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Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen Paperback – April 1, 2008
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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
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you live Alton Brown, then you'll probably enjoy this book. Alton explains why he doesn't like uni-taskers, and may have you convinced by the end of the book. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Corsair174
Tells you everything you need to have. Don't waste money on cooking/kitchen "sets" with a bunch of cheap Chinese plastic junk that you don't need.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I adore Alton Brown and thought this book would be interesting. Alton, he never fails!Published 1 month ago by Melinda Hallmark
Bought forna friend who loves Alton Brown (except Cutthroat Kitchen) and who loves cooking and kitchen gadgets. I am sure she will find Alton's recommendations spot-on. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Nancy Schaub
I live in a small townhouse with a tiny kitchen. When I moved in I didn’t care because all the cooking I did started with “Remove tray from box. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Stefanie Evans
My husband is the cook and just loves Alton Brown! Lots of neat ideas for your kitchen.Published 2 months ago by E. Fleisher
For a newbie putting together a true cooks kitchen, this book is full of great advice. A simple example would be choosing to purchase each knife for a its individual purpose... Read morePublished 3 months ago by C. Laasch