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Do-It-Yourself Cookbook: Can It, Cure It, Churn It, Brew It Paperback – October 12, 2012
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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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Top Customer Reviews
With that said, it's a good book. If you are the type of person that prefers to have all of your recipes in a book instead of a digital copy, I recommend getting it. If you're a kitchen geek like I am and would love to learn how to make your own root beer and cured meats, the America's Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook provides a nice foundation. It is very basic and touches on a few different topics like pickled vegetables, jams and jellies, homemade nutella, and charcuterie. It had only a handful of recipes for each topic and doesn't go into any great depth about each item.
I think that it might be a good book to give you an idea what each preparation is like and help you decide if you would like to learn more about each topic.
I just made pickled beets with this book and I had never pickled or canned a thing in my life. I was a bit intimidated but when I read through the instructions they laid things out so simply. It was easy to follow and I ended up having a great, easy time. The recipe started out with a story about how the recipe came to be and why each step is there. This is really great if you want to make any deviations from the recipe. This doesn't just give you straight instructions on how to replicate what they made, but really explains to you why each step is there and what it does for the whole process. FYI the beets turned out tasty!
My husband made fun of me for purchasing yet another ATK cookbook, but we when we got it I couldn't pry it out of his hands long enough to look at it myself. Obviously, we like to cook and we are especially interested in DIY. I like to can in the summer, so I was particularly excited about canning recipes from ATK. There is nothing more disappointing than making a giant batch of jelly, going to the trouble of canning it, only to have it turn out...meh. Or worse, turn out awful. But I knew with canning recipes from ATK, they would turn out good. There weren't as many canning recipes as I would have liked, however; so, if you are getting this book specifically for canning recipes then you will probably be disappointed.
My biggest beef with ATK cookbooks is usually the sheer amount of repeats. If you subscribe to their magazine and have their cookbooks, you will know what I mean. Also, some of these recipes are online for free on their blog, as another reviewer mentioned. However, for me this did not detract from the usefulness of this book. I still think there are a lot of recipes in here that are not on their blog and also I generally prefer using a cookbook than using the internet or printing out a recipe. So, I have been quite pleased with this.
I love the explanations of the recipes and, best of all, the step-by-step instructions and full-color pictures. There are so many things in here that I'm so excited to make. I never thought we could make root beer at home, but now I'm looking forward to it. For the last couple of years, my husband and I have been making salted caramels with the intention of giving them away for Christmas gifts, but they just never set up right and were just kind of gloopy globs not great for gifting (but perfectly acceptable for eating, as we did). I just tried the salted caramel recipe from this cookbook last night and they turned out beautifully. Soft, chewy, and they actually hold their shape! I wrapped them up in little candy wrappers and they look professional. Plus, their taste exceeds any other recipe I have tried.
Very, very, very pleased! I highly recommend this cookbook to anyone who wants to try making things like root beer, cheese, vinegar, Thin Mints, Oreos, bacon (yes, bacon) etc., on their own and actually having them turn out fantastic. Admittedly, I'm already a big fan of ATK, but I think they hit it out of the park with this one. Would make a great gift, too.