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

Recipes right into Type advises versus using ‘divided’ in ingredient lists. These type of instructions belong in the cooking recipes steps listed below ’97 whereby it will be clear how the ingredient is to it is in divided.”

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

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

1. People don’t know what that means.

You are watching: What does it mean when a recipe says divided

“Divided” is some sort of password that is left unexplained. Once readers view “3 tablespoons honey, divided,” they might think it way cut in half, i m sorry is no necessarily so.

2. They need to read the method to discover out. as soon as they proceed on to the method, it it s okay complicated. It claims to usage 2/3 now, and also the continuing to be amount later, or gives numerical accounts, such together 1 tablespoon currently and much more later. Why make the recipe so hard to understand, or presume the readers will even pay attention?

3. It’s easy to screw up. as soon as I’m roaring with a recipe, before I recognize it, I’ve dumped the whole ingredient into the an initial mention that its use. When I uncover what I’ve excellent (10 minutes later on when I’m reading the recipe because that the umpteenth time), I acquire annoyed.

Undeterred (or possibly stung), Stephanie request the Cookbook Friends team on Facebook how they felt about “divided.” your answers were um, mixed. Part authors claimed they liked it. Rather admitted that, prefer me, they had dumped the whole amount in by wrong (so satisfying!). Barbara Gibbs Ostmann, author of The recipe Writer’s Handbook, confirmed that while world are claimed to read recipes through before proceeding, ” in reality, that seldom happens.” like a couple of others, she stated her solution, at any time possible, is to division the ingredients list into parts.

Exactly. Anytime I watch that word once I’m editing recipes, my score is come delete it. I hope girlfriend will do the same. Right here are my proposal for options to “divided:”

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

2. Divide 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 perform (sorry). Include the heading “Frosting” and put the frosting ingredients under it. This method you specify the lot of sugar for each component of the recipe, and there is no confusion.

In the end, Stephanie said, “Our editor decided to keep ‘divided.’ but due to the on facebook conversation, I’m thinking around adding every ingredient multiple times in the list wherever it’s used.” Good.

Are friend a fan of “divided?” Or maybe you have other remedies 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 last resort once I don’t have space or layout options to perform something rather or if the other choices are as well confusing, yet I carry out use it when it is much better than the alternative

LiztheChef says

July 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm

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

Daniel Robinson says

July 24, 2012 in ~ 3:27 pm

Not everyone needs to write recipes “for dummies.” If who is to irritated or impulsive to review a recipe v before beginning it, i don’t believe the fault lies in the hands of the writer. Sometimes I even leave points deliberately vague, due to the fact that I to be trying to aid readers construct a much more intuitive food preparation style the isn’t “paint by numbers.”

6294.orgacob says

July 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I type of agree v you, Daniel, and also I sort of don’t. While ns don’t think recipes should define every small thing, ns have likewise learned that making someone confused or annoyed is not the mark of a great teacher. There is nothing intuitive about using “divided.” i think we room talking about different things.

Aunt Clara says

July 24, 2012 in ~ 9:03 pm

Totally agree with you. I use method no. 2. The thing is that if my reader are consistently bothered and also confused castle are just going come dump me. Mind you, several of them have actually trouble complying with directions on how to boil water (lots that beginners), so i learned real fast that it’s much better to define things that would seem trivial to the experience cook than to answer the same question 30 time in the comments.

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

I’m v you top top this one Dianne. I understand I’m an alleged to check out through the whole recipe, get whatever out first and then continue in a measured way – I understand all that. However what usually happens is that ns skim with the recipe, grab many of what i need, start to do it, price the phone, have actually a conversation with the kids, mental that i haven’t called my mommy etc, etc, so the hatchet “divided” normally slips my attention & ns bung the entirety lot in at once.I’m a large fan of alternative #2 – splitting (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 reader make if the instructions room not crystal clear?” ns also shot to follow the dominion “the reader is constantly right.” If “divided” is only clear after reading the whole recipe, then to me there’s the potential for mistakes.

I’ve constantly thought “divided” sounds clunky, anyway. A recipe divided versus itself cannot stand!

I don’t use the word divided, yet i point out if the is the very same ingredient, what the amounts are and when they room added, particularly as in most of my cases, they room not in between a cake and a frosting. Ns agreed through you Dianne top top this one!

Even though ns don’t usage it often, i don’t mind it in ~ all. I execute think that occasionally the recipe really does usage the ingredient–divided. (Of food I had to check my very own book, and sure enough. . . ). I have a recipe because that a topping in i m sorry 1/2 cup complete cornstarch is used, yet divided. Cook a custard v 1/4 cup cornstarch, cool, then add the various other 1/4 cup cornstarch, and also beat. It’s not favor your example of cake and frosting; this is all the exact same mixture. I suppose I could have written, “1/4 cup cornstarch, if cooking, and 1/4 cup an ext later on, once cool” or something–but come me that’s means more clunky 보다 “divided.” I additionally always encompass the quantities in the instructions in a case like this, just in instance the leader didn’t go v the whole recipe an initial (eg, “place the milk, agave and 1/4 cup cornstarch in a pot. . .”; climate later, “add remaining 1/4 cup cornstarch. . . “:). Not certain what else one could do in a instance like that. . . Any suggestions?

Hmm. That’s a tough one, since as friend say, the cornstarch is used within custard in 2 steps. I absolutely prefer divided to your pointer of just how to create it out. The is definitely clunky.

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

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

And then likewise write in the instructions together Ricki suggests.

when i watch “divided” in one ingredient list, i take it together a “heads up” to follow the recipe closely when it pertains to that ingredient. I see it as password for “something’s up through this measurement, so pay attention.” for this reason i use it that means when i write 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 second part, is more confusing and needlessly particular than calling because that 3 figs, through the “divided” together a top up.interesting topic, together always!

That’s my approach, too. Once I read the recipe, I like to view the total amount mentioned, due to the fact that I somehow make a mental inventory of the ingredients. I commonly handwrite a simplified version the the printed recipe, analysis something like: “4 yolks, 2 +2” – definitely a vote for “divided”. An turn off comment: I also favor water pointed out as an ingredient.No matter how thorough the explanations, a beginner will certainly make mistakes until things start to gain clear.

I completely agree v listing water as an ingredient. It’s hard to stage every one of the ingredients easily & successfully if you need to read into the human body of a cooking recipes to identify water amounts.

I am spiritual about listing each usage of an ingredient separately. Ns think the world is more full that ‘where fools sirloin in’ cooks and bakers (me included) than it is the the ‘read with thoroughly’ crowd.

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

Wthout hesitation I speak NO to ‘divided’.

I do the 2nd option i beg your pardon you say is her favorite, list sugar twice – batter and also frosting, with 2 ingredient lists if there space two stages/parts to the recipe, i.e. Batter and also frosting.

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

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

Personally, I perform like to usage “divided” to provide some kind of warning to the impatient chef who might otherwise dump every one of that ingredient in in ~ once. I’ll explain it more in the text, but I’d quite not garbage the room in the ingredient list. Likewise, it can be easier to miss out on the complete amount of that ingredient important to finish the recipe, and also so the cook might no buy sufficient when plan quickly.

I am with you Dianne. Split is tricky and also in most cases, I would advise versus it. Typically it does offer me a heads up to pay attention later, however I will certainly most likely forget. Also, you never know just how much come “divide” and you have to read come directions before you finish setting up your mis en place. Separated is tricky, annoying, yet sometimes unavoidable.

I always get puzzled if I view ‘divided’ in a recipe. I don’t view anything wrong at all through spelling points out yes, really clearly. At work once we had actually to carry out an amazing exercise wherein we split into two groups and each group attracted a photo of a residence in secret. The groups then wrote instructions on exactly how to attract the house, offered the instructions to the other group who had actually to monitor them and draw the home (without see the final picture). Also when we assumed we to be being yes, really careful about writing instructions the were easy to follow, the finish results to be poles apart and it really carried home come me the fact the person following the accuse is no going to do the same assumptions that girlfriend make. I more than likely didn’t explain the exercise an extremely well yet I think it’s a really crucial lesson for united state all.

I don’t like separated either. I favor to division them in the ingredient list due to the fact that when I’m to express instructions as I’m food preparation it provides it much less complicated to be able to glance up and also see what amount girlfriend are supposed to add without having actually to do the math in her head.I’m glad you listen other people don’t like split either! I constantly thought ns was alone!

I’ve never met a recipe through the word separated that I favored to follow. When I am mix ingredients I want to follow the list together it shows up without having to reference the instructions because that the amount–that is tedious. The other trouble with that is the issue of scaling the recipe. I use cooking software come organize my personal “keepers” and if I range the recipe electronically indigenous 4 to 12, the does not pick increase the change in the instructions. So, in mine opinion, “divided” deserve to cause an ext frustration 보다 the saved room is worth. V the finish user in mind, spell that out, saving frustration or a ruined recipe native dumping it every in (done numerous times) is more important 보다 saving an are on the page — IMO.

My editor likewise nixed the use of the term “divided,” however instead that listing the item twice, the usage was simply declared in the method. I’m currently wondering if that isn’t even more confusing (and even much more likely to bring about all the sugar gift dumped in in ~ once).

I’m additionally a huge fan that listing ingredient twice, and also using ingredient subheadings if possible. I think the just clears up the whole worry – that at the very least makes it simpler for me to follow as soon as I shot to monitor a recipe. That’s actually what ns did on my latest blog post, because the initial recipe used divided to describe the quantity of sugar. I created subheadings for the ingredients for cacao pudding cake, and also then provided the sugar individually within each section. Ns agree, divided just provides it too basic to accidentally dump the whole amount in at once.

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

I’m a photographer, no a recipe writer, but I perform blog recipes and also I try to write them as merely as possible. I follow Diane’s suggestion, 2. Divide the ingredient list right into parts. That provides the most sense. Particularly if there are more than one ingredient to a recipe, choose cake batter and also cake frosting.Also, and also this is a digression, I’ve uncovered when following recipes, I frequently get shed when the instructions are written in paragraph form. You follow one bit, come back, and have to search for the following bit. On mine blog I compose the instructions in one or two line sentences. Much like the list of ingredients. Not sure if it’s any kind of better, but it absolutely works much better for me.

Wow, that knew we’d have so many opinions ~ above divided. My 2 cents: I used to think the was kind of an elderly recipe writer talk. Now I just think it’s confusing, and shot to continue to be away by creating the recipe in steps with sub-heads. The in itself deserve to be irritating if you’re making use of a recipe because that the shopping/pantry list, as in ‘oh ns need more onions.’ So, yes, it does creep in yet only when I cannot think that a better way come say it.But, what i really want to recognize is: Where perform you to buy the soft butter?

I absolutely remember the work I very first came upon split USE and also wondered what the hell it meant. Split seems to be consisted of in older recipe layouts of decades past. Anytime I watch divided, i jump instantly into the human body of the cooking recipes to look for the amount offered initially and also then whereby the second amount will be used. For this reason technically, a reader is spending more time figuring the end the instructions instead of focusing on directly on assembling and making the recipe. Writing a recipe is about guiding the reader so they can understand what is required without spending any type of time do the efforts to figure out what the cooking recipes writer meant. Once I check out a recipe wherein I start having actually questions regarding what is exactly meant, ns most often will not make that recipe or simply start adapting immediately. As soon as I need to spend time figuring out what, when, where, and how, the is a badly written recipe.

like various other commenters, ns now take into consideration “divided” a top up. I absolutely hated it when editors an initial started insisting ~ above it, however the other solutions in facility recipes quickly becamme even more unmanageable: 1 T oo + 1 1/2 tsp oo + 2 tsp oo+ etc. This began to happen in mine last publication which contained some very complicated recipes with numerous steps. The numbering technique paragraphs doesn’t necessarily work due to the fact that it is not often a publisher’s home style. My choice is the old-fashioned means we supplied to perform it means back in the dark ages before we spelled whatever out, in other words to list total amount in ingred list and also then details amts in the method.All this begs the next obvious question: due to the fact that you cannot avoid every error, exactly how much responsibillity do recipe writers bear? through “dumbing down” ours recipes, are we and our readers obtaining dumber, too?

I’m through you ~ above this, Penni.…i.e. To list total amount in ingredient list and also then particular amounts in the method.By that i mean straightforward cooking technique–old college apparently:1) check out recipe carefully2) Pre-measure every ingredients & have them all in place3) follow recipe instructions4) any kind of improvisation is your responsibility* I would say it’s not clunky come give details instructions re: divided quantities of ingredients.A- Recipes are not tweets.B- learning to cook can be simple or difficult depending on many things but primarily on care in following instructions.C- sluggish down; check out the recipe; enjoy happier cooking.

I constantly struggle with this. Does one write, for example, “2 cups flour, divided”, hoping the person following the recipe climate looks right into the body of the recipe to see just how it is divided, or does one create “1 cup + 1 cup flour”? Personally, ns like when it is signaled in the perform of ingredients; I also have finished up dumping the totality amount in at once if the I’m not placed on mine guard. Although ns don’t always take the time to check out through the entire recipe before starting if ns am rushed or gift lazy, i do always read v the ingredient list very carefully and also take the time to measure and also weigh out each ingredient beforehand.

When i was a beginning of the person cook, ns initially discovered the “two measurement” an approach confusing. Without reading through the recipe method, the was basic to imagine that a note of “1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon oil” intended that the cooking recipes writer to be conveying a single-use measurement that fell somewhere between 1/4 and also 1/3 the a cup (though I’m now conscious that would be written as 5 tablespoons). Simply as confusing as “divided”, I’d say.

I certainly agree through your instincts below – I’m a large fan of splitting ingredient perform – and also strive to usage “divided” sparingly and also thoughtfully as soon as other choices fail to sell any added clarity.

I prefer this systems the best. I do write “divided”. It does clue the leader in to pay attention to the ingredient. Ns am every for success in cooking. Thus the more info you can offer the reader, the better. The fine heat to me exactly how to be clear without “dumbing down” my reader. ,

Several years ago an editor insisted that I had to list the whole quantity in the ingredients list and explain the ‘division’ later on in the instructions. That method of act it never felt right and I favor your ide of Separating the ingredient dimensions per parts, like Cake: then, Frosting:. I as well am guilty of dumping the entirety amount in and having to begin over numerous 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 every I usage it.

I acquire it. I never ever use the word except on rarely occasions once it makes sense and also is quickly understood. The word needs to be thought about carefully prior to publishing recipes.

This subject is so interesting. My proofreader (my husband, that doesn’t chef much) doesn’t prefer “divided” either, but I don’t want individuals to miss a second listing of an ingredient and run short. It is distressing to hear that part readers won’t use the recipe if they check out the word.

Clarity in a cooking recipes is a priority. If saying division is confusing climate one can justifiably market a practiced explanation either alongside the ingredient or in ~ the start of the directions such as: 1 cup street (divided in 1/3 cup amounts); or in ~ the start of the directions: Premeasure & set sugar the end in 1/3 cup amounts.Recipes room not clunky just since they offer clarity. Recipes room not tweets.

Balancing functionality and elegance is a huge part of finessing a recipe. It offered to be the you might write a cooking recipes in a few paragraphs but that doesn’t cut it these days. Readers and cooks desire a in-depth road map because performance stress and anxiety looms large.

I don’t usage “divided” since that assumes the cooks understand what the means; plus, castle can conveniently goof or get tripped up. (What the hell do you want me come divide and also how perform I division it up?) Publishers and also editors frequently have a layout guide the they choose for the ingredient line (IL). If you’re creating for who new, questioning for their house layout guide or peruse their recipe writing format. “Recipes right into Type” by Whitman and Simon is kinda prefer my “Chicago manual of Style” for recipe writing.

My IL alternatives for linked ingredients incorporate — and this depends on the case (e.g., room and the specific ingredient)

Usually: 1/4 cup to add 1/2 cup sugarI repeat the amount in the instrux, “put the 1/4 cup” and “add the staying 1/2 cup”. If the 1/2 cup is supplied first, ns list it very first in the IL.

However: 1/8 teaspoon plus 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 when the amount is tiny, overly complicated to to express in the IL, and the ingredient should be component of the cook’s pantry. Perhaps it’s 1/8 tsp to add 1/2 tsp add to a pinch that you want people to usage in the recipe.

There’s usually just so much room available. My editor and I end up tweaking the IL in details spots because that layout objectives right before the book goes come print. I’m an extremely picky about how pages look and you can’t anticipate layout outcome as soon as you’redrafting a recipe. An excellent gawd, these are among the things that store me up late at night.

Yeah, I’ll list “A pinch the salt” if that’s what ns want. I work with recipes and ingredients that can be unfamiliar come many civilization so I try to detail what I perform so they understand the methodology.

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

I set up a format sheet because that every publication that ns write, based on what the home wants and I what ns want and also need. Keeps me true.

See more: Is An Empty Set Is An Element Of Every Set An Element Of Every Set?

I never use “divided” in the ingredient list, preferring instead to provide detailed indict in the cooking recipes text. I want the ingredient list to it is in a clear, concise grocery checklist for the reader–any an ext than that is overwhelming to countless cooks. I agree that breaking the end sub-recipes in the ingredient list (e.g., “For the crust:” and also “For the filling”) is regularly helpful.

First, let me say the I’m SO glad to understand that I’m not the only one that rushes with a recipe and dumps all of an ingredient into the bowl (or whatever) just to find out that few of it was necessary later. Many thanks for admitting that, Dianne!