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Jun 2, 2010 09:51 AM

Alternatives to Cook's Illustrated Online?

I'm a long time subscriber to CI online. However, there have been changes that I don't like (converting previously available content to an Editor's Choice... available for an additional fee.)

I feel I have to move on and find a new online recipe/food magazine.
I tried a couple free recipes from Fine Cooking which seemed okay.

Any other recs?


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  1. Um, how about CHOW!!! Seems to be all I need. CI is a waste of time.

    1 Reply
    1. re: debbydu

      How right you are! I subscribe to C.I magazine and have recently decided to NOT renew. Tired of all the nickle and diming from that company. I refuse to pay for an online subscription to C.I let alone ANY online subscription for recipes. C.I has great recipes--in fact, America's Test Kitchen is a great show with great recipes..but this "empire" that Chris Kimball is building is just getting very greedy.

    2. I feel the same way. I hate that they are nitpicking charges. There is a thread about it on their boards. If you tell them that you are unhappy with this change they will give you a free year of the service. I do not think this is the best solution, but hopefully if enough people speak out about it then they may change it.

      I wrote on the board as well as a letter to the editors and was responded to on both.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sekelmaan

        sekelmaan, how did you write a letter to the editor? I'm trying to find a link online.


      2. I have the print addition from the first issue through 2008. I bought the comprehensive index every other year, which made it simple to locate articles and recipes. I had an online subscription briefly but preferred having the magazine in my hands. I stopped subscribing because it seemed too many recipes were minor tweaks on previous ones, and not necessarily improving upon them. I got back issues of Cook's COuntry, in annual hardbound version, on eBay, for a lot less than a regular subscription. Wait a year and get them on eBay. If you buy anything directly from CI, it should be the index (covers all years).

        1 Reply
        1. re: greygarious

          I didn't like that even for the free trial version, I had to give my credit card. I had asked if they would delete my credit card after I cancelled my membership, no answer. What I did like about Cook's Illustrated was their video recipes. I am already a subscriber of Rouxbe online cooking school (, they do not have a magazine but I'm glad to stay with them; they are fantastic and give great customer service.

        2. It's a subjective reply but I find the recipes at Martha Stewart Living to be thrillingly good. Some of my best recipes are from the magazine, many of them Martha's mom's recipes but others simply are classics whose ingredients, proportions, and preparation are perfect, resulting in perfect delicious foods. Sometimes I've taken for granted that one recipe for something will be much like any other recipe for that same thing -- let's use creme anglaise as an example. I've made it for years using whatever recipe came to hand when I paged through whichever cookbook I took out of my shelves, but when I first used Martha's recipe, its flavor was so perfectly balanced, the instructions so clear, and its consistency so good that I threw out all other recipes.

          I've never found an MSL recipe that wasn't at the least very good, even if I might not have liked the dish itself. I have big 3-ring binders full of MSL recipes. If I'm cooking for special events, I turn to my MSL recipes first. I have thousands of cookbooks and use them all the time for reference, rarely ever satisfied with any particular recipe. But MSL always satisfies me. I attended hospitality school, saved all those recipes until recently, but then pitched them out. They're not as good as Martha's.

          1. Are the complaints really just about paying for content?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Kagemusha

              The OP stated he's a subscriber.