This is in regard to a question I just posted:

Recommended cooking uses for applejack? .

It's a "how can I use ingredient X" question, which I imagine we'll see a lot of. It's an area of perennial interest to me, since I do tend to pick up these special-case ingredients over time, and I need to get a lot better at utilizing these cooking resources I already have. (Think of it as DRY applied to cooking, I suppose. ;-) ) Furthermore, it's an area that seems to me poorly served by existing recipe sources.

After reading this exchange about recipe trolling:

Should "I need a recipe for X?" questions be off-topic?

I'm on the fence on whether this kind of question should be off-charter or not. It wasn't my intention to troll for specific recipes. On the other hand, it's certainly got a significant subjective component to it, and could easily degenerate into a "list of recipes that use X" kind of thread.

What are your thoughts on how/if these kinds of questions might be appropriate? Is there a particular way you would have preferred to see me approach the question in the topic mentioned above?

2 Answers 2


I think "how to use x" is definitely the kind of thing people search for, so having questions like this could be useful (it's certainly the sort of things I'm interested in).

On the other hand, there's no definitive answer, so it's probably best to make questions like this community wiki and not accept an answer.


I think it depends on context of what you are asking. Take a quick look at [my response here] about the "indiscriminate" nature of list-of-X questions.

So how do you tell if “how to use ingredient X” appropriate? It depends on what you are asking.

If you ask "recommend uses for chocolate?", that is most definitely a list-of-X question. It's a poll asked indiscriminately, and not really what I would expect on this site.

If you ask "How to use <some-really-weird-spice-I-never-heard-of>?", that is a really specific question. You are seeking knowledge. The answers will be the product of experience or expertise. It is not an indiscriminate question.

Can you see the difference?

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