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The Best Kitchen Quick Tips: 534 Tricks, Techniques, and Shortcuts for the Curious Cook Paperback – February, 2003

15 customer reviews

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About the Author

Founded in 1980, Cook's Illustrated has emerged as 'America's Test Kitchen', renowned for its near obsessive dedication to finding the best methods of home cooking. The editors of Cook's Illustrated are also the authors of the range of best-selling cookbooks and they present America's Test Kitchen cooking show on public broadcast TV. The show features editors, test cooks, equipment testers and food tasters and has its own web site www americastestkitchen.com

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 403 pages
  • Publisher: Cook's Illustrated; 1 edition (February 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0936184655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0936184654
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #990,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

116 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Westley VINE VOICE on January 4, 2004
The editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine have compiled some of the most inventive kitchen tips published in Cook's over the last decade. Regular readers of the magazine will recognize the Quick Tips from the corresponding feature, which features ideas submitted by Cook's readers. The 534 tips, techniques, and shortcuts are presented in alphabetical order, from almond paste (how to soften it) to zucchini (seeding it). So, finding the tip you need is effortless.
The tips run the gamut from food preparation (removing corn kernels from the cob) to clean-up (removing silverware from the dishwasher easily) to ingredient selection (distinguishing hard- from soft-shelled lobsters) to grilling (oiling the cooking grate) to food storage (freezing meat) and everything in between. Each tip is illustrated in one or more hand-drawn, straight-forward diagrams, making implementation simple. Although some of the tips are somewhat obvious, most are ingenious and will truly help you prepare food in an easier and more efficient manner. Most highly recommended.
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69 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Emily Dellas on March 3, 2005
While this book certainly has a few tips that are good to learn, there are better books out there. With an eye-catching cover and interface, I thought this book was great at first blush but upon really trying to use it more, the tips are annoyingly obvious and things that you would figure out how to do without direction (ex. freezing lemon slices for drinks- slice as you would and stick in the freezer; keep batter from splattering out of an electric mixer- cover the mixer with a towel). Especially if you have other works from the Christopher Kimball/America's Test Kitchen oeuvre, this book will simply feel repetitive. A much better (more informative, better laid out, and truly interesting) book is David Joachim's Brilliant Food Tips and Cooking Tricks.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Barbara L. Pinzka on June 11, 2005
The tricks and tips described in this book are probably known to any cook with a few pots and pans under her/his belt. Nevertheless, the book did remind me of a few old favorites. I'd give it to a young person embarking on adulthood but not to anyone who has cooked, while paying attention, for more than a few years. One positive - the tips are explained, which helps a person retain the knowledge -- and the writing and illustrations are good, for the most part.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By rl123 on March 16, 2006
The tips are decent but not really worth the price of the book. Also, there isn't a lot of text so you can read the book in under an hour.

All the tips are available online by subscribing to the electronic version of cook's illustrated for $3.95/month. Not only is this method cheaper, but you also get the tips that were published after this book came out.

Therefore I can't recommend this book because of the amount of content vs. the price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Josephine Nightling on April 17, 2008
I purchased this to see what things I could do to help make my time in the kitchen more efficient but I must say that I was disappointed. A lot of stuff in here doesn't cover what I would have thought it would. There are things that I thought were just silly and others that I knew I would never try. I still use a few ideas from this book every now and then but thats about it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Natasha Stryker TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 12, 2006
Verified Purchase
Sorry for the all caps in that title, but it is deserved with this book. I am always using little tricks from this and would purchase again in a heartbeat.
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As much as it pains me to slander anything that comes out of America's Test Kitchen I have to simply say that at least 80% of the information in this book can be found by anyone with access to a search-engine, answers.com, etc.

Someone already mentioned how SHORT these tips are, but do the math: 534 tips divided by 350 pages = 1.5 tips per page. I own this book and read it in one hour. I have never once thought of running to this book to figure out how to do something in the kitchen (I HAVE used the internet dozens of times). After a couple years I only remember one tip from this book without looking at it
- Want to easily get butter finely-incorporated into flour for a pie crust or biscuits? Freeze the stick of butter and grate it through a cheese grater. (But then I never remember to put the stupid butter in the freezer the night before).

TL;DR If your dream is to live/work in a kitchen, get this book - but only if you can get it from the USED listing. NOT worth the $12 for new.
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Verified Purchase
I enjoy cooking and have been doing it for a lot of years so I did know some of the tips in this book, but there were a lot that I didn't know and a lot that I have found to be vey helpful. These are, as the title says, "Quick Tips and Tricks", the kind that make you go, "Duh, why didn't I think of that?". They are easy to do, easy to remember, and (most importantly) they really work. I find that having them in alphabetical order, as opposed to catagory such as "vegetables" makes this a great reference book. If I am using a technique or cooking with a food that I am not totally familiar with, I will often look it up to see if there is a tip, trick or technique that I can use and often there is. Some of the other reviewers felt that this book was overpriced. The list price is $19.95 (although through Amazon it can be much cheaper). Anything that makes my life easier.......priceless.
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