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What is your favorite Cooking Magazine

My favorite for recipes has been Cook's Illustrated but I was recently looking at Fine Cooking and it also looked very good. What are your favorites for recipes?

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  1. I enjoy looking at the recipes (and pictures!) from other magazines, but I tend to actually use the ones in Cooking Light.

    2 Replies
      1. re: Cinnamon

        Cooking Light is my favorite too, been a subscriber for years! I've honestly never had a bad meal!

    1. Saveur. The recipes aren't reliable but the food-porn aspect is hard to beat.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Saveur for me too. I like their attitude.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Yes, that's what I mean. The photographs in Saveur are amazing and the writing is interesting. I rarely want to eat anything I see in it, though. Maybe it's too authentic for me. I almost think of it as a travel magazine.

          1. re: Glencora

            I'm always reading about things I want to eat in their articles. Doesn't this one make you hungry?

            http://www.saveur.com/article.jsp?ID=...

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Oh, okay, you win. I'm hungry, now. Food porn, indeed. In general, I'm conflicted about eating duckies and bunnies and such. I KNOW they taste good. Sigh... I guess it's my problem, not the magazine's.

              I agree with you about Cooks Illustrated.

            2. re: Glencora

              I cook from it and have their 3 cookbooks too. I have not had any recipe failures from the magazine or the books.

              1. re: Glencora

                I agree with it being like a "travel mag". Personally I only care for about 50% of the writing. It just isnt engaging to me, but the pictures are by far superior to any other magazine, in my opinion.

              2. re: Robert Lauriston

                I love Saveur, too. Everything I've ever made has turned out beautifully, but that amounts to, oh, three recipes in as many years.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Saveur is absolutely gorgeous (a little thin lately) and I'm still frequently making the stuffed clams recipe they published in the fall.

                2. Mine would be Cooks Illustrated and Fine Home Cooking.

                  I would buy any magazine that has a column with Shirley Coorhier.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Kelli2006

                    I like Cook's Illustrated, but it's not worth it. There's maybe 5 recipes per magazine and most of them are meat. My year's subscription was worth the biscuit recipe I clipped from there. And what's with charging subscribers to use the web site. That's just....wrong.

                    I read it in the check out line if there's no one interesting to talk to in line around me.

                  2. I hate Cook's Illustrated. The obsessive-compulsive engineer's approach to perfecting recipes creeps me out. The product comparisons usually include few if any of the brands availble in my area.

                    Plus they're horrible spammers. Plus they tried to trick me into subscribing by sending bogus "past due" notices.

                    15 Replies
                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      I have used so many recipes that do not work because somebody got sloppy, I appreciate the obsessive nature of the recipes.

                      I have noticed that many of the products tested and recommended are not in my area, but the editorial form and lack of advertising made up for it.
                      The spamming that you talk about is prevalent in all magazines that I don't pay attention to it. I know what I have subscribed to, and I know when I have to mail in my renewal, so the spam gets the "round file" apron arrival.

                      1. re: Kelli2006

                        Cook's Illustrated's the only magazine I've had send me 2nd, 3rd, and 4th "past due" notices, with the last including a warning that not paying could affect my credit rating. I finally filed a mail-fraud complaint with the USPS and they stopped.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          Robert Lauriston, I have never had that experience, but I would be equally upset if that happened to me as well. I have noticed that they have gotten more aggressive, but I have never received a threat to my credit rating. That sort of behavior is unconscionable.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            Actually, I think Food and Wine is worse about the constant baragge of renewal notices and past due notices. Plus, they tried to charge my credit card for a second year subscription without my authorization! I did not find Food and Wine worth it for a year, and would not recommend it to anyone.

                            That said, Cook's Illustrated does send way too many emails! Agh!!

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              Unreal! And I thought my experience with Rolling Stone sending me a "May we assume you're too old to rock and roll card?" was over the top!

                            2. re: Kelli2006

                              Cook's Ilustrated - I enjoy their TV show a lot because they are silly and they joke some, but they come across as so uptight in print that I hated the magazine and cancelled it. Cookbooks are somewhere in between- useable and helpful for basics but not particularly fun or inspiring.

                              For me, Cooking Light imploded around the low carb craze time. I think they got shrill and defensive and started using more and more prepared foods - ugh. I can figure out how to buy a rotisserie chicken and a bag of salad if I need to.

                              Saveur is fun and I, for one, appreciate the risks Gourmet has taken with their articles. However, I have recently noticed some sort of trend in Gourmet toward the Bon Appetite "lifestyle" picnics. You know, those picture spreads of quaint or trendy folks chowing down on home baked buscuits al fresco or on their urban rooftop gardens. Hate that stuff and I hope they get away from it soon. Give me more articles about putting wine glass shapes to the test, or the dangers of transfat, or the ethics of lobster.

                              1. re: LizATL

                                I absolutely agree with you about the 'lifestyle magazine' creep in Gourmet and B.A. I've stopped buying them because halfway through I'd hit those spreads and trash the thing.

                                1. re: LizATL

                                  The "lifestyle" picnic spreads (good description) have been showing up everywhere; Sunset does 'em, too. I think they originated w/ Martha Stewart. The thing I hope doesn't seep into other cooking mags from MS is perfume ads. That is just....nasty and evil.

                                  1. re: MollyGee

                                    That's why I can't stand Sunset. I feel that I ought to be living the west coast lifestyle with a pizza oven next to a hot tub on my patio. Their landscaping articles make me livid. I do use their recipes, sometimes. They're the best part of the magazine, I think.

                                    1. re: Glencora

                                      I thought BA started the trend, but Martha could be to blame. It is why I cancelled my BA subscription after many, many years. The absolute WORST are the ones that are seasonal or holiday spreads that are obviously done months in advance. How do they even fake that stuff like Thanksgiving? I don't recall specifically, but they must use climate neutral places for those "winter" holiday spreads that they shoot in July.

                                      Ah, there's grandpappy now, coming in with the freshly roasted goose and the homemade fudge to give to the cute twins dressed in matching LL Bean wear. Oh, and that cousin Sissy sneaking a piece of the pear tart in the Wolf-outfitted kitchen is such a scamp!

                                      1. re: Glencora

                                        Whoops. I meant to reply to Glencora on the Sunset subtopic.

                                        Yeah. Plus Sunset also does some shady subscriber stuff that makes me wonder if I should renew every year. They just about demand your subscriber name and address every time you try to use their web site, so it's almost useless, in my opinion. And they try to ding re-subscribers by charging almost twice as much via renewal notices as you'd pay if you subscribed off of a store-bought magazine's subscription card (and even the subscriber-magazine subscription cards have the higher price). That's just sleazy in my book.

                                        But, yes, good recipes.

                                      2. re: MollyGee

                                        Sunset has been around forever, and they preceded Martha by decades in the "lifestyle" stuff you're talking about. I am a big fan of the output of the Martha Stewart empire, but when I lived in Iowa, there was an article in the magazine about a "typical" Iowa farm picnic that was unintentionally laugh-out-loud hilarious. I knew the people whose farm (near Iowa City) was chosen for the shoot. The magazine staff involved asked Iowans what they like to have at picnics, and the answer was basically, "brats and beer." They replied with, "No, no! A really _nice_ picnic." The reply: "Brats and beer." The recipes developed to show a typical Iowa picnic were something like marmalade glazed chicken dish and salads with ingredients reminiscent of California. The text of the article was overly florid and great to read to groups of Iowans if you wanted a really good laugh.

                                  2. re: Robert Lauriston

                                    Chris Kimball lives on a different planet.

                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                      Agreed! "We tried baking it upside down, with a three quarter turn, and some tasters thought it tasted flat. So we baked it right side up, with a 6th of a turn, and added a little supermarket mayo, and it worked. Here is the recipe....."

                                    2. I'm not really recommending this as my favorite, but the recipes in Southern Living can be amazing to read after you've just read Cooking Light. There are some indulgences, to put it mildly.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Cinnamon

                                        Man alive! I just made these muffins last night:

                                        http://food.southernliving.com/southe...

                                        Soooooo goood. I am almost willing to subscribe!

                                        1. re: Cinnamon

                                          For those hho don't like Sunset, I believe Southern Living is a regional affiliate.

                                        2. I am finding Kitchen & Cook from the Culinary Institute of American pretty interesting recently. Saveur and The Rosengarten Report are favorites, although the latter more for information and sources than actual cooking. I like Cook's Illustrated as well. Am more into cook books than cooking magazines, and so much information is available online.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Jesdamala

                                            I let Kitchen & Cook lapse. It was just too basic.

                                          2. FOOD AND WINE!! I find it to be the best all around food mag, good recipes, nice photography, lots of recipes, way too many ads, I concede that, but it's my fave general food mag by far.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: prunefeet

                                              Agree -- surprised that no one has mentioned it before now. Some of my favorite recipes are from these pages. I'm sure to like just about anything marked a "staff favorite."

                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                I continue to be surprised that you and I are the only ones so far!

                                                1. re: prunefeet

                                                  I enjoy Food & Wine as well. I've made at least a dozen recipes from their pages in the past year, and I don't follow recipes too exactly, but the stuff always turns out really well. It never fails to inspire a few meals a month.

                                                  There's a bit of that lifestyle stuff in it which people are slagging on, but it makes me laugh; and, heck, cooking is my lifestyle too. It just happens in a much less glamorous, much more cramped kitchen.

                                            2. I get Saveur. Great photography but the writing is a little annoying and breathy. The recipes can be hit or miss but present the concept and sense well.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: ML8000

                                                You are the second person here to mention that Saveur recipes can be
                                                unreliable. I've found them perfect, without fail.

                                              2. I'm glad to see that so many enjoy Saveur. I've never tried any of the recipes, rather i sethem for inspiration... but I would never use a recipe out of a magazine other than cook's illustrated. I love Saveur because my impression is that they report on truly authentic foods. The best way to blow someone's mind with your creativity is to just rip off an unknown authentic classic.

                                                1. I get a great mag called the art of eating. not strictly recipes and kind of expensive but a great read and something i like to look at over and over.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                    1. re: bolivianita

                                                      I look forward to getting my Art of Eating, too. Really interesting articles. And occasionally I have cooked out if it.

                                                    2. Another non-cooking one: Gastronomica. http://www.gastronomica.org/

                                                      There's an expensive British magazine that's also great, can't remember the title.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                        There are tons of food mags in London! Square Meal is good, but not really recipe laden. But I saw some familiar faces while there. For example, did you know that Paula Deen has a magazine? Now that doesn't surprise me, but it was one of the few American ones on sale in London. And I guess they like Giada and Tyler there as those were the two FN shows on their food channel.

                                                        TT

                                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                          I love Gastronomica. I want a subscription.

                                                          Are you talking about delicious from the U.K.? I like that one too.

                                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                            Gastronomica for me, too. Can't say that I have cooked much out of it, but I certainly have learned at lot. And the cover of the very first issue let you know that the publication was into serious food porn...

                                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                              Bravo for Gastronomica. I'm a big fan of it - I can always find several articles to thoroughly enjoy from each issue. From one issue to the next I never know what it'll be that'll catch my interest next, given the expansive nature of the publication. It may be an article about Japanese "gurume" (gourmet) manga in one issue, or about Careme in another. It might be coverage of the automats, or about an up and coming artist in the next.

                                                              Amongst mainstream publications I generally do not find that they catch my interest consistently enough, but I did recently start a subscription to Saveur, which seems to stand out from the others in their approach. Very much about "real food culture" around the world. In this way their culinary articles provide something quite unique amongst the big foodie magazines: their writing never disembodies the food from the people and the places that create them like many other publications seem to do, but rather goes out of their way to celebrate these connections.

                                                            2. At this moment in time...WeightWatchers Magazine. There are some very good recipes actually.

                                                              1. I used to get Food Arts but let it lapse. It is a mag for food professionals but had some great recipes and good food and restaurant gossip. I don't know why I let it go. Maybe it is time to resubscribe.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Candy

                                                                  I like Food Arts too. Some of it is boring, but I like the restaurant news and different perspective...writing by professionals for professionals. It's free if one is in the food industry.

                                                                  I don't currently subscribe to any mags because I don't think any of them are worth a full subscription, but Saveur remains my mainstream favorite. I like the global coverage and seemingly authentic recipes; every recipe I have tried has worked well. I just wish their website had more recipes in its database...

                                                                  Delicious and Donna Hay out of New Zealand are also fun to flip through at the bookstore.

                                                                2. It's a newsletter, not a mag, but it is the most reliable food writing in the US: Simple Cooking, by John and Matt Thorne.

                                                                  Given that you like CI, I would venture that your tastes would find Fine Cooking better than many of more food porn (lifestyle) mags that are meant to appeal more to imagination and desire than food.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Karl S

                                                                    I agree with the Fine Cooking recommendation. While the recipes are not necessarily trendy, the always turn out really well. I also appreciate the fact that they print the nutrition info for all of their recipes in the back of the magazine, while I don't always look at it, it's handy to have if I'm cooking for anyone who has special dietary needs.

                                                                    1. re: Karl S

                                                                      Fine Cooking is a serious cooks magazine - it teaches technique, not just hype about the latest celebu-chef. And Molly Stevens is an editor, author of one of the best technique books out there, All About Braising.

                                                                      I used to like Food & Wine, as it had a good concentration on wine. But they started doing aritcles on Bravo's Top Chef, or whatever the heck that reality garbage is called. Please, lets just keep it to the food and wine -- good food is so great, without having to Paris Hilton it all up.

                                                                    2. I like Cuisine At Home. Recipes all turn out and taste good. It reminds me of Cook's Illustrated without the analysis of how the writer came up with the recipe and it has color pictures.

                                                                      1. EatingWell is my favorite - beautiful pictures, and a focus on healthful and seasonal cooking. Especially great are the articles that focus on several preparations for a single vegetable, like zucchini, beets or bok choy.... they always inspire me to eat my veggies! The magazine only comes out every two months, and it's quite slim compared to the massive Cooking Light I receive monthly, but the recipes and articles all seem carefully considered and well chosen.

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Raedia

                                                                          Raedia, nice to find a fellow fan of Eating Well. I love that the magazine features produce as a mainstay; whether veggie or not. It's one of the few magazines I find myself holding onto and the website is super. Far more affordable than others as well. Advertisements yes, but 99% are in line with the mags philosophy.

                                                                          1. re: Raedia

                                                                            I also love Eating Well. I had a subscription to Cooking Light for many years and 1.5 years ago picked up my first copy of Eating Well. I was converted! Articles I enjoy reading. Food I love cooking and eating.

                                                                            1. re: juliebird

                                                                              Hear, hear! Eating Well is a wonderful magazine, one of the few that I read from cover to cover. The recipes almost always turn out well, and some are standouts. I made half my Thanksgiving dinner from the November issue, and it turned out beautifully.

                                                                          2. Cooking Light! I've not made anything from that magazine that has not been tasty and good. Epicurious.com is technically, not a magazine but I peruse through it for recipes.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: LCM

                                                                              Yes! I can't believe I forgot about this one. I don't always use light ingredients and the recipes are always great.
                                                                              I make a yummy meatball with asian rice noodles from CL that is a summertime favorite.

                                                                            2. I really like Martha Stewart Living for recipes. I've found that they are always reliable, the pictures are lovely and there is a balance in the recipes (some salads, some veggie main dishes, some desserts, etc). I know you're rolling your eyes at me. I don't care.

                                                                              Her Everyday Food mag is awful, though. This month's (or last month's -my daughter has already cut it up) had steps missing for the carmelized walnuts, had a photo w/ an overly ripe avocado, and had recipes that cut lots of corners and were just generally lazily concieved.

                                                                              I also like Sunset. The recipes really focus on fresh and local foods and I appreciate that.

                                                                              Bon Apetit has always been very reliable, but I don't care about kitchen remodels and pricey cocktail glasses. Everything I've made from BA has been very good.

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: MollyGee

                                                                                I like Everyday Food. I'm not a slavish recipe follower; in fact, I couldn't follow a recipe exactly if my life depended on it. But Everyday Food always has a number of interesting, quick, fresh dinner ideas that I really like. It's terrible porn, yes, but I like to eat the food, not the pictures. Martha Stewart Living is excellent but usually a bit too frou-frou for me, when I'm in a hurry.

                                                                                I also had a terrible, terrible experience with Cooks Illustrated spamming me, sending misleading mail notices, and refusing to cancel an ongoing book order (the magazine indexes) despite many, many requests. They were just evil people to me. I'm sorry, because I like a lot of what's in the mag; I like the exploratory "let's just TRY it each way" spirit. But I'll never let them have another dime of mine.

                                                                                1. re: fnarf

                                                                                  I second Everyday Food. I like the simplicity of its recipes and the nearly always delicious results I get and the compliments I receive when I've prepared something from the magazine. I also like the show on PBS and Channel 21 here in NYC. Another favorite is Cooking Lights--it's a great overall health/fitness/recipes/lifestyle magazine--one of the few that does it well and doesn't come across too frou-frou like some of its competitors. However, I have found several of the recipies I've tried to be somewhat underseasoned (and I'm not a salt fan). And definitely Martha Stewart.

                                                                                  1. re: gloriousfood

                                                                                    I like that show, too-- they produce the recipes through very clear, practical steps, and most of the dishes are things people really can make at home without much fuss. I just wish the personalities on the show were more...'vibrant'. They don't need to be Rachel Ray or Paula Deen, but they seem sleepy....

                                                                                  2. re: fnarf

                                                                                    I like Everyday Food also, for quick and easy ideas for weeknight meals, mostly. I don't follow recipes exactly, so I can't comment on that, but I do get ideas from it. I also like CI, CL, and Fine Cooking. CL is a bit annoying because there is so much besides recipes; I guess I like the more focused mags. But I do occasionally use the CL recipes. I've also been getting Penzey's ONE for a few months, and I kind of like that also, although I wouldn't say the most of the recipes are necessarily all that chowish. But I have found some very good ones, or some that gave me ideas that turned out well.

                                                                                  3. re: MollyGee

                                                                                    i second the martha stewart living for recipes, always delicious and especially for desserts...not shy at all about using butter etc mm mm good. plus way pretty pictures.

                                                                                    1. re: MollyGee

                                                                                      Don't worry, you're not alone... I love Martha! But, I'm crafty too, so I like all the articles, not just the food ones!

                                                                                    2. I agree that many BA articles are stilted-looking and off-putting, but the food photos are terrific and the recipes are consistently very good. It's interesting that this string started off with most people praising Saveur for the articles, but if you flip to the home cooking board, it's common to find people referring to recipes from Epicurious, which is BA's database.
                                                                                      If you want to read about food, Saveur or Gourmet are best, but for avid cooks looking to try something new at home, BA-Epicurious is hard to beat.

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Mr. Cookie

                                                                                        Yes! Epicurious.com is splendid and *free*.

                                                                                        1. re: MollyGee

                                                                                          Yes, good resource but the readers comments are often silly,
                                                                                          comment on recipes they haven't followed or altered.

                                                                                          1. re: serious

                                                                                            The comments are the best part! "I didn't have all-purpose flour and so I used Bisquik instead.blahblahblah I'll never make this recipe again." They're like little cooking do's and don'ts with an emphasis on the dont's.

                                                                                            1. re: serious

                                                                                              Oh god... I wish I would have never started reading those! It all happened one day when I was on Food Network's site and I saw that a Bellini recipe had a really bad rating and I thought to myself, well, now how can a bellini recipe possibly be bad? So, I clicked on the reviews and that's where I discovered the whole hatred of Sandra Lee that was out there! Now, I don't want to read the reviews on epicurious, but it's like a bad car wreck, I can't look away! And often times, I don't try a recipe just because it has a few bad reviews! I hate it! Down with the reviews! ;-)

                                                                                        2. Bon Apetite, and Food and Wine are the only 2 I have tried. Many good recipies from each.

                                                                                          1. Bon Appetit has the best recipes of all of the cooking magazines in my humble opinion. I save all of their "world" issues and loved the Mexican theme from a few years back. I still make the recipe for Snapper Veracruz and think it's the best I've tried. I also loved their Thanksgiving issue from 1995 - they had wonderful regional ideas for stuffing - and the cranberry, sausage and leak is one we make over and over again!

                                                                                            I also like Food and Wine. Not big on Gourmet magazine, although I work with media and just met a delightful writer for that publication, so I may be changing my tune!

                                                                                            I also love Cooking Light - agree with everyone on that front. Excellent ideas for recipes that I make over and over again.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: isabellaflynn

                                                                                              that thanksgiving issue was excellent from a few years back, I have gotten many recipies including a decadent 3 layer carrot cake from Bon Apetite.

                                                                                            2. I used to love Gourmet before 1999...unfortunately it is no longer a great magazine for those who like to cook...too few recipes...more emphasis on personalities...trying to appeal to a younger market that may not cook at all. I now use Cooking Light, Sauvier, Fine Cooking, Cooks Illustated and Bon Appetit more frequently. Plus I still have all the 1982-1999 issues of Gourmet so I just pull out the current month's past years editions and reread...always find something I failed to try in the past or a reminder of a dish I loved. Very reliable.

                                                                                              1. Cook's Illustrated and Cooking Light.

                                                                                                1. Not many people know it, but I really like Chile Pepper--lots of recipes and a focus on heavy spicing and foods from around the world.

                                                                                                  1. Wow- so sad to hear about the antics of Cook's Illustrated. I really enjoy it. I love materials that tell you why something is the way it is, that way I can make my own decisions in other situations. Sort of the Alton Brown approach.

                                                                                                    1. delicious is good...but it is very pricey as well as gastronomica

                                                                                                      Usually I go for saveur. Food & Wine is hit or miss, some months its all about food and some months its all about wine. I am not that big of a wine-lover, but I get the magazine anyways because of the great recipes and food write-ups.

                                                                                                      The best thing about saveur is that it doesn't have 50 pages of ads like gourmet has

                                                                                                            1. re: jenniebnyc

                                                                                                              yes me too, cooking light, and southern cooking.

                                                                                                              And Cook's Illustrated, to me is just dull.

                                                                                                        1. Another Bon Appetit fan here - the recipes are good but most of them I'd only use for special events as opposed to an everyday thing. And yea, I don't care much for their catalog of overpriced cook-/servingware.

                                                                                                          1. While I love the idea of food porn and looking at all the gorgeous pictures of food I'd never be able to make myself, I have to admit that I'm a big Everyday Food fan. Mostly because I'm a rank amateur in the kitchen and I need a simple, basic, hand-holding sort of approach for any kind of success in the kitchen. Hey, that's why I eat out so much!

                                                                                                            1. I have 2:

                                                                                                              1) Saveur (yes, the food porn allure is hard to beat).

                                                                                                              2) Simple Cooking (by John and Matt Thorne, of Outlaw Cook fame). John is one of the most thoughtful and insightful food writers I have ever had the pleasure to read. I've been a subscriber for many years now. www.outlawcook.com

                                                                                                              1. I'll chime in with Food Illustrated, a UK magazine.

                                                                                                                1. The poster who noted that Christopher Kimball lives on another planet is certainly correct, but I used to like Cook's Illustrated anyway. But now it drives me nuts and I am not going to renew. Has it changed, or is it me? What do they think they are about, anyway? In the issue I just got, they can't seem to decide whether their mandate is to make complicated recipes simpler (coq au vin) or to make simple recipes absurdly complicated (green bean casserole! where the author even tried to make the crispy fried onions from scratch instead of using the canned ones!)

                                                                                                                  Although at least in this issue they finally realized that it was insane to expect anyone to brine a Thanksgiving turkey if they didn't own a walk-in refrigerator. Before this I swear they would insist you had to brine anything that wasn't tied down.

                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: wombat

                                                                                                                    I got a two-year gift subscription to CI a few years ago, and while I did find a couple of good recipes, at times I found their whole "try everything to see what works best" approach positively bizarre. I can understand where it clearly has yielded good results sometimes, and at times I found it interesting to read rather than pedantic, but at times they seem to be really reaching.

                                                                                                                    Two instances that stick in my memory were a carrot cake recipe, in which the author stated in the first paragraph that she wasn't a fan of carrot cake, and the methodology for which was to create the ideal cake and spicing *before* introducing the carrots; and a drop cookie recipe where they tried making them with, among other things, bread flour and cake flour before settling on...all purpose flour as the best for the job.

                                                                                                                    I will say that in the two years I received CI, I never once read a word of one of Chris Kimball's editorials (do they have anything to do with food? I don't know), easier to just not get annoyed. After cringing my way through one of their pieces on an "Asian" dish, I skipped those and most anything not straight-ahead "American" (though surprisingly, they have a good recipe for a quick green tomatillo enchilada sauce).

                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                      Oh yeah, their "Asian" dishes are laughably bad. I never thought to use it as a reference for that because they don't know what they're doing. I just use it for Caucasian type American dishes like apple pie which is only thing they're good at. Also they sometimes go into the chemical reactions going on and I like reading those.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                        Kimball's editorials are, first and foremost, dull (much like I imagine him to be in person), self-serving and self-affected. That said, I can't NOT read one, if only to stoke my hypertension.

                                                                                                                        If you want an explanatory/foolproof approach, stick with AB, at least he can laugh at himself. Plus he uses puppets.

                                                                                                                      2. re: wombat

                                                                                                                        I'm a Cooks Illustrated fan too. Although I agree about the confused mandate, I've been happily brining turkeys in a large stockpot in my decidely modest apartment refrigerator. I love that 475 degree turkey!

                                                                                                                        I also second Cuisine at Home. All recipes - most of which I want to make - and zero advertisements. God bless 'em.

                                                                                                                      3. I routinely look at several, but the one that I actually cook from the most is Chile Pepper.

                                                                                                                        1. I'm surprised Fine Cooking isn't mentioned much here. I think it is the most straight-forward cooking magazine out there. It has good basic techniques/dishes and no pharmacutical ads, which is on every other page of Cooking Light, which I subscribe to as well. I do like getting ideas, some recipes, from Cooking Light and looking through the exercise/health section, haven't tried that part! Don't like Gourmet, the photo layouts are so over the top, the recipe, the (cornmeal upside/down cupcakes, oct '06) so far are fine. Saveur is, by far, the best food mag. I love reading the articles, the photos are great, but I don't make many of the recipes.

                                                                                                                          1. Favorite magazine is Fine Cooking. Every recipe I've tried, have turned out great. Love it.

                                                                                                                            1. I like the way Cooks Illustrated looks. I like the paper it's printed on and the illustration is gorgeous. I don't subscribe anymore because I read it for years and I'm "over it." Kimball's editorial comments are basically unreadable, and it makes me very uncomfortable to watch him on their TV show.

                                                                                                                              I love Saveur. Not a "cooking" magazine, but I love reading Gastronomica.

                                                                                                                              1. i am completely hooked on food-porn (hence i have every issue of saveur) and i also have almost every issue of cooks illustrated (as dictatorial as it can seem). i find i use saveur to prod my imagination, and have used some of their sources for foods i wouldn't easily get locally...on the other hand C.I. tends to repeat (and sometimes alter) their "best" versions of recipes a little too often...i mean how many versions of basic biscuit recipes does one need? (or brined turkey?)
                                                                                                                                i also always have wondered why C.I. has such lush illustrations of an ingredient on the back of each issue but NEVER do they actually feature that ingredient or it's varieties. i keep hoping though.

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                                                                                                                                1. re: spinach

                                                                                                                                  From reading the posts on here and reading CI, apparently one can never brine enough. Better brine those biscuits, too.

                                                                                                                                2. the worlds best food mag as voted by at The World Food Media Awards is available at www.cuisine.co.nz

                                                                                                                                  1. I like Cooks Illustrated for the Alton Brownishness, although I agree the editor seems like a real pill.

                                                                                                                                    Cucina Italiana has fun escapist articles, sometimes enlightening even. I've only tried a couple of recipies, which came out very well.

                                                                                                                                    Fans of food porn should check out Art Culinaire! My (gift) subscription to this hardbound quarterly ran out years ago, but I still have all my old issues. Tons of close ups, impossibly detailed recipies, and text that appears to have been edited by the same guy who puts Chinese takeout menus together...

                                                                                                                                    1. Can you find gastromica in NY? Barnes and Noble doesn't carry it.

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                                                                                                                                      1. re: MVL

                                                                                                                                        I think it'll be hard to find. Around California I've seldom seen it. The first time I saw it I think was at a well-stocked Barnes 'N Noble, but have only seen it perhaps once or twice thereafter. The best bet would be to order their back issues off of their website.

                                                                                                                                        I find that the material in Gastronomica is not very dated, so reading an old issue of Gastronomica does not have the same dated effect as reading an old issue of most other magazines. You'll also enjoy a nice discount off of the cover price if you order issues from volumes a year or more old.

                                                                                                                                      2. If you are in NYC, Gastronomica is available at the various Universal News stores around the city. I go to the one on 8th just off West 57th Street. They also carry a wide variety of domestic and imported food magazines. I especially love the publications from Australia, such as Gourmet Traveller, which is more a food mag than a travel mag. Be prepared to bring your piggy bank, though! They don't come cheap!

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                                                                                                                                        1. re: cookbookchick

                                                                                                                                          I'm in N Y and will swing by Universal News later today. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                        2. One more thing: I'm new to this board, so maybe I'm telling you all something you already know, but there's a handy website called foodieview.com where you type in the ingredients you are interested in using and it pulls up recipes from all over the 'net. I find it especially useful for those times when I am looking to make something with whatever I have on hand.

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                                                                                                                                          1. re: cookbookchick

                                                                                                                                            Great site cookbookchick...I found it last year I think and use it frequently.

                                                                                                                                            1. What an unbelievably useful thread!

                                                                                                                                              I'm now a subscriber to Gastronomica, and have a bunch of new bookmarks.

                                                                                                                                              Thank you all.

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                                                                                                                                              1. re: spigot

                                                                                                                                                I just looked at the Gastronomica website, read some sample articles, and I'm fairly impressed. Can you tell me how many issues ones gets for a $47.00 subscription?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fydeaux

                                                                                                                                                    Since by and large their articles don't tend to be dated, what I've done in the past is to order ther back issues, which comes out to a much better deal. They have various options which allows you to purchsae issue by issue, or volume by volume. That way you can avoid the sting of paying some $12/issue, though it's probably still worth it even at that price.

                                                                                                                                                    As you might guess from looking at their sample articles, it reads more like a collection of essays rather than a periodical of news and events, and the production values and quality of the binding is superb. Much like the National Geographic, every issue has a potentially indefinite "shelf life".

                                                                                                                                                1. Used to get all of the Food Maga and rarely cooked from them.FineCooking had a menu on A Passage To India with Saag Paneer with chick peas and tofu that got my attention. Melissa Clark wrote the article and it was a fun menu to share with friends...I own 3000 cookbooks, studied with Madelaine Kamman, a superb teacher, and chef owner of the best restuarant in Massachusetts for years, alone with Enzo Danessi

                                                                                                                                                  1. Here's one that no one has mentioned. It's from Australia--Donna Hay, whose cookbooks you may have seen around. I LOVE this mag for one reason: the photography. It is breathtakingly beautiful. If food is art to you, you must treat yourself to one of these if you can find it. I've never tried the recipes, but that's what my books are for:-)

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                                                                                                                                                    1. re: french roast

                                                                                                                                                      yes me too, and not just her magazines, which are not monthly yet here anyway. But I love her photography, just as you described. When I see her magazine I must buy it! I have not tried anything yet either, (what is that about?)! Thanks for bringing this magazine up, I can't bear to part with the two I have.
                                                                                                                                                      Love her cookbook
                                                                                                                                                      Off the Shelf too.
                                                                                                                                                      I just got my BA and although the corned beef sandwich looks delicious on the cover, I am somewhat disappointed that the recipes seems so old and done.
                                                                                                                                                      After not subscribing for the past 5 years, I decided to give it another go. Sadly I think I am not going to be so inspired by the magazine recipes. There is way too much filler.

                                                                                                                                                    2. Saveur, Gourmet, Cooking Light