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Jan 30, 2009 06:37 PM

Gourmet versus Bon Appetit?

I am going to get a subscription... don't want both - it's from the same publisher, but I am not sure which one I should get - I like recipes, food stories - politics, restaurants, cookbook reviews are fine - but I'd like to focus on great recipes - which one would you choose - Gourmet or Bon Appetit...

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  1. Hi Apple. I've had both, but I prefer Bon Appetit. I've liked everything I've made in the magazine. The pictures are appetizing and the layout is nice. For what it's worth Epicurious (dot) com has 20000+ Recipes by Gourmet & Bon Appetit magazines. I think you can choose which magazine to browse on the site, or you can search for a type of recipe and it will tell you which magazine the recipe came from. Hope this helps!

    1 Reply
    1. re: capitts

      I agree. Having had both, I would pick Bon Appetit. I think the recipes are a little more user friendly and I like the sections about entertaining. Capitts has a good suggestions regarding checking the internet for recipes for the magazine that you don't subscribe to.

    2. I just finished a one-year subscription to Gourmet and I have to say I was totally underwhelmed by it. Each month I'd flip through it in about 2 minutes. I never tried any of the recipes (too many ingredients, too complex) and I read only a couple of their pretentious articles. The photographs are superb, but that's it.

      For a serious cooking magazine, go with Cook's Illustrated and/or Cook's Country.

      1. May not be a point of discussion for long, given the speculation of Gourmet being on "life support":

        6 Replies
        1. re: fullbelly

          The piece is totally speculation. Fantasy. Based on nothing. If nothing else, Gourmet is one of the magazine world's great brands, and the recipes are consistently superb. Bon App has its uses, but it is strictly the JV magazine. And Cooks Illustrated is useless, unless you enjoy being lectured to like a third grader.

          1. re: condiment

            Every magazine appeals to a particular group, just because you don't enjoy Cooks Illustrated, don't look down at those who may enjoy it.

            Currently I am writing a cook book and write some articles for a local book and magazine for those who don't know how to cook and to those want to learn. My goal is to teach and educate and help those single mom working 60 hours like me, no time, young child and trying to cook healthy. If you don't like the magazine fine, Don't run it into the ground or more so yourself. We all like different things and gets tips and points from various sources. I like BA, but Gourmet is descent. Hell, I get tips from southern living and better homes. Everything appeals to some and not others, that is why we have choices. Enjoy what you enjoy. But don't trash one and insult them.

            1. re: condiment

              Condiment: What do you mean by "JV"?

                1. re: roxlet

                  ``Junior varsity'' is correct.

                  And Cooks Illustrated does have its place - everybody has to cook his or her first flank steak sometime. And at least it's not Taste of Home, which outsells every other food magazine in the United States . . . put together.

                  1. re: condiment

                    You're oversimplifying Cooks Illustrated. It's not for beginner cooks, though it does take an exhaustive step by step approach to it's recipes. And it is bothersome that it makes a concerted effort to avoid any ingredients that would be hard to find in a 7-11. But I'm a pretty accomplished cook, and I still read it because it tries variations on techniques -- some of which make a big difference and were not common knowledge. For example, the vodka in pie dough to preclude gluten formation. Searing steaks AFTER a slow roast rather than vice-versa to get a good crust and maintain a more even medium rare interior. This is good stuff.

                    I find Gourmet to be a wordier Saveur, with less focus on ethnic foods.

            1. I love this board - CHers are always so knowledgable.

              Thanks all for the responses. I have the Cook's Illustrated Baking book, it's great. I find the magainze is very thorough but less food "porny" - does that make me pervy? :)

              I think I will wait a couple of months to see if/which surivives... meantime I will scout out the recipes on I am looking at the parmasan pull apart bread for superbowl tomorrow.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Apple

                Bread ... just a thought. I know a whole different thought here. Sorry if out of line. I make stuffed breads. Several variations but here is the basics.

                I take a large baguette or an Italian load. Hollow out a little (save the bread of course for thickening soups, stews etc or for making a small amount of stuffing). Brush olive oil on both cut sides, then lightly brown in the oven cut side down, just for a bit 5 min or so. Then stuff. My favorite is pesto smoothed on both cut sides topped with fresh mozzarella and parm. Top with the top piece of bread. Wrap in foil and bake or grill. Usually 350-375 for about 20 min. Same on the grill. Medium heat.

                Carmelized onions and gruyere is great
                Sundried tomatoes, feta, olives and pesto
                Peppers, onions and Mozz
                Mushrooms and swiss
                Fresh thin slices of tomato, mozz, basil and parm

                Slice in 8-10 slices for great bread!!