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Showing 1-10 of 170 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 230 reviews
on May 24, 2016
Alton Brown wrote a book in his own voice. It's exactly the way he speaks, and I love it. He's honest, direct and gives solid advice for your kitchen needs. This book is VERY helpful to de-mystify the gigantic array of choices you have for the gear you use every day (pots and pans especially) and is a big fan of simplicity and having more than one purpose for things. He's NOT into having a trick gadget for everything you do. In fact, he advises against it. It's clear-eyed advice on what you should spring a little more money for, and what you should NOT. This book is a quick read but PACKED with useful information. He also doesn't shill for certain brands either. He is just honest about what he prefers and actually owns, but doesn't push anything. Following his advice loosely, and considering my own habits and preferences has helped me relax, pare down my kitchen to the essentials (along with some nice shortcuts here and there and some surprising substitutions) and has freed me up to just have fun in the kitchen again. Even as a 30+ year veteran in the kitchen, and possessing a fair amount of confidence, this book STILL helped me. HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend this book. I also love it when he gets on TV - I think he's funny and entertaining - so I'm just a little biased. ;)
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on March 18, 2017
OK, I admit it, I'm a Good Eats Junky. And any man who has a pet iguana has my heart!

If you've been around a kitchen for any length of time, a lot of this is old hat, but it's presented in a lighthearted manner, and is a good refresher. I think the bestest part is in the Introduction when he explains how to de-clutter the kitchen. And keep it de-cluttered.

If you're new to a kitchen, this is a great book to help you get set up properly, and for the least amount of money. Expensive is not always best. And his idea to shop at your local restaurant supply is wonderful. I've been shopping at mine for years. Restaurant quality at a price I can afford. What's not to like?

Another reason Alton Brown has my heart and undying love is that he hates items that are uni-taskers. He wants multi-taskers that can do several jobs. No exceptions! Well, maybe one. He likes frenched green beans, as does Spike, his pet iguana, so he has a frencher. I don't like green beans, frenched or otherwise, and I do not and will not have a bean frencher. But I may get a cigar cutter.

At times, I wondered if he was in my kitchen. He knew I had a drawer full of old knives passed down from grandparents to parents to me. I know have decent ones, and the right sizes and shapes for the job.

Do you buy some of your kitchen supplies from the hardware store? The tobacco shop? Why not? Brown gives a lot of recommendations regarding products. I strongly recommend you check the reviews before buying specific brands he recommends. The book was published in 2008—what may have been high quality then may no longer have that same quality.

I think this book is perfect for anyone who is starting out on their own, moving to their first apartment, their first kitchen. I know it's perfect for anyone who has been collecting gadgets for years. As well as old knives. Besides, it's just a lot of fun to read!
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on August 15, 2016
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. Pierce film to vent…” Unfortunately health concerns have changed my diet from the unpronounceable processed foods to a need to know every ingredient and how it was handled. This led me to the sudden need to build a good set of kitchen tools in a very small kitchen.

This book really focuses a lot on Alton Brown’s “No Unitasker” mentality (except the fire extinguisher) and has helped me to build a streamlined and multi-functional cooking arsenal that is both highly useful and fits in my limited space. Not only does this book help immensely in choosing the right tool for multiple tasks or decide on whether you need a particular type of pot or not it also helps you to not purchase something you may have thought you wanted/needed but really don’t.

I don’t have the space for a tool I will rarely use. Alton really sets out a clear guide here on what tools can do the same job for you while doing other jobs as well. He also goes into detail about things like choosing knives or the right sized cast iron skillet for your needs/skill. Daunting tasks for those of us not initiated into the secret chefs club. As I read through each section I also found that he helped me to understand the subtle differences between tools that often to the inexperienced seem almost identical. Understanding the mysterious world of the chef knife seems much less confusing now that Alton has laid out the basics on the various terms that salesmen and packaging bombard you with.

The end result from perusing through Alton Browns thoughts on kitchen tools, for me at least, has been a very functional kitchen in a very small space that has made the process of learning to cook real food with real ingredients a lot less frightening, much much easier and far less expensive than if I had just gone to my local store and started buying everything I thought I needed. Not to mention it’s really helped me to find the fun in cooking.
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on August 11, 2017
I learned a lot on the different types of cook ware (pots and pans) and what to look for. I may not be able to afford a Kitchenaid mixer right now, but I have my eye on one. Also, just learning about the different types of knives was interesting. I may not have the best, but what I have will do for now. One day I may upgrade. I really enjoyed reading this book and with his whimsyness he made me laugh. Love the book. And there are some good recipes in there that I would like to try
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on February 19, 2014
I will get straight to the point- the only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars is that it doesn't give exact product recommendations for everything. What I mean is this- for every product the book walks you through a list of characteristics - you want XYZ you don't want ABC. Then for about 60% of kitchen items there is a specific recommendation " purchase the cyberdyne systems widget". For hte other 40% there is not a specific product recommendation. I would understand if you wanted to give no particular recs for whatever reason (not wanting to seem like a corporate shill or whatever) and that would be fine. But if you cross that river, give them for everything please!

If you are a nerd it has a lot of background info you will find interesting about the history of various kitchen implements and how they are constructed/out of what materials. There are also a few recipes spaced throughout that Good Eats fans will recognize.

If you want to know how to shop through a large kitchen supply store for what you want, this is a good book. If you want a buzzfeed style list of things to buy and where to get them than it is less good. I took it down a star for this as if you make the majority of your purchases online like I do you can't pick up and feel/look at a bunch of angles /inspect the product which you would want to do after reading this.
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on October 10, 2016
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. Fun to read, and it may help you choose you kitchen tools so that you have and effective kitchen.
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on January 28, 2014
If you are a fan of Good Eats, much of what's in this book will be quite familiar, with almost every episode having demonstrated the use of a kitchen gadget. If you've memorized every episode then you probably don't need this book (but will probably still want it). For the rest of us, looking for clear information on what to buy for our kitchens, this is the way to go.

What is especially nice is that this book is not a list of brands/model numbers to purchase. Instead the focus is on what to look for when purchasing. It may seem excessive to have 4 pages on what bowl to purchase, but plenty of detail is given to allow you to be an informed shopper. For those used to standing in a store staring at shelves of appliances wondering which one to buy, this book will help guide you through the whys and hows of kitchen gadgets.

The summary of what is good:
- what to look for when buying a kitchen gadget
- helpful kitchen tips/techniques/terminology
- helpful pictures
- a smattering of recipes spread throughout

What you might be missing:
- This isn't an Alton Brown cookbook (despite some recipes), you will have to look elsewhere for that.
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VINE VOICEon January 11, 2005
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. So simple and obvious and yet...

While reading this (cover to cover in practically one sitting -- it's that readable) I found myself enjoying Alton's humorous descriptions, numerous photos and drawings. But I've found myself going back to the book as a handy reference for ingenious ways to use items I already have and ideas for shopping more intelligently.

Since buying this book I've cleared out and reorganized my kitchen and even though I bought a lot more stuff after reading this book, I have more space and am able to use it more efficiently.

Thanks Alton!
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on November 18, 2014
This book while it seems like do you really need a book to tell you what kind of gear you need for your kitchen. The truth is the book has more than that. It covers care for your kitchen gear. From seasoning cast iron to how to properly care for your knives. The book covers all sides of keeping your kitchen in top condition. From what you need basics to specialized equipment based on your needs. It does not say you have to have the most expensive gear many of his suggestions rely on follow what works for you on your budget or sometimes get the cheaper thing because the common use will wear the item out faster than what you paid for. It also has a few great recipes from Alton Brown which are affordable, and delicious meals.
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on January 9, 2014
Will not rehash what's already been said in reviews. It's a fun and interesting read from a TV cook showman, much like asking a good friend who cooks, what they thought. The near-ultimate authority and valued opinion on which to gauge whether you think you need that two-hundred dollar rice cooker, one-use gadget and alternative tools. Of course, like anything else, subjective because there is no "one-best." Includes very good cooking tips too. The cover is fun and what drew me to the book itself.
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