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The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Become a Great Cook

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A landmark book from the test kitchen that has been teaching America how to cook for 20 years. We launched the America's Test Kitchen Cooking School two years ago to teach home cooks how to cook the test kitchen way, and since then thousands of students have taken our interactive video-based online courses. The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook shares the same A landmark book from the test kitchen that has been teaching America how to cook for 20 years. We launched the America's Test Kitchen Cooking School two years ago to teach home cooks how to cook the test kitchen way, and since then thousands of students have taken our interactive video-based online courses. The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook shares the same goal as our online school and brings all our best practices--along with 600 all-time favorite recipes--into one place so that you can become a better, more confident cook. There is no better way to learn than seeing an expert in action, so we've included over 2,500 color photos that bring you into the test kitchen so you can see how to prepare recipes step-by-step. The book starts off with an exhaustive 46-page Cooking Basics chapter that covers everything from what equipment you need (and how to care for it) to test-kitchen tricks for how to make food taste better. Then we move on to cover all the major cooking and baking categories, from meat, poultry, and pasta to breads, cakes, and pies. Illustrated Core Techniques, like how to whip egg whites, roast a chicken, or bake flawless pie dough, focus on the building block recipes everyone should know. Recipe Tutorials that each feature 20-35 color photos then walk readers through recipes that are either more complicated or simply benefit from the visual clues of step photography, like Extra-Crunchy Fried Chicken, Sticky Buns with Pecans, and Deep-Dish Apple Pie. Every chapter ends with a library of the test kitchen's all-time favorite recipes, such as Pan-Seared Steaks with Red Wine Pan Sauce, Meatballs and Marinara, Best Vegetarian Chili, Memphis-Style Barbecued Ribs, and New York-Style Cheesecake--more than 600 in total--that will allow home cooks to expand their repertoire. The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook is a how-to-cook book that also explains why recipes succeed or fail, which makes it the ideal book for anyone looking to cook better.


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A landmark book from the test kitchen that has been teaching America how to cook for 20 years. We launched the America's Test Kitchen Cooking School two years ago to teach home cooks how to cook the test kitchen way, and since then thousands of students have taken our interactive video-based online courses. The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook shares the same A landmark book from the test kitchen that has been teaching America how to cook for 20 years. We launched the America's Test Kitchen Cooking School two years ago to teach home cooks how to cook the test kitchen way, and since then thousands of students have taken our interactive video-based online courses. The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook shares the same goal as our online school and brings all our best practices--along with 600 all-time favorite recipes--into one place so that you can become a better, more confident cook. There is no better way to learn than seeing an expert in action, so we've included over 2,500 color photos that bring you into the test kitchen so you can see how to prepare recipes step-by-step. The book starts off with an exhaustive 46-page Cooking Basics chapter that covers everything from what equipment you need (and how to care for it) to test-kitchen tricks for how to make food taste better. Then we move on to cover all the major cooking and baking categories, from meat, poultry, and pasta to breads, cakes, and pies. Illustrated Core Techniques, like how to whip egg whites, roast a chicken, or bake flawless pie dough, focus on the building block recipes everyone should know. Recipe Tutorials that each feature 20-35 color photos then walk readers through recipes that are either more complicated or simply benefit from the visual clues of step photography, like Extra-Crunchy Fried Chicken, Sticky Buns with Pecans, and Deep-Dish Apple Pie. Every chapter ends with a library of the test kitchen's all-time favorite recipes, such as Pan-Seared Steaks with Red Wine Pan Sauce, Meatballs and Marinara, Best Vegetarian Chili, Memphis-Style Barbecued Ribs, and New York-Style Cheesecake--more than 600 in total--that will allow home cooks to expand their repertoire. The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook is a how-to-cook book that also explains why recipes succeed or fail, which makes it the ideal book for anyone looking to cook better.

30 review for The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Become a Great Cook

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (Harmonybites)

    It took several months to work through this cookbook. Working through it I learned how to make sauces and custards and that overcooking, over-mixing and over-baking is not my friend. I learned that reducing a recipe takes more than just dividing the ingredients by serving size. I learned the right equipment matters. I had already owned the celebrated "Joy of Cooking" and many swear by Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" and I'd seen recommendations for Martha Stewart's cookbook for basic cook It took several months to work through this cookbook. Working through it I learned how to make sauces and custards and that overcooking, over-mixing and over-baking is not my friend. I learned that reducing a recipe takes more than just dividing the ingredients by serving size. I learned the right equipment matters. I had already owned the celebrated "Joy of Cooking" and many swear by Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" and I'd seen recommendations for Martha Stewart's cookbook for basic cooking as well. I'd still pick "Cooking School" as my first cookbook (and get the more comprehensive "Joy of Cooking" second). For one, "Cooking School" doesn't just have recipes. They tell you what can go wrong, why a recipe works and the cookbook has extensive tutorials with step-by-step pictures--you won't find that in the relatively spare "Joy of Cooking." Also ATK recipes are thoroughly tested. The one compliant I've seen in review after review of Bittman is that his recipes are poorly proofed and inconsistent in their results. Despite making numerous adaptations because of a restricted diet, I found it rare to find a recipe--after practicing some tricky techniques--to fail. In fact, in this cookbook I'd say only the fish cakes were a disappointment despite following their recipe to the letter. Downsides? Well, I suspect Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen is modeled on a very limited range of tastes. (Christopher Kimball's?). The recipes are richer in fats and sugars than I'd like. Nor do I think they tend to do well by ethnic recipes, which they tend to Americanize too much and make too bland (Kimball is on the record that he doesn't like spicy food). And example number one is their Hot and Sour Soup--without lily buds or wood ear fungus. There's only one cookbook I looked at in stores I could consider a rival and I'm tempted to buy--J. Kenji Lopez-Alt's, The Food Lab. He's an ATK alumnus and it's obvious his recipes are throughly tested and he has a similar scientific approach to cooking. His recipes reading through them seem both lighter and more authentic and often simpler. And unlike "Cooking School" he gives specific brand-name recommendations for equipment. Like "Cooking School" his cookbook is also richly illustrated. If there's a downside it's that the emphasis is on cooking--there are no baking chapters.

  2. 4 out of 5

    ☼Book her, Danno☼

    Love this cookbook. It's not perfect, but it's the book I would give my children if they had an interest in learning to cook. (They looove baking. Fish, not so much. But that will change! I know it.) I like this book because there are lots of explanations. There are explanations, for example, of terms like braise, sweat, julienne. There are pictures of how to hold a knife and how to care for one. Many of these topics --like how to use a thermometer and how to tell when food is done-- might seem l Love this cookbook. It's not perfect, but it's the book I would give my children if they had an interest in learning to cook. (They looove baking. Fish, not so much. But that will change! I know it.) I like this book because there are lots of explanations. There are explanations, for example, of terms like braise, sweat, julienne. There are pictures of how to hold a knife and how to care for one. Many of these topics --like how to use a thermometer and how to tell when food is done-- might seem like ridiculous things to explain, but that's because we already have them in our repertoire. And I think young cooks --who might be cooking alone for the first time time-- might find it very reassuring to be able to confirm what they are doing is right. So for them, there is lots and lots of basic information. How to use seasonings and equipment. What to buy first for their kitchen. How to use this equipment, and how to keep everything safely. . THE SECTION I immediately checked out was the cake section. (A character flaw, I know.) And I immediately learned something. After all these years I discovered that there's a better way; mixing the eggs with the flour so that the flour is coated with protein before mixed with the other wet ingredients. It makes for a lighter crumb. Who knew? Not me. What I immediately mixed up was the coffee cake. The recipe was very close to one that I normally make (well, it's basic sour cream coffee cake so how much variation can be there be), except that it contained more sugar and you melted the butter. The outcome was better. It did take longer to cook that they said, but you know how ovens are. And this is the sort of thing I think we moms and dads are still needed for. We need to explain that ovens and flour and old baking soda ... and even humidity levels! make for different cooking experiences. And that you have to be a little on the ball so you can adapt to what's on hand. But for just about everything else, there's this cookbook. A book I plan on buying for my daughter and son in a few years when they head out to start their own homes. Definitely recommend. --this is a book I definitely needed my glasses to read. Those with serious reading problems might want to get one of those 'magnifying sheets'.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This cookbook is set up like a cooking course. At the beginning of each section, it teaches you core techniques that can be used in a variety of recipes (at the beginning of the eggs section, for example, you learn exactly how to separate eggs, exactly how to whip whites, etc.). You learn to master a variety of cooking basics, and are then given a huge assortment of recipes with which to try the new techniques that you've just learned. I’ve always thought of myself as a terrible cook because in t This cookbook is set up like a cooking course. At the beginning of each section, it teaches you core techniques that can be used in a variety of recipes (at the beginning of the eggs section, for example, you learn exactly how to separate eggs, exactly how to whip whites, etc.). You learn to master a variety of cooking basics, and are then given a huge assortment of recipes with which to try the new techniques that you've just learned. I’ve always thought of myself as a terrible cook because in the past I messed up most of the recipes that I attempted. My confidence as a cook has skyrocketed with this cookbook. I am truly learning how to cook, not just learning new recipes. The cookbook leaves nothing to chance, and walks you through every step and explains the reasoning for each step. The recipes I have made with this cookbook come out perfectly--which is saying a lot, considering how frequently I messed up dishes in the past! In my opinion, this cookbook could not be more perfect. I recommend it for inexperienced cooks as well as experienced, because the plethora of knowledge in this book would be useful to anyone. I am cooking my way through it and I cannot wait to see how I have improved as a cook by the time I am finished!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    A giant wealth of knowledge. Starts with the basics in the aspects of cooking and expands upon them. Gives great tips on the things that could go wrong and how to fix them.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    I am a huge fan of America's Test Kitchen's shows on PBS so the book was already something I was going to like. I like how they explain things and give you the essential techniques on how to make many different dishes. After the technique section there is a section where the look at some recipes where they give you a picture by picture how to make it and a troubleshooting guide for things that can go wrong with the dishes. This is followed by a section of many recipes for each sections of the bo I am a huge fan of America's Test Kitchen's shows on PBS so the book was already something I was going to like. I like how they explain things and give you the essential techniques on how to make many different dishes. After the technique section there is a section where the look at some recipes where they give you a picture by picture how to make it and a troubleshooting guide for things that can go wrong with the dishes. This is followed by a section of many recipes for each sections of the book. The book starts with a chapter on how to set up a kitchen (what you need) and which ingredients are used in the book in this section there is a substitution guide as well. From there it moves into eggs and the other chapters eventually ending with frozen desserts. It is a nice cookbook, having a hard time trying to decide what to cook out of it first.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This was my Christmas present to myself, and I've already made two dishes from it. I used the directions to make a fritata with leftover vegetables from Christmas day, it turned out amazing! I also used the yellow cake recipe to make a cake for my dad's birthday yesterday--that was pretty good too. The frosting recipe was really easy as well--though it had enough butter to kill you. I love the amount of pictures in the book--it really walks you through what each stage should look like, so that e This was my Christmas present to myself, and I've already made two dishes from it. I used the directions to make a fritata with leftover vegetables from Christmas day, it turned out amazing! I also used the yellow cake recipe to make a cake for my dad's birthday yesterday--that was pretty good too. The frosting recipe was really easy as well--though it had enough butter to kill you. I love the amount of pictures in the book--it really walks you through what each stage should look like, so that even if you vary some of the components, you can still use the book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    I LOVED this cookbook! It's everything you need in one book... easy to read and understand, with beautiful, colorful illustrations and complete, detailed instructions. It's the only cookbook you will need!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mrs.

    This is a wonderful book that could double as a door stop. Hundreds of recipes, thousands of color photos, and detailed instructions and the famous ATK recommendations make this book a must-have for experienced cooks and beginners. I love this book and will get tons of use out of it!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Eyenowhour

    I love the fact that this book includes a list of reasons why the recipe might not have worked/things that could have gone wrong. I also like how it includes why certain steps or ingredients are necessary.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Explains the very basics of everything. A good first.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

    fabulous ideas and tips to improve your skills in the kitchen. i borrowed this from the library in order to examine it. it is very large and unwieldy, so i purchased it from amazon for my kindle!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eric Brooke

    Well presented. Easy to read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Peggy

    Great illustrations and recipes. I especially liked then giving reasons why to do particular things.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Loralie

    boy, does this have all the details a cook needs

  15. 4 out of 5

    Douglas H Eurbin

    Nice book, great start to a new goal. Excellent instruction and explanation of the basics. Will be used for years as a staple in my kitchen. Thanks for making it simple.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    A great deal of cooking technique is contained within these covers. The book is beautifully illustrated with as many pictures as a cookbook should have (which is much more of an anomaly than it should be). I recommend this to new cooks wholeheartedly. Experienced cooks will still gain from this but not nearly as much.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle Wright

    If every kitchen-owner had this cookbook, that would be all they would need to learn how to cook excellently. Every book that comes from America's Test Kitchen is excellent. This one is no different. It is a very thorough manual on how to make the best version of every dish you could probably ever wish to make.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ingrid

    Best cookbook ever!!!! Great for beginners and cooks of all levels. Love the step by step pictures. There are TONS of pictures. Directions are easy to follow. I learned SO much. Can't say enough good things about this cookbook.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Jackson

    This is a book worth having on your shelf to refer to, especially if you are new to cooking. It was not enjoyable skim this via Kindle. So check out the paper version to refer to.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mark Hartland Blimling

    very knowledgeable and well explained, i use it as a reference in my work

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jill Cassinat Urie

    Love the science, the pictures, the tips, the step-by-steps, the recipes, everything. One of the best recipe books out there.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

    LOVE this! Unlike most cookbooks, this really teaches the WHY and HOW to make great dishes, so you can make it your own! It's like teaching a man to fish vs. giving him a fish to eat.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Me robin

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I love the Book

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mskychick

    What a fantastic book! I need to own this for reference use.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michaell Cavllaro

    Great Book What what ever information you need to find about how to cook is in this book. America 's Test Kitchen did a great job when they wrote this long and over due book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    Nobody does it like ATK.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tanner Nelson

    Great book for any level of home cook. My wife and I received it for our first Christmas and we read it out loud to one another like a novel until we finished it. Great tips, awesome recipes, and fantastic pictures. We use it almost daily.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sunil Jawahir

    This cookbook has everything!!!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dan Dixon

    This is a good book for all levels of cooks to read. The novice will learn how to prepare many hundreds of dishes, how to make baked items and learn about the best tools to use for each recipie. The intermediate cook will gain the knowledge learned through the rigourous testing that has been c0nducted by several top chefs and bakers in the field. Long time cooks and bakers will find new methods for making the various recipies in this book. There were a lot of useful photographs that showed the r This is a good book for all levels of cooks to read. The novice will learn how to prepare many hundreds of dishes, how to make baked items and learn about the best tools to use for each recipie. The intermediate cook will gain the knowledge learned through the rigourous testing that has been c0nducted by several top chefs and bakers in the field. Long time cooks and bakers will find new methods for making the various recipies in this book. There were a lot of useful photographs that showed the reader how to proceed in the process of making many of the recipies. Also included in this book were mny eamples of how to select meat and other ingredents needed for each recipie. The basic tools needed for many of the recipies were also given as well as how to make correct measurements.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I already cook a lot so didn’t really find it helpful in anyway but it would be a good book if you knew nothing about cooking I suppose.

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