The Science of Good Cooking: Master 50 Simple Concepts to Enjoy a Lifetime of Success in the Kitchen

The Science of Good Cooking: Master 50 Simple Concepts to Enjoy a Lifetime of Success in the Kitchen

4.3 17
by America's Test Kitchen
     
 

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Master 50 simple concepts to ensure success in the kitchen.

Unlock a lifetime of successful cooking with this groundbreaking new volume from the editors of Cook's Illustrated, the magazine that put food science on the map. Organized around 50 core principles our test cooks use to develop foolproof recipes, The Science of Good Cooking is a radical new

Overview

Master 50 simple concepts to ensure success in the kitchen.

Unlock a lifetime of successful cooking with this groundbreaking new volume from the editors of Cook's Illustrated, the magazine that put food science on the map. Organized around 50 core principles our test cooks use to develop foolproof recipes, The Science of Good Cooking is a radical new approach to teaching the fundamentals of the kitchen. Fifty unique experiments from the test kitchen bring the science to life, and more than 400 landmark Cook's Illustrated recipes (such as Old-Fashioned Burgers, Classic Mashed Potatoes, andPerfect Chocolate Chip Cookies) illustrate each of the basic principles at work. These experiments range from simple to playful to innovative - showing you why you should fold (versus stir) batter for chewy brownies, why you whip egg whites with sugar, and why the simple addition of salt can make meat juicy. A lifetime of experience isn't the prerequisite for becoming a good cook; knowledge is. Think of this as an owner's manual for your kitchen.

Editorial Reviews

Good cooks work their magic on recipes, but they perfect their skill by mastering basic kitchen concepts. The editors at America's Test Kitchen earn their reputation by sharpening those concepts and perfecting those recipes. This 500-page cooking compendium enables you to do both. As you make some of its 450 recipes, you will realize that you're applying some of its 50 fundamental concepts. The Science of Good Cooking is one of those cookbooks that keeps giving and giving and giving.

Publishers Weekly
The editors at America’s Test Kitchen, known for their endless testing, experimentation, and virtually foolproof recipes, offer a comprehensive exploration of the science behind cooking and baking in this informative and engaging collection. For those who have wondered about the hows and whys of cooking, whether it be why brining makes meat juicier or how to make flakier pie crust, these folks have it covered. In their trademark style of experimenting, assessing results, deriving takeaways, and offering related recipes, they explain 50 fundamental concepts that will make even the most skilled cook better. Insightful teachings such as gentle heat prevents overcooking and high heat develops flavor are showcased in appealing recipes such as glazed spiral ham and stir-fried beef with snap peas and red peppers. Sidebars provide useful advice and guidelines on everything from egg safety and salt to flour and butter. Some discoveries are surprising, such as that adding vodka will make pie dough tender and slicing changes garlic and onion flavor. Throughout, valuable advice on washing vegetables and fruit and cooking with chocolate will pique the minds of curious cooks. Ideal as a reference for the bookshelf and as a book to curl up and get lost in, this volume will be turned to time and again for definitive instruction on just about any food-related matter. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Apart from grouping recipes by concept (e.g., "High Heat Develops Flavor," "Fat Makes Eggs Tender," and "Salting Vegetables Removes Liquids") instead of by course, this cookbook largely resembles other America's Test Kitchen titles, like The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook and The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. You'll find Deviled Eggs, Beef Stroganoff, and Yeasted Waffles in all three, albeit with variation in instructions and ingredients. VERDICT A handy (if redundant) collection that synthesizes America's Test Kitchen's numerous kitchen experiments. For other takes on culinary science, try Shirley Corriher's CookWise: The Secrets of Cooking Revealed and Alton Brown's I'm Just Here for the Food: Food + Heat = Cooking. [Check out Neal Wyatt's "RA Crossroads: What To Read After Modernist Cuisine" at ow.ly/cjbe3 for more titles on food science.—Ed.]

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933615981
Publisher:
America's Test Kitchen
Publication date:
10/01/2012
Pages:
504
Sales rank:
49,160
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 10.50(h) x 1.60(d)

Meet the Author

This book has been tested, written, and edited by the test cooks, editors, food scientists, tasters, and cookware specialists at America’s Test Kitchen, a 2,500-square-foot kitchen located just outside Boston. It is the home of Cook’s Illustrated magazine and Cook’s Country magazine, the public television cooking shows America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country from America’s Test Kitchen, America’s Test Kitchen Radio, and the online America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School.

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The Science of Good Cooking: Master 50 Simple Concepts to Enjoy a Lifetime of Success in the Kitchen 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love christopher kimball and company, but the nook version of this book leaves much to be desired. Many recipes are squeezed so tight or or even overlappping that they are unreadable. Some of the side notesand pictures are so narrow they are hard to read or see. I hope these problems will be corrected or at least be minimized in the online nook library so i can get the full recipes. I'll give five stars as soon as this is corrected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The content of this book is excellent as I have found all of the Cooks Illustrated content to be. However the Ebook formating (experienced on an original nook, nook color, ipad nook app, and android nook app) is horrible. It makes the book very difficult to read. An email to Barnes and Noble Customer service to complain went unanswered. I recommend this book just not in electronic form.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I own at least a hundred cookbooks. This one has actually made me a better cook. I highly recommend it! The text is occasionally buggy, to fix this, try changing the font size when you encounter troubles. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i agree, the nook version leaves much to be desired.  starting with "tools that transform" , it's unreadable.  Column widths are truncated, less than an i nch.  Don't buy the nook version until corrected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recently bought this book as a birthday present for my sister. Having been a fan of America's Test Kitchen and hearing many great interviews on NPR I was sure that this book would be a perfect addition to my sisters kitchen library. Well, I have to say, I gave her the book mid October and I am still hearing all the wonderful things that she has been learning. The segment about proper measuring and the info on vanilla has been particularly mind blowing. I may be picking up a copy for myself in the near future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The detail and the pictures breaks down the most common of tasks in the kitchen. The explanations are outstanding. Why braise over roast? Well this book explains it in detail. What cut of meat should you buy for the grill? How to make the best turkey you have ever eaten. My Thanksgiving Turkey blew my friends away and it was so easy. It gives you more of the whys and hows than most other books I have read and I have a collection of culinary books that totals over 300. Cooks Illustrated has outdone themselves this time. They are always a good source of up to date info but this book tops my list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's interesting to understand the flavor benefits of bone-in meat selections and how natural gelatin creates a more velvety sauce, how to enhance the "beefiness" of pot roast & stews, and using different techniques of brining for the desired effect you want - juicier chicken or crisper skin.  The book doesn't throw too much science at you, just enough to demystify the recommendations.  If you're a long-time fan of Cook's Illustrated you will see some recipes reprinted here, but they're worth a reprint.  French-style Mashed Potatoes with Cheese & Garlic should be experienced at least once in everyone's lifetime.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book quite helpful in teaching me the basics of cooking. I've notice an improvement in my cooking. It's nice to finally know 'why' things are done they way they are.
BigEasyBookreader More than 1 year ago
I love this cookbook. In 50 short chapters of about 10 pages each, it teaches 50 concepts for good cooking, and gives a brief, clear explanation of the science behind each concept. The "science" is NOT organic chemistry! It will be explained, then illustrated by experiment in a couple of pages. The rest of each chapter is approximately 8 recipes. I have read the book to completion and am now re-reading it to reacquaint myself with the "lessons." I have tried a dozen or more of the recipes, always with very favorable results. I have recommended this cookbook to a number of my foodie friends. Let me close with an example. One chapter has the surprising title "Cook Tough Cuts Beyond Well-Done." The explanation: tough meat is tough because of the presence of substantial connective tissue. The latter is predominantly collagen, which consists of three protein chains tightly wound together in a three-strand helix. Above 140 degrees, and the longer the better, collagen unwinds and separates into single strands of gelatin. Thus, toughness goes away and in its place you get a thickened gravy in your pan. Now that is simple enough to understand even if you haven't had organic chemistry!
TedMorgan More than 1 year ago
I realise that I know more about cooking than I think but not as much as I want to know. “Cook’s Illustrated” works are high on my list of necessary books for my kitchen library. This is the first of what I hope will be other works from these folks. Understanding why recipes work by understanding the science behind them enriches confidence and outcomes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I went to cooking school 20 years ago and I cooked professionally for many years. I love to cook for family and friends and this cookbook is a must have. Everyday since I received the book in the mail, I read a little, some days a chapter or two. I always learn something new and the recipes are foolproof. I have made some of the recipes already and they have all been great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow.
pjkite More than 1 year ago
This is the cookbook I've been wanting for decades. Yes, it gives lovely, tested recipes with ideas for modifications. More importantly, it goes into the science behind cooking and how to utilize that science to make the food you cook taste better! Luckily I bought the electronic version, making it easy to take along to the grocery to take advantage of the specials for the week. Kudos to Cooks Illustrated - this is a perfect addition to any cook's library!
abriella More than 1 year ago
For cooks who appreciate America's Test Kitchen, with Christopher Kimball, this is a must- have cookbook. It answers so many cooking and baking questions, with science behind the answers. I bought 2, one for myself, & one for a gift.