Cooks Illustrated online membership???

Joined May 24, 2006
Hi all

A question..
The Cooks Illustrated online membership.. Does anyone have this? Do you like it enough to re-sign when your year is up? If you do have it, can you tell me what the yearly fee is??
I've tried the 14 day free trail they offer (it seems to be pretty good) but I'm wondering if cooks illustrated is really worth paying for yearly??
If any of you have the membership, do you use it enough to make the fee worth your while?

I've never joined any online website where I've had to pay money :eek: to read about a product, or try one of their recipes.. So I'm a wee bit leary about that part..
At the same time.. I notice cooks illustrated seems to be recommended a lot on many of my cooking sites if you want to find something out..

The cooks illustrated offer I got in my email, doesn't tell me how much the full yearly cost will be (it's a 50% off offer) unless I fill in all my personal details on the sign up form..
I really don't want to put all that info out until I know whats what.. Especially the cost..
So, if you can fill me in on this I'd really appreciate it!
Thanks so much..

Oh, and PS!! Can you tell I want you all to make up my mind for me!!! :lol:


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
I haven't opted for the online subscription.

From what I have gathered over the years of my magazine subscription is that all the back issues are online as well as some lesser tests and updates to tests and older recipes.

Their best material seems to end up in the magazine. And that's enough for me.


Joined Dec 20, 2006
I don't know just what the on line subscription costs, but I recently received an offer for a small boof or magazine which contains everything that appeared in CI magazine for the past year in one volume. I think the price was $19.95 ... not sure. The offer included some free gifts as well. I much rather read articles and recipes off line, so I opted for their offer. It's a good deal for me because everything is in one place, not scattered through several magazines - it's like CI did the filing and organization for me :D

Also, the deal is that the book can be returned if I'm not satisfied, but I get to keep the free gifts. I don't recall what the gifts are, but I do recall I thought they were worthwhile.

Joined Dec 23, 2000
I take both CI and their recent companion mag, Cook's Country, and have a couple of their Best Recipe collection - all really interesting and excellent. Keep all copies.

They do, however, publish an annual compendium of everything (I think) in CI for the year. Don't have any of those.

Some don't like the tone of the articles, where they first badmouth all the other recipes for whatever they're cooking. I don't mind and find their schtick of running through every conceivable permutation of ingredients and procedures quite entertaining. Their recipe results have, in my experience, been uniformly excellent. :smiles:

Joined Aug 29, 2000
What Phil said.... and what MikeLM said too! I prefer the paper and ink magazine. I love the beautiful illustrations on covers each month, too.
Joined Feb 21, 2007
I have the on line membership and I LOVE it and it is the only web membership I have paid for and bought for other people. But whether or not it is a good idea depends on how you use the internet. First of all there is A LOT OF JUNK on the internet especially when it comes to cooking. Everybody has a recipe they want to post. CI is the only one I feel 100% confident about, and I don't even agree with everything they say. I also like the way the site is organized.

Ok So why do I like it.

I also get the magazine, and I read it, maybe file it, maybe it gets shoved under a pile of CDS and toys. However when I want to make something for dinner and don't have any ideas, or know what I want but want a reliable recipe, or when I just have a couple of ingredients hanging around and want to know what to do with them.

I go to CI online, its bookmark, enter my keywords into their search button, and voilia I have a list of ideas. In other words I use it sort of like a filing system for recipes or ideas. It isn't always the only source I use but it usually is a start. I trust them enough to start with their recipes.

But if the internet isn't something you use comfortably then it probably isn't a good tool. If you have th patience, and are organized, and know where to find the articles in the magazine theny why bother. It cost about $25 a year, or $2 a month. Definitely worth it!
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