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Dec 3, 2011 07:45 AM

Your favorite cooking magazine ranked.

I guess it all depends what you like in a cooking and food magazine.

A. I like new recipes that are challenging but I can make (including drink ones!).
B.I like articles about that informative and fun to read.
C..I like food porn pictures.
D.I like travel articles.
E.I like reviews of products and cooking equipment.
F. I like stories about food culture in different cities and other parts of the country or world.

With this in mind I'll do all the cooking and food magazines I can think of some have stopped being published.

1. Gourmet
A**** (in EVERY issue I found something cool I could make)
B*** (Sometimes they over the top)
F**** (Lots of insight!)

2. Saveur
A****(I can't get all the things or the recipe is written in odd format.)
F**** (WOW!)

3. Bon Apetit
A*** (Should be called boring Apetit IMHO)
B** (Fluff and filler)
C** (samey)
D* (Do they have them?)
E* (More like BUY THIS it'll go good with your wallpaper!)

4.Food & Wine
A** (I can't do them and they are boring)
D*** (Places I couldn't get to or don't want to go to)

5. Cook's Illustrated
A* (MAKE THE BEST version of dish that's been since the dawn of time! No thanks, yuck.)
B- (I've read less dry textbooks.)
C- (The black and white pictures make it look less appealing)
D- (Nope.)
E**** (Well now I know what to get)

I'll say that this all purely subjective and your opinion may differ then mine. I've heard lots of people on this board lambast Gourmet. Also I am biased about Food & Wine as half of it is devoted to wine which I don't drink. I'd have to say to me I've found better more creative ideas for food in Real Simple magazine. Now I know Cook's illustrated may be good someone who wants to make the BEST gravy, for which I'd just open the Joy of cooking and follow the recipe. It did help me make indoor BBQ pulled pork that was the only recipe I got from it after a year gift subscription. And the liquid smoke they recommended isn't sold in my area. But I do love Saveur and think it's Gourmet's spiritual successor.

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  1. Now that Gourmet is gone, I only get Food &Wine and it's ok for food news, some interesting travel articles and some very good recipes. I watch ATK but refuse to buy Cook's Illustrated any more. Made that mistake once a few years ago. Christopher Kimball's marketing contractors are borderline unethical. Just two weeks ago I received yet another unsolicited cookbook that I marked RETURN, NOT ORDERED and sent right back on their dime. For everything else I watch the Cooking Channel for inspiration and read food blogs.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sandiasingh

      So if you subscribe to Cook's Illustrated do you automatically get these books sent to you or did you "check" something? Have you ever tried to call and get off their list?

      I don't buy food magazines anymore but I will read them at the library. They have 3 or 4 including Cook's Illustrated, Vegetarian Times and Bon Appetite

      1. re: ylsf

        If I recall, I subscribed to the magazine and purchased a "best of ATK" book and then began receiving lots of emails and books in the mail which I did not request. I did call the marketing company and the woman I spoke to said to return them unopened and they would pay the return postage. When I complained that they were too aggressive and were becoming a pain in the can, she remarked "I know, I hear this all the time." It left me with a very negative opinion

    2. I subscribe to Cook's Illustrated and Cuisine at home...expensive but not filled with advertising and articles that do not have anything directly connected to cooking. I don't buy the books advertised in CI. I stopped getting Bon Appetit years ago because the smell of perfume from the ads nauseated me. I watch cooking shows on TV and also surf recipes online.

      1. my piicks are; 1. Fine Cooking
        2. Saveu
        3. Cooks Illustrated (ON LINE. I won't pay for a magazine then have to pay for
        website access ALSO!)
        Those satisfy my needs and if something special comes up, there's always the internet!

        1. Like others, I sorely miss Gourmet. I used to subscribe to Bon Appetite, which in the mid-90s had good recipes. I canceled my subscription when they changed to their new format with itty bitty font two years ago. How can anyone possibly cook from that? The photography got trashy looking, too.

          I find Saveur not practical, Cook's Illustrated way beneath my skill level, and Food and Wine not particularly inspiring, so at the moment, I subscribe to no cooking magazines, though I sure would if there were any good ones, and I suspect I am not alone. Could this be a business opportunity for someone to launch something spectacular?

          1 Reply
          1. re: bitchincook

            Bitchincook, if it were, what would you like to see in a three dimensional, real, something you can hold in your hands, cooking magazine for the 21 century. We all seem to agree the pickins are slim with the demise of Gourmet. The last version of Gourmet was ok with me altho the ones going back at least 10-15 years much better. I don't want a magazine to talk down to me. I don't really need the basics of how to roll a pie dough. I'd like information on REAL FOOD and how to do some cooking projects that are challenging, like making sausage at home. I do enjoy reading about food trends--that can be fun. Most of the new products the magazines feature are really boring and are no more than free promos from a PR company. Food and Wine has had some very interesting articles on new products and they are actual journalist written articles like one on the Schmidt Bros new line of kitchen knives which I just ordered. Those are the kinds of articles and recipes I'd like to see in a new mag.

          2. Saveur is the only one I look forward to receiving in the mail.

            Far behind are Bon Appetit (all my "free" Gourmet subscriptions from were transferred to BA) and Food & Wine. Sometimes they go directly into the trash (oops, I mean recycle bin) after I flip through them.