Frequently asked questions

About our website

The BBC Food website is part of BBC Learning and has a mission to teach and encourage people to cook more. The site primarily publishes recipes from television programmes, but sometimes commissions original recipes to accompany public service campaigns.

The BBC Food site has been running since 2000 when one of its most popular recipes was the Botham burger by Jamie Oliver.

Why don’t you publish every recipe?

We try to publish recipes that will be of use to the broadest possible audience, so we refrain from publishing recipes that are clearly require restaurant kitchen equipment or the skills of a professional chef.

The rights to publish the recipes may be limited by the chef or publisher. Because we try to keep as many recipes on the site as we can permanently, we may agree to publish a limited selection of what appears in a programme. This avoids the need to take down recipes later.

Why have you taken down a recipe?

Chances are it’s because the rights have expired. We may also remove recipes where we have a duplicate, or where we have doubts about the quality of the recipe. As the site is nearly 20 years old (that’s 90 in internet years), there may be some old and less than reliable content.

How big are your eggs?

Eggs are presumed to be medium, unless otherwise specified.

Is the oven temperature given for a fan-assisted or conventional oven?

Over the years, the site has switched from publishing recipes with conventional Celsius /Farenheit /Gas Mark to conventional Celsius/Fan Celsius/ Gas Mark. If you see a recipe with a Farenheit temperature, then the Celsius oven temperature is for a conventional oven. Caveat: Ovens are very different and temperatures can vary wildly. You should always bear in mind the nature of your own oven, or if you're really unsure, buy an oven thermometer.

What's in a teaspoon?

Measures in teaspoons and tablespoons are using calibrated UK measuring spoons and are assumed to be level – rounded or heaped will be specified. In the rare mention of dessertspoons, 1 dessertspoon = 2 teaspoons.

How is the cooking time calculated?

Note that cooking time commences once any cooking of ingredients starts, even if it is not the final cooking time. However, any recipe that requires overnight preparation, before or after initial cooking, should have “overnight” stated as the preparation time.

Are your recipes tested?

Recipes that come from TV programmes are usually tested on set by the food stylist. The recipes may also be published in a book where changes can be made and the recipes are retested. (This sometimes accounts for discrepencies between the recipe as described on the programme and recipes on the website.) Recipes that are part of a competitive programme may have been changed and/or simplified (e.g., Big Family Cooking Showdown) when they are tested after filming.

How can I contact a chef or presenter?

Unfortunately, we cannot give out personal contact details for chefs. You can find out more about your favourite chef here.

How do I submit an idea for a programme?

If you have an idea for a programme, you can submit it via the BBC Commissioning website.

How do I find out about an item / supplier I have seen on a show?

We cannot give out any information about products, suppliers, or provide specific recommendations.

How do I apply to appear on a TV programme?

Please visit the BBC shows website.

Can I use information from the BBC Food site for my school project?

Text and images from the BBC Food site can be replicated as long as it is strictly for personal use, or for acceptable non-commercial use e.g. a school project, but can not be copied for blogs.