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Old 03-07-2012, 03:55 PM   #1
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Does anyone else find the Cook's Illustrated website to be annoying?

My pet peeve of the day.

I have a paid subscription to Cook's Illustrated Magazine. I also own several of their cookbooks. On top of that, I pay another $25 or so per year to subscribe to their website content.

So why is it that every other time I try to use their site to pull up a recipe, I get a message that says: "Sorry. This page is for Editors' Choice Cookbook Collection Members Only". And there's a link to "upgrade" my membership.

WTF? It seems ridiculous for them to charge a premium above and beyond the ludicrous sum I'm already paying. I feel like Chrisopher Kimball has his bony little hand in my back pocket (and that's a scary thought).

Sorry, but I had to vent.

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Old 03-07-2012, 04:58 PM   #2
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I hear you and I agree.

I used to frequent their site and forum. I left because there is an attitude about them I did not and do not care for. It rears it's ugly head on their TV shows too but it's less annoying. It's also evidenced in their pricing schemes as you have noticed.
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:12 PM   #3
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I subscribed to Cooks Country because one of the issues had a recipe for Barberton (my home town in OH) Fried Chicken. Fond memories, etc. Then, somehow, I got an unasked-for cookbook in the mail, which I did keep and pay for but sent them a note in no uncertain terms that they were not to send me anything else without a request. I doubt that I will renew. Too pricey.

When I get one of their enticing e-mails soliciting a subscription, all the good stuff is inaccessible and just serves to annoy me.
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:17 PM   #4
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So it's less annoying to be cheap?
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:50 PM   #5
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I feel the same way about their site. Do like the magazine so that is all I do.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:35 PM   #6
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I used to be a fan of cooks illustrated, but now it just seems like a big money grab.

They repeat recipes over and over in their cookbooks. There seems to be some errors too, I have seen the same recipe for yellow butter cake with different amounts of flour, no wonder I had this cake fail and turn into an eggy dense mess. I made the gingerbread recipe from the Family Baking Book and I am not sure if it is incorrect, but the flavor was so incredibly pungent that we couldn't eat it, and my partner can eat pure ginger without flinching. I made their multigrain bread too, it was supposed to make one loaf but the dough filled the pan completely with little room to rise, it was dense and not very good.

Since these recipes are supposed to be tested over and over, I tend to follow the instructions exactly and turn off my instinct. They say that 1 cup of flour should weigh 5 oz. King Arthur Flour says 4.25 oz. I have had much better results going with the 4.25 oz. measure. When I measure a cup of flour, it weighs 4.25 oz. How could they be that far off?

I have gotten a few great recipes from them, but I am pretty much done feeding the Cooks Illustrated machine.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
So it's less annoying to be cheap?
It's the non-stop aggressive in-your-face sales tactics I find to be annoying. It would be one thing if I were trying to get something for nothing, but I've already shelled out more than $50. And I don't mind the fact that they have "premium content" (though I'm not sure what exactly classifies it as premium) but if I don't have access to it, don't put it in my search results and then blast a message on the screen like I'm breaking and entering.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:11 PM   #8
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I have had mixed results with their recipes as well.

What really bothers me is how the TV shows always present their recipes as the very best ever "x". I'm getting tired of watching Chris Kimball swoon with the first mouthful of every dish.

My intelligence is insulted by all that and the fact that the start every recipe presentation with an overacted offering of just how bad the usual preparation is.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:15 PM   #9
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I'm sorry to hear Chrisopher Kimball is involved. I've really liked him on America's Test Kitchen. ATK had been one of my favorite television cooking shows.

I can understand free content, in some cases a teaser. I can understand paid content = premium content. I can't understand "premium premium" content for those who already paid. What next? "Premium premium content?" For those who already paid for "premium premium" content?

Hey, I'm not a cow! Don't milk me! I'll appreciate the free content. I may be willing to pay for premium content. But don't milk it to death!
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:26 PM   #10
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I hear you and I agree.

I used to frequent their site and forum. I left because there is an attitude about them I did not and do not care for. It rears it's ugly head on their TV shows too but it's less annoying. It's also evidenced in their pricing schemes as you have noticed.
The "vibe" over there is a real pain in the..... I didn't like it and left.
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