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Cooks Illustrated

BordelloBordello Posts: 5,926
edited 6:39PM in EggHead Forum
Does anyone subscribe to Cooks Illustrated and if so do you like it/is it worth it? I signed up at Americas Test Kitchen ( but it just refers me back to the cooks illustrated link to try a 14 day free trial.

Opinions please.



  • StanleyStanley Posts: 623
    I subscribe and I really like it. If you've ever seen the TV show you get the idea - if they are trying to figure out how to cook a given food, they'll cook dozens of them, feeding successive attempts to panels of tasters for feedback, until they get it right. I enjoy the scientific approach - same reason I like Alton Brown. But I gotta say I've had much better success with CI recipes than with Alton's.
  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    It's actually pretty good. They have some good recipes and some decent deals on supplies. If you signed up you will probably get two free copies of the magazine and then a lot of mail trying to get you to subscribe. Incidentally they also have a good book on grilling and smoking for sale at half price right now. It looks like a pretty decent book.
  • FlaMikeFlaMike Posts: 648
    I subscribed a few years ago, but let it expire. Seemed to be geared to indoor cooking, and not to my tastes. I do, however, still get the email version of America's Test Kitchen. Again, not very helpful.
  • StanleyStanley Posts: 623
    I got that offer and I've been thinking about it. So many grill cooking recipes are gasser or Weber aimed and have you fiddle with the food while it's cooking more than I'd care to on an Egg. If anyone has seen the CI grilling book and can provide feedback, it would be appreciated.
  • mattmmattm Posts: 56
    I subscribe and I like it. I find that they have good tips and recipes and I like the product testing they perform. I have bought several items they recommend and have been happy with them all.

    I have tried several recipes and all of them turned out good.

    They approach recipes with an educational perspective...telling you what they tried that did/did not work and explain why...that has helped me broaden my cooking abilities across the board.

    As for the web site kicking you around...look for the members login box...and sign in there. I had the same problem.
  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    Record clubs?

    dang..... you must be ancient

    *ducking & hiding*
  • KnaufKnauf Posts: 337
    It's like Consumer Reports for the kitchen. Some really ggod stuff (rating the best soy sauces this month) and sometimes it's too technical. I like to see a really nice picture of a dish and then try to cook it. I'm simple like that. I'm illiterate but I'm writing for help! :laugh:
  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    Is Egret paying you a visit while he is up there fishing? -RP
  • BordelloBordello Posts: 5,926
    Thanks, that is what I was afraid of.

  • StanleyStanley Posts: 623
    Good point - I was just about to purchase a book from them and (luckily) read the fine print. Looks like the Grilling & BBQ book is that way too. No thanks.
  • RascalRascal Posts: 3,757
    I subscribed to Fine Cooking for a number of years, and kinda like National Geographic, I found parting with old issues very difficult. Sometimes I'd sift through a few at a time and then leave them at the waiting room of a local hospital. Amazing how fast they would disappear! Nowadays, with a wealth of downloadable recipes at TFN and many other Web venues (like this one), I totally rely on those sources for new ideas.~~
  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    Yeah, it kind of bummed me out because they really have a good product, whether it be the tv show, the magazine, books, or videos. I don't see why they have to stoop to that kind of marketing. -RP
  • BordelloBordello Posts: 5,926
    :blink: :blink: :blink:

    Hi Melissa,
    I remember those. :ohmy: :( :sick:

    Guess I'm ancient too. :S

    My best to you & yours,

  • BordelloBordello Posts: 5,926
    Thanks to all for your input. I think I will kick it around a bit more.

    My Best,
    Old Bones Bordello Bob
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Illustrated, Test and Country possibly more.

    Which one is the best?

  • RascalRascal Posts: 3,757
    I opted for a "sample" issue of a cooking magazine a good while back (could have been CI, but I'm not sure). After its arrival I began to get billings for a subscription. Knowing that I hadn't made a financial committment, I ignored them. Then came threats of collection fees and penalties (all of which I ignored). Eventually it went aweay. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,818
    I've subscribed to it for six years now and I happen to like it. Granted what others have said it leans toward indoor cooking or using a Weber, but there is always something to learn so I enjoy it. They are always rating food products and are not shy to say what brand names to avoid or steer toward. i like that!

    I also subscribe to its sister publication called Cooks Country which just stared publication a couple years ago. While there is some overlap it's more laid back and user friendly.
    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • DynaGreaseballDynaGreaseball Posts: 1,409
    I've been buying it off the news stand for about a year, and finally I subscribed. The last one (which was my first subscribed copy) wasn't too good to me, but previous ones have taught me some great recipes, techniques and products. Maybe they all went on vacation and hurried thru this issue.
  • HermHerm Posts: 206
    I love it, but they are brutal with the constant mailings and emails about purchasing books and videos, and web subscriptions. It's very annoying, but the magazine is great.
  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    Not that I know of. He will be a couple hundred miles south on a different island, so I'm proabably safe. :)
  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    Well as long as you didn't belong to the stone tablet of the month club you are ok.
  • BobSBobS Posts: 2,485
    I really enjoy the magazine. It clearly does not focus on using a ceramic cooker, but it is not hard to adapt recipes.

    I was living outside the US and so bought the DVD set of two years of the TV programs and liked that as well.

    I have one of their books (Best Recipes), which I highly recommend, but I got it at a regular bookstore.

    I have never been bothered with offers for other stuff.
  • I love that magazine. not only do I get the magazine, I also get the annual every year (magazine bound) I have since they first started in 93. I do miss the old wine rating articles. The BBQ book isn't their best-Dr. BBQ's are much better but the Cover and Bake book is my fav. mac and cheese to die for! subscribe, you won't regret it.
  • egretegret Posts: 4,107
    OK, Randy! Don't think this one slipped by! :evil:
  • egretegret Posts: 4,107
    Very funny, Melissa! I may just surprise you! :woohoo:
  • mattk330mattk330 Posts: 74
    The magazine is great. No advertisements whatsoever. I love the color pics on the inside of the back cover...appeals to my hungry side to see photos.

    You have to like technical recipes to appreciate it though. They definitely find the best way to cook something...and they explain it well. Many of their recipes are too complicated for my wife to bother with. They have good tips and do great reviews.

    In a recent issue I made their mexican pulled pork (carnitas). Awesome!

    I love some of their them.
  • dbdb Posts: 37
    I remember subscribing to a golf book of the month club.
    The first couple of books were great. Then they sent me, The History of Ladies Golf in Great Britain between World War I and World War II.
    I used pages from it to light the fire in the egg.
  • Jersey DougJersey Doug Posts: 460
    I've subscribed to CI from the beginning. I like the product tests and comparisons and the tips, but it seems to me that over time the recipes are becoming more complicated and fussy.

    I did not receive the last 2007 issue. I telephoned them, struggled my way through a very unfriendly automated telephone system, and finally got through to a person who said they would send a replacement. That was months ago. The replacement never arrived. I finally bought a copy for $5 on eBay and pay another $4 for shipping. That moved them to the top of my list of magazines to drop when the subscription runs out. I've also been reading Saveur recently and I like it better.
  • UnConundrumUnConundrum Posts: 536
    I think it's one of the best.
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