If you want a magazine with lots of glossy photos of fancy food in fancy bowls with exotic locales in the background then try Food & Wine or Gourmet magazines. But if you're looking for an unpretentious food magazine with recipes that will please family and friends Cook's Illustrated is a great choice. The format for this magazine delivers a lot of information in a small package. Each feature article takes you through the steps the author took to come up with the final recipe(s), telling you what works and what doesn't. This is important to me since I don't consider myself a "cookbook" cook but rather a "off the top of my head/using my wits" cook.
And if you like the magazine, the PBS show America's Test Kitchen is done by the same folks and has a similar style to it.
Great food, great (and unbiased) advice
Cooks Illustrated is an amazing resource, offering not only terrific recipes, but also the hows and whys. As a relatively experienced cook, I still learn a little something new from every issue, and really appreciate the trials that testers put each and every recipe through. Learning from their trial and error makes errors on my part less likely, resulting in some amazing meals (eg seared tuna in the February '03 issue). I also love the product reviews, which are helpful when contemplating purchases. The drawings really suit the publication's origin: Vermont. Practical and thorough, the drawings let the finished results - your meal - do the talking! Definitely a worthwhile subscription.
An Absolute Must!
This is an outstanding magazine. I've gave it to my wife 4-5 years ago as a Christmas. Her gripe is that I always read it first.
When I cook, I like to understand the chemistry behind the ingredients. This magazine does just that and saves me the time from experimenting. Articles approach a recipe from numerous angles and explains the pros and cons of the methodologies. For example, in the thanksgiving articles, they roasted numerous turkeys from different farms several different ways including variations of temperatures.
They have a good web site where their recipes are also posted (a nominal yearly fee).
My mother was a gourmet cook. She also tries the recipes and is thoroughly impressed with the depth of the article.
Wonderful accurate information on food, utensiles, products, etc. Great information about culinary treats and practices. Superb magazine. Every cook should read this.
I'm a piker as far as cooking goes, relatively speaking, and this mag has never steered me wrong. In fact, the damn thing is, dare I say, inspirational! Don't buy the zines at the checkout counter, instead get a subscription to this magazine. I think you'll be satisfied.
Cooking school magazine
Opening this magazine is like taking a step into cooking school. The information and techniques I've learned have boosted my cooking to a whole new level.
I really like the comarisons in cooking styles to achieve the best quality and report what extra steps work and which ones aren't necessary.
Great magazine for those of us that like to cook, want to get better, but can't take the time or afford to go to cooking school.
I really look forward to getting this magazine. It has wonderful tips for cooking, and for buying equipment for your kitchen.
Fantastic, educational kichen magazine!
'Cook's Illustrated' is the magazine we read cover-to-cover as soon as it arrives. It is much more than the typical cooking magazine and that's why I refer to it as a 'kitchen magazine'. It's such a wonderful resource for learning about kitchen appliances, tools and methods. My husband is the real chef in our family and this is the one cooking magazine he simply will not do without. We appreciate that the 'Cook's Illustrated' staff does the homework for us by testing brands, cooking methods, and kitchen tools.
For example, the January-February 2010 issue contains great info such as "Keeping a Cleaner, Safer Kitchen" (many helpful hints that you probably hadn't thought of), "The Best Way to Fight Kitchen Fires" (they tested and rated various brands of fire extinguishers) and this issue's recipes include REAL Chicago style Deep Dish Pizza, genuine (N'awlins style!) Cajun Red Beans and Rice, plus many more. But they don't just give you a recipe: they try different methods and explain which method worked best and why. That's the most valuable feature for us.
This magazine makes a wonderful gift for newleyweds or simply for anyone who enjoys learning about food and better ways to prepare it. One other really great feature: no advertisements!
Consumer Reports for food
We've subscribed for years and along with the companion "Best Recipe" cookbook it's my most trusted resource. The dear, departed Gourmet mag and cookbook run a close second. Some people get all worked up over Chris K to which I say relax already. He doesn't write the recipes and if you ignore his letter from the publisher you won't know he's there.
The greatest cooking magazine for cooks who want to really learn about cooking. For experienced cooks as well as amateurs. Great tips on preparation, cooking and storing techniques, information about the best and worst products, as well as very special, yet practical recipes. Also, can appeal to a man who loves to cook, as it's not all about pretty pages, pictures, and presentation. A very useful tool, and unlike any cook book or magazine I own!