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Feb 26, 2010 02:48 PM

Cook's it?

For years I've been getting emails about joining Cook's Illustrated online website. I just got another offer (50% off) and, again,am wondering if I should subscribe to the online site?
It always looks so tempting, but I'm not sure it is worth it
Does anyone have it, or used to have it? Thoughts as to whether it is worth it.

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  1. Yes, I just renewed after my first year of subscribing online. CI is my go-to bible for most things cooking, recipes and recommendations. Even though I have a few CI books, and a stack of old issues, I always go online first. Also, I will sometimes flip thru a current issue, or bonus issues at the grocery store or library, then run home and look up a recipe online. I know, not very honest, but since they repeat a lot of recipes in their issues, I don't feel too guilty. And sometimes I end up purchasing the magazine anyway. I would definitely recommend subscribing if you are a fan of CI. It's great to be able to look up years worth of recipes.

    1. Do you already subscribe to the magazine? If so, then you can buy the annual index (which goes all the way back to the charter issue) to allow you to find what you want among your magazine collection. It's around $13 and I found every other year was good enough because it wasn't hard to find something within the previous 6 issues. You can try the website for free for 2 weeks to see if you'd use it enough. I prefer having actual magazines to skim for inspiration.

      1. I've gotten the magazine for several years and I've been a member for a couple of years (a gift subscription from my kids). I actually prefer the magazine to the web site. Either way, I think it's worth the subscription price and if you can sign at a 50% discount, give it a try.

        1. A friend of mine swears by the website because it's so easy to look things up, and there's no clutter. I read the mag in bed for fun, and just like the feel of paper and ink.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Claudette

            Claudette! I love that I'm not the only one who considers cookbooks and cooking magazines great bedtime reading! Hard to read a computer screen when you're trying to fall asleep, even if it is a laptop. And there's something about leafing through old issues that's comforting, seeing the wrinkled, stained pages from past kitchen endeavors.

            I have to admit, my magazine and website subscriptions are a yearly birthday gift from my mom. Even if she didn't gift them to me, I'd pay for them. I've only been getting the mag since 2006, and it's so great to be able to look up things in the archives.

            I agree with lulou23 - it's my go-to resource. Reading through the testing process has taught me SO much about cooking.

            Answer: It's definitely worth it! Peace!

            1. re: southern_expat

              Another one here with the same thought process! I LOVE C/I as bedtime reading. In addition, I always find a helpful hint or two with each issue. In fact, I've gotten THE best pound cake recipe from C/I--I could never figure out why my pound cakes always failed until I made the recipe in C/I. I do watch all the "Cooks" shows, buy the books and get the magazines--I just started a subscription to their "Entertaining" magazine. However, I like having a tangible material in front of me rather than the online subscription. But whatever works for you is wonderful!

          2. I have subscribed to the magazine since it re-started (in the '80's - dating myself). In just about EVERY issue, I have found something worthwhile - a technique, a tip, a best grocery choice (peppercorns, supermarket olive oil, whatever), a recipe. I've also subscribed online (and they give you no print subscription discount - grrrr) for years. This year, to economize, I decided I really didn't need the print mag, though I love it - because like lulou23, I find myself going online to search, rather than leafing through past mags. I love this resource, no matter how you read it - it's up to you whether reading a magazine or searching a website is "how you roll."