Friday, December 01, 2006

How to access expired website content from America's Test Kitchen

UPDATE: America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Illustrated have updated their websites, so this trick no longer works. I very much encourage everyone out there to get a subscription to Cook's Illustrated or - it's well worth it...

Just discovered a way to access all the expired content on the America's Test Kitchen website.

Click here for this old review of chef's knives.

Didn't work huh? You should have ended up at, with message saying "Expired Content".

Now try this link. (If you're not already registered on the website, you can type in and hit submit to get through the registration.)

It worked, right?

Here's the trick:

  • 1. Right click on any expired link on the site. Copy it.

  • 2. Paste the link into your browser address bar.

  • 3a. If the link includes this sequence at the end, "&iSeason=", change the number after the equals sign to a 6 so that it reads, "&iSeason=6".

  • 3b. Or simply add "&iSeason=6" to the end of the url if nothing is there.

  • 4. Type in your e-mail (or to get through the registration, and there you have it, all the America's Test Kitchen content you could ever want.
Just another quick tip from the Frugal Foodie...

UPDATE: I posted this tip at Chowhound and eGullet earlier today, but both posts were removed by administrators. This may be more controversial than I initially thought.

To clarify: I don't advocate doing anything illegal to access restricted content on the internet. I don't believe this work-around is illegal, so please follow your own conscience in using it. I'm a big fan of America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Illustrated, and certainly don't want to harm their business. I may just go ahead and alert them to this gap in their security myself. Thoughts from any visitors on the ethics of this would be appreciated...


Darwin said...

What's a better deal, do you think? A subscription to the magazine, or to the website? If you subscribe to the magazine, do you get access to the website? (I searched, but I couldn't find that info at the website itself, amazingly.)

John V said...

Probably the website is a better deal b/c it has a recipe and rating database. But I like to read the stories about recipe development in the magazine, which they don't have on the website. So I have both.

Anonymous said...

I have to comment on this. I just canceled my "free" Cook's Illustrated trial after four days; I found the constant "up-sell" of great stuff I am not subscribed to see becoming absolutely obnoxious. But if it hadn't been for the constant sales-badgering, I think I would have enjoyed the site.

Google Cook's Illustrated before subscribing to the magazine; I've heard weird complaints. Try buying each copy at a magazine shop.