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Feb 5, 2010 10:44 AM

Cook's Illustrated 'Editor's Choice'

I got an email a little while ago, from Cook's Illustrated, offering me an upgrade on my online subscription. The email indicates that this premium subscription will give me access to recipes in all their cookbooks. I think their online subscription is a bit pricy already, considering that I already pay for a magazine subscription. I am starting to feel a little bit nickel and dimed to death here. Did anyone else get this email? Does this mean if the recipe has appeared in the magazine, and the cookbook, it won't be on the website anymore? That'll be a pretty serious dent in their recipe list. It's another $14.95 per year, just FYI.

Here's the gist of the email -

Upgrade your membership today to include the Editors’ Choice Cookbook Collection and gain access to the very best recipes from the following Cook's Illustrated cookbooks (currently 17 titles and growing each year).

NEW and EXPANDED categories of recipes

With the Editors’ Choice Cookbook Collection, you will not only find expanded recipe options in all of the categories you are familiar with on our site, but we've added, or greatly increased, specific categories of recipes that are underrepresented in the recipe database, and that our online members continue to ask for:

30-Minute Recipes, etc etc.

I don't think they should be charging for this additional content.

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  1. Yes, and I went for it. I have two of their books, and many, many of the recipes are not on the website.

    1. Yes, I do feel nickeled and dimed! This is what I did: I don't have a subscription anymore, I wait for after the end of the year and I buy the hardbound year's worth of magazines as cheaply as I can find them, usually on eBay. Then if I do a search on the website, it won't show me the recipe, but it will show me when it appeared so I can look it up myself. I've done the same with Fine Cooking. I like having the hardbound books to peruse, and I don't feel ripped off.

      1 Reply
      1. re: runwestierun

        There's a comprehensive index, updated annually, that you can order for around $14 IIRC. I let my subscription lapse a year ago - prior to that, I bought the index every other year, figuring that if something was in the last 6 issues, I could find it, so I didn't need to update the index every year.

        I tend to agree with other posters who note that CI rehashes the same dishes over and over. But they always did - it's nothing new. I have every issue from their start, in 1993, through 2008. There are numerous variations of fruit pies, roast chickens, braised greens, etc.

        If they offered a reasonable combination print/online subscription I might re-up. To put complaints about recipe availability in perspective, all those from America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Illustrated are available free online. Contrast that with some other cooking shows, like Lidia's Italy. Very few of hers can be found for free, AND her cookbooks/DVDs are on the high end, price-wise.

      2. I didn't bite. I haven't missed what's in the cookbook yet....!

        --- -- food. is. love.

        1. Heads up -- I haven't been able to login since "upgrading." Thanks a lot, CI.

          1. I got one of their "America's Test Kitchen -- Recipes That Work" emails yesterday, and one of the videos wouldn't play. The website said it was available with the "TV on Demand" option. These people are getting waaaay too money-hungry to suit me.