on May 31, 2008
How much can I love this cookbook? First off, the technical features! It is a binder that has sections clearly tabbed - and you can find ANY recipe quickly. There is a table of contents on each tab for each section and a full index in the back. PLUS it lays flat.
BUT now for the best part! The RECIPES are AWESOME. I always get so many compliments on the cookies - the best chocolate chip cookies (thick and caramelly, like the best gourmet ones you can buy). Easy to follow, step by step recipes for all sorts of things - I've tried so many things including, pulled pork BBQ, homemade BBQ sauce, classic yellow birthday cake, the yummiest lemon bars, simply roasted Turkey, etc.
Based on the TV series on PBS, the ATK gang basically find the best way to make something and write a recipe for it. No fail, always worth the (sometimes extra) effort. I have the other book "The Best Recipe" and the recipes are great, and I loved that book - but I love this one more. It's got great colour photos and is a bit more everyday friendly.
I've been able to find a recipe for almost anything I've ever wanted to make, from basics like meatloaf and pizza to Osso Bucco and homemade Challah (the BEST bread you'll ever taste). I was an avid cookbook collector until I realized this is the only book I would ever need if I were suddenly faced with only being able to keep one.
on November 19, 2007
I have never seen the television show but the book looked interesting. The book gives tons of cooking and equipment tips with references to which products and methods work better then others. I have now tried about 4 or 5 recipes and each one has turned out fantastic. The recipes use ingredients that are easily available or items ordinarily found in many kitchens. I will now start collecting more books from the America's Test Kitchen family.
on September 3, 2013
This book turns terrible cooks into good cooks and average cooks into outstanding cooks. This book assumes you're going to mess up a recipe -- so they give you the most foolproof route to the end result, so you'll encounter far less failures and disappointments, and build up your cooking ego to the point that your feel confident trying trickier recipes. The PBS cooking show (which this is taken from) offers fantastic and clear instructions and the book is no different: clear, concise and easy to execute the recipe.
Love this book -- most of my meals come from it and neither my girlfriend nor my guests have yet to complain!
on November 19, 2010
Christopher Kimball, founder of America's Test Kitchen, you are a genius. I LOVE the show and I LOVE this book. Gone are the days of trolling the internet for recipes that fall somewhere between ridiculously gourmet and easy-yet-icky. The recipes in this book tell you how to make good, tasty, non-fussy food from scratch. I have had this cookbook three months and have probably made 50 recipes from it and none have been disasters.
I love the tabbed index, you can open right to the section you want to go to and then right on the tab there is an index for that chapter, so you can find any recipe you want very quickly. I love the pictures that go along with the recipes and show you how to do anything tricky. I love the explanations of WHY the recipes work (I'm a self professed geek, and the science of cooking is really interesting to me). My husband loves this cookbook because everything in it turns out well, our Filipino nanny loves this cookbook because all of the steps are very clearly laid out. I love this cookbook because I trust it so completely. Mr. Kimball says put your pork loin in the slow cooker with prunes, I do it, it turns out great, end of story.
My only complaint is that there is an inordinate amount of roast cooking in this book. Which may be a positive thing; goodness knows there have been enough roasts cooked to death in America and a lesson how not to do that is needed. I wish that there was more international flavor represented. The Thai Beef was amazing, and I'd love to have more of my favorite international dishes America's Test Kitchen-ized.
This has become our go-to book, and I look forward to trying even more recipes out of it over the coming years. This would also be a great gift for anyone just starting out and needing a cookbook which gives you the basics of cooking (how to make a grilled cheese sandwich and boil eggs are both included!).
Thank you Mr. Kimball, my cookbook shelf is suddenly much less crowded!
on January 5, 2013
I love this cookbook because it's more or less a collection of the very best version of hundreds of popular dishes. Everything I have made from it, from lasagna to chicken piccata to gingerbread to salad dressings, has turned out perfectly. I am not always in the mood to follow a recipe exactly with no experimenting, but I think it's a good Idea to follow these recipes as closely as possible. They even recommend the best kitchen gear and store bought products. I turn to this book every time I am entertaining because I know it will turn out perfectly. My only beef is that it doesn't list nutritional info, but for that you can turn to their light cookbook, which is also excellent.
on May 3, 2014
I would DEFINITELY recommend this cookbook to anyone. Great for people who love to cook and those that are beginners. It has all our your basic recipes in it and gives great tips and reasons for the ingredients and cooking times. They also review the best pans and utensils. This would be a great wedding shower gift.
on March 5, 2009
I wanted this cookbook for Christmas, when I didn't get it, I ordered it myself. The best decision I could have made. This cookbook is amazing. I sit and read it like a book, it is so filled with tips and knowledge. I have only had it for a couple of months but everything that I have made turns out so impressive. It truly is the best tacos, chocolate chip cookies, oven fries, etc. I keep calling my sisters telling them that they have to try these recipes. The binder is so handy as it lays flat and has lots of pictures, not only of the final product but of techniques as well. It really is worth the low price for such a high quality cookbook.
on January 15, 2014
Whether we're making a meal for our family or guests this is my go-to cookbook. The recipes use basic ingredients, provide variations, include tips, provide easy to follow instructions and every recipe I've made has been so delicious. I would rather make something from this cookbook than eat out at a restaurant!
on November 20, 2012
I have watched a few of America's Test Kitchen TV shows and am happy to see equipment suggestions and various techniques included in the cook book although most of the recommendations for food products are not helpful for those of us in Canada, especially if we live outside the major cities. The ring binder feature will be helpful; instead of trying to keep a book flat you can remove the recipe page and insert it into a page protector to keep it clean.
I received 2 other cookbooks at the same time and noticed something that could be a big problem: the way flour is measured. Most of you probably know about this already.
"America's Test Kitchen": dip measuring cup into the flour bin & sweep the excess off the cup; 1c = 5oz = 142gr.
"Flour: A baker's collection of spectacular recipes": stir the flour, dip the measuring cup into the flour & sweep the excess off the cup; 1c = 140gr (equals 4.9 oz). Thankfully weights are given for all recipes.
"Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book": stir the flour, spoon flour into measuring cup, sweep the excess off the cup; 1c = 4oz = 125gr. This is wrong: 4oz = 1/4 lb = 113.4 gr. If 125gr is correct then it should be 4.4oz.
In the future perhaps all recipe books will include weights for the dry ingredients (except for measuring spoon size quantities).
on March 22, 2010
I am a fan of America's Test Kitchens and their empirical approach to creating recipes. When they offer a recipe, you know that it has been tested against many others and the one provided is most likely to deliver. Sure, there are purists out there, both professionals and home cooks, who will find much to complain about; but, for us normal people, this book will get great results.
If you like to cook and to eat - you can't go wrong with this book. It and its baking companion are the most frequently referenced books in our kitchen library. Money well spent; meals well eaten.