I’ve been a member of the Cook’s Illustrated website for years, and in 2015, I finally bought a magazine subscription in addition to my website subscription.
Because sometimes getting a physical magazine helps to make recipe-choosing a little less overwhelming.
The website is great when you want to look something specific up, or when you want to research kitchen equipment, but I do love getting a small bi-monthly dose of recipes and in-depth articles.
I got a sample issue of Cook’s Country when I subscribed to the print version of Cook’s Illustrated, and I really liked it! So I put it on my Christmas list, and my kids bought me a subscription this year.
I still like the Cook’s Illustrated magazine, of course, but I’m starting to think that I like the Cook’s Country just slightly better!
There are lots of color photos.
This is one thing that bums me out about Cook’s Illustrated. They do have a color photo spread at the end of each magazine, but the individual recipe pages are just black and white photos and illustrations.
Cook’s Country is all color, and that makes me happy.
The quick recipe cards are great.
Inside each issue, there are 8 little recipe cards with 30 minute supper meals on them. Not all of them appeal to me, but in each issue so far, there have been one or two recipes to add to our evening meal rotation.
The recipes are a little simpler.
Cook’s Illustrated does have some easy recipes, certainly, but I’d say the average complication level of Cook’s Country recipes is lower than Cook’s Illustrated recipes.
So, if Cook’s Illustrated has felt off-putting because the meals are too exotic or complicated, I think Cook’s Country would be a good option for you.
The 5 Easy Recipes feature is awesome.
In each issue, there’s a page with 5 easy recipes, which are variations on a theme. For instance, you might get 5 tuna salad variations, or 5 oatmeal variations.
There are no ads. None at all.
I got a complimentary subscription to Better Homes and Gardens recently and oh my gosh, the ad to article ratio was terrible. Both Cook’s Country and Cook’s Illustrated are 100% content, which is most excellent.
So. Why would you subscribe to this when there are lots of recipes available for free on the internet?
Well, I find that the recipes put out by the ATK/CI/CC people are far more reliable and consistent than what I’ve found anywhere else.
I hate it when I go to the work of trying a new recipe only to discover that it doesn’t work properly, so I use ATK-family recipes probably 99% of the time.
The ATK recipes are thoroughly tested, clearly written, and easy to use. As long as you follow the directions and use the ingredients they specify, you should have no problem turning out a great meal.
And that is very, very worth $25. You can drop $25 on one night of takeout, right? So if this magazine saves you from even two nights of takeout over the course of a year, you’ll be money ahead.
There are two ways to subscribe to Cook’s Country:
Print Magazine Subscription
If you find that printed recipes work better for you than online recipes, and you find it helpful to get a small number of them in front of you each month, the print magazine is for you!
A subscription costs $24.95 and gets you a year’s worth of issues, delivered every other month.
I like a hard copy better for cooking, but if you’d like, you can get the Cook’s Country Kindle Edition for $20.
(I find that every other month is perfect, because that gives me time to work through one issue before another hits my mailbox.)
Online Cook’s Country Subscription
This is definitely the way to get the most bang for your buck, as you’ll get access to all of the recipes that Cook’s Country has ever published.
So, if you are the sort of person who will remember to go look at recipes on the site, the online version of Cook’s Country is perfect for you.
You also get access to all of their taste tests, which are pretty handy (did you know Argo baking powder outperforms other brands??) and all the equipment reviews, which can save you so much money and headache when you go to buy kitchen equipment.
If you want to give it a test drive, try Cook’s Country online with a free trial period.
(Just cancel before the trial period is over if you decide it’s not helpful for you.)
I’m curious. Do you find that hard copy recipes work better for you (cookbooks, magazines), or do you use electronic recipes more (Kindle, websites)?
(Me? Even when I find my recipes online, I print them out. So, yeah…I’m on Team Hard Copy.)
Cook’s Country did not ask me to write this post, and my family paid for my subscription when they bought it as a gift for me. This post does contain affiliate links, which means that if you sign up for Cook’s Country through these links, I get a commission at no extra cost to you. I only use affiliate links for products I love, and as you know, I’ve written about ATK-family products for years and years. My enthusiasm, it is authentic. And I really, really think you’ll love Cook’s Country. 😉