Science for the Home Cook
The editors of Cook's Illustrated have spent the last two decades exploring the fundamental principles of cooking. The Science of Good Cooking is the culmination of all this research, the distillation of tens of thousands of kitchen tests into 50 practical concepts every good cook should know. These principles can be picked up through years and years of practice. But there really is a secret to good cooking, and anyone can learn it. The concepts in the book are brought to life by more than 400 classic Cook's Illustrated recipes - the kind of recipes every cook struggles to get right.
The classic version of brownies is made with all butter (and no vegetable oil) for a high proportion of solid, saturated fat that leads to a tender texture, versus a chewy one.
Our brownies contain a low-tech combo of butter and vegetable oil that creates a chewy texture similar to box brownies, but a far richer taste than shortening ever could.
These 50 concepts are suspiciously simple. For example: Gentle heat retains moisture. Salty marinades work best. Starch helps cheese melt nicely. The Science of Good Cooking doesn't just explain the science - it shows you the science with unique experiments performed in our test kitchen. These experiments range from simple to playful to innovative - show why exactly, you should fold (not stir) batter for chewy brownies, why you should grind your own meat for the ultimate burger, and why following three simple steps will yield a firm and dry tart. The Science of Good Cooking will give anyone the confidence and know-how that usually take years of kitchen experience to acquire.
Without salted, drained tomatoes, Parmesan, or an egg wash, this is one soggy tart.
After implementing our three precautions, this tart can be held firmly in one hand.
Concepts covered in the book:
- Gentle Heat Prevents Overcooking
- High Heat Develops Flavor
- Resting Meat Maximizes Juiciness
- Tough Cuts Like a Covered Pot
- Bones Add Flavor, Fat, and Juiciness
- Fat Makes Eggs Tender
- Green Vegetables Like Hot - Then Cold
- Layers of Butter Make Flaky Pastry
- Sugar Changes Texture (and Sweetness)
- Cocoa Powder Delivers Big Flavor