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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Contains no writing or highlighting. No torn or missing pages. Binding is tight, cover is clean. Exterior of book has general wear
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Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen Paperback – April 1, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 212 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"I think cooking is a lot of fun and I hate to see people not having fun doing it just because they don't have the right tools--which is not to say they need the prettiest, best, most expensive tools. They just need the tools that are right for them." Such is the organizing principle of Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen by the selfsame Alton Brown, star of Food Network's Good Eats as well as award-winning author of I'm Just Here for the Food. It's an interesting, effective principle. It comes from a guy who serves pie with a four-dollar mortar trowel he picked up at the hardware store.

Brown's opening challenge is a 60-day, four phase process of ridding your kitchen of all things unused and insignificant--easy on the surface, but tough in the doing. That leaves room for essential gear. And to help make those choices, Brown looks at pots and pans, sharp things (not just knives, but graters, mandolins, and cheese slicers, too), small things with plugs (as in small appliances--from food processors to coffee makers to deep fat fryers), kitchen tools unplugged (those items that fill drawers), storage and containment, and safety and sanitation.

If this were just an encyclopedia, what an unwholesome bore it would be. But Brown turns this relevant information into a romp. He's talking about the tools he uses, after all, and has no fear of naming likes and dislikes--based on his own experience. He also includes unending side chatter about cutting corners, saving money, and actually putting good tools to work. You'll find recipes throughout, and techniques, too. Like, how to bake a chicken in a flower pot. If you wonder why you would even want to attempt it in the first place, Brown clues you in. Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen is about as guilt free as pleasure will ever get. --Schuyler Ingle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Best known for his Good Eats program on the Food Network, Brown has all the colander knowledge, marketing savvy and geeky male appeal to whip up a big hit from this unwieldy but very fun macropedia of gadgetry. Splashing the word "gear" across the cover in capital letters is clearly an appeal to the male shopper. Descriptions of every conceivable pan, peeler and propane torch get their due in entries ranging from a few sentences to a few pages, depending on which items Brown considers to be absolute necessities or which are just cool to have around. (As Brown is a self-confessed java-holic, the extensive overview of coffeemakers reads as a labor of love.) There are Mr. Science type explorations of topics such as, "Why Eggs Stick So Bad," and "The Proper Way to Pack a Cooler." One hundred photographs and another 100 illustrations make sense of what, for example, a nylon fish turner or an immersion blender looks like. Lost in the mix are 25 random recipes ranging from Icebox Bran Muffins to Potato Leek Soup. Brown does his own photography but designers Galen Smith and Amy Trombat deserve credit. The layout and graphics, replete with faux handwriting in the margins and arrowed lines zipping through the text are part 1950s Sears catalogue gone art deco, part coffee-table book for George and Judy Jetson.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang; First Paperback Edit edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584796960
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584796961
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (212 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Fuchs VINE VOICE on January 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Don't buy this book if you're looking for recommendations on which brands of applicances to buy -- even Alton Brown would admit that you're better off checking out "Cook's Illustrated" or "Consumer Reports" for that. What this book is brilliant for is the explanations of what the most commonly used kitchen tools do and don't (and can and can't) do and how they work, along with the practical tips for picking the items that suit your needs best. Alton Brown does, from time to time, make specific recommendations, but he tells you why he likes those items so that you can accept or reject them on the merits. Also it should be noted that some of his recommendations run contrary to what he recommends for baking in "I'm Just Here for More Food," so if you bake a lot, you might want to read that book as well before shopping for items such as scales and mixers that are used in both cooking and baking. "Gear For Your Kitchen" covers items used in both, but emphasizes cooking.

Alton covers each type of equipment thoroughly, explaining, for instance, what types of pans are good for different types of cooking applications, and what are the various properties of the different materials out of which they are made. So not only do you end up understanding the diffference between a sauce pan and a saucier, you can figure out whether clad metal or copper is your best bet. This same type of treatment is given for knives, small appliances, etc.

But my favorite part of the book has to do with sanitation and storage. The explanations of why certain sanitary measures need to be taken are coupled with easy ways to do it. I couldn't get a frozen enchilada smell out of my microwave oven until I mixed water and bleach in the proportions Alton recommends in a plastic spray bottle.
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Format: Hardcover
The top five (5) reasons for reading Alton Brown's GEAR For Your Kitchen are:
1. The tabulation of types of `Pots and Pans' materials, their advantages, disadvantages, and relative costs. This chapter alone is worth the price of admission. This section will not save you money except for its advice on non-stick pans. All sources I've seen from Mario Batali to AB agree on not spending a lot for Teflon ® lined pans, except be sure to get them with oven proof handles for making frittatas.
2. The thoughtful discussion of knife design and how different design features are important, or not important for different cutting tasks. This section will save you money, unless you are a knife freak.
3. The discussion of most major types of gear, which give you the features you should find most desirable. You may not agree with AB's choices, but he tells you how to make the choice which is best for you.
4. The essay on kitchen sanitation. This is one of many areas where the home cook can learn from professional chefs' practice. I'll bet that even Martha Stewart is not as careful as Alton recommends, and I plan to begin following his recommendations immediately. Note that one can make a little game of finding all the oblique references to Martha Stewart in the book. I've found four (4).
5. The explanation of accuracy versus precision in evaluating measuring devices, especially weighing devices. Being a former chemist, I would argue that AB gives too little credit to the role of the balance, although I concede that using it in the kitchen does require both extra space and special knowledge the average chef may not have.
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Format: Hardcover
"Gear for your Kitchen" provides a fairly in-depth discussion on the whys and hows of choosing various sorts of kitchen implements, from cutlery to pans to small appliances. Alton Brown uses his sense of humor to help present this information in a book that is truly easy and pleasurable to read. There is another book of this nature, a very large and diverse treatise, which attempts to showcase all the various sorts of kitchen gear available to the home cook. But unlike "Gear" it doesn't provide the information that we really need to choose our cookware.
What is great about this book is that in addition to giving actual suggestions of specific products for various sorts of implements, it also goes into great detail to show you how to choose items that will work for you. Brown is careful to highlight areas where paying more money isn't likely in your best interest (e.g. the non-stick fry pans as mentioned in another review, for instance) and where it is (e.g. cutlery).
The goal of having the smallest set of kitchen wear to do all the cooking you need to do is a running theme in this book. In addition to a suggested exercise in minimizing your current kitchen implements, there are many suggestions on how you can use items for tasks other than they are intended, instead of buying specialty pieces (e.g. using the bottom of a heavy fry pan in the place of a meat pounder).

This book is a great resource for cooks of all sorts, from beginners to those with years of experience. It will make a great gift for those people who are just starting out on their own!
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