Editorial Guidelines

Principles

At Serious Eats, we believe that science is one of the strongest tools in the kitchen. We also believe that you can't just science your way to a great recipe unless you understand it on some deeper level first. Our three principles are:

  • Extensive Research and Testing: In order to help our readers reach all their home-cooking goals, we do our homework before we even begin writing. We don't publish anything without plenty of due diligence first. 
  • Expert Input: We rely on our research, testing, and expertise to inform our culinary wisdom. When we don't have the necessary expertise on-staff, we find the most knowledgeable people to help us get it right. These experts include recipe contributors and developers, writers, and other sources.
  • How and Why: We don't just do the work, we show it. We make it a point to walk you through all of our work and testing, so that you’ll always know how we’ve reached our culinary conclusions.

Through all of it, we try not to take ourselves too seriously. TL;DR? We may not always give you the easiest version of a recipe, but we will, without fail, give you one that's informed, well tested, and undeniably delicious. 

What We Do

  • Recipes: Our recipes will always be original, tested, and tasted. They’ll provide context for the dish and its methods and ingredients, as well explain why they work and how we got them to the place we did.
  • Techniques: From cooking fundamentals to primers on advanced culinary techniques, our how-to guides will help inform every dish you make no matter your skill level.
  • Cuisines: We are constantly expanding our archive to include more cuisines, food history, and culinary traditions from around the world.  
  • Equipment: Our favorite equipment and tools became our favorites based on exhaustive reviews and years upon years of professional cooking experience. We do the work so you don't have to.
  • Features: We don't just cook food here—we use it to tell stories about society and our everyday lives. Our features dig into science, history, the food industry, and more.

Fact-Checking

Our content is opinionated and fun, but above all else, it is also held to the highest editorial and factual standards. Fact-checking responsibilities at Serious Eats fall on both writers and editors. Writers are expected to provide quality sources and data to support any and all factual claims made in an article. Editors are expected to ensure the article is meeting those standards by providing sufficient evidence and reliable sources to support the claims and arguments being made. 

Writers & Sources

We publish many types of content, but the author of each piece is always an authority in some capacity. Recipes are developed by experienced professional cooks and cuisine experts; articles are written by trusted writers and cooks; technique articles are written by experienced professional cooks/experts in specific cuisines and cooking methods; and features writers come from a variety of backgrounds. For cuisine-specific pieces, such as pantry guides and “essential” recipe guides, we have committed to enlisting people who have deep and relevant experience with that cuisine, with a preference for those who are from that cuisine’s culture or cultural diaspora. Some contributors are award-winning novelists, some are cookbook authors, some are reporters, some are recipe developers—all are people who have interesting written voices and stories (about food) to tell. 

Sources, depending on the type of piece, can include the writer/recipe developer, interviews with experts; scientific studies; reputable books, articles, newspapers, etc. For reported articles, we typically ask for a minimum of three sources, though again, this will vary based on the story itself. An opinion piece about McDonald’s new chicken sandwich? Possibly zero sources outside of the writer's direct experience. A piece about a flavor molecule and what it is? This will likely include multiple text-based and other media sources and possibly interviews with one or more experts.

Corrections & Content Quality Updates

All factual errors discovered or brought to our attention must be corrected, and those corrections will always be communicated to readers. 

Article updates that are correcting a factual inaccuracy, serving to incorporate new information, or fix something that does not affect the facts the piece is built on will be memorialized with an "Update" note. 

Please know we are constantly updating our old recipes with new techniques and improvements based on further testing and reader suggestions.

We regularly review the quality of our library and periodically remove from our site articles and recipes that no longer conform to our current editorial standards. If there’s an article or recipe that you’re seeking on Serious Eats and can no longer find, please email us at archive@seriouseats.com and we will do our best to track down an archival copy for you.

Diversity & Inclusion

Serious Eats seeks to represent and celebrate diverse voices and strongly believes that food is always, at its core, political. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and our team is committed to providing an inclusive environment that raises and uplifts BIPOC and LGBTQ+ voices. You can read our anti-racism pledge in full here. At a glance, we commit to:

  • More diverse hiring
  • Bias reduction
  • Increased coverage of cuisines and cultures represented in our library
  • Transparent rates
  • Better monitoring of comments

We also work with an in-house Anti-Bias Review Board led by Dr. Mackenzie Price to ensure our content is regularly audited for bias and inclusivity. 

Editorial Ethics

We rarely participate in press trips, and when we do, they are heavily scrutinized by the team ahead of time. If anyone from Serious Eats is involved with a press trip, it is never one associated with a particular brand and there is never any promise of coverage ahead of time.

We do not accept monetary compensation in exchange for coverage. We also purchase all products for testing. If there is ever an instance in which we’ve received a press sample, we will clearly disclose that information. In fact, Serious Eats editors will offer to send press samples back upon completion of testing, or donate or give away gear after testing (we do try to keep our review winners so we can gain more insight into their performance over time). Not only do we not guarantee coverage, but we also publish our complete and unfiltered thoughts—positive and negative—on the products we try.

For more information in this realm, please see:
How We Test Products

We are also aligned with the principles of the Dotdash Meredith Content Integrity Promise.

Commerce

Serious Eats takes product recommendations very, well, seriously. We publish side-by-side reviews of the best kitchen equipment on the market. These blend deep kitchen expertise with rigorous and empirical testing and a healthy dose of authoritative subjectivity. When there is the opportunity for the site to receive affiliate compensation, this will be noted directly below a piece’s byline with the language: “Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.”

Occasionally, an editor will publish an article about a product they really enjoy. These articles are not based on official testing protocols, but instead are authoritative opinion pieces that reflect their experiences using the equipment over time. As such, the article will make clear to readers that it represents the author's opinion.

Our editorial content is not influenced by our advertisers. We maintain a strict separation between advertising and editorial content and clearly differentiate editorial content from advertising content.