The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science

Ever wondered how to pan-fry a steak with a charred crust and an interior that 's perfectly medium-rare from edge to edge when you cut into it? How to make homemade mac' n' cheese that is as satisfyingly gooey and velvety-smooth as the blue box stuff, but far tastier? How to roast a succulent, moist turkey ( forget about brining!) —and use a foolproof method that works every time?

As Serious Eats 's culinary nerd-in-residence, J. Kenji López-Alt has pondered all these questions and more. In Food Lab, Kenji focuses on the science behind beloved American dishes, delving into the relationship between heat, energy, and molecules that create great food. Kenji shows that often, conventional methods don ’ t work that well, and home cooks can achieve far better results using new—but simple—techniques. In undreds of easy-to-make recipes with over 1,000 full-color images, you ill ind out how to make foolproof Hollandaise sauce in just two minutes, how to transform one simple tomato sauce into a half dozen dishes, how to find the crispiest, creamiest potato casserole ever conceived, and s more.
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Number of Pages
Original Title of the Book
The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science
Publication Date
Published September 21st 2015 by W. W. Norton Company

Public Commentary

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rated it

I turne to fee about the existence of The Food Lab through a website called Serious Eats which has many great articles that really helped me become a better cook; not just the actual act of cooking itself but kitchen organisation and food preparation.

he Food Lab is a huge ook that is loaded with tips on various types of cooking.

I did learn enough to elp me become a better informed cook in the home kitchen.

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When I pu th book home from the library, I was hopin a Cook ’ s-Illustrated-style analysis of food science through recipes, perhaps with a little more flavor and panache than those guys seem to be unable to manage.

I ’ ve been making soft-boiled eggs since I was about ten years old and I ’ ve never failed so completely at it.

After the egg failure, I got suspicious and read through the ( 81-page) introduction to check out his science.

Food Lab presents the perfect example of “ professional, ” “ scientific, ” male cook debasing a traditionally female craft, improving it “ through science, ” and feeding it back to ( primarily female) home cooks who, according to him, have been so hobbled by following old wives ’ tales that they actuall stopped to think scientifically about why their beef is tough.On top of all tha, after following what was possibly the easiest recipe in his memoir, I should ’ t even trust that he knows what he ’ s talking about.I could go on about the gendering of cookbooks and cookery, the absolute ridiculousness of trying to study something as complex and subjective as food in a scientific setting, and about the way that cooks like Lopez-Alt teach home cooks that their instincts aren ’ t worth trusting.

rated it

I am a professional cook who reads/uses a lot of cookbooks, and his is my favorite one.This book is mazing- full of recipes for staple foods that are impeccably researched with all the reasoning for the details within each recipe explained.

rated it

I took it on faith that it must be my new favorite cookbook, and ven though I 've nly read the introduction and skimmed the recipes, I 'm still in love with The Food Lab. It has useful charts ( my favorite so far is the extensive 4 page cheese chart, followed closely by one on flavored mayonnaise), step-by-step photographs, and science ( please imagine me saying 'science' like I 'm a wizard who is also fond of jazz hands).

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I ’ m very torn about this ook, as I do not pretend to financially support a man that represents a lot of what is wrong in the restaurant industry, but there really is value in the pieces where Lopez-Alt ’ s personality is muted ( the science and such).

Like, marriage counseling terrible.There ’ s anothe really weird metaphor about MIT nerds and an all girls college mixer on page 802-803.

It is unfortunate since the recipes and the science do provide good value.

rated it

It 's a textbook of deliciousness, not a novel.That concept gets thrown out the window with The Food Lab, a 900 page, concussion inducing book which tackles the science of food and offers best practices for table favorites.

Alt 's book accompanie story rather than throws a ton of recipes at you, and like On Food and Cooking reflects on how food has evolved and how it brings people together, rather than giving us our 85th recipe for the best chocolate chips cookies ( spoiler: there are none better than these).

What is more science-y than bread baking???

rated it

To me it has been like The Joy of Cooking meets Alton Brown 's show Good Eats.

If I did n't already own Joy and Mark Bittman 's How to Cook Everything, I will definitely purchase this book.

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© Nicole Waggonner