingredient measurements per parts, favor Cake: then, Frosting:. I as well am guilty of dumping the whole amount in and also having to begin over countless times.

I use method 2. Or if the doesn’t do sense, I placed the totality amount in the ingredient list, then in the directions i specify the amount each I use it.

I gain it. I never ever use the word other than on rare occasions once it renders sense and also is easily understood. The word needs to be taken into consideration carefully before publishing recipes.

This object is for this reason interesting. Mine proofreader (my husband, who doesn’t cook much) doesn’t prefer “divided” either, yet I don’t want individuals to miss a 2nd listing of an ingredient and also run short. That is distressing come hear that part readers won’t use the recipe if they see the word.

Clarity in a cooking recipes is a priority. If saying division is confusing then one deserve to justifiably offer a practiced explanation either alongside the ingredient or at the beginning of the directions together as: 1 cup street (divided in 1/3 cup amounts); or in ~ the start of the directions: Premeasure & collection sugar the end in 1/3 cup amounts.Recipes room not clunky just because they market clarity. Recipes space not tweets.

Balancing functionality and elegance is a huge component of finessing a recipe. It provided to be that you might write a cooking recipes in a few paragraphs however that doesn’t cut it this days. Readers and cooks want a comprehensive road map due to the fact that performance stress and anxiety looms large.

I don’t use “divided” because that assumes the cooks recognize what that means; plus, castle can conveniently goof or acquire tripped up. (What the hell execute you desire me come divide and how carry out I division it up?) Publishers and editors commonly have a style guide the they like for the ingredient line (IL). If you’re writing for who new, questioning for your house layout guide or peruse their recipe creating format. “Recipes right into Type” by Whitman and Simon is kinda prefer my “Chicago hand-operated of Style” because that recipe writing.

My IL options for linked ingredients encompass — and this depends on the situation (e.g., room and the details ingredient)

Usually: 1/4 cup plus 1/2 cup sugarI repeat the amount in the instrux, “put the 1/4 cup” and “add the continuing to be 1/2 cup”. If the 1/2 cup is used first, ns list it an initial in the IL.

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

Sometimes: SaltThis is for once the quantity is tiny, overly complex to to express in the IL, and also the ingredient should be component of the cook’s pantry. Perhaps it’s 1/8 tsp add to 1/2 tsp to add a pinch that you want world to usage in the recipe.

There’s usually only so much an are available. Mine editor and I finish up tweaking the IL in certain spots for layout functions right prior to the book goes to print. I’m an extremely picky around how pages look and also you can’t guess layout outcome once you’redrafting a recipe. Great gawd, this are amongst the points that save me up late at night.

Yeah, I’ll list “A pinch that salt” if that’s what ns want. I job-related with recipes and ingredients that deserve to be unfamiliar to many people so I try to information what I do so they understand the methodology.

Divided has never to be an worry with me. As soon as I was composing “Asian Dumplings” the copyeditor wanted to include “plus an ext as needed” to most of the flour and starch ILs. I set my foot down and said no. That extra copy took as well much room and looked awkward. As soon as you’re working through dough, it’s kinda assumed the it’s a “plus more as needed” experience!

I set up a style sheet for every book that ns write, based upon what the home wants and also I what ns want and also need. Keeps me true.

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I never ever use “divided” in the ingredient list, preferring instead to carry out detailed accuse in the recipe text. I desire the ingredient list to it is in a clear, concise grocery checklist because that the reader–any more than that is overwhelming to countless cooks. Ns agree the breaking out sub-recipes in the ingredient list (e.g., “For the crust:” and “For the filling”) is often helpful.

First, permit me say the I’m SO happy to understand that I’m no the only one who rushes with a recipe and dumps all of an ingredient right into the key (or whatever) only to uncover out that few of it was needed later. Thanks for admitting that, Dianne!