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Showdown with Cook's Illustrated

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We're now at a critical stage of the food52 vs. Cook's Illustrated showdown, with two roasted pork shoulders and two chewy sugar cookies waiting at the gate. One of each will move forward to duke it out with the versions that Cook's Illustrated's food surgeons have been tinkering with for months.

But this is about so much more than pork shoulder and sugar cookies. It's a battle over who comes up with better recipes: Crowd-sourcing or experts? The will of the majority or the will of the bow-tied and suspendered? Home cooks or professionals? Good or evil? 


We do secretly love the kooky folks over at Cook's Illustrated and respect the work they do -- the rigorous, precise recipe testing in their laboratory to determine the very best way to pan-roast a chicken breast. We appreciate the dedication and the hand-holding, and we learn from them every time we pick up one of their magazines.

But we also believe that there is no one best way to cook a chicken breast (or a pork shoulder or a sugar cookie), that personal voice matters more than abstract precision, and that home cooks are an incredible resource too long overlooked by traditional food media. The creativity, inspiration and expertise flying around food52 every day are amazing, and we want to make sure they don't go unrecognized. So we need your help!


First off, you can start by voting on the finalist recipes. We have four outstanding contenders that the food52 team stands behind but, as always, we want to draw on your collective cooking wisdom and discerning palates to choose the two that will advance. So study the recipes, try them out, watch the slideshows and videos, discuss and be sure to vote before Tuesday at midnight!

In the next stage, which will take place on Slate sometime in May, our two winning recipes will go head-to-head with Cook's Illustrated's. All voting and conversation will take place on Slate, so we hope you'll all go engage in the process there and represent the food52 community. We'll keep you posted about exactly when the showdown will occur, and how to get involved!