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Cook's Illustrated 2008 (Cook's Illustrated Annuals) Hardcover – December, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Cook's Illustrated Annuals
  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: America's Test Kitchen; 1st edition (December 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933615362
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933615363
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 9.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #768,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Moore on March 28, 2014
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I am a big fan of anything from America's Test Kitchen, and have purchased all the annuals of Cook's Illustrated. I love that they explain WHY each recipe works. I learn about the science of cooking as well as techniques. I also like the equipment and product reviews and have never been steered wrong with their recommendations. Each annual has an index, but there is no TOTAL index. I go to Google and enter the recipe I want with Cook's Illustrated. It comes up greyed out because they want you to subscribe to their website, but you can see the date of publication and go to the annuals to find it! Some of the recipes are more complex than others for the same item, but I've never had one that fails if I follow the directions, and many are really exceptional!
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After discovering the Cook's Illustrated magazine, I was so impressed with how much information was targeted at the 'average' cook, and was impressed with how the recipes included test results on what did not work and what did. The focus on basic cooking skills and not about fancy cooking recipes using oddball and hard to find ingredients is what won me over. Honest reviews on cooking utensils and recipe items such as sauce and condiment taste for example have not let me down. A collection of these annual issue books has allowed me to liquidate many many cookbooks I owned that did not make the grade. These are the definition of what the foodie needs for honest info and decent results when attempting the recipes within. Highly recommended for novice to skilled, all will pick up knowledge from this.
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I love that I can get the old recipes--from before I discovered ATK. The product reviews may be old, but it gives me a good idea of what to look for and what to avoid when shopping for cookware. The recipe and techniques still always work.
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I can't speak from personal experience. I bought the last 10 years for my dad as a christmas gift and he loves these books. He uses them all the time in the kitchen for refrences. He said he is going to wait for the annuals rather than subscribing to publisher.
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Check out the information on knives in this edition of the venerable annual (since 1993). They rate slicing, carving, and serrated, and there's more than you ever thought about chef's knives, and the origin of Granton-edge knives. Since this is a hardbound collection of the six bimonthly issues, you will also find letters to the editor, editorials, quick tips, kitchen science (like how to store sweet potatoes and why refrigerated peaches develop a mealy texture), the recipes themselves and the introductions to those recipes which tell you the saga of how the team went from "ordinary" to "extraordinary". These recipes are for the home cook and generally are not complicated, but they are persnickety and CI expects you to follow their directions literally. There are a few recipes from different cuisines, but the emphasis is on American cooking, or American cooking with a bit of an ethnic twist, like grilled chicken with an Indonesian Peanut Glaze. I enjoyed this one better than the 2007 annual, but they're all worth reading. However, just about all the recipes have been collected in one or another of the Cook's Illustrated or America's Test Kitchen cookbooks, so if all you want is a cookbook you might better spend your money on one of those.
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I have this volume and three others like it; want to eventually collect them all. I love having a collection in a book where I can find them instead of magazines floating around the house, collecting dust. Each of my volumes has become the go-to book for at least three recipes that are now family favorites. For someone who grew up on a steady diet of canned soup hot dishes, it's great to have an in-depth explanation of what certain ingredients are, how to use them, where to find them, and how pricey they need to be to make the dish taste right. I have never failed to make a wonderful meal when using Cook's Illustrated as my guide.
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