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Should I cancel my Cooks Illustrated?

I get Fine Cooking, Cooks Illustrated, Fine Gardening, Threads, and so many more magazines you cannot believe it. I love my magazines, but really it is time to cull. I am on the fence about whether to let CI go. I have so many back issues that I could cook until kingdom come with them. I do like the reviews of new products. In the current issue, I just read their hint about pre-soaking brown rice, and although I have not tried it yet, well, that is something that could be extremely helpful as I am trying to go brown with rice, and I keep either burning it, or having it crunchy. So, then I think, "Oh I should keep this magazine" What do other people think? How has Cooks Illustrated changed or helped your cooking and your purchase of cooking supplies?

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  1. By all means if you don't find value in the product you should stop using it.

    1. I say you keep the subscription, if you cancel it you'll never know what you missed.

      1. What do you need CI for. You have Chowhound

        1. have you read '' all '' the magazines you currently have? are you current and up to date with their contents? are you ready to read the new ones that are coming?
          I got 2 new subscriptions for Christmas and haven't even taken the plastic off of them.
          I love magazines and have gotten many subscriptions over the years.
          honestly, when you have the time to read through them that's a good thing but I find that unless I'm in the vanpool and can read, I don't make the time.

          5 Replies
          1. re: iL Divo

            Thanks everyone for replying. I posted the question, while I was laughing at myself as I scoured my brain for how to save money. I thought people could relate to the question. I love, love my magazines, yet the only time I read them is when trapped on the train. Yet, at that time, they are invaluable!!! Re: Cooks Illustrated. I tried their idea about pre-soaking the brown rice, and yippee, it worked!!! So, that settles it: I will retrieve the subscription notice from the trash. What I am curious about is this: which magazines have other people really liked? And why?

            1. re: carolee1945

              I have had favorites over the years that spoke to me about current times. Like a high school friend owned a dude ranch/camp in Malibu Mountains and he had an ad in Sunset magazine for years and years. So besides great recipes, I so loved seeing Glen's advertisement for his gorgeous ranch and camp, it always brought a smile to my face. It [Sunset] also could instantly bring me back to my Santa Monica routes as it was a Western magazine back then.
              A second: my girlfriend's gramma used to bring us fun magazines to work. During down times, I'd grab 'em and then couldn't put 'em down. The one I linked to is a favorite-the stories, the recipes, the pictures, the pen pals ads, all very fun to read. Very homey.


              1. re: iL Divo

                Oh, your post about Sunset magazine brought back the most wonderful nostalgic memories for me. When I was a newly-wed, we would visit my husband's grandmothers farm (read: cherries off the tree, grass fed beef that they raised themselves, organic oranges that tasted out of this world) She had Sunset magazine. I would pore over these magazines, got my own subscription, and that is how I learned how to cook. I loved their recipes and they never failed me. I still use them. Is the new Sunset just as good for recipes? I never use the new ones because I go to CI or FC when I want to do something new.

                1. re: carolee1945

                  I don't know about the magazine, but everything I have cooked from their recent Sunset Cookbook compilation has been wonderful.

              2. re: carolee1945

                I recently made a hard decision to give up Fine Cooking and Fine Gardening. I have all issues from number 1, as well as CI. FC seems to be all repeats. I truly am running out of space too. I also stopped Food and Wine, Martha Stewart and Food Network. I am only keeping CI and Bon Appetit.

            2. Following a recommendation in another thread on CH, I went ahead and ordered a bound book of CI on Amazon at a greatly reduced cost, for a gift for my daughter. Saved a bunch of money, no harrassing subscription pleas, plus it's bound and less messy than a bunch of magazines to store.


              1. I have been subscribing to CI for years and hope to continue. Although much of the time the recipes are a little too anal I have found the overall recipe concepts contribute just the little omph that turns ordinary to exceptional. With regards to storing, all the people I know are more than willing to borrow (sic) and I do not obsess about losing them as a delightful meal or two is fair trade. The back covers frame up very nicely and look terrific in the kitchen and bathroom. There is no advertisement and there opinion panels seem unbiased.
                On the other hand I live on the US CAN border and I find the national brands not up to the quality available in Vermont and Quebec. I was unimpressed that in the recent peanut butter review the CI and my local (although Kraft is Canada's national brand and very good) peanut butter was not reviewed (Teddy's) which is in another league from the brands tested. Another problem I have is people coming over and becoming totally absorbed in issues that solve problems that have plagued their favourite recipes.
                Overall CI is the one magazine I could least give up.
                PS The cinnamon swirl bread this month solved a long time problem that I had because of an inability to watch the clock and the bread is wonderful.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Moedelestrie

                  I was a tester on that cinnamon swirl bread. Even the non-finalized version was excellent.

                  1. re: CanadaGirl

                    Oh, I just was reading that recipe. Will try it!!!

                    1. re: CanadaGirl

                      How do you get to be a tester for CI?

                      1. re: CindyJ

                        Yes, I'd like to know too. I think I will keep CI after reading everyone's posts!! Thanks.

                        1. re: CindyJ

                          I responded to an email a little while ago. It's on your own dime and you are asked to NOT test a recipe if it's not the type of thing you think you or your family would typically enjoy. After you do the recipe you fill out a survey. I enjoy it.

                    2. I had a CI subscription for 10 years or so and found it to be helpful and informative. Sometimes repetitive, but that is to be expected.

                      It is a popular magazine so I suggested to my local library that they begin to carry it. Apparently a number of people suggested the same and now our library subscribes so I dropped my subscription. If that were not the case I would probably still be a subscriber.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Fowler

                        CI is the ONLY magazine I still subscribe to. I love reading how they developed the recipes and the science behind it.