Store-bought Stuffing

Packaged Stuffing

Supermarket stuffing is incredibly easy to use—but how much quality must you sacrifice for the convenience?

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Buying the Bird

Turkey

Turkey is pretty bland, so why pay $100 for a mail-order bird when supermarket options cost less than $2 a pound?

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Cheese Board

Artisanal Cheddar

Plain, rubbery American cheddars never measured up to the British stuff. But by merging Old and New World techniques, some domestic creameries are waging a revolution.

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Movie Night

Microwave Popcorn

Americans spend over $1 billion annually on unpopped popcorn kernels. Is there a brand of microwave popcorn that can come close to homemade popcorn?

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Red Sauce

Jarred Pasta Sauce

If you're going to buy pasta sauce (and Americans spend $1.7 billion a year on jarred sauces), you should know which one tastes best. To find out, we assembled a lineup of nine national brands of marinara (or basic tomato and basil) sauce and called our tasters to the table.

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Who’s Got the Scoop?

Supermarket Vanilla Ice Cream

Twenty-one Cook’s Illustrated staff members sampled eight national and regional brands of vanilla ice cream plain in a blind tasting, rating each on vanilla flavor, texture, and overall appeal.

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Holiday Time-Saver

Ready-Made Pie Crusts

Many store-bought pie crust options are grim: dense and doughy or greasy and cracker-crisp. Could we find a crust that’s closer to homemade?

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It’s Not Delivery…

Frozen Pepperoni Pizza

Frozen pizza has a bad rep, but a slew of new “artisanal” options promise pizzeria quality from the freezer aisle. Can any product deliver?

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