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The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook: 2,000 Recipes from 20 Years of America's Most Trusted Cooking Magazine Hardcover – October 1, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 678 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

This book has been tested, written, and edited by the test cooks, editors, food scientists, tasters, and cookware specialists at America’s Test Kitchen, a 2,500-square-foot kitchen located just outside Boston. It is the home of Cook’s Illustrated magazine and Cook’s Country magazine, the public television cooking shows America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country from America’s Test Kitchen, America’s Test Kitchen Radio, and the online America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 890 pages
  • Publisher: Cook's Illustrated (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933615893
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933615899
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 2 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (678 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Rob T VINE VOICE on November 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've been a big fan of Cook's Illustrated for a while and I own a bunch of their cookbooks. Here's the scoop on this one.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
I love Cooks Illustrated and have given America's Test Kitchens (ATK) Family Cookbook The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook [AMER TEST KITCHEN FAMILY CKBK] at every wedding shower I have attended since it was printed, probably 20 copies. Now, for all those couples (and sometimes singles) who told me they learned to cook with the Family Cookbook, I have a Christmas gift! Every one of my favorite Cook's Illustrated magazine recipes is here, in one place, without needing an internet connection. From Roasted Broccoli to Chewy Brownies to Vodka Penne to French Onion Soup to Brown Sugar Cookies to Chicken Marsala to Pan Seared Scallops and on and on ..... every one of them "to die for...."), I don't think I have ever produced a real failure caused by one of these recipes. I have to say that thanks to Cook's Illustrated and ATK I have the reputation for being the best cook in the family, hands down. I am the go-to-one for all the family events with "important" cooking (Christmas "Perfect Prime Rib", Thanksgiving "Creamy Corn Pudding" and mid-July's family re-union fresh sour cherry pie with Foolproof Pie crusts. All those great recipes and many, many more came from Cook's Illustrated magazines, and now from this one single (albeit BIG) reference.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Summary - A Great cookbook for someone who wants to cook, not look at pictures of someone else's cooking.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First of all, `Cook's Illustrated Cookbook's title is a bit misleading - for those who really like illustrations for their recipes, there are none in here. What is in the book, by way of illustration are the Test Kitchen's very good diagrams that illustrate skills such as; forming a tart shell, carving an herbed roast turkey, chopping onions without tears.
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.
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