What Good Cooks Know: 20 Years of Test Kitchen Expertise in One Essential Handbook

The Editors at America’s Test Kitchen. America’s Test Kitchen, $29.95 (448p) ISBN 978-1-940352-66-4
It is not hyperbole to say that this “field guide to your kitchen,” from the editors of America’s Test Kitchen, has everything including the kitchen sink. Wedged between instructions on disinfecting sponges and storing raw meat on lower shelves of the fridge is a hint on sanitizing the sink with a bit of bleach. And all that appears on just one half of a single page. Marrying their testing credentials with the desire to explain every facet of cooking and cookery, the authors go far and wide: recommendations for finding the best chef’s knife, a chart covering 11 types of dried fruit, a step-by-step guide to frosting a layer cake. The appendices alone take up 65 pages, revealing the proper boiling time for asparagus as well as what to look for when buying a vacuum robot. There is an amusing spread on gadgets to avoid, such as banana hangers, and fans of ATK’s TV show will enjoy the in-depth, behind-the-scenes looks at how various foods are taste-tested. A revealing section on what it takes to be a test cook explains that to join the staff, one must be equally skilled with knife and pen. Gilding the lily, there are some 50 recipes, mostly Americana classics such as fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, and deep-dish apple pie. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/2016
Release date: 11/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
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