Customer Reviews

159
4.8 out of 5 stars
The America's Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:$19.04 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

142 of 144 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
First, a word of warning - most of these recipes you can get free online at America's Test Kitchen The Feed (AmericasTestKitchenFeed [dot] com). I was unaware of that when I ordered the book, so I just paid for a book of recipes that I already had for free and was very disappointed. THIS WAS MY MISTAKE AND WILL NOT AFFECT MY RATING.

With that said, it's a good book. If you are the type of person that prefers to have all of your recipes in a book instead of a digital copy, I recommend getting it. If you're a kitchen geek like I am and would love to learn how to make your own root beer and cured meats, the America's Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook provides a nice foundation. It is very basic and touches on a few different topics like pickled vegetables, jams and jellies, homemade nutella, and charcuterie. It had only a handful of recipes for each topic and doesn't go into any great depth about each item.

I think that it might be a good book to give you an idea what each preparation is like and help you decide if you would like to learn more about each topic.
1313 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I was about to not buy this book because another review told me that all of these recipes are available for free on the America's Test Kitchen Feed site. That was a great tip and review because I never knew about that site before and it was a great find. However, when I started to look at what was available online and what was in this book (according to the description) I noticed that a lot of the recipes in this book where not online. I ended up buying the book and am really happy I did. This book has a lot more recipes than are available online.

I just made pickled beets with this book and I had never pickled or canned a thing in my life. I was a bit intimidated but when I read through the instructions they laid things out so simply. It was easy to follow and I ended up having a great, easy time. The recipe started out with a story about how the recipe came to be and why each step is there. This is really great if you want to make any deviations from the recipe. This doesn't just give you straight instructions on how to replicate what they made, but really explains to you why each step is there and what it does for the whole process. FYI the beets turned out tasty!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I guess if I have one compliant it is it should be thicker and cover more recipes. Pickled daikon and sag panneer (sp) didn't make the cut. However, it's a great book for learning all those odd skills that used to be part of cooking. I've been making bacon, pickling, playing at cheese making and brewing for a bit and this book would have been a great help when we started. For one, it has color pictures of steps for each project and very detailed instructions. It's not as good as having Dad or Grandma teach you to do it, but they are better than anything else I've seen and it covers a lot of ground. The book touches on fermentation, pickling, cheese-making, etc so you get an idea of the range of things to do as well as how complicated they are. It's definitely a keeper.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
My husband and I have a ridiculously extensive library of America's Test Kitchen cookbooks and we subscribe to their magazines as well. We keep saying that we don't need anymore of their cookbooks, but then they come out with stuff like this and we can't help ourselves. I wanted this as soon as they put it out for pre-purchase. Reading some of the reviews on this, however, made me somewhat unsure how I would like it.

My husband made fun of me for purchasing yet another ATK cookbook, but we when we got it I couldn't pry it out of his hands long enough to look at it myself. Obviously, we like to cook and we are especially interested in DIY. I like to can in the summer, so I was particularly excited about canning recipes from ATK. There is nothing more disappointing than making a giant batch of jelly, going to the trouble of canning it, only to have it turn out...meh. Or worse, turn out awful. But I knew with canning recipes from ATK, they would turn out good. There weren't as many canning recipes as I would have liked, however; so, if you are getting this book specifically for canning recipes then you will probably be disappointed.

My biggest beef with ATK cookbooks is usually the sheer amount of repeats. If you subscribe to their magazine and have their cookbooks, you will know what I mean. Also, some of these recipes are online for free on their blog, as another reviewer mentioned. However, for me this did not detract from the usefulness of this book. I still think there are a lot of recipes in here that are not on their blog and also I generally prefer using a cookbook than using the internet or printing out a recipe. So, I have been quite pleased with this.

I love the explanations of the recipes and, best of all, the step-by-step instructions and full-color pictures. There are so many things in here that I'm so excited to make. I never thought we could make root beer at home, but now I'm looking forward to it. For the last couple of years, my husband and I have been making salted caramels with the intention of giving them away for Christmas gifts, but they just never set up right and were just kind of gloopy globs not great for gifting (but perfectly acceptable for eating, as we did). I just tried the salted caramel recipe from this cookbook last night and they turned out beautifully. Soft, chewy, and they actually hold their shape! I wrapped them up in little candy wrappers and they look professional. Plus, their taste exceeds any other recipe I have tried.

Very, very, very pleased! I highly recommend this cookbook to anyone who wants to try making things like root beer, cheese, vinegar, Thin Mints, Oreos, bacon (yes, bacon) etc., on their own and actually having them turn out fantastic. Admittedly, I'm already a big fan of ATK, but I think they hit it out of the park with this one. Would make a great gift, too.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
79 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I really like this book, typical of America's Test Kitchen's other publications with pictures along with the why's and how's and I'm looking forward to trying them. However, I do have two criticisms whenever long term storage (canning) recipes are referenced. Many of the pickling recipes have alternate vinegars that may not be at least 5% acid - key to safety and I'd feel better if they made a point of saying that in every recipe where vinegars are used along with long term storage instructions. Also, the Big Batch Summer Sauce (tomato sauce) gives a processing time for quarts that is less than half the time specified by the National Center for Home Food Preservation - again, a safety issue.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2014
Format: Paperback
While I appreciate all ATK books, this one has a few significant omissions and foolish editing choices that I would like to correct to make like easier on the next person that tries the recipes in the book.

PICKLES, SALT, and WEIGHT.
In an effort to avoid giving dead simple instructions that require the home cook to have a scale, the book does not give any weights for water or salt for any of the pickle recipes. Instead it gives an inaccurate and largely useless conversion chart between 3 kinds of salt, diamond crystal kosher, morton's kosher, and table. Then it gives measurements by volume in the Diamond kosher and expects you to convert. This is absurdly complicated and so unnecessary. Quick convert 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of diamond crystal to morton's kosher using a 1.5 to 2 ratio of morton's to diamond crystal. This is the kind of silliness I am talking about. Anyone willing to go to the trouble to make these recipes at home can be told how to do a simple measurement using weight!

So here it is, ignore the idiotic instructions in the book on how much salt to use and use this conversion chart.
1 cup Diamond Crystal Kosher salt =135 grams
1 cup Morton's Kosher salt = 230 grams
1 cup table salt OR pickling salt = 288 grams

The sour pickle recipe is a 3.55% salt solution. So skip the volume instructions and simply weigh out and add 35 grams of salt (any salt) for every 1000 grams of water (also by weight) and you can make any volume of pickling solution you want without trying to convert between cups and tablespoons and salt types.

Here are some other quick conversions to help you along.
1/4 cup diamond crystal = (.25x135)=34 grams (rounded)
1 tablespoon diamond crystal (135g/16)=8.4 grams
1 teaspoon diamond crystal = 2.8 grams

Use these to calculate the weight in salt of whatever recipe the book uses then use an equal weight of salt in whatever form you have.

Good luck. I hope in the future, ATK will remember to always include the much simpler measurements by weight in all their recipes.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I became of fan of America's Test Kitchen cookbooks when I got the Grilling & Barbequing cookbook and finally learned how to smoke amazing ribs, brisket, and (my personal nemesis) pork butt. So when they released this latest -- with the tagline 'Can it, cure it, churn it, brew it' -- I was desperate to lay my hands on it. As a homebrewer with 10 batches under my belt, the prospect of learning how to do more awesome stuff like properly pickling kimchi, making my own goat cheese, and (could it be??) breathing life into homemade sriracha was irresitible. Knowing I'd be learning it the ATK way, which undoubtedly had countless attempts at each recipe under their belt before publishing, sealed the deal.

Honestly, I was slightly nervous after reading a review on Amazon from someone fairly convinced the ATK would be unleashing dangerous, even negligent recipes. But I waded in anyway (and complimented it with Ball's Blue Book Guide to Preserving). I can't see meaningful inconsistencies between the two when it comes to canning, but hey, the raspberry jam I made from the DIY cookbook was marvelous and won't last more than 3 weeks in our fridge anyway.

Similarly, the chocolate hazelnut spread was easy, amazing to watch come together, and unbelievably delicious (especially on homemade banana bread -- sorry, that recipe was not from this cookbook). The candied ginger was slightly tricky to get the timing right, but has a nice kick. And consistent with the recipe recommendations, the residual ginger infused simple syrup has been quite a perfect accompaniment with 1 part spiced rum, 1 part syrup, ice, lemon zest, and a top-up of seltzer water. And with that in hand, I keep perusing the great photo-supported step by step instructions for each recipe as I contemplate what great adventure I'll take on next. I highly recommend this and hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
[Update: I tried making the mozzarella. First try was only half-successful, I figure because I didn't have good enough temperature control. Second try, with a gallon of raw milk, worked a charm, probably because I made it using my Rube Goldberg sous vide setup (See pics, above). I didn't do the recipe straight: I blended it with the recipe from Cooking for Geeks. They add lipase to the mix, which really springs the flavour to life. I have no idea why CI doesn't include lipase, since it's available at any place that sells the necessary rennet. The resultant pizza margherita (done in a KettlePizza wood oven) might be the finest thing I've ever made.]

We found this on a recent trip to Costco. I literally just riffled through it, then immediately headed back to the vegetable section to get pickling cucumbers. By the time my roommate and I drove home, we already had a long shopping list and hit up the supermarket on the way for vinegars, confectioner's sugar, brandy, hazelnuts... Came home and immediately dove into sour dill pickles, nutella [sic], coffee liqueur, and one more that I had to fight for: American cheese (one of my guilty secret loves). It was a fun evening. Who woulda thunk it: Kraft Cheese Slices for foodies! I can't wait to try making it with good British Cheddar, which I bet will work just as well.

There are many, many more things we'll be trying. The things in here that I've made before (paneer, beer, tofu, ricotta, ginger beer, marmalade, tofu, pate, chorizo, creme fraiche...) are each represented with excellent recipes. I was already curing a pork belly for my first stab at bacon, and I'll stick with the recipe I had (a complicated thing that involves maple syrup, maple sugar, and maple wood), but the recipe here allows me to glimpse simpler pork belly futures.

Final thought: I was all the way home before I realized this book is from Cook's Illustrated, which on just about anything to do with cooking should always be the final word, at least on Western cuisines.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Did you ever want to know what "bitters" contain? Now I know and if I want to buy the ingredients I can make my own. And American cheese with no funky additives. Imagine the goodness of that grilled cheese sandwich. I discovered duck bacon in the market a few weeks ago and was delighted to find a recipe for duck prosciutto in the book. Even if I never try making it I have an idea now of how it is made. Have you ever had maple cream on your waffles? Now you don't have to search it out--just get some grade A maple syrup and make it. Believe me it's worth it!

My one-line tag for the book is, "So that's how they make it." This is a terrific reference book for me and I hope there's a sequel with even more D.I.Y. revelations.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I decided that this DIY book was a "must own" after checking it out from the library and trying the bacon jam recipe. I've used it in place of bacon in a BLT and love it. I've made the mustard recipe a couple times now and will never buy mustard again.
The ketchup recipe is next. The only thing I don't like about this book is the binding, I can already tell that some pages will be falling out over time, so I'm going to take it to Kinkos and have them turn it into a spiral bound book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook
The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook by Editors at America's Test Kitchen (Hardcover - October 15, 2013)
$26.28

The Make Ahead Cook
The Make Ahead Cook by Editors at America's Test Kitchen (Paperback - September 1, 2014)
$18.06

 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.