Last chance to download Fine Cooking recipes

Back in 2020, we wrote about DotDash Meredith’s acquisition of Fine Cooking, which was marred by the disappearance (and subsequent re-emergence) of the FC website. Earlier this year, we learned that Fine Cooking was ceasing publication, and surmised that the website would eventually be taken down. Now, that day has come, with the Fine Cooking website set to shutter for good on September 15.

The site states it simply: “There’s no easy way to say it so we’ll just come out with the news: On September 15, FineCooking.com will be shutting down for good. But we want to give you an opportunity to save all those recipes you’ve loved over the years.” They lay out the steps to take to save your favorite recipes as PDFs.

I tried a few and it worked pretty well, although it doesn’t always give the publication date for the recipe in case you have the magazines and want to refer to that issue. However, if you browse recipes in the EYB Library and follow the link from the magazine’s index, it will provide the issue date. The recipe links all seem to work at this time, however, the viewable digital issues that used to be on the site are gone (and have been for some time).

This announcement serves as a wakeup call that you cannot rely on any recipe website maintaining its presence forever, so find a way to save your favorite recipes for posterity. I think this is why cookbooks continue to be an enduring medium; you don’t have to worry about the recipe vanishing into thin air. It’s certainly one reason I continue to collect cookbooks. I also prefer to read from a page rather than a screen, plus I don’t have to worry about whether the battery is almost dead. Long live cookbooks!

UPDATE: When the site does shut down, please DO NOT report broken links on these recipes as we will be taking care of that internally.

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12 Comments

  • DJM  on  September 9, 2022

    Taunton Press failed miserably when the decision to sell Fine Cooking was a major failure on their part, compounded by Meredith. A major source of cooking knowledge and fantastic recipes gone from the web. A very sad day.

    • Darcie  on  September 9, 2022

      I concur, and I am frantically downloading all of the recipes for the issues I don’t have on the electronic copy of FC I purchased several years ago. So glad I bought that, even though at the time I thought it was a lot of money to spend.

  • KatieK1  on  September 10, 2022

    Please recommend recipes to download.

  • eliza  on  September 10, 2022

    For anyone on Facebook there’s a group called Fine Cooking Community. A lot of the former staff of FC have joined, as well as us regular folks, and it’s at about 1300 members now. They have every issue available to download and a searchable data base. They recently saved all the videos from the site. It’s a great group, very supportive. Many calls recently for favourite recipes on there as well.

  • Sandra.Rose  on  September 10, 2022

    I know what *I* will be doing for the next few days, and nights. What a shame 🙁

  • tmitra  on  September 11, 2022

    Thank you for the heads up. Some of my favorite recipes came from “Fine Cooking” years ago, and I’m disappointed that I won’t have time to discover more.

  • Jenny  on  September 11, 2022

    Just a reminder – when the site does close down – please do not use the “report broken link” feature on FIne Cooking recipes. We will be taking care of those internally. Thank you.

  • Rinshin  on  September 11, 2022

    I am curious if they are going to keep the app where you can download the issues. I downloaded all the issues while back but since not sure what will happen, I am also copying the recipes to copymethat. Very time consuming.

  • Handarbeiter  on  September 16, 2022

    Did not do an extensive search but there is some available of Fine Cooking using the Internet Archive:
    https://archive.org/web/

  • Chef_Penelope  on  September 16, 2022

    Thank you, Handarbeiter, for pointing out that recipes with eyb “Broken Links” are, more often than not, still available on archive.org. (And they always will be because the sole purpose of that website is to preserve content previously available on the web.) That’s why, IMHO, the folks at eyb should NOT destroy any of their PRECIOUS “Broken Links!” Instead, I propose that they preserve them in a new category called “Archived Links.”
    For major blogs and websites, such as Serious Eats, opting to do this would have profound implications. These sites often contain recipes that have never been published elsewhere on paper. Hence they are listed as “Online Recipes” on eyb. So when these recipes are removed due to a “Broken Link,” it follows that all our bookmarks, notes, and comments relating to them must be removed as well. (I have a hard time wrapping my head around this…)
    That said, perhaps the biggest waste when this occurs is the loss of all the effort that went into indexing these recipes in the first place. So I’d also like to suggest that archiving links, instead of removing them, might be a shrewd business decision as well. Eatyourbooks could become the sole recipe archive on the net. And who wouldn’t want access to a library like that???

  • dvhirst865  on  September 18, 2022

    @handarbeiter, a +1 to you! The Internet Archive is an essential resource for the Internet community. Anything EYB can do so work with them, archiving recipes, e.g., as from Fine Cooking, will benefit cooks worldwide. I’m looking forward to hearing more about this possibility.

  • Jane  on  September 18, 2022

    I don’t feel that we should link from our index to an unauthorized archive if a publisher has decided they no longer want that content on their site. It really is not worth the risk for us to add links to the Internet Archive (IA). Their own terms of service state this:

    Access to the Archive’s Collections is provided at no cost to you and is granted for scholarship and research purposes only – we could not claim this for EYB links.

    Some of the content available through the Archive may be governed by local, national, and/or international laws and regulations, and your use of such content is solely at your own risk. You agree to abide by all applicable laws and regulations, including intellectual property laws – we would not be prepared to take on this risk exposure.

    We work very closely with publishers and given that a group of large publishers sued the IA in 2020 for copyright infringement, we do not want to be seen to collaborate with them.

    We do highly recommend that members store much-loved online recipes in some other format – screenshot, paper print-out, Word doc, etc – as many online sites have closed or significantly reduced their recipe content in the 13 years we have been in operation. You are of course very welcome to add any recipes from the IA as personal recipes.

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