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Old 07-06-2007, 12:15 PM   #1
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Is Cook's Illustrated really the best?

I used to think cooks illustrated was the best of all cooking magazines.

Is there anything better?

Their equipment reviews are great. But their recipes seem to be too finicky and involved. And many seem to turn out disappointing.


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Old 07-06-2007, 12:29 PM   #2
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There's no such thing as "best." It depends on what you are after.

CI is an excellent magazine if you are after technical knowledge about cooking, ingredients, equipment, etc. The hows and whys behind a recipe.

I actually think their recipes are some of the simpler ones out there and I've only ocassionally run into a clunker.

They have a companion magazine called "Cooks Country" that is aimed more at simpler more "homestyle" cooking. They also have cooking contests. I've enetered a few but not won any (yet! )

I like CI as well as Bon Appetit, Saveur, and Fine Cooking. I also buy Food and Wine occassionally too. I prefer magazines that include a lot more than recipes.

Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
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Old 07-06-2007, 01:05 PM   #3
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I was going to say pretty much what Jennyema said.

Personally, I don't care much for Cooks Illustrated. However, I know a lot of folks who love it. My favorite consumer magazine is Saveur, and I've been know to buy each of the others on occasion. I'm always on the lookout for foreign mags, tho, like Cuisine from New Zealand, and the English version of Cucina Italiana... those really let you in on their culture, as well as the food.
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Old 07-06-2007, 01:52 PM   #4
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I agree it's all about personal perferences. I like CI but only get it occasionally. I've had good luck with the recipes but sometimes it gets a little "wordy" for me. My new fav is Cuisine and Home and I really like Fine Cooking as well. Was a Bon Appetit subscriber for many years but gave that up about 6 months ago. Not enough about cooking for my tastes, too many ads etc.
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Old 07-06-2007, 01:57 PM   #5
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Cook Illustrated is like many of the shows on FN: geared more towards beginning-average cooks while covering the basics. It's great if you want to read a 2 page step-by-step instruction on learning how to roast a chicken, and find out which whisk worked best in their test kitchen.

For myself, I'll stick to Food and Wine, Wine Spectator (which has great food/restaurant articles), Saveur, Restaurant Hospitality, and Food Arts.
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Old 07-06-2007, 02:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by scrambledeggs
I used to think cooks illustrated was the best of all cooking magazines.

Is there anything better?

Their equipment reviews are great. But their recipes seem to be too finicky and involved. And many seem to turn out disappointing.
I subscribed to Cooks' Illustrated for 3 years and decided that the recipes are indeed too involved and like ScrambledEggs, I didn't think they were all that great. I've gotten better recipes for the same dish from FoodTV network and now prefer those recipes to C.I. I love Giada's recipes and some of Tyler Florence's dishes are great. I like being able to see the finished product. What I did like about C.I. were the kitchen tips. I found those very helpful and clever. I read that magazine at my library and make a copy of the kitchen tip page.
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Old 07-06-2007, 02:59 PM   #7
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I basically agree with Jenny. I like CI, love the approach of listing the various experiments they tried. But it is basic cooking, you are not going to find anything fancy. But I think it does what it purports to do well.

Get Saveur and FC and enjoy both. The Bon Apetit and Food and Wine and Gourmet triad I got for several years but also got bored with. Now I only buy a random issue now and again and it generally reinforces why I don't resubscribe.

To each his own I guess.
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Old 07-06-2007, 03:01 PM   #8
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I got a sample in the mail and the reading material was just too much for me. Especially at this time in my life. I could change my mind when I have more time to spend reading.

I could only pick one magazine to order and I ended up picking Cuisine at Home. I loved the first issue.
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Old 07-06-2007, 03:36 PM   #9
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"Saveur" is my hands-down favorite after years of getting "Gourmet", "Bon Appetit", & a host of others, although I also subscribe to & enjoy "Eating Well".
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:46 PM   #10
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i'm really enjoying my new subscription to cuisine at home magazine.

Cooking Magazine — Cuisine at home

no ads.
great pictures.
great recipes.
easy instructions.
q & a.
equipment reviews, etc.

so far, so good.

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