At the end of May, I signed up for a number of free trial issues for many different magazines. One that was suggested to me by a woman from the What's Cooking forum was Cook's Illustrated. She firmly stated that in her opinion, CI was the only magazine worth a subscription. I was intrigued because no one else suggested a magazine with an opinion close to that.
I'm so glad I requested this magazine! I loved every moment of it. Cook's Illustrated has product reviews, tried and true recipes, and tips and tricks from new and seasoned cooks.
One of the things I loved most about this magazine is that there's absolutely no advertising. Sometimes I feel like magazines can get so bogged down with advertising that the articles and photos that make the magazine get shaved down to make room for more advertising. This magazine has absolutely no advertising, so there's plenty of room for everything cooking- and kitchen-related.
Another feature I appreciated about the magazine were the product reviews. Without outright saying so, the magazine makes it clear that you don't need expensive tools to make delicious food. The product reviews are labeled "Best Value", "Highly Recommended", "Recommended With Reservations", "Not Recommended", "Best Buy" and "Best New Product". Those labels are beneficial to someone starting up in the kitchen and looking to bulk up their collection of kitchen utensils. The magazine makes it very clear that there are wallet-friendly alternatives to expensive and complicated kitchen utensils.
There were also tips on buying steaks, shredding chicken or beef, buying rice for risotto, and vegetable broths, and using the microwave to wilt baby spinach. All these tips are beneficial to the home cook, and the magazine is presented with a "love us or leave us" quality.
It is very clear that the writers and publishers of Cook's Illustrated are infatuated with food. It practically oozes out of the articles and tips. So far, this has been my favorite magazine to read this summer. As soon as I was done, I knew I'd be getting myself a subscription to this magazine. It feels like it's exactly what I've been looking for. I've got a few more magazines to read and review this summer (still waiting on my free issue for one, but I've already been billed for it...hmmm....), but this is definitely a winner for me.