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The only website I pay for.

Cook's Illustrated Logo.

Like most people, I expect the vast majority of stuff on the internet to be free, and so I’m usually loathe to pay for a website. But, I have to give a huge thumbs up to Cook’s Illustrated’s website.

It costs $24.95 a year (edit: It’s now $34.95 a year), and it’s so worth it. Members of the website have access to every single recipe, review, and taste test Cook’s has ever done.

Cook's Illustrated

If you’re in the market for anything kitchen-related, the reviews are worth their weight in gold. This can be a big money saver, as it often happens that the most expensive pot, pan, dish, or appliance is not the best.

A $9 baking pan beat out pans that cost upward of $100, a $50 dutch oven was just as good as the $300 version, and so on. Then too, if you read the reviews, you can buy a kitchen item that will perform well and that will last, saving you money in the long run.

Cooks Illustrated.

The recipes are exceptionally good too. Cook’s has helped me finally figure out how to make rockin’ homemade pizza (grilled, regular, and deep dish!), how to grill a tender London Broil, how to make flavored iced tea from scratch, how to make the best grilled hamburgers and much, much more.

Lisey's first pizza

Considering how much it costs to eat a dinner out, if the Cook’s website inspires you to eat just one meal per year at home, it will have paid for itself.

Cook’s publishes a magazine (duh!) which costs about the same as the website membership, but I think the website gives you far more bang for your buck. And lucky me, my library carries Cook’s, so I can get the issues for free.

So, if you’re in a recipe rut or need some new kitchen equipment, I highly recommend joining this site. You can get a 14-day free trial which will allow you to check out the site and make sure it’s a fit for you.

If you join, let me know if you’d like some recipe recommendations…I have lots of favorites!

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Shannon Locklear

Friday 4th of February 2011

Hi Kristen! I was hoping you could help me...It means a lot to me that you give a "huge thumbs up" to the online subscription of Cook's Illustrated. I signed up for the trial but I'm a little confused by the "sister" sites of America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country. Both of those sites also have subscriptions and I'm not really sure where the real differences are. Which is the best one? What are the advantages to each of them? You may not know, but I thought perhaps you might. Also, I checked out a "Cooking for Two" cookbook that was published by America's Test Kitchen or Cook's Illustrated and was trying to see if the recipes were on one of these sites but couldn't find them. I'm guessing all of their cookbook recipes aren't necessarily on the website. Do you have any info about this or have you found most of the recipes from their cookbooks and magazines to also be on the website?

Thanks for taking the time to blog! I know it blesses me and it has become one of my favorite blogs! :)


Friday 15th of January 2016

I've never signed up for the ATK or Cook's Country websites...Cook's Illustrated is my jam! Cook's Illustrated is the oldest of all the brands, and on their website you get the entire history of tests and recipes, so the CI site has always seemed like the best option to me.

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