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The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook Hardcover – October 1, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
It offers more recipes than any other book they've got.
Many of the recipes appear in other books.
This one offers a short "Why it works" intro to each recipe, but unlike Cook's Illustrated "Best Recipe" book, it doesn't give a detailed explanation of all the things they tried on the way to the final recipe.
Should you buy this? Here's a little decision tree:
Do you already own Cook's Illustrated Best Recipe cookbook?
-- If yes, then don't buy this -- too much duplication.
-- If no, then are you interested in the the recipe development process?
---- If so, then buy Cook's Illustrated's Best Recipe cookbook.
---- If not, then buy this book (The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook) -- it's more complete.
For those of you unfamiliar with Cook's Illustrated, it is this great magazine dedicated to making it easier to cook great food. This cookbook keeps up that tradition by compiling and modernizing recipes from the magazine without loosing the informative method of presenting not only the recipe but the background about why something works, what to use to get the best result, and what tools work the best. This is not a cookbook full of glossy pictures of professionally photographed prepared dishes, it is the cook's cookbook, with the necessary illustrations (done as line drawings) to get the job done. Those of you familiar with the magazine will feel right at home, since the cookbook is done in the exact same style. Typical sidebars include:
Illustrated guides to complete a task (i.e. - Trimming a chuck-eye roast, Folding Bread Dough, Slicing a Soft Cake so it looks perfect, etc.)
Test Kitchen Tips (i.e. - Key Tips to perfect Pasta, Buying Scallops, etc.)
Why A Recipe Works (i.e. - Why the recipe is structured a certain way to get the best result)
Index - The book is adequately indexed, but indexes never quite think the way you do, so a little logic is still required to find what you are looking for (i.e. - Coffee Cakes is under Cakes and nor cross-referenced under Coffee and Cakes themselves are sub-grouped in the index (Cakes, Cakes - Chocolate, Cakes - Savory).
Negatives - The book's pages could be of a heavier weight for my liking. I understand that this is a big book already with so many recipes, but the paper feels fragile in my hand.Read more ›
This is a big cookbook with 890 pages. It contains recipes for: appetizers, salads, soups, chilies, stews and braises, curries, stir-fries and Asian noodle dishes, pasta, rice, grains and beans, vegetables, poultry, meat, fish and shellfish, grilling - a really wonderful chapter, since it gives both charcoal and gas grill instructions, eggs and breakfast, quick breads and coffee cakes, yeast breads and rolls, pizza, calzones, and flatbreads, cookies, brownies, and bars, cakes, pies and tarts, fruit desserts, pastry, puddings, custards and frozen desserts and beverages.
There is a very detailed secondary index listing every recipe and a thorough index giving ingredient, dish name and type. There is also a volume and weight conversion chart. Chilies have several varieties as do pork chops and salmon and several other dishes. Serving sizes are given and 154 kitchen tips are inserted telling you such hints as; how to store cheese, salting - the secret to juicy roasts. Some help is missed in several places, for example in a recipe for coconut icing; they do not tell you how to toast the coconut - strange for a book that usually gives so much guidance. For those who still believe the way to grill is with charcoal - it is a relief to have these instructions included. The recipe for beer can chicken has become a legend in our back yard.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Best book I've ever received for cooking. Never had a bad recipe from Cooksbillustrated yet.Published 11 days ago by ShadyGecko13
this was a gift to my son for christmas who loves to cook. I have the original cookbook, and love to read about how the chemist/cooks got such perfect results. Read morePublished 12 days ago by patti
We gave this book to a friend for Xmas and he absolutely loved it. We both receive the magazine. We think we should buy this book because he has raced so much about it.Published 14 days ago by Mary
I freaking love this cookbook. It is a great gift (I have bought it for three people in my family that are hard to buy for). Read morePublished 22 days ago by Amanda L Henry
Loved the explanations that accompany some of the recipes.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I love this book. If you love Cook's Country, then you will also see many similarities between the two. However, this is more in depth and almost an encyclopedia of cooking. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Farrah Frances
Great cookbook with lots of recipes. There is an explanation at the beginning of each recipe that tells you what doesn't work and why the recipe works.Published 2 months ago by C. Welsch