Cook's Illustrated takes the work out of finding the best recipe for a particular dish. They test out many versions of a dish to come up with a great, fool-proof version. When I had a chef friend over I tried their stuffed chicken breast recipe, my friend was really impressed, and he kept asking me how I made it and what was in it. Their chocolate chip cookie recipe is the best! As good as or better than anything you would buy in a specialty shop. I have subscribed for over 6 years and it is the first place I turn for a recipe. I get frustrated when I cook from other magazines because many times the end product isn't worth the time or effort. CI's extensive recipe testing and well-written steps make all the difference. If you're going to subscribe to one magazine, this is it. Their website (fee based) is great too, well-worth the price! People are always complimenting my cooking when it comes from CI. It makes me look like a great cook. Buy a glossy magazine for the pretty pictures; buy Cooks Illustrated if you want to cook some pretty fabulous food!
I've lived most of my life convinced that good cooking requires tremendous effort and hard work. One must learn the culinary techniques, buy all the gear, find the ingredients, and finally slave away in the kitchen for hours on end. Imagine my suprise when I first stumbled on an issue of Cook's!
The techniques were clearly explained (with illustrations!), the time-saving gear was identified and reviewed, the ingredients were restricted to commonly available items, and the recipies were intentionally kept short and simple. Cook's is a revolutionary cooking publication in a genre that seems to traffic in complexity.
The other notable aspect of Cook's is the beauty of the writing. Who knew a cooking publication could be such a pleasure to read? From the editor's stories of boiling fresh maple syrup to the chef's adventures in fifty variations of chicken parmesean it's just high culinary adventure.
This is the 'Atlantic Monthly' or 'New Yorker' of cooking but without the pretense. Highly recommended!
I can't think of another culinary magazine that delivers so much good, well considered information each month. Editor Christopher Kimball has such a clear, thoughtful vision of what he wants to communicate, that the reader just gets pulled along. The recipes in this magazine are uniformly excellent. They are well researched, yes, but more importantly, they are well edited. There is no fluff; each word is there for a reason. Instead of wading through endless self-important puffery (like some other culinary magazines I won't mention), Cook's Illustrated has mastered the knack for providing just enough information to educate and entertain. It never preaches, never bores. The illustrations are top-flight, and if you can't learn 50 worthwhile things from every issue, then you're not paying attention!
Cook's Illustrated is not only my favorite cooking magazine, it's my favorite magazine--period.
This is the best cooking magazine I have ever read. It not only gives great recipes, it tells the "why" this is the best recipe and what results were obtained using different ingredients or methods. One can sit and read it cover to cover, and I do.
I am a culinary student at Johnson & Wales University. I absolutely love this magazine. I also subscribe to Bon Apetite and Gourmet but this particular magazine stands above them all. It is filled with lots of information. They test different products to let you know which is your best buy. As a future chef, I will always be reading this magazine just to further my knowledge on cooking techniques, methods, and just "did you know?" information. These recipes will surely show you the best way to cook and give you all the reasons as to why things are done in a certain matter. This makes a great gift for the cook at home!! Enjoy!
Cook's Illustrated is the one magazine that I renew immediately because I never want to miss an issue. It is packed full of information in its brief pages, and the recipes actually work in a typical, non-gourmet kitchen. If the process of preparing food doesn't really interest you, or if you are more interested in fabulous photos of resturant food that no one actually makes at home, then this is not the magazine for you. But if you want to understand the cooking process and want recipes for classic dishes that will actually work, there is no better publication. I have several hundred cookbooks, and yet often find myself turning to Cook's Illustrated when I want a great recipe for anything. I have subscribed since the premier issue, and my only complaint is that it is too long between issues. Fabulous!
I was turned onto this magazine a few yrs. ago by a couple of friends; and it's grown to be one of my favorites! The magazine does not take advertising, so each issue is cooking tips from cover-to-cover.
The bulk of the magazine is made up of recipes devoted to different dishes; with the test kitchens testing different ingredients and equipment to determine the best recipe, (ie 'best chocolate chip cookies'). There are also sections devoted to rating cookware and appliances. My favorite guilty pleasure is the front of each issue where readers write in describing an unknown kitchen gadget, and the editors tell them what the item is, and frequently the foreign culture that uses it.
All the techniques are illustrated with easy to follow sketches; so with the exception of the back page, there aren't the shiny, glossy, 'food-porn' photographs that are in other magazines. You can decide for yourself if this is a good or bad thing. Regardless, these are magazines you should love. You can also buy annual bound issues of the magazine.
Each issue of Cooks illustrated takes a detailed, almost scientific look at several different dishes (some of which you've heard of, others you have not) and based on their test results gives you their opinion on the best way to prepare each dish. The magazine also includes equipment tests and tips from readers. A good, entertaining, and informative magazine that will encourage you to cook new dishes as well as improve the ones you already do cook.
This magazine introduced me to the best approach to cooking successful dishes etc I have ever seen. The final product is important but it is even more important to understand why it is successful. Their evaluations of products, kitchen utensils, pans, pots, etc are valuable but they are also conscious of price which makes them very practical.
My husband and I have tried a number of recipes from the various Cook's Illustrated Magazine Issues as well as used their reviews and recommendations when purchasing products for our kitchen or recipes. CI hasn't failed us yet. By the way, we are both relatively novice cooks who are only a few steps past boiling water...