"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cooking Resources > Cookbooks, Software etc.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-07-2006, 06:05 PM   #1
Cooking Links Contest Winner
 
shannon in KS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Wamego, KS
Posts: 1,196
Send a message via Yahoo to shannon in KS
Cook's Illustrated magazine

I received a trial issue offer for CI... AND! I get a free grater with paid subscription!!!

What do y'all think of Cook's Illustrated? I had never picked up and/or read an issue, but it seemed have a lot of useful information.

__________________

__________________
~ Shannon

shannon in KS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2006, 09:56 PM   #2
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,339
On one hand, they have a very good magazine with well tested recipes. The other features are also very good. It's an expensive mag but tends to have more of the stuff I'm interested in. It's nto loaded with "Special Advertising Sections" and articles about the best restaurant on top of Mount Everest.

On the other hand, I'm irritated by their, "This is the very best recipe for 'whatever' in the world." They do a lot of testing of different combinations of ingredients and cooking methods to come up with their final recipes. As a result their attitude seems to be that their recipe is the definitive choice for whatever they cook. (I know, this is my hangup).

I use several of their recipes because they are good, but they usually get my personal touch to "improve" them.
__________________

__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2006, 12:16 AM   #3
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: New Buffalo, Michigan
Posts: 954
Send a message via Yahoo to Erik
All cooking mags can be insightful, but like Andy stated, your personal touch makes things that much better.
I'm waiting for my second issue of "Everyday With Rachael Ray"
__________________
Erik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2006, 12:41 AM   #4
Executive Chef
 
corazon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Native New Mexican, now live in Bellingham, WA
Posts: 3,859
I'm a big fan of Fine Cooking. I like how a lot, but not all, of the time they give a basic recipe with a bunch of different ideas on how to play with that recipe. My fave is for baked pasta. They give so many ideas that I have never made it the same way twice, from spicy sausage in a red sauce with bunches of veggies to chicken tomato cream sauce with mushrooms and asparagus. Goodness, this is making me hungry!
__________________
"There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings." http://aidancallum.blogspot.com/
corazon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2006, 03:26 AM   #5
Executive Chef
 
ironchef's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: The SPAM eating capital of the world.
Posts: 3,558
It depends on your skill level and interest. If you really don't understand the concept of say, browning or reducing, Cooks Illustrated is very good because it teaches you the basics and the techniques behind them. However, people who know their way around the kitchen and understand most elements and concepts of cooking may find Cooks Illustrated a little boring. In that case, it would be good for maybe browsing through and looking for ideas but it wouldn't be something that you would really delve into.
__________________
"Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
ironchef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2006, 09:32 AM   #6
Cooking Links Contest Winner
 
shannon in KS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Wamego, KS
Posts: 1,196
Send a message via Yahoo to shannon in KS
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik
All cooking mags can be insightful, but like Andy stated, your personal touch makes things that much better.
I'm waiting for my second issue of "Everyday With Rachael Ray"
I bought the premier Everyday issue, and just wasn't impressed with it... I may buy a few more off the stand to see if I like it.

And thanks everyone for your opinions. I was kinda wavering for all the reasons that were mentioned also. I may check out a few future issues before subscribing! Thanks!
__________________
~ Shannon

shannon in KS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2006, 10:07 AM   #7
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,862
Erik

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik
All cooking mags can be insightful, but like Andy stated, your personal touch makes things that much better.
I'm waiting for my second issue of "Everyday With Rachael Ray"

I like her too
__________________
In the Kitchen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2006, 04:59 PM   #8
Master Chef
 
Michael in FtW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 6,592
Overall - I like Cook's Illustrated. In terms of the number of pages, it's not many for what you pay. On the other hand, it has a lot of information in those few pages that you are not going to get from a mag that depends on "advertising" dollars.

Like Andy M. - I'm sometimes annoyed by what they consider to be "the best" recipe for something. However, I do enjoy reading the narrative of how they reached their conclusions. While they generally nail the cooking methods down they do sometimes have a faux pas (in my opinion) in ingredients. By knowing how they derived the recipe I have an idea about how to "adjust" it to my Southern tastes (nothing personal but they are a bunch of New Englanders and have their regional taste preferences) but I can still learn a sometimes better cooking method, or at least give me another way to view what I had been doing.

Okay - they do a lot of testing to try to come up with the best recipe, and think they have succeeded. Have you ever seen a book claiming to be the "Second" or "Third" best recipes? How about one that claims to be just "mediocre" or the "worst"?

I'm not picking on the CI staff for having New England taste preferences. It's just a matter of fact that people from different parts of the country have different views on how some dishes should taste. For example - Jeff Smith (The Frugal Gourmet) in his book "Cooks American" in the chapter on Soul Food suggested that the way to complete a meal of Black-Eyed Peas and Ham Hocks was to, "Add a salad and some rolls and enjoy," - anyone who knows anything about soul food, or southern cooking, would know the way to complete a meal of black-eyes and ham hocks would be "boiled greens and cornbread".

But, Cook's Illustrated goes beyond just recipes. And, I love all the "other stuff" as much if not more than the recipes. I really enjoy their equipment reviews, as I do their taste tests of "off-the-shelf" stuff.

Is it worth it? That depends - is it worth it to you?
__________________
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
Michael in FtW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2006, 09:54 PM   #9
Head Chef
 
Zereh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Bellevue, WA
Posts: 1,548
Cook's Illustrated is one of my favorites. I've had excellent luck with everything of theirs that I've ever tried to replicate. My only, teeny-tiny whine is that I wish there were more meatless dishes. =P

I also like their product / equipment reviews.

I also subscribe to their on-line site. Love that just as much!


Z
__________________
Zereh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2006, 08:17 AM   #10
Chef Extraordinaire
 
mudbug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: NoVA, beyond the Beltway
Posts: 11,166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
"Add a salad and some rolls and enjoy,"
LOL, Michael. Good old Jeff suggested that for just about every dish, as I remember. And a glass of white.
__________________

__________________
Kool Aid - Think before you drink.
mudbug is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.