B+B Review: Cook's Illustrated
When my Cook’s Illustrated magazine arrives, I want to hug my mailman. Cook’s Illustrated is one of my absolute favorite cooking magazines. I’m surprised it’s not more popular. I find myself often recommending it to friends of mine that haven’t heard of it. Now I’m recommending to all of you.
Cook’s isn’t your ordinary cooking magazine like Bon Appetite, Food & Wine, Fine Cooking, etc. It doesn’t have beautiful glossy photos, it doesn’t except advertising, there are only 6 issues a year, it’s printed in black & white, it’s only 32 pages long, it features only10 recipes an issue and it does comprehensive product and equipment reviews.
What makes Cook’s so terrific is that their recipes are for the most part, foolproof. Prior to publishing recipes, the Cook’s staff perfects them in their test kitchen. This removes the common problem we all have - making a recipe only to find that it needs major tweaking or just doesn’t turn out well.
The author of each recipe usually begins by explaining why they decided to create the recipe. For example, they might have enjoyed the dish from their childhood, wanted to simplify a typically time-consuming recipe, or tried a dish in a restaurant that they wanted to recreate. The article then follows the recipe’s development as the chef makes alterations to the original recipe. The recipe is then presented to a panel of testers who help make changes if necessary.
The other great feature of Cook’s is their comprehensive food and equipment reviews. What’s the best bacon, canned tomato or olive oil? Just reference Cook’s. Or looking or the best frying pan, kitchen knife or cutting board? Cook’s has your answer.