The Science of Good Cooking

Does grinding your own meat make a better burger? How does adding fat to your eggs create the perfect tender omelet? Why should you have patience before carving your roast?

Discover the science behind everyday cooking with Christopher Kimball from America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Illustrated. Join us as we explore the fundamental science explaining how — and why — your recipes work.


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This recipe is based on a recipe for Moroccan spiced duck breasts, fromThe Soul of a New Cuisine, Marcus Samuelsson's new African cookbook. Chef Samuelsson is the guy who's responsible for getting me to eat beef after not touching the stuff for nearly two years. He's a very interesting guy - born…
This is a recipe I created just a couple of weeks ago. I saw a beautiful Angus beef flank steak on sale, and wanted to find something to do with it. I came up with this idea of stuffing it. Amusingly, the day after it, a recipe appeared in the New York Times food section for a stuffed flank steak…
Lesley Porcelli has an article in this month's _Saveur_, "The Soft Approach" that raises an issue that I've been thinking about for a long time - that perhaps we've gone overboard in our resistance to long-cooking vegetables. Don't get me wrong - I grew up with grey, mushy broccoli and am…
I like to cook. I have a few standard, signature dishes where I more or less freestyle every time I make them -- beef stew, chili, quesadillas, pasta sauce. I also like to try new things. For example, I'll probably be making Tyler Hamilton's lamb shank Irish stew this weekend. So yeah, the…

I've been following ATC and Cook's Country on and off for years. Between them and Alton Brown I've learned a hell of a lot of technique!

By Truthspew (not verified) on 01 Dec 2012 #permalink

I mince my own cow for burgers because it allows me to control the quality - I definitely get much better burgers! A number of reasons include: (1) the meat is a good quality, slightly aged for a good texture and not too much moisture, (2) the fat is trimmed to be <10% as opposed to the 30-60% frequently rancid fat from the supermarket mince - even the so-called 'lean' and 'heartsmart' bullshit branded mince has far more fat than what I've got in mine.

It's a similar thing for pork sausages - roughly 10% visible fat is about the highest fat content you need in a pork sausage. The 50-80% fat you get in mass-market sausages and salami is just awful - when I was young we wouldn't feed such garbage to the animals, let alone humans. A good salami may have as much as 30% visible fat, but even that's on the fatty side.

Short story: mass-manufactured meat products are there to provide you with large quantities of low-quality high profit margin products because the supermarkets only exist to serve their customers.

By MadScientist (not verified) on 01 Dec 2012 #permalink

Science (and compassion) points to veganism. Don't take my word for it, research it yourselves.

Kimball is good in print (not so much in other media).
Alton Brown is tremendous in any media. His techniques and recipes are accessible to those who can follow directions. Mr. Wizard meets food. Fun for all ages.