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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’s as satisfyingly gooey and velvety-smooth as the blue box stuff, but...Read More

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An exhaustive look at the science of cooking from self-professed culinary nerd J. Kenji López-Alt.

Description

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’s as satisfyingly gooey and velvety-smooth as the blue box stuff, but far tastier? How to roast succulent, moist turkey (forget about brining!)—and use a foolproof method that works every time?

As the culinary nerd-in-residence at popular food blog Serious Eats, J. Kenji López-Alt. has pondered all of these questions and more. In The Food Lab, Kenji focuses on the science behind beloved American dishes, delving into the interactions 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 hundreds of easy-to-make recipes with over 1,000 full-color images, you will find out how to make a flawless Hollandaise sauce in just two minutes, how to transform one simple tomato sauce into a half dozen dishes, how to make the crispiest, creamiest potato casserole ever conceived and much more.

Specifications Show

  • Publisher: W.W. Norton Company
  • Hardcover: 960 pages
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 9" x 10.75" x 1.75"
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Customer Reviews

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If I was to own 1 cookbook, this would be it!
I've tried lots and lots and lots of cookbooks. Some get used a lot, other's collect dust and the rare great ones revolutionize the way we cook.

I LOVE to cook and I've taught myself a lot about cooking. Kenji in this MASTERPIECE of a cookbook TOTALLY gets it right. He dives into the details like I do and when you do that and do it right, it revolutionizes the way you cook.

For example, we all grow up measuring out our ingredients with cups, spoons and all different sizes of measuring pieces and we dirty up a whole lot of dishes in the process. So what if we change that up drastically? Why not weigh the ingredients with a scale with a pull out screen? You dirty only 1 container (the main one that everything goes into). And everything is more precise because it is weighed and you don't have to worry if the ingredients were too packed or if it is leveled or heaping or whatever.

His attention to detail makes a huge difference. For example, I'd been doing hard boiled eggs like America's Test Kitchen hand recommended to avoid grey centers. That worked to avoid the grey centers, but the shells would stick like crazy because they tell you to start the eggs out cold. Kenji tells you to start them out hot because starting them hot makes the shells easier to peel.

Sure, people like Ina, Julia, Pepin, America's Test Kitchen, etc. have all written some good cookbooks but I like none of them as well as this cookbook. Get this cookbook and learn to become a great cook.

FYI - Just a little about the author.... He's an MIT grad, so he's a science geek, but he didn't wasn't to take a job in his fancy degree bio degree. So he started out in a little pizza restaurant down around Cambridge I think and worked his way up through some of the fanciest restaurants in all of Boston (full of great food and old money). Then he became an editor for Cook's Illustrated (they make America's Test Kitchen). And now he is a writer for a great food blog. Basically, he knows the ins and outs of the science of cooking to the extreme.
June 16, 2016
Wonderful book!
This book was recommended to me by Sur La Table's Chef Bug. It is a tremendous resource for knowing the science behind the preparation, blending and cooking of all types of foods. Another bonus was following the recipes and discovering amazingly delicious ways to cook vegetables! My husband now loves carrots! Try the Light and Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes, and you'll be hooked!
April 26, 2016
 

Questions & Answers

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Why did you choose this?
Sur La Table Store
Love to cook and it sounded extremely interesting
Gertrude D on Jan 17, 2017
Love to cook and it sounded extremely interesting
Gertrude D on Jan 17, 2017
It's a gift for a lover of all kinds of cookbooks.
Andria W on Dec 25, 2016
It's a gift for a lover of all kinds of cookbooks.
Andria W on Dec 25, 2016
 

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