What happened to Fine Cooking’s website?

Fine Cooking Magazine has been a perennial EYB Member favorite and has legions of dedicated fans. Earlier in the year, we heard that Taunton was going to stop publishing the print magazine, although nothing was said about what would happen to its digital offerings. Fine Cooking’s Twitter account fell silent beginning in June but the Facebook page continued to post items and its website remained active until just over a week ago, when the website disappeared without warning. All of the recipes were gone, and visitors to finecooking.com were automatically redirected to another website selling subscriptions. At the same time, Taunton announced in a press release that it had sold Fine Cooking to Meredith Corp. Meredith, the number one magazine publisher in the US, owns a gaggle of food and lifestyle magazines including Food & Wine, Better Homes & Gardens, and Martha Stewart Living. 

Our members have been among those wondering what happened to Fine Cooking’s website. In the EYB Forum, people expressed their frustration and disappointment concerning the vanishing recipes. No one received clear answers about their subscription from the customer service email address listed on the redirected website. One person was offered a substitution of Food & Wine Magazine while another struggled to determine the status of their subscription. A series of tweets on October 9 from the Fine Cooking Twitter account announced the following:

Meredith Corp. recently assumed the publishing of Fine Cooking from The Taunton Press. We are continuing to produce the magazine and are currently determining how the brand’s digital content will be incorporated into our portfolio. We love food and will find a good home for Fine Cooking’s entire catalog of inspiring recipes, ideas and content. Thank you for your patience.

For users frustrated that all of their saved recipes have disappeared into the ether with no way to know when or if they will reappear, there may be a method to retrieve some of them using Wayback Machine. Wayback Machine is a digital internet archive that allows you to go “back in time” and see what a website looked like in the past, so if you have the URL for a particular recipe you may be able to view it. I was able to do so for my favorite lemon curd recipe, which is now safely stored on a local drive for future reference. It is only a slight exaggeration to say that I would be crushed if I had lost that recipe.

To use Wayback Machine, you must know the exact URL of the page you want to retrieve. You can find URLs for over 3,000 Fine Cooking recipes in the EYB Library from magazines dated 2010 to 2020. If you bookmarked recipes in your web browser, those URLs should work as well. After you enter the URL into Wayback’s search engine, you will see a series of calendars with colored circles on them. (Note that it can take some time for the site to complete its search of the archive.) The colored circles indicate on which days the archive saved a snapshot of that particular webpage. There was only one day highlighted for the lemon curd recipe I was searching for; other recipes might have more and some might not have any. Click on any of the highlighted dates and Wayback will fetch the site for you. While far from a perfect solution, this might be a way to retrieve your favorite Fine Cooking recipes.

As an illustration of why I don’t go to Las Vegas, I purchased a five-year subscription to Fine Cooking one week before we learned it was going to fold. The subscription included digital access to all back issues of the magazine. Using the Fine Cooking Zinio app, I was able to log in today and view the two most recent issues (the latter featuring a Meredith Corp. masthead), and a handful of previously published special issues. There is no way to tell if the full back catalog will become available. I also received the most recent print issue but haven’t had a chance to review it to see how it compares to the older ones.

Post a comment


  • Prairiegirlbaking  on  October 10, 2020

    I am totally bummed that Taunton sold it and I really hope their recipes will be restored. I have every issue going back to the summer of 2014. As for that lemon curd recipes….I wrote that one down years ago!

  • ataraxia  on  October 10, 2020

    People might be able to find their favourite recipes using the Wayback Machine even if they don’t have the exact URL. Although the search and log in facilities won’t work, you can navigate around using the website’s menu items such as ‘Recipes and Menus,’ How To’ etc etc. Fingers crossed for those looking for a specific recipe.

    I hope you managed to get your money back for the 5 year subscription
    through the new owners of the title or by contacting your card company to request a chargeback for not having received the service you paid for.

  • EmilyR  on  October 10, 2020

    …and now I’m totally regretting when they offered those USBs with all of the recipes a year or so ago. Here I thought they’d always be readily available online.

  • sir_ken_g  on  October 10, 2020

    If I see a recipe I like I archive it on my own computer.
    Nothing on the web is permeant.

  • Megoola  on  October 10, 2020

    I suggest that EYB be updated to allow logged in users to flag a recipe link as dead or inaccurate. Then, ideally, site admins could update them.

  • Jenny  on  October 10, 2020

    Regarding links. We are in communication with Meredith and they are going to inform us when the recipes are relinked. We are holding off doing anything regarding the links until they notify us. We requested that perhaps they could automatically redirect the original links.

  • RBJ  on  October 10, 2020

    Just yesterday I was wondering if it was time to let go of the Fine Cooking Magazine Archive 1994-2016 disc that has been gathering dust on my desk. It has been so much easier to just go to the website for what I needed.

    Due to copyright issues, I will not send recipes. Please do not ask. Both Ebay and Amazon show various archive discs available.

  • Jane  on  October 10, 2020

    Megoola – any time you come across a broken link just click Contact at the top and copy in the URL for that page and “Broken link” as the Subject and we will replace (if alternative available) or remove the link. But don’t do for Fine Cooking – as Jenny says, we are hoping to replace those links soon.

  • sinjawns  on  October 11, 2020

    Darcie: this is a very helpful description of how FC users can access recipes through wayback. Thank you.

    A group has formed on Facebook (now more than 400 strong) to help users of the Fine Cooking website recover from the loss. We have some other search tools to share and lots of support. We welcome you to join us: https://www.facebook.com/groups/finecookingcommunity

  • moorestinson  on  October 16, 2020

    Oddly enough, I decided to print out several of my absolute favorite Fine Cooking recipes from over the years. Thank God that I did! Sad to see this resource disappear. I only recently ended my print subscription. I had been a subscriber and have nearly all of the printed magazines from as far back as 1997!

  • CCquahog  on  October 19, 2020

    Damn! I should have bought the thumb drive with all past issues last year. However, I do have one through 2015.

  • bgibbs  on  October 23, 2020

    Thanks, Darcie, for this sad information. FC is the last cooking magazine subscription that I have, and I’m not likely to replace it. I have about a year remaining on my current subscription, and I hope Meredith will honor it. Instead of saving each issue of the magazine over the years, I’ve downloaded the recipes I want to a personal recipe program (first YummySoup! and now Paprika), so I’m up to date through the Aug./Sept. issue. I hope there will be future issues and that the recipes will be available from a website!!

  • GM123  on  October 25, 2020

    Until reading this blog notice, i had no idea that Fine Cooking recipes were not available. Yes, It has been frustrating to click on a link that says “view complete recipe” and then finding only an advertisement on the “Magazine Store Website”

    Would EYB consider removing the link until Fine Cooking’s site is restored–if it ever is?


  • thisisvictoria  on  October 28, 2020

    Wow, that’s really frustrating, I’m usually pretty good about saving my favorite web recipes in Evernote but definitely depended on Fine Cooking for some bookmarks.

  • Emm3773  on  November 1, 2020

    So frustrating. I called the customer service line twice and was told a different story each time (don’t worry, it’ll be back up September 29th, and then, oh we’re going to develop it into an app). I even sent a LinkedIn message to the Meredith CEO (no response of course). Thank goodness my IT smart hubby told me to check my cache, where I was able to find recipes I had accessed within the last month or so i.e. since the last time I cleared my cache. I also have a couple of FC books so most of my cookie / cake / chocolate recipes are there. What I miss most of all is the ability to look at my recipe notes, which I’d only ever saved online. Lesson learned … digital is no more forever than paper was.

  • Eyelyon  on  November 17, 2020

    Well, I deduced that something was up with FC when I was managing my Taunton subscriptions and couldn’t find it on their website, but didn’t know about the sale until today …. when I received the Nov/Dec 2020 issue #167 and saw that it was published by Meredith. Otherwise, it looks exactly the same as before — cover is a bit stiffer, though. Anyway, maybe this is a good sign that they plan to continue. I hope so, since I JUST (like a month ago) gave away two boxes full of magazines thinking they were all online!

  • acontenta1  on  November 21, 2020

    Fine Cooking website is back up with recipes. My Recipe Box is there too.

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!