How to Search Old Chowhound Threads

This was a copy/paste from my post on the RIP Chowhound thread. Figured it might help those who might be looking for old threads on CH.

I was chatting with someone on my personal FB page about CH closing yesterday. And I just said "Hopefully with a lot of digging, the Internet Wayback Machine will be able to come up with threads should anyone wish to find a particular morsel of info."

So I decided to try. I went to the Internet Wayback Machine ( and put in CH’s URL. OK, check out March 2022 - according to the IWM, “This calendar view maps the number of times was crawled by the Wayback Machine, not how many times the site was actually updated. Green indicates redirects (3xx).”


On March 17th (the biggest blue circle), the IWM crawled over 10.5K times on the CH site. :astonished: I clicked on Saturday, March 26th. Got the main CH page. Clicked on Communities. They’re all there. You can click on “Quick Links” on the far right to find COTM or DOTM, etc. Or you can click one of what they call “Communities” (vs. Categories as they’re called here and what they really are! LOL) and dig deep that way. It takes awhile for the page to refresh and come up with what you’re looking for, but the new stuff is there.

I’ve not tried the search recently; last time I looked, it wasn’t easy to find what I was looking for. You’d probably have to go to the specific year/month of the post(s). For instance, Top Chef-Boston aired on Bravo from late 2014 - early 2015. So I went to October 2014 in the IWM, clicked on October 20th, 2014 (NOTE: The IWM crawls were a LOT less back then!)

I asked to View All Boards, then Food Media & News, and when they all came up, my Top Chef Boston Ep. #1 from 10/15/14 came up.


Click on that link, and I can get to my post.


So - it’s doable. It’s just time consuming.

If anyone has some clarifying search parameters, please feel free to add them here.


A faster way by using Google, with the keywords as shown.

You see 2 results, Click the 3 dots button after the search result

A pop up window will appear, click “cached”, and you will be able to find certain posts.


Well damn. Never knew about the cache link in the hamburger! And when you click on a post, it looks WAY better in Google Cache then it does in IWM cache!

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Do you have to know the year?

No, I don’t think so. Just try with different words and see.


Just realized, @naf - the Google search doesn’t come up with the whole thread (i.e., the responses) - just the initial post. When you click on the “XXX comments” at the bottom of one of my Top Chef threads, it goes to the farewell message from CH. Whereas the IWM will show you everything - original post plus all of the responses that were cached at that particular point in time.

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@hyperbowler has the entire site’s topic urls. If you think it’s useful perhaps we can badger him to put that somewhere.

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Wow, that’s great that this worked for that URL! I’ve looked at a number of Chowhound URLs, and many were not in googles cache and when they were there did not include comments. For motivations that are beyond my understanding, it appears that much of Chowhound‘s content was invisible to search engines.

The cache is available to some extent now, but I expect those will disappear in a few months.

As @sck alluded, I have a list of a million plus topic URLs. I think it’s exhaustive, but not sure. I need to think about a useful And usable way of delivering that as a resource to our community. That said, if someone with more time on their hands than me wants access now, send me a private message.

A note about viewing Chowhound content on It sucks. That’s not a knock on, which pulled a miracle to back up what it did, it sucks in the same way that it did on the Chowhound site.

Comments do not automatically load. Once you find a post of interest, scroll to the comment section. You’ll see some grayish dots appear. Wait a few seconds for all the resources to load. If they don’t, refresh and repeat, sometimes a few times.

Want a copy of the million plus Chowhound post URLs? Here you go.

It’s too large to be usable on Google Drive, so you’ll need to download it to a computer and search for things in a text reader

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I don’t understand why all the chowhound data is gone. Is it that the corp owners plan to use the data/threads in the future for profit?

Normally they can stop letting member logging in but still let the site up for a while. The urgency to take it down is strange, only 2 weeks notice… i don’t know if the security or storage cost to maintain the site is so high. Or it was an eyesore to remind their failure.

I don’t think they can use the data without permission.

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The TOS included blanket permission to use the data in any way, at least when it was owned by CBS Interactive. I’m sure that carried over to the more recent owners.