Writing down recipes on a recipe card is a great way to record your favorite dishes. It’s also a great way to share recipes and hand them down to the next generation. But once you’ve collected a few recipes, where do you put them?
A recipe box is the ideal place to store and organize your best recipes in one place. Recipe boxes are usually a standard size to fit 4-inch by 6-inch recipe cards – although there are larger and smaller ones available – and they are made from a wide variety of materials, from tin and Plexiglass to wood and bamboo.
Some recipe boxes come with built-in dividers, and some come supplied with recipe cards and paper dividers. With many colors and designs, the most difficult part may be choosing only one.
To help you narrow down the search, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best recipe boxes you can purchase online. Read on to find one that suits your taste and cooking style.
1. Top Pick: NIKKY HOME Kitchen Metal Recipe Organization Box
Who says you can’t marry a retro look with modern practicality? We choose this recipe box as our top recommendation because of its practical yet elegant old-world design and construction and all the practical accessories you need to start your recipe collection.
The recipe box is made from sturdy yet lightweight steel with a delicate embossed pattern on the white surface. It has a wooden lid that contributes to its vintage look that comes completely off so it is easy to put recipes cards in and take them out, without any hinges getting in the way.
It comes with 24 double-sided recipe cards that have a matte finish that is easy to write on with any type of pen or pencil and eight dividers to categorize and quickly find your recipes. As well, you get a really handy acrylic frame. You can use it as a divider when you have only a few cards in the box to keep them upright.
And when you’re ready to cook, slip the recipe card into the holder and place it in the designated slot on the lid of the box. The holder keeps the recipe card upright and within your line of vision while protecting it from food splatters.
This recipe box measures 7.09 inches long by 4.72 inches wide by 5.71 inches high and can hold 270, 4-inch by 6-inch cards with dividers.
- Vintage look
- Removeable lid
- Comes with recipe cards, dividers and an acrylic frame
- Can be difficult to slip cards into plastic folder
2. Best Runner-Up: Dekali Designs Rustic Recipe Box
We’re still loving a vintage look for storing recipe cards but unlike our first choice, this recipe box has a rustic, distressed finish, which will appeal to anyone who has modern farmhouse kitchen décor, or who likes to add some natural elements to a modern space.
This is a roomy recipe box, measuring 6.75 inches wide by 5.5 inches high by 5 inches deep and can hold up to 350 4-inch by 6-inch recipe cards. On the lid of the box are two slots where you can place one or two cards to keep them off the counter and so you can follow the recipe as you cook.
The box also comes with 50 doubled sided, lined cards made of thick card stock and nine dividers labelled with categories such as salads, fruit and vegetables, desserts, appetizers, seafood, pasta, and grains, main dishes, meats, and bread and pastries. There are also three blank divider cards ones so you can write your own categories.
- Vintage, distressed look
- Comes with 50 cards and 12 dividers
- Has two slots in the lid to hold recipe cards
- Not a lot of room to write on the cards
3. Best Sustainably Sourced Wood: Ironwood Gourmet Acacia Wood Recipe Box
When it comes to beauty and lasting appeal, nothing beats acacia wood, long sought after for its rich dark colors with contrasting patterns and variations from light to dark. This handcrafted wood recipe box is made of sustainably sourced acacia wood that has unique and contrasting patterns that make it an ideal choice as a gift for a bridal shower, housewarming, birthday or for yourself.
The box has a solid wood divider in the center to form two compartments and it comes with 10 plain dividers with tabs onto which you can write the different categories to organize the recipe cards. The lid also has a groove to hold a recipe card for you to follow as you are cooking.
The box measures 7 inches wide by 6 inches deep by 5.5 inches high, with each compartment measuring 6.25 wide by 2.5 inches deep by 4.75 inches high with the lid closed. To care for this recipe box, wipe with a damp cloth and dry immediately if it gets dirty, and do not soak. To keep the beautiful finish and prevent the wood from drying out, apply butcher block or mineral oil periodically.
- Made from sustainably sourced acacia wood
- Fits 4-inch by 6-inch recipe cards
- Slot on lid to hold cards
- Wood divider cannot be removed
- Does not come with recipe cards
4. Best Value: Lecerent Recipe Box
This recipe box looks like it’s made from wood, but it is actually made from natural bamboo for a neutral vibe that will go with any kitchen décor.
This affordable, value-packed recipe box measures 6.7 inches by 4.8 inches by 5.2 inches and can fit 250 recipe cards. To get you started, it comes with 60 double-sided, 4-inch by 6-inch recipe cards and 12 colorful recipe card dividers with blank tabs that you can write on. You also receive an acrylic protector that you can slip a card into when you are in the middle of cooking, so it doesn’t get ruined from splattering food.
The lid of the box has a groove for the acrylic holder and a second, slightly wider groove where you can place your smart phone. The lid is held into place with rustproof hinges and there are four magnets on the inside of the lid to keep it closed. This recipe box makes an ideal gift, and it can also be used as a jewelry box or for keepsakes.
- Recipe box made of bamboo
- Comes withm60 recipe cards and acrylic holder
- The translucent film on acrylic holder may be difficult to remove
5. Best Splurge Buy: KitchenMania Wood Recipe Box
This is the most expensive recipe box on our list but for the money, it includes a lot of bits and pieces that make it a worthwhile investment.
The box is made from pinewood and has a vintage, distressed finish in a slate gray with an underpinning of white that ties in with the word “Recipes” that is written in white calligraphy on the front. The large box measures 7.1 inches by 4.3 inches by 5.1 inches and can fit more than 250, 4-inch by 6-inch recipe cards. And while it has five blank kraft paper dividers, it also comes with 10 rustic-style distressed wood dividers made of pine that have tabs that you can write on.
This kit also includes 100 recipe cards plus 100 clear card protectors so you can slip each card into a plastic sleeve to keep it clean and unscathed from spilled liquid or food. You can place the protected card into the slot located on the lid of the box, so it is easy to follow as you prepare your recipe.
The lid is held on with solid hinges, four magnets keep the lid securely closed and four pieces of rubber on the bottom of the box keeps it from slipping and scratching your counter.
- Made of pinewood
- Available in black or gray
- Comes with 100 recipe cards, 100 protectors, 10 pine dividers and 5 blank paper dividers
- More expensive than other recipe boxes
6. Best Large Capacity: Pinelive 700+ Large Recipe Box
Are you or someone you know serious about creating, collecting, organizing and sharing recipes? We have included this large sized recipe box for the true recipe lover, the person – and this could be you – who spends a lot of time developing different recipes and trading or sharing with friends.
Not only is this recipe box made from high quality pine with a distressed rustic look, but its large size can fit more than 700 recipe cards. The box measures 13.6 inches across, 6.9 inches deep and 5.3 inches tall and has a middle wooden divider so you can fit 340 recipe cards in each compartment. Unique to this recipe box are slots on the lid for four recipe cards and two cell phones or an iPad, so you can facetime with a friend as you both go through the steps of a recipe.
The box also comes with 152 double-sided colorful recipe cards and 16 laminated dividers. And, as a bonus, it includes a handy conversion card that breaks down measurements such as how many quarts, pints, cups, ounces and liters in a gallon.
- Large capacity
- Two compartments
- Sturdy constructed box nailed and glued
- Available in rustic light black or white
- May be too large for some needs
- Divider is not moveable
7. Best for Small Cards: Jot & Mark Recipe Card 3×5 Box Set
Not everyone uses 4-inch by 6-inch recipe cards to record their favorite recipes on. If you are part of that group of cooks who prefer a smaller 3-inch by 5-inch card, then you know how frustrating it can be to store them in a box that is too large. We included this recipe box on the list for anyone who needs a place to organize and collect small recipe cards.
This cute recipe box has a cheerful floral pattern that will brighten any kitchen space and in it, you can neatly place 3-inch by 5-inch recipe cards. If you don’t have any cards to start with, or if you are giving this recipe box as a gift, then you’ll be pleased to know that it comes with 50 right-sized recipe cards and nine dividers with tabs to properly categorize and organize your recipes.
The box is double walled so it will hold up to years of use, and the hinged lid opens all the way for easy access to the inside where you can store up to 200 recipe cards. The box is also easy to wipe clean, so you don’t have to worry about any food splatters or spills.
- Double-walled box
- Hinged lid
- Includes 50, 3”x5” recipe cards
- Does not fit standard 4”x6” recipe cards
8. Best Budget Pick: Yesland Recipe Box
Although recipe boxes aren’t a high-priced item, they can be out of reach for some people. As well, not everyone wants a recipe box kit that comes with recipe cards. That’s why we included this budget priced recipe box that is a great way to store and collect your recipe cards without a high price tag or recipe cards you don’t like.
The Yesland recipe box is made of durable iron, so this will be one recipe box that will stay in the family for years to come. It measures 6.25 inches long by 4.25 inches wide by 5 inches high and is a good fit for standard 4-inch by 6-inch recipe cards. Since the box does not include cards, you are free to find the ones you like best and that have the kind of design and space you require for your recipes.
This box also has a slot on the front where you can slip a label to write your name, and the lid comes off completely so you can easily access your recipe cards.
- Made of metal
- Cheerful design
- Does not include recipe cards or dividers
Things to consider before choosing a recipe box:
So, you’re thinking of writing down your favorite recipes and storing them in a recipe box but you’re not sure where to start? Delving into that pastime is not difficult, but there are some factors to consider before you make a purchase, and we’re here to help you through the process. The following are some of the factors to consider before choosing a recipe box for yourself or to give as a gift.
Alone or in a kit: This is probably the most important consideration since it will have an impact on how much you will spend and what further actions you would need to take to be fully equipped to record and store recipes.
If you prefer to find your own recipe cards, or you already have recipe cards and are just looking for something to store and organize them in, then it’s best to find a box on its own. These are not as easy to find, since the majority come in kit, so it may take time to find the one you like. On the other hand, if you are just starting out and don’t want to have to run around, you can choose a recipe box kit that includes recipe cards and dividers plus other accessories like acrylic holders or protective sleeves. These are also a good option if you are buying a recipe box as a gift,
Material: Of course, what the box is made of is important, since you want it to last a long time, but in the end, it comes down to personal preference and taste. Metal or wood are good choices, although wood can get expensive, depending on the type and quality. Some recipe boxes are made from plastic or acrylic, which have the advantage of being transparent, but are not very decorative.
Details: Finally, there are little details that can make or break a recipe box in terms of how you use it and if the extras benefit you. For example, some recipe boxes have grooves on the lid where you can place the recipe card to follow the directions as you cook. Others take that a step farther by adding more grooves that can accommodate a cell phone or tablet.
Then there are recipe boxes where the lid comes off completely and others where the lid is attached by a hinge. Which you choose is personal preference but for some people, taking the lid completely off gives better access to the onside, plus you don’t have to worry about hinges rusting or breaking,
While these details seem small, they are all something to consider before choosing a recipe box to ensure the best experience possible. Because you know what they say: the devil is in the detail!
Photo credit: David P. Smith/Shutterstock