Cook’s Illustrated?

I love magazines. I get an embarrasing number of them – particularly gardening magazines. But I only get a two food related ones right now – Martha’s “Everyday Food” and “Bon Appetit”. I like one of them far more than the other, but I won’t say which because I don’t want to hurt Martha’s feelings, even if a hose of hers I bought at K-Mart kept kinking on me until I replaced it with one from Lowe’s.
But then I got a trial-come on type thing from “Cook’s Illustrated”. It’s really nice – but kind of expensive, so I am not sure if it is worth the money.Lots of recipes of course – and they seem to try things a whole bunch of different ways and then present what they believe to be the best method to prepare the dish. That is interesting.There are columns of kitchen tips and product reviews. And seemingly, no advertising, which is nice.So tell me – do you get “Cook’s Illustrated” and why or why not? What is your favorite food magazine? I really need to know.

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28 Responses to Cook’s Illustrated?

  1. Jo says:

    I have so many I subscribe to and adore… but recently my favorite has been Saveur

  2. Ashleigh says:

    I’m a better photographer than cook so….I don’t get any.

    I do love food though and am will to sample anything you cook.


  3. Ellyn says:

    I don’t have to subscribe. I know where you live.

  4. Trisha says:

    I must admit that I don’t get any cooking magazines. I do get the free Kraft Foods magazine each time it comes out (I have no idea how often so I am always pleasantly surprised when I get it in the mail). It has recipes so maybe it counts!

  5. Mental P Mama says:

    “Southern Living” is this transplanted Tennessee gal’s favorite!

  6. graceunbound says:

    I am always checking out the Southern Living compiled cookbooks from the library and have found many wonderful recipes; I’m just too cheap to actually buy the magazine.

    I also like Cooking Light.

    I like magazines with simple ingredients and easy recipies!

  7. Elle says:

    Hand down favorite–Saveur. Loaded with amazing, very do-able recipes, and interesting articles.

    I used to like Cook’s Illus. until they gave a fellow blogger a hard time about fiddling with one of their “perfect” recipes, and then blogging about it. They feel their recipes are so perfect, that they must not EVER be altered. And we’re talking potato salad. Who doesn’t mess around with potato salad recipes?

    Another favorite food mag? BBC’s Good Food. I love that one and will happily shell out the $8 at Barnes and Noble every single month.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’m a skulker at your blog, I’m sorry to admit I never comment. I love your thoughts and especially your foodie posts. I’m from Canada so my favourite food magazine is our LCBO’s seasonal ‘Food and Drink’ where they fill it with recipes and alcoholic pairings. The photos are gorgeous and the recipes are very timely and fresh and scrumptious. I’m sorry you cant get it in NY, but some of my choice recipe books are from the States so we’re even :) They do have a website and though they only put on a few recipes per issue, they’re good ones.
    ps. I enjoy Riley’s opinions, too.
    Thanks for letting the world into your kitchen, and sorry for the long ramble!
    teresa in ottawa.

  9. TARA says:

    Stumbled on this post via Food Gawker today. I have subscribed to Cook’s Illustrated in the past and did enjoy it. But, hands down, if I could only subscribe to one food magazine it would be Cuisine at Home. No ads, great layout, helpful tips and killer recipes. I return to my old magazines again and again…

  10. blizzard854 says:

    I think out of all the magazines I have received over the past year (everything from Bon Appetite and Saveur, to the more indie yet up and coming Meatpaper)… I love Cook’s Illustrated magazine… My only gripe with it is the timing (only every 2 months really kills me)… Sometimes when I get the latest issue I search through it and not being able to find any recipes to my liking, means I have to wait another 2 months before trying out a new recipe from them. There recipes, though, are very tried and true… I haven’t made one thing from the magazine yet that hasn’t made me say yummm…

  11. dlyn says:

    Ok – looks like I have to check out Saveur. Thanks Jo & elle!

    and elle – can't believe I forgot that whole bit w/ Cook's Illustrated. They were terrible about that in my opinion. Thanks for reminding me about it – definitely will figure into my decision.

    thanks so much Tara – I will check that one out too. And thanks for stopping by – always great to see new faces.

    Ashleigh – you come up here sometime – I will cook and you can photograph. How's that for a deal?

    :hides all my magazines in the back of my closet before Ellyn comes down again: :P

    Trisha – I would say if it has recipes, it counts for something. Any cooking is better than none as far as I am concerned.

    mentalP and graceunbound – adding "Southern Living" to the list. My oft-referred to grandma was from Alabama and I grew up next door to her – I got some suthrin in me I think.

    teresa/anonymous – skulkers need never apologize! It is really nice to hear from you though and that enjoy the old blog. will check out that website. Oh yeah – Riley says hi :)

  12. dlyn says:

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting blizzard [you posted the same time I did I think] – nice to hear a vote for CI!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Can I recommend “Delicious”? It’s Australian so possibly not available in the US. There’s an English version too I think. The photography is always great and the food is fresh and unfussy.

  14. dee says:

    My favorite cooking magazine is Taste of Home. They have fairly easy, down home cooking recipes that my family and I enjoy! Pretty pictures too.

  15. Sonja says:

    Get a ton of magazines – amongst them Cooks Country and Cooks Illustrated. Great recipes, tips, tests and no advertisement. Love both of them. The only annoying thing is that, if you want to check stuff online, you have to pay extra.

  16. jepp says:

    Saveur is hands down my favorite food magazine. Amazing articles, beautiful photography, and great recipes.

  17. Ruth Hull Chatlien says:

    What I want to know is how did you get the pictures to look like that? Some photoshop thingy?

  18. Lori says:

    I’m a southern gal, so I like Southern Living. I bet you’d like it, too. Lots of gardening to go with the recipes!
    Also, I like Real Simple. I don’t subscribe, but when I get an issue I love it!

  19. msdewberry says:

    I’m not really one for cooking but for work (group home) we have been buying different magazines such as Rachael Ray and Canadian Living as we are re-vamping our 28 day menu. We are looking for good and especially for quick and delicious!! With everyday ingredients to work with!

  20. Tara says:

    Cook’s Ill is the tells you the PROCESS as well as the products they have tried and what is best, I love it! They do all the work and tell you how to do it best by their process of elimination!

  21. Sweet Bird says:

    I must say I’m a Gourmet junkie. I’ll never give them up!

    Also, I’m pretty sure that’s the first time Martha’s ever been accused of kink! ;-)

  22. noble pig says:

    I have let my Cook’s Illustrated subsciption lapse because of this…read it…they are seriously crazy.

    And the comments are just as entertaining.

  23. Eva says:

    I adore Cook’s Illustrated. In my opinion, it is absolutely worth the money, in part because of the care they take with each of their recipes, product reviews, etc. Most everything is seasonal, and they often revisit recipes they’ve published a few years ago, streamlining them or using new techniques.

    On the other hand, if you don’t want the product reviews (why wouldn’t you?), you can buy a couple of their special issues (e.g., Summer Grilling, Fall Entertaining, Soups, etc.) or their books — the Baking book, in particular, is really incredible.

    I also love Saveur, and I think that magazine is really underappreciated. It’s got a much smaller staff and readership than the big hitters (Bon Appetit, etc.), but I think it benefits from that. I find the articles quite compelling and often discover something that I didn’t expect to interest me.

  24. wintkat says:

    my long time favorite and the only mag I continue to subscribe to/save is “Fine Cooking”

  25. JJR says:

    I always laugh at Cook’s Illustrated–all their recipes start with a generals statement about how terrible some food is when cooked by normal people. “Blueberry muffins are usually gummy and too sweet; our recipe will be tender and delicious.” “Fillet mignon is usually tough and stringy; our version can’t fail.” What a lousy attitude! Give it a rest.

  26. Krysta says:

    hate ci even before melissa’s dust up with them… when is a recipe ever perfect? they dumb down ethnic food to make it palletable. irratates me to no end. lima beans for avocado in guacamole? yes, they did do that.

    i like food and wine and saveur.

  27. Andrea says:

    Someone may have already said this so if sorry if I’m repeating. I subscribe to Cook’s Illustrated online for two reasons. It saves paper and you always get access to all the previous published Cooks Illustrated magazines. They go back several years so you’ll be getting several years for the price of one.

  28. Egghead says:

    Farmer get Cooks Illustrated and I get Cooks Country. He loves the illustrations and tips and I just love the color of Cooks Country. But that said, I have been a subscriber to A Taste of Home for years and years. I have found some of the best recipes from there.

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