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The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science (Hardcover)

$20.90
$49.95
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Amazon has The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by J. Kenji López-Alt (Hardcover) on sale for $20.92. Shipping is free with Prime or on orders of $25 or more. Thanks Heidi02

Note, In stock on November 13, 2020.

Walmart also has The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by J. Kenji López-Alt (Hardcover) on sale for $20.92. Shipping is free on orders of $35 or more.
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  • This popular cookbook won the 2016 James Beard Foundation Award for the best General Cooking cookbook and the 2016 IACP awards for the Cookbook of the Year and the Best American cookbook. -oceanlake
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Edited October 30, 2020 at 05:34 AM by
Great book, modern classic and usually around $35. Just price dropped in my Amazon Cart.

https://www.amazon.com/Food-Lab-C...oks&sr=1-2

In stock November 16
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Created 10-26-2020 at 04:18 PM by Heidi02
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Yeah, but if you're using this book as a recipe compendium, you're missing the point. For example, Kenji's recipe for pork chops in apple cider sauce isn't revelatory or exclusive. And the book is hardly an encyclopedia of dishes like the Joy of Cooking. The niche of this book isn't for menu-building or meal inspiration, or as a dependable/authoritative opinion on the right ratio of brown sugar to chocolate chips to bake a particularly nice cookie.

The heart of this book is in the inquisitive method. It's accessible and distilled insights on how ingredients behave when you manipulate them that helps build a good foundational understanding of cooking/baking as a repeatable, engineerable processes. And then immediately putting them into practice with demo dishes that make use of what you learned. It reads more like a textbook when the various posts are edited together and then capped with recipes, that you can't really get from the blog alone.

This book is made from the perspective an MIT nerd who found his calling as a line cook, and really wanted to spend his life answering questions like "what does baking soda do anyway?", or "is it true that you should only flip a steak once?", or "I can just microwave this instead of steaming it, right?", because the answers made him immediately more efficient and reliable at the nuts-and-bolts stuff.

I've had the ebook for a while, and at this price it was a no-brainer to get the hardcover, since I use it as a reference all the time. It's less a matter of "hmm, tonight I want to make Kenji's great recipe for flank steak and chimichurri sauce," and more "flank steak was on sale at the grocery store today; let me check to see what Kenji says about how the muscle fibers behave when you marinate it compared to other cuts, and whether I'll get tastier results from a smoky grill or on the stove top".

This book makes a great step 1 for a home cook so that they stop making dumb mistakes based on bad habits and old wives tales that they've learned, and quickly start making the food they buy taste good.

A good step 2 would be Samin Nosrat's Salt, Fat, Acid Heat, to grow more intuitive about how to construct dishes and menus that balance various elements of flavor and texture, once the mechanics of searing, roasting, reducing, blending, etc are second nature. Now that you know how to make the food you buy taste good, you'll start buying better tasting food.

A good step 3 would be the Joy of Cooking, a 1200-page volume of hundreds and hundreds of inter-cuisine and inter-generational recipes that all presume that you know how to properly follow their instructions, and intuitively adjust/combine as needed to suit your tastes, tools, and ingredients on hand. At this point you can start aiming to impress the family with what you bring to Thanksgiving, and slowly assert your creeping authority over the entirety of the event. You start criticizing the food you get at restaurants way more.

Step 4 is to go way too deep with Modernist Cuisine. Fill your kitchen with single-purpose serving dishes like ramakins for soufflés, or crocks for French onion soup, or expensive meat-grinding attachments for your stand mixer. Alienate your friends and loved ones by filling your freezer with animal bones for stocks that you swear you will make any day now. At dinner parties, you serve them deconstructed grilled cheese from the pressure cooker, topped with tuna ice cream with breadcrumb foam, artfully placed with a melon baller and whipped cream cannister.

Step 5 return Modernist Cuisine and all the silly tools back to the home goods store, and instead pick up an Instant Pot and Modernist Cuisine at Home to pick up a few cool new tricks. You figure out that yeah, sous vide is a great way to cook a chicken breast, but you'd rather not have to plan weeknight dinners 4 hours in advance and keep forgetting to order new bags for vacuum sealer from Amazon.

Step 6 you've reached a mid-life crisis, and it's time to decide if you're going to Eat Pray Love your way into Indian Cuisine, Julie & Julia into French, or Chef into running a Cuban food truck while you fight for custody of your kid.

Enjoy!
this is easily the best cookbook since cooks illustrated "the new best recipe" IMO. it's along those lines and as essential as the joy of cooking is to home cooking. kenji is fantastic, check out his youtube channel and instagram for near constant inspiration.

anyway, this book is a prime go-to because almost everything you might commonly cook is in here with at least one "a ha" tip to make it better. it's extremely well written, funny even, and makes taking your meals to the next level surprisingly easy and geeky.

also fwiw, it's limit 1 via amazon at this price. i bought one as a gift and was going to snag another for a back pocket who knows gift and amz says no. so there's that.
Must have cookbook. Every single facet of information in this book is vetted.

It's not a cookbook with a bunch of low effort / generic recipes and filler stuff.

It's a book with the best known versions of recipes & techniques in all of human history.

If the human race were to ever face a die off, this is one of the books aliens would make sure to extract from earth.

p.s. seriouseats.com doesn't have all the recipes. For example, the weeknight chili recipe isn't anywhere online, and it's one of the best recipes in the book.

Also, check out his Youtube channel. One of the best channels out there: https://www.youtube.com/channel/U...IAVfIfKkVA

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#3
damn. bought it for 36 bucks less than a month ago.. be careful of the binding though. the first 10-20 pages fell off for me. a lot of other people had issues with the binding.
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#4
Quote from blahwoop
:
damn. bought it for 36 bucks less than a month ago.. be careful of the binding though. the first 10-20 pages fell off for me. a lot of other people had issues with the binding.
If you chat with amazon, they'll refund you the difference (assuming you purchased initially on amazon)
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#5
Quote from ionbdybrdr
:
If you chat with amazon, they'll refund you the difference (assuming you purchased initially on amazon)

just did the online fake chat and got back

Amazon works hard to offer the best prices for customers every day.
However, we don't adjust prices after purchase or match offers from other sellers or websites.
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#6
this is easily the best cookbook since cooks illustrated "the new best recipe" IMO. it's along those lines and as essential as the joy of cooking is to home cooking. kenji is fantastic, check out his youtube channel and instagram for near constant inspiration.

anyway, this book is a prime go-to because almost everything you might commonly cook is in here with at least one "a ha" tip to make it better. it's extremely well written, funny even, and makes taking your meals to the next level surprisingly easy and geeky.

also fwiw, it's limit 1 via amazon at this price. i bought one as a gift and was going to snag another for a back pocket who knows gift and amz says no. so there's that.
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#7
This has been on my wish list forever. Glad it's finally at a price that I'm finally willing to nab it at! Thanks OP!
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#8
Thanks OP! Been waiting for this to go on sale. Kenji is awesome! I've kinda moved away from physical cookbooks but I'm excited for this one!
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#9
Vegan?
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#10
This is the best cookbook I have ever owned.
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#11
By far the most informative cookbook I've read. This is not just about recipes and what not, its about technique and the science behind why food does what it does and how to optimize. If you're an Alton Brown fan and haven't heard of Kenji you're missing out big time. Steal at this price.
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#12
Great deal. Been meaning to get this, glad I waited.
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#13
Quote from zdiddy987
:
Vegan?
Yes. Every January he goes vegan and spends the whole month developing vegan recipes.

Easily the best cookbook I've ever read and cooked from, it's worth every penny. This price is a no brainer. It won a James Beard Award, which is a pretty big deal. He's also got an amazing YouTube channel.
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#14
This is my favorite cookbook. Everyone should read it.
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#15
Bought one for a gift. Thanks!
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