Food52/Cook’s Illustrated Smackdown Begins Today


Way back in October, Christopher Kimball ran his mouth off about the inferiority of wiki-sourced recipes to those exhaustively tested in the kitchens of Cook’s Illustrated. Much of the online cooking community was duly annoyed, and before anyone could say “tempest in a teacup,” Food52, Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubb’s crowd-sourced recipe site, had taken Kimball up on his challenge to go head to head in a recipe battle.

Today, the challenge gets underway on Slate. It’s pretty simple: Cook’s Illustrated and Food52 have posted competing recipes for pork shoulder and sugar cookies, and readers have until May 17 to cook them and then vote on which is best.

Food52′s pork recipe is for a porchetta that uses a rub made from toasted spices, while Cook’s calls for a simple salt and sugar rub and is served with peach sauce. Cook’s sugar cookies are a bit fancier: they use chai spice and cream cheese. Food52’s cookies, meanwhile, use three kinds of sugar, so they’ve got some tricks up their oven mitts, too. Both entities seem to know their way around a tasty cookie. But who will taste victory on May 17?