Reddit Reddit reviews On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

We found 136 Reddit comments about On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

Cookbooks, Food & Wine
Cooking Education & Reference
Cooking, Food & Wine Reference
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
Scribner Book Company
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136 Reddit comments about On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen:

u/jvlpdillon · 74 pointsr/Cooking

On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee is highly regarded as a comprehensive background for history, and science of food. It does not have any recipes though.

u/mthmchris · 68 pointsr/Cooking

So a few off the top of my head:

  1. The Professional Chef. Geared towards professional chefs but a great resource.

  2. On Food and Cooking. A classic. Not really a 'cookbook' per se but rather a book that discusses history and food science.

  3. The now out-of-print Williams and Sonoma Mastering Series. Specifically, their book on sauces - the others are solid but not quite as good. Those books were how I personally learned to cook. (still can find used)

  4. The Flavor Bible. Obligatory. Eventually you grow out of it a bit, but it's still a great resource to have around.

  5. Flour Water Salt Yeast. I just got this book recently this last Christmas, and I've been enjoying it quite a bit.
u/edarem · 43 pointsr/pics

Behold, the Gastronomicon

u/drew_tattoo · 43 pointsr/AskCulinary

On Food and Cooking is pretty popular when it comes to understanding the transformations that foods undergo. It's not a cookbook per se but it's pretty heavy on the science of stuff. I used it as a sole resource for a short paper I wrote in eggs a couple semesters back. It might not be the most enjoyable read but it sure is informative.

u/svel · 27 pointsr/Cooking

Back to Basics: "On Food & Cooking" by Harold McGee. When a recipe works, or doesn't work, and you want to know why? This is the place to find the answers.

u/jackjackjackjackjack · 24 pointsr/IAmA

If you like his take on food science, definitely read On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harry McGee. It'll change your life.

u/rogueblueberry · 23 pointsr/AskCulinary

On Food And Cooking is a MUST in any kitchen, maybe the only non-recipe-dedicated cookbook you'll ever need. The culinary school I took a few classes at recently, the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC, highly recommends this; even Per Se, the #1 restaurant in the US, #6 in the world, keeps a tattered copy in their restaurant. With 800 pages, it explains so much of the science, history, and tips behind practically everything culinary related that you need to know. The book is really a staple.

Cooking for Geeks is similar, but I feel OFaC is more all-encompassing.

u/BigDieselPower · 19 pointsr/chemistry

On Food and Cooking

This is probably your best bet to understanding what is going on when you cook. There are food chemistry textbooks out there but they can be pricey and you may need a significant chemistry background to understand them.

u/X28 · 19 pointsr/AskCulinary
u/albino-rhino · 17 pointsr/AskCulinary

We try to shy away from cookbook recommendations, but you will hear it any number of times:

  1. Harold McGee On Food and Cooking.

  2. Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold. Myhrvold is considered by many, including the undersigned, to be a wretched patent troll so I won't give him any money.
u/pipocaQuemada · 16 pointsr/Cooking

He might also like Cooking for Geeks, The Science of Good Cooking and On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen.

I've only read the first, but I've heard good things about all three.

u/kibodhi · 16 pointsr/Cooking

Harold McGee's book On Food and Cooking is a go-to book for amateurs and professionals alike.

u/FANGO · 16 pointsr/food

Anyone else who wants to get this, buy this instead:

It's like 1/10 the price (edit: I guess more like 1/30th), has all the interesting technical data and science you want, doesn't obsess with boiling everything in a bag, and doesn't have any stupid cutaways of dutch ovens so you can "see what's inside" (you know another way to see what's inside a dutch oven? open it).

u/lime_in_the_cococnut · 14 pointsr/AskCulinary

> *On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of Cooking[1]

I use this one and its full of good info. You could basically call it cooking-for-engineers.

u/no_coupon · 12 pointsr/Cooking

Not really a cookbook, But I learned more about food and cooking from this book than any other.

u/madewith-care · 11 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Obligatory link to McGee On Food and Cooking for those interested in a lay person explanation of lots of cookery science.

u/FuriousGeorgeGM · 10 pointsr/Cooking

I usually only use cookbooks that are also textbooks for culinary art students. The CIA has a textbook that is phenomenal. I used to own a textbook from the western culinary institute in Portland, which is now a cordon bleu school and I dont know what they use. Those books will teach you the basics of fine cooking. Ratio is also a great book because it gives you the tools to create your own recipes using what real culinary professionals use: ratios of basic ingredients to create the desired dish.

But the creme de la creme of culinary arts books is this crazy encyclopedia of ingredients called On food and cooking: the science and lore of the kitchen. It is invaluable. It should not be the first book you buy (if youre a newbie) but it should be your most well thumbed.

For a sauce pan what you want is something with straight sides. Sautee pans have are a good substitute, but often have bases that have too wide a diameter for perfect sauces. Fine saucepots are made of copper for even heat transfer. Stainless steel is also a good substitute. What you have there is something of a hybrid between a skillet and a saucepot. Its more like a chicken fryer or something. At the restaurant we use stainless steel skillets for absolutely everything to order: sauces, fried oysters, what have you. But when you get down to the finest you need to fine a real saucepot: 2-3 qts will do, straight sides, made of copper. teach a man to fish

I dont really know how to teach you the varied tricks and such. It is something that I pick up by listening to the varied cooks and chefs I work with. What I would advise you is to watch cooking shows and read recipes and pay a lot of attention to what they are doing. Half of the things I know I dont know why I do them, just that they produce superior results. Or, consequently I would have a hot pan thrown at me if I did not do them. And I mean these are just ridiculous nuances of cooking. I was reading The Art of French Cooking and learned that you should not mix your egg yolks and sugar too early when making creme brulee because it will produce and inferior cooking and look like it has become curdled. That is a drop in the bucket to perfect creme brulee making, but it is part of the process.

I wish I could be more help, but the best advice I could give you to become the cook you want to be is go to school. Or barring that (it is a ridiculous expense) get a job cooking. Neither of those things are very efficient, but it is the best way to learn those little things.

u/[deleted] · 9 pointsr/food

Forget that show, buy a copy of the newest edition of On Food and Cooking

u/GnollBelle · 9 pointsr/Cooking
  1. Same way you get to Carnegie Hall - practice
  2. Come home to a clean kitchen
  3. Prepare your mise en place before you start.
  4. Keep notes on how each recipe turned out and where you think it went wrong or right
  5. Like u/NoraTC said, read cookbooks like novels. (I might recommend Think Like a Chef, On Food and Cooking, Ruhlman's Twenty, and Cooking School )
u/90DollarStaffMeal · 8 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

From the bible: The one major region of the Old World not to embrace dairying was China, perhaps because Chinese agriculture began where the natural vegetation runs to often toxic relatives of wormwood and epazote rather than ruminant-friendly grasses. Even so, frequent contact with central Asian nomads introduced a variety of dairy products to China, whose elite long enjoyed yogurt, koumiss, butter, acid-set curds, and, around 1300 and thanks to the Mongols, even milk in their tea!

I'm going to paraphrase another section, but most cheeses were not very interesting until they started being made further north because the cheese had to be more heavily salted and acidic to combat spoilage in the warmer climates of eastern European and Asia. Once it started to be made in the Roman territories, especially modem day Switzerland and France, you were able to allow the cheeses to ripen over a much longer time period with less salt and acid. This allowed for a MUCH greater diversity in cheese making, giving rise to the delicious cheeses of today.

A word on lactose intolerance and cheese. There are two kinds of "lactose intolerance" that people talk about. The first is an allergy to casein and that actually is dangerous. It's a full blown allergic reaction similar to a peanut allergy with symptoms as bad as anaphylactic shock. Thankfully it is very rare and you DEFINITELY know if you have it.

The other kind is a lack of lactase in your gut to process the lactose. If you don't have enough lactase, the lactose passes into your small intenstine where it gets eaten by bacteria releasing lots of co2 and methane, which makes you bloated and fart and all the other happy fun times associated with a lactose intolerance. It is this lack of lactase that most of the non Scandinavian descendants of the world have.

Luckily for everyone, in NON PROCESSED cheese, most of the lactose is suspended in the whey, which means that it doesn't end up in the cheese. This is even more pronounced in cheeses made from raw milk. As the cheese ages, the remaining lactose gets used up.

The upshot of all of this is that for lactose intolerant people the harder and older and less processed/pasteurized the cheese is, the more of it you can eat. Also, you can just disregard everything that I just said and take some aspergillus with your dairy product and be totally fine (it breaks down lactose for you so your body can process it).

u/jimtk · 8 pointsr/Cooking

The "end all be all" book on the science of cooking is the book: On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen.
There is a TV show entirely based on that book called Good eats with Alton Brown. The TV show has recipes the book has not. The TV show is entertaining, the book is definitely NOT light reading!

u/bufftrek · 7 pointsr/Cooking

The rancidity refers more to oils held within the nut going bad - simply an off-putting flavor and dampened aroma. The texture will also be a little bit more mealy.
Beyond that, the origin of the nut could matter as far as spoilage goes.

  • Chinese pine nuts - 78% oil content
  • American pine nuts - 62% oil content
  • European pine nuts - 45% oil content

    Strangely enough, I've never frozen pine nuts, but foods high in fat freeze rather well. As for pine mouth, I believe that a lot of the cases are sourced from Chinese pine nuts, where as those sourced from Turkey have the lowest probability(from a newspaper I read recently - the oil content is from Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen )
u/Cdresden · 7 pointsr/Breadit

If you're not going to use lye, it's a good idea to bake your baking soda. This converts the sodium bicarbonate to sodium carbonate, which is a stronger alkali, and will give the pretzels a better flavor. Lye gives the best flavor, but baked baking soda is close.

(Linked article is by Harold McGee, who wrote On Food and Cooking.)

u/Buck_Thorn · 7 pointsr/Cooking

On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee

u/2059FF · 7 pointsr/technology

It's a self-contained course on electronics, not at all a collection of data sheets.

To use an analogy: you can download food recipes from the Internet all you want, but you will learn how to become a cook by reading Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking (another book that would remain on my bookshelf).

u/k3ithk · 7 pointsr/slowcooking

This really depends on the gelatin concentration. Even at high temperatures, a sauce with a high concentration of gelatin will be thick. Think of a classic glace de viande. This type of sauce can be a quarter gelatin, very high concentration.

As you say though, you won't notice the gelatin in this sauce as a thickener. I agree (at least in terms of viscosity) since you really need to get up to around 10% gelatin by weight to make a discernible difference, and at this concentration it will quickly congeal as it cools.

However, the mouthfeel of a sauce can be impacted by lower gelatin concentrations. Gelatin molecules are typically long and obstruct the free movement of water throughout the sauce, making it feel heavier and silkier in the mouth.

Note too that sauces thickened with starches will also gel up at cooler temperatures. Cornstarch, like other grain starches, has a relatively high proportion of amylose (as opposed to amylopectin), which means it quickly congeals as it cools.

Gelatin is preferred to cornstarch in situations where the sauce should be translucent and not cloudy looking.

Info is from On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee

u/lythander · 6 pointsr/foodscience

I'll recommend McGee's On Food and Cooking. It's a good read, but not quite a textbook. It's complete enough to be, but not quite structured that way. On the other hand, it's also not priced like one.

Be sure to get the latest edition revised and updated in 2004:

u/pluck-the-bunny · 6 pointsr/Cooking

Harold McGee is like the master of knowledge of all things cooking.

If you found this interesting, check out his book On Food and Cooking

it’s basically an encyclopedia of the science behind cooking. One of my favorite books. And a James Beard award winner

u/wee0x1b · 6 pointsr/Cooking

Buy the book that Alton Brown stole all his material from:

It's got a whole lot of very good info.

u/CountVonTroll · 6 pointsr/de

On Food and Cooking, Harold McGee, 70€ auf Deutsch oder 26€ auf Englisch.

Keine Rezepte, ausser ein paar historische zum besseren Verständnis. Erklärt zu allen möglichen Zutaten und Techniken die Geschichte und was lebensmittelchemisch passiert verständlich. Am besten mal bei der englischen Ausgabe "Blick in's Buch" um sich ein Bild zu machen.

u/FoieTorchon · 6 pointsr/food

Is what you want... For like $50 you get a lot!... It's called 'On Food and Cooking' by Harold Mcgee... It's totally amazing

u/OGLothar · 6 pointsr/food

If he's at all serious, he needs this

Also, this is a very useful and fascinating book.

u/Letmefixthatforyouyo · 5 pointsr/Cooking

On Food and Cooking is the ultimate answer to your question. It will give you the science and why behind why many foods do what they do. Its a tome, but a beautiful one.

u/wainstead · 5 pointsr/food

To that I would add On Food And Cooking: The Science And Lore Of The Kitchen. The scope of knowledge in this book is amazing: how different kinds of honey (some poisonous) result from what the bees polinate... how chewing gum was invented... why drinking alcohol mixed with a carbonated beverage gets you drunk faster... why cooking with iron is better for you than cooking with copper... where peppercorns come from, how they are harvested and how the varieties differ... why onions make you cry when you cut them... the science behind "toasting" something... can't recommend this enough to anyone fascinated by cooking!

u/organiker · 5 pointsr/chemistry

I think On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee is pretty much the standard authority.

u/Kibology · 5 pointsr/Cooking

McGee's "On Food and Cooking" can get a bit dry and technical, but man is it encyclopedic. If you ever find yourself saying, "I wonder why water chestnuts stay crunchy when cooked?" that's where you could look it up. It has from a paragraph to multiple pages about every ingredient you can think of.

Ruhlman's "Ratio" is excellent for understanding the structural properties of ingredients (it mostly concerns baked goods and sauces) -- it doesn't cover flavors so much as techniques for achieving different textures by varying the ratios of ingredients.

u/csguydn · 5 pointsr/personalfinance

I currently work 2 jobs and have my fingers in a lot of pies.

That being said, I still find the time to cook. Not as much as I like, but I do so quite regularly.

Aside from reading cook books, watching Good Eats, and America's Test Kitchen, I got the most experience from practice.

I also visit these subreddits.

Book wise, I have quite a few books on both technique and the food itself.

A few of my favorites are:

On Food and Cooking by McGee -

Cooking for Geeks by Potter -

How to Cook Everything by Bittman -

and a multitude of others.

u/weirdalchemy · 5 pointsr/AskReddit

Exactly. Higher pH denatures the proteins that are responsible for making it stick. Also, using older eggs will do the trick because older eggs naturally start to rise in pH.

If anyone is interested, there is a really great chapter about eggs in "On Food and Cooking," by Harold McGee that talks a lot about this kind of stuff. It's a great book and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the science of cooking.

u/drewcore · 5 pointsr/KitchenConfidential

hopefully i don't sound too crass, but i would save your money. unless you want to do months of work as an unpaid, or basically unpaid, stage at a really amazing restaurant, or want to have credentials to back up the opening of your own place, the extra education wouldn't help much. i'd rather hear that you've read harold mcgee and larousse cover to cover.

u/cavicchia · 5 pointsr/KitchenConfidential

Ratio is really fucking awesome, if you're into the science side of it, I'd highly recommend this Widely regarded as one of the most comprehensive texts. It hits the historical side, the scientific side, and the classic, traditional cuisine. That said, it's really fucking dense, not the kinda book you'll sit down and read cover to cover.

u/nucleusincumbents · 5 pointsr/askscience

Don't care if trolling, must employ orgo/chem knowledge: It's (near) impossible. Background is necessary: The only reason (or the most obvious) why your toast is not charring with it's exposure to the O2 in the atmosphere when you take it out the company of its loafing mates (pan pun ftw) is that the charring reaction (EXOTHERMIC combustion reactions) takes place at an exceedingly high (toasting) temperature. This high temp requirement is known as the activation energy (E^A) —or the energy differential between the reagents (predominantly starch and complex carbohydrates) and the transition states that these reagents will assume if all goes according to plan. The reason the reverse reaction does not happen is that the combustion reaction is exothermic (meaning that bond energy is leaving the reagents in the form of heat which exceeds the E^A) and exothermic reactions are usually irreversible (laws of thermodynamics, gibbs free energy, and the like would all be working against untoasting toast). After toasting, molecules on the outer surface of toast have released a considerable about of energy in the exothermic process of turning into products and therefore absolutely cannot have as much chemical energy… There is the sneaky-ass possibility that some starches and complex carbohydrates that are resistant to digestion in OUR GI systems have broken down in the exothermic reactions (or specifically decomposition reactions if the exothermic rxn is unimolecular) to chemicals that we can in fact digest— thereby increasing its caloric content while reducing its total chemical energy content. This is common and unsurprising in cooking—read this (written by a chemist). However we can be sure that the decomposition/energy loss of saccharides we could have digested in their glorious fully energized states is partially offsetting this.
All things considered (love that radio show) it doesn't offing matter. The caloric difference, if any, would be so minute only Heidi Klum could tell the difference. but damn is she toasty.

u/killbrad · 5 pointsr/Cooking

On Food and Cooking is pretty much the bible.

u/crackered · 4 pointsr/Chefit

Chopping skills has to be high up on the list. I don't have a good book on this, but have seen several possible good ones on Amazon. There are lots of videos online as well. I'd learn and master all types of cuts on all types of items (meat, veggies, fruit, etc).

If you're wanting to be a chef (i.e. not just a cook), having some knowledge about why methods/recipes are a certain way would be good too (e.g. books like On Food and Cooking:

Not quite a direct answer to your question, but hopefully useful

u/Soupfortwo · 4 pointsr/KitchenConfidential

I do encourage you to learn about cooking no matter what you choose. These are the books that helped me most in my cooking career:

  1. Professional cooking Often refereed to as 'the Gisslen'

  2. Culinary Artistry

  3. On food and Cooking

    The Gisslen and Culinary artistry are your starter books. On food and cooking is amazing but contains chemistry/biology and other scientific explanations of what your doing which is important but not for the actual act of learning to produce food.
u/milar007 · 4 pointsr/food

This is probably the natural seaweed extract she is talking about:
I worked in Japanese food for a long time and was surprised to learn that I had been basically flat-out lying when I told people there was no MSG in our sushi. Good sushi rice dressing is traditionally seasoned with a large piece of Kombu.
Also, people who say they are allergic to MSG are lying.
edit: read page 342 - Seaweed and the Original MSG

u/modeler · 4 pointsr/Paleontology

Not sure the discipline of paleontology is really geared to answer that question... [EDIT] Most fossils I've tasted are tough, a bit salty and frankly too gritty to be on my foodie shortlist.

There's a few factors that goes into meat flavour and texture:

  • Fast twitch vs slow twitch muscles determines how 'red' meat is - that is how much myoglobin it has. Birds that fly a lot have red breast meat when compared to birds that fly only in emergencies. For example, compare the breasts of pigeon (red) and chicken (white). This also works with fish: continuously fast moving fish meat tends to red, meaty flavours (eg tuna) vs most fish that have basically white flesh, but have a red triangle of muscle along the dorsal line like hamachi. Ambush hunters like the crocodile are immobile almost all the time, so their meat is more like chicken breast.
  • Muscles that are continuously exercised are loaded with connective tissue and are tough. Muscles rarely exercised are tender. Compare shin, shank and shoulder cuts (tough) with fillet steak (tender).
  • Cooking technique - fast and hot vs slow and cool(er). Tender cuts can be cooked hot and fast (grill, fry) and be excellent as long as the internal temperature stays below the mid 60s (°C) otherwise you are in well-done territory [EDIT] and that is the 'stringy' texture in OPs question. Tough cuts should be cooked for a long time to break connective fibres to gelatine making the meat juicy and soft. For tough cuts, temperature can go up into the 70s without necessarily making the meat dry. Think southern BBQ and sous vide ribs. Tender cuts are typically less flavourful/meaty than tough cuts. Chicken thighs need cooking longer than chicken breast, so getting a perfect roast chicken, with moist breast and tender thighs is hard.
  • Impact of diet. What the animal eats can influence flavour heavily. Corn-fed and grass-fed cattle taste different, with grass-fed being a stronger, meatier taste. Free-range chickens are gamier than factory birds. Water fowl and crocodile tastes a bit 'fishy'. Pigeon and quail more gamey. Traditionally, pheasants and other birds were left to 'hang' (with guts in) in a cool but not refrigerated environment until the meat 'matures' and the tail feather fall out. This fermentation is the main reason for really gamey taste. Personally, I hate it and feel there are too many 'off' flavours. [EDIT] the really fishy smell of not-quite-fresh fish is TMA, caused by the (I think, bacterial) breakdown of proteins in the fish. I am not referring to this off-flavour when I mean fishy.
  • Seasonality: Animals in areas with cold winters tend to lay down fat in autumn to help the animal survive to spring. There's a strong preference to eating those animals in autumn when the fat content (and thus flavour) is the highest. Higher fat content allows more cooking techniques to be used, and allows the meat to be cooked hotter while remaining moist and tender. Hunting seasons are mostly in the autumn.

    So, with Leaellynasaurus, we essentially have a wild turkey-like animal in a highly seasonal environment, eating plants in a non-aquatic environment. Hunt them near polar winter to maximise their yummy fat.

    As non-farmed animal, its major muscle groups on its rear legs got a huge workout - its legs would be best for braising and stewing and would be rich, meaty and a bit gamey. Its shoulders and forelimbs a lot less, and so would be more chicken-breast-like, but smaller in proportion. Some small, fried pieces like the Japaneae karaage might be nice.

    [EDIT] On reflection, the tail might produce both the greatest challenge when cooking Leaellynasaurus, but also the greatest opportunity. The tail - one of the largest dinosaur tails relative to body size - is full of connective tissue, making poorly cooked tail as chewy as tough jerky and less palatable. However, cooked 48-72 hours at 75°C sous vide, it would be like the best ox-tail stew - juicy, tender and incredibly rich in flavour. It could take some really strong herbs and spices to really up the richness into the stratosphere.

    This is just my best guess as a cook who's read the excellent On Food and Cooking. I'd say, give Leaellynasaura meat a try if you can, although finding a restaurant for such a delicacy is pretty hard these days.
u/heartsjava · 3 pointsr/food

Speaking of McGee, what about his book On Food And Cooking

u/berthejew · 3 pointsr/AskCulinary

On Food and Cooking is a great way to learn what pairings and what flavors work together. Hope this helps!!

u/dreamKilla · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

Note: links are to amazon though any library or used book will do.

On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee

A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander

On War by Von Clausewitz

Influence by Robert Cialdini

Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky

Improving Performance: How to Manage the Whitespace in the Organization Chart by Geary Rummler

Books by Edward T. Hall

Books by Edward Tufte

Books by Jiddu Krishnamurti

The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action by Donald Schön

let me know if you want more....

u/BundleOfHiss · 3 pointsr/seriouseats

Yep! I'm about to order Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen.

The code is good until Nov 28 at 11:59pm PST.

u/King_Chochacho · 3 pointsr/KitchenConfidential

On Food and Cooking is basically required reading.

It's fairly specific, but Japanese Cooking: a Simple Art has a ton of great info on Japanese food philosophy, seasonal dishes, and a bunch of knife and other techniques you don't get from many western texts.

u/cheapcornflakes · 3 pointsr/Cooking

Also add On Food and Cooking The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee

Really great book going into detail about the science of cooking

u/kennethdc · 3 pointsr/belgium

Whether it is actually better or not, that's highly debatable and according to taste. But the cuisine in London/ UK is not neglectable and has a very rich background.

One of the most influential chefs in the world such as Heston Blumenthal (which is largely inspired by Harold McGee, an American), Marco Pierre White (he partly wrote modern cuisine, also an awesome person to hear) and Michel Roux (both senior as junior) have worked their careers in the UK. Each of them have defined a part of cooking/ cuisine in their way.

Not to forget the Commonwealth as well indeed, which brought a lot to the UK.

Really been watching too much MasterChef UK/ Australia and to one of my cooking teachers who really loves to read about history/ science of food. Then again, it's awesome to hear and to know as food is a way of sharing love, express your creativity and bonds and is such an important aspect of our lives/ society/ culture.

Some books which are awesome and I also have in my collection are:

u/lito_onion · 3 pointsr/Cooking




This is the most phenomenal cooking book I have ever read. It basically breaks down the science and history of almost every single food - there's chapters dedicated to eggs, milk, hundreds of pages on bread, etc.

u/kyrie-eleison · 3 pointsr/Cooking

On Food & Cooking is essentially an encyclopedia. An absolute must-have.

u/Thisismyfoodacct · 3 pointsr/Cooking

I dig you're enthusiasm but you're asking a broad question!

I'd recommend the following books to help answer your questions:

On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of The Kitchen

The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking through Science

u/TheWalruss · 3 pointsr/askscience

On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen (link goes to

I exaggerated, though - it's only 896 pages. ;)

u/citationmustang · 3 pointsr/Cooking

Julia Child is great, but that really isn't the best resource. Have a look at these three books. Together they will tell you more than almost any other resources about French cuisine, recipes, technique, history, everything.

Larousse Gastronomique

The Escoffier Cookbook

On Food and Cooking

u/metaphorm · 3 pointsr/Cooking

The McGee Bible is probably the best food-science oriented cookbook ever written.

This Book is basically the same content but condensed and made more accessible, so its a good starting point if you don't want a huge doorstop of a book to page through.

Good Eats by Alton Brown is a pretty awesome how-to show that combines food science and comedy. poke around for full episodes if you can find them, its worth it.

as for podcast format...not sure if I've encountered a good one in strictly audio. maybe just look for books on tape?

u/overduebook · 3 pointsr/Cooking

The book you want is [On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen] ( by Harold McGee, which is a classic for a reason! Start with that one, devour it, learn it, live it, love it.

Once you've done that, pick up a copy of The Science of Good Cooking from the hardworking angels at Cook's Illustrated and then a copy of The Flavor Bible as mentioned by /u/pjdias below.

u/Yolay_Ole · 3 pointsr/mindcrack

I haven't. I've got a bunch of science-y cookbooks.

Edit: Here is the best book I've found. It's a really heavy read, though: On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

My other favorite, go to book is America's Test Kitchen Best American Classics. I also do recipe testing for ATK - regular recipes and gluten free.

Oh, and don't forget Michael Ruhlman's Ratio:The Simple Codes Behind The Craft of Everyday Cooking. This is the most amazing book. It's short and to the point as well. You begin to understand how a simple tweak to a recipe can create an entirely different dish.

I love how a great Mindcrack thread became a cooking thread. My 2 favorite things in life.

u/Whatcha_mac_call_it · 3 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Buy the book ON FOOD AND COOKING the science and lore of the kitchen by Harold McGee. It is fascinatingamazon link

u/asnarratedby · 2 pointsr/Cooking

Sry...don't find a lot of time to post. And as far as finding ur post... I went looking for it. I cook a lot of proteins and I wanted to see what reddit had to say about chicken breast. It can be very unforgiving, but when done correctly it is an amazing meat. NOW, to address you concerns about nutrition. Yes, brining does increase the sodium level a bit, but lets face it, chicken needs a little help and when you brine its just les salt you will need to add when you season. If you have high blood pressure you may want to watch you sodium intake. Here is a site that attemps to tackel the "how much sodium does a brine add?" Question ( . As far as brining subtracting any nutritional value; I would say, no, it does not measurably reduce nutrition. In my opinion overall; brining a chicken breast as part of my meal is far more delicious and healthy than ordering fast food (and less sodium). If creating a chicken breast meal that makes you want to continue cooking keeps you from ordering take out its a win. As far as my experience... I am just a home cook that grew up in a home that didnt know how to cook. At some point a the family of one of my friends started inviting me to dine with them at some very expensive restaurants. IT BLEW MY MIND!... I had no idea food could be that good. From that point on I made my mission to give food the respect it deserves. I read took the scientific approach, ( read the cooking bible over and over and watch guys like alton brown (

u/Chefpeon · 2 pointsr/Baking

This is a great book on the science of cooking/baking:

u/neatoni · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

you might enjoy investing in this book

u/AmbitionOfPhilipJFry · 2 pointsr/lostgeneration

>Still no progress. Am leaving either tomorrow or Thursday for the Carolinas on a documentation trip. Hopefully I can get an interview up there while I'm out. I probably won't. Also, I told off a company for writing me off prematurely.

good luck!

>Pursuant to 1, obviously going nowhere. That said, I've done more travel this year than I have since 2003.

I live with my aunt and uncle. Living at home is pretty much normal for kids our age. Out of my 5 closest friends, only 2 live on their own. One is in Iraq the other is in Med School.

>3 Start paying off my massive debts.

I hear you there. Good luck I hope your father's cancer goes into remission. My dad died of a stroke in 2003. A parent's death is never ever good for mental health/financial stability.

>I'm down to 194.2 naked from a max at 252. I'm also just back from a 6 mile walk, which is what I'm up to now each day.

Keep up the good fucking work. I went from 230-169 over two years. Most of it was not eating so much. The last 20lbs was from dedicated exercise. You can do it if I can. Its all about willpower. I used to track my calories. You really don't need as much food as you think you do. Swimming is the best exercise for sculpting body muscles and losing weight fast.

>5 Learn to cook.
Get On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of Food Its an entertaining read which allows you to understand the foundation of cooking so you can wing your own recipes based on your knowledge of the underlying chemistry.

u/Scotcho · 2 pointsr/AskReddit
u/saucerjess · 2 pointsr/foodhacks

ya, they only talk about proteins in that the capsaicin bonds to the specific protein TRPV1 that makes your neurons sense spicy or hot; now tasty is another thing entirely :)

Harold McGee writes some cool shit on food science. It's how I learned to cook in the first place. Here's my favorite.

u/KDirty · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

You'd be surprised; milk is exceedingly resilient to heat. You can literally cook all the water out of it without the proteins denaturing.

At higher heats it becomes easier for the milk to spoil, but there still generally needs to be an acid.

If you're interested in food science at all.

u/pawpaw · 2 pointsr/food

Jaques Pépin's Complete Techniques

and On Food and Cooking (not really a cookbook, but I think it's the most important book for anyone who is serious about food)

u/magicmalthus · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

if you (or anyone) would like to know more, best book ever:

edit: for instance (I think this link will work),

u/mc_1260 · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

Are you talking aboutOn Food and Cooking?Also a great book!

u/jon_titor · 2 pointsr/food

The Flavor Bible is a good one, but you might also want to check out Harold McGee's On Food And Cooking. It's pretty much the food science bible.

u/random_dent · 2 pointsr/food

The heat and movement of air will remove far more moisture than is created by combustion.

More humid air, which moves, will remove more moisture from a surface than dry, still air. It is the venting specifically which causes this increased air movement, and thus the removal of more moisture from the surface of the food.

My main source for all cooking related science is On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee, which is about the science behind all the chemical reactions behind cooking, the biochemical makeup of foods, and chemically speaking why the procedures we follow in cooking work the way they do. It also covers quite a bit of culinary history.

u/the6thReplicant · 2 pointsr/MasterchefAU

Best of luck.

Don't forget to get your copy of Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking.

u/jbiz · 2 pointsr/Cooking
u/bigdaddybodiddly · 2 pointsr/food

I think it's that they've got fancy machines to completely dry and pasteurize it.

I don't think it's preservatives, as an example, golden grains website says their ingredients are:

I'm pretty sure the iron and B vitamins are there as nutritional fortification, not as preservatives.

this guy has a bunch to say about it, including:
>Commercial durum pasta is put through a more rigorous process of rapid, high-temperature pre-drying, followed by extended drying and resting steps. As Harold McGee explains in On Food and Cooking, the high-temperature method prevents discoloration and “cross-links some of the gluten protein and produces a firmer, less sticky cooked noodle.”

I've got that McGee book but I'm too lazy to go get it and find/read that chapter at the moment - I might later though, since now you've got me wondering about it too,

u/Funkenjaeger · 2 pointsr/Cooking

If you like to learn about the science behind your food, I strongly recommend On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee

It's like an encyclopedia full of fascinating facts about food or cooking techniques, and it even manages to be a good read as well.

u/Sand_isOverrated · 2 pointsr/WhitePeopleTwitter

If this kind of stuff really interests you, you should read On Food And Cooking by Harold McGee. Amazing book about the history and scientific principals that drive modern cooking.

u/zenon · 2 pointsr/Paleo

The recipe is from How to Cook Everything. It makes about one cup of sauce:

Put three egg yolks, two tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt in a
small saucepan over very low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until
light, foamy and slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. (If at any point
the yolks begin to curdle, immediately remove from the heat and
continue to whisk for a minute before returning the pan to the stove).

Remove from the heat and stir in 6 tablespoons of not too cold butter, one tablespoon at a time. Return to the heat and continue to whisk until the sauce is thick and bright yellow. Whisk in lemon juice to taste. Some like to add a bit of cayenne too.

Egg begins to curdle around 70°C / 160°F, so you must stay below this temperature — just slightly too hot to touch. This presents a potential problem: salmonella bacteria can survive a while at 70°C. If you don't want to risk it, On Food and Cooking claims that you can increase the curdling temperature to up to 90°C / 195°F by adding the acid (lemon) before heating. I haven't tried this.

Or, just get salmonella-free eggs.

The sauce isn't technically paleo because it contains dairy, but I think most of you are OK with butter.

u/spk3z · 2 pointsr/Chefit

I recently read Heat by Bill Buford--absolutely awesome, couldn't put it down. Also, this is actually on my to-read list but On Food and Cooking is supposed to be really very informative.

u/derpderpdonkeypunch · 2 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

Good on you. There's no need to incur that debt. Just experiment and teach yourself. You do have On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen right?

Bonus: Awesome blog I found recently

u/jfjjfjff · 2 pointsr/food

its NOT subjective. it is a finer piece of meat... you just cook it to a degree where your average supermarket grade steak tastes the same as an expensive well aged cut. temperature and chemical change... aka science.

the above book is essentially the textbook for all chefs enrolled in culinary school.

u/gjallard · 2 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

And also get and read this book,

On Food and Cooking:

You'll see Alton Brown occasionally holding this book during his shows. It is NOT a cookbook, it is a manual on WHY cooking does what it does.

u/NateDawg007 · 2 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

Or read this book. Amazing science up in here.

u/WindWalkerWhoosh · 2 pointsr/Cooking

Just FYI, you only need this much of any amazon link:

u/sir-shoelace · 2 pointsr/videos

just feel like this is the right time to plug my favorite book, "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the kitchen" by Harold McGee.

it'll change how you see the world of food.

u/Gillonde · 1 pointr/Cooking

Mcgee on food and cooking is a great source of information on ingredients and the chemistry and physics behind techniques.

u/babble_on · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

It's difficult to tell exactly what you're after, but perhaps this might fit the bill. Check the description and the reviews, even the related books. As a professional cook, I consider it both essential and easy to understand.

u/ems88 · 1 pointr/cocktails


Homemade Soda by Andrew Schloss

Mix Shake Stir: Recipes from Danny Meyer's Acclaimed New York City Restaurants compiled by Danny Meyer

Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2010 by Jim Murray

And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails by Wayne Curtis

Trader Vic's Bartender's Guide, Revised by Victor "Trader Vic" Bergeron

Great Beer Guide: 500 Classic Brews by Michael Jackson

Old Mr. Boston DeLuxe Official Bartender's Guide 4th Edition

The Seasonal Cocktail Companion: 100 Recipes and Projects for Four Seasons of Drinking by Maggie Savarino

The Essential Cocktail: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks by Dale Degroff

Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History by Mark Spivak

Bottom Row:

The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil

Absinthe, Sip of Seduction: A Contemporary Guide by Betina Wittels & Robert Hermesch

The Complete Bartender: Art of Mixing Plain and Fancy Drinks by Albert Barnes (Espresso Book Machine Reprint)

Michael Jackson's Beer Companion by Michael Jackson

The Drunken Botanist: The Plants that Create the World's Great Drinks by Amy Stewart

Food & Wine Cocktails 2013 edited by Jim Meehan

Food & Wine Cocktails 2012 edited by Jim Meehan

Food & Wine Cocktails 2011 edited by Jim Meehan

The Craft of the Cocktail: Everything You Need to Know to be a Master Bartender, with 500 Recipes by Dale DeGroff

Cocktail Techniques by Kazuo Uyeda

Shake, Stir, Pour: Fresh Homegrown Cocktails by Katie Loeb

Everyday Drinking: The Distilled Kingsley Amis by Kingsley Amis

Tequila: A Traditional Art of Mexico edited by Alberto Ruy Sanchez & Magarita de Orellana

The New York Times Book of Wine: More than 30 Years of Vintage Writing edited by Howard G. Goldberg (pre-release copy)

The Northern California Craft Beer Guide by Ken Weaver

A Field Guide to Hendrick's Gin

The Oxford Companion to Beer edited by Garrett Oliver

The Book of Gin: A Spirited World History from Alchemists' Stills and Colonial Outposts to Gin Palaces, Bathtub Gin, and Artisanal Cocktails by Richard Barnett (pre-release copy)

Modern American Drinks: How to Mix and Serve All Kinds of Cups, Cocktails, and Fancy Mixed Drinks by George J. Kappeler (Espresso Book Machine Printing)

Edible Cocktails: From Garden to Glass - Seasonal Cocktails with a Fresh Twist by Natalie Bovis

Straight Up or On the Rocks: The Story of the American Cocktail by William Grimes

Brewed Awakening: Behind the Beers and Brewers Leading the World's Craft Brewing Revolution by Joshua M. Bernstein

The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock

Extreme Brewing: An Enthusiast's Guide to Brewing Craft Beer at Home by Sam Calagione

Wine for Dummies by Ed McCarthy & Mary Ewing-Mulligan

Radical Brewing: Recipes, Tales and World-Altering Meditations in a Glass by Randy Mosher

Not Pictured:

On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee

Craft Cocktails at Home: Offbeat Techniques, Contemporary Crowd-Pleasers, and Classics Hacked with Science by Kevin Liu

Beachbum Berry Remixed by Jeff Berry

How's Your Drink?: Cocktails, Culture, and the Art of Drinking Well by Eric Felten

Let me know if you have any questions about any of the books.

u/kasittig · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

I like Ad Hoc At Home for relatively simple food done very well. It will help teach you to respect good ingredients while opening your eyes to some interesting flavor combinations.

I also have On Food and Cooking, which is dense but will teach you about food so that when you do pick up a "super fancy" recipe you may have a chance of actually understanding what the chef is doing and why.

And, of course, there's Ruhlman's Twenty, which is also very informative but is much more accessible than On Food and Cooking.

u/gandhikahn · 1 pointr/food

Reproduced Original

10th Edition

This book?

You should supplement it with This which explains the how and why of cooking rather than being a recipe book, I have this and it is one of the most amazing cooking books I have ever seen.

u/Platypuskeeper · 1 pointr/askscience

Overall there are whole books written about this, MIT has a course too. So there's a lot more to say about it than could be possibly be stated here.

As for your specific question:

> Is there a chemical difference between boiling on high until 12oz of liquid has evaporated?

It depends on what's in your stock, but there definitely is. Now, as long as the thing is boiling in an open container, the temperature will remain at (or near) the boiling point. So the only real difference there is that with more liquid, you'll be holding it at the boiling temperature for longer.

In some situations, you need to cook things for a long time (e.g. tough meats like brisket require a long cooking to gelatinize the collagen fibers). But heat also tends destroy many compounds that give flavor (and nutrition, e.g. vitamin C is quite temperature-sensitive). So most cooking utilizes either lower temperatures over longer periods or hotter temperatures under short ones.

In some cases, I think bringing things to a boil, adding ingredients, and then letting boil slowly, is really more a way to control the temperature and cooking time, since the temperature will remain constant at the boiling point. For instance, I doubt that anything special happens with pasta at 100 C that requires it to be cooked in boiling water rather than say, 60-70 C. It's just that it takes longer at a lower temperature, and it's more difficult to gauge and maintain the lower temperature, making the cooking time more unpredictable.

Chemical reactions proceed more quickly at higher temperatures. But it's not a linear relationship, and different reactions have rates with a different temperature-dependence. So for more complicated cooking processes, it's not a simple trade-off between temperature and cooking speed. You also have to take into account the fact that things don't get evenly heated in most cooking. You might cook a roast in the oven at 180 C (the external temperature), but the temperature of the innermost parts wouldn't usually exceed 70-80 C or so. (or you've overcooked it)

u/gwyner · 1 pointr/Cooking

Ooh ooh

Get the whole damned Cook's Illustrated book series (Start with The Best Recipe) and get "On Food and Cooking"

Read both, cover to cover, especially that second one. Now cook!

u/CaptaiinCrunch · 1 pointr/Cooking

The Food Lab is a fantastic book!

Also love On Food & Cooking by Harold Mcgee

u/SpetsnazCyclist · 1 pointr/Cooking

^ This. Especially tweaking recipes, that's where I started. Just make a substitution, add a little bit of some spice, switch the fat you're using. I highly highly HIGHLY recommend this book, especially if you are science-minded (as a chemical engineer, it's awesome to make connections from stuff I learned in class to the kitchen)

u/Kralle333 · 1 pointr/foodhacks

From this book:

Adding salt and vinegar to the cooking water, for example, does speed
coagulation, but it also produces shreds and an irregular film over the egg surface.

Also heard Heston Blumenthal saying that you shouldnt swirl and/or add stuff the the poaching water.

u/oobacon · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

If you haven't read/studied [Harold McGee] (, that'll set you up with a solid foundation for knowledge.

As for skills, that's on you to practice. Definitely subscribe to quality content from quality sources that help keep the passion alive and learn from that. Buzzfeed Tasty is probably the best way to injure yourself over mediocre slop if you were to mimic them (Although I think I've seen one set of hands use a knife safe and proper.)

u/PuffinTheMuffin · 1 pointr/nutrition

I think that's still being debated. There are lots of misinformation regarding nutrition out there. In general there is no need to be concern about little things too much as long as you are eating various types of food. Not all kinds of heating with food is bad, there's a reason why our ancestors discovered cooked meat.

Cooking is chemistry. When you heat food up the main thing it does is that it's unfolding the protein in food. If you're interested in the break down on cooking and food perhaps you would be interested in this book.

u/throwdemawaaay · 1 pointr/sousvide

One of the worlds foremost experts on food science:

His book is a fantastic reference to have if you like to cook:

u/killfirejack · 1 pointr/Cooking

Gastronomique is an incredible resource for all pretty much anything edible.

Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking is also a great resource but is more like a text book than a cook book.

The Ideas in Food books are pretty good too.

I guess I've been leaning more towards "educational" type reading lately (opposed to recipe tomes). Ratio is also very good. Does reddit like Ruhlman?

u/kiwimonster · 1 pointr/Cooking

Sounds nice, but Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking is a bit more practical.

u/borbus · 1 pointr/askscience
u/Haggis_Forever · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

If she doesn't have a copy of McGee, it is worth picking up. Otherwise, you can't go wrong with The Joy of Cooking.

Or, like BBallsagna said, anything by Rick Bayless.

u/silverforest · 1 pointr/IWantToLearn

Books are everything here, friend.

Basic Food Science and Cooking Technique (Understanding how ingredients work, individually and in combination):

u/MrMentallo · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee

It doesn't matter what kind of food she likes, this will apply. If she is wondering how mayonnaise binds together, this will explain why down to the molecular level. This is an indispensable resource.

u/ataracksia · 1 pointr/Cooking

Howard McGee's On Food and Cooking is indispensable.

u/Jbota · 1 pointr/Cooking

It's not so much a cookbook, but it's a great book on cooking and the science behind it but I like On Food and Cooking

It's much more into the hows and whys of cooking than "this is how you make a creme brulee" but it's a cool reference. Alton Brown's books have a little bit more of the recipe + science.

For actual cooking tutorials, Julia Child probably does the best. It's a classic book for a reason.

u/CephiDelco · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

I second Keller's Ad Hoc At Home. Probably #1 on my list.

Also huge props to Andy Ricker's Pok Pok cookbook. I've only dipped my toes into this world but it has already changed the way I look at cooking.

As a reference book, Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking is invaluable.

u/Methuselbrah · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

Im not an expert but I would say poor ventilation is your issue. The humidity in ovens seem to very greatly. From what I have experienced, electric ovens tend to be completely dry, whereas propane or natural gas ovens have that little bit of humidity present. Gas ovens usually have those ports on the bottom on each side right above the burners and the vent is usually located in the back above the racks.

Also, I've seen better results with these ovens when cooking on a much higher heat.

Humidity is vital in bread baking for browning and crisping as well as other aspects of baking. There is a good book you can get that would it explain it in a more scientific way.

u/vurpine · 1 pointr/askscience

I had actually read about this in the book On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. It's a great book (and a nice gift idea!) and may answer your future food-related questions. :)

u/malice_aforethought · 1 pointr/chemistry

I haven't read that one but I do have On Food and Cooking. I got it for my girlfriend who is a chem grad student and loves to cook. It's a really excellent reference book.

u/snookums · 1 pointr/Cooking

I'd recommend a few books on the general principles of food.

Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking by Michael Ruhlman
- I highly recommend this one, because it will really break you out of following recipes instead of actually cooking.

On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee
- This might be a little bit more involved, but again, you're learning the principles of food, not recipes.

These two books and a subscription to Cook's Illustrated will get you a long way.

u/eric_twinge · 1 pointr/Fitness

It's not bro-science, it's the chemistry of cooking.

A good book on cooking and it's benefits is Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham.

This is from Chapter 3: The Energy Theory of Cooking, page 65
>Denaturation occurs when the internal bonds of a protein weaken, causing the molecule to open up. As a result, the protein molecule loses its original three-dimensional structure and therefore its natural biological function. The gastroenterologists noted the heat predictably denatures proteins, and that denatured protein are more digestible because their open structure exposes them to the action of digestive enzymes.

The gastroenterologists (digestive system scientists) mentioned here were specifically looking at egg protein digestion. On the preceding page of the above quote, these guys found that cooking egg whites increases the bio-availability of the protein by 40%.

Davies, et al. found that the protein in beef was 4 times more digestible when heated to 95^0 C for 20 minutes.

Another really good book on the effects and benefits of cooking is On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee

As far as links, I don't really have any. But the Wikipedia pages on denaturation, cooking, and protein are all good places to start.

u/bamboozelle · 1 pointr/Cooking

One of the best things you can do is to train your palate. This way, when you taste something, you can figure out what's in it, and make it yourself if you want. It will also help you to learn what goes with what. For example, dill goes with salmon, lemon with raspberries, tomato with onion and cilantro or basil, etc. That kind of knowledge will help you to invent your own recipes which are catered directly to your tastes.

If you really want to know what makes food do what it does, I would recommend the following books:

  • For general culinary science, On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee. It is one of the best books ever written which actually explains why things happen in the kitchen.
  • I usually buy a copy of Shirley O. Corriher's CookWise for anyone who says they want to learn to cook. It is perfect for beginners and has lots of very useful recipes. If you watch Alton Brown's "Good Eats", you will see Ms. (or is is Dr.?) Corriher explaining some of the science.
  • If you want to learn how to bake incredible cake, Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Cake Bible is indispensable, same for her Bread Bible and Pie and Pastry Bible. I rarely fuck up a cake now, and if I do, I know why. And her cake recipes are brilliant. From learning to make her chocolate butter cake, I also discovered the secret to making the BEST cup of chocolate ever. The aforementioned Ms. Corriher's BakeWise is also excellent for beginners.
  • The Larousse Gastronomique is probably the most famous book on cuisine. It's an encyclopedia which contains pretty much every cooking term. It's a pretty high-level book, but it is the authority.

    Have fun with it! =)
u/HungryC · 1 pointr/Cooking

Books. Has he/she mentioned a cookbook or food reference book lately that he/she wants? Good cookbooks are awesome as gifts, since most cooks don't often have time to make it into a bookstore. Just as long as you get a good one (no Rachael Ray or Sandra Lee bullshit).

If your chef friend doesn't already have one of these books, any of these are a good gift:

Food Lover's Companion

On Food and Cooking

River Cottage Cookbook

French Laundry Cookbook

Also awesome, a subscription to Lucky Peach magazine.

What kind of restaurant/cuisine does your friend cook for? I have suggestions for more cookbooks if you want, but a little bit more information would be helpful.

Edit: Forgot to mention Art Culinaire, a hardback quarterly for chefs and cooks.

u/Natezore · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Real cooks know ratio's and are intimate with every facet of the ingredients they are working with. If you want to learn how to cook, for realz, go here, and check out his books as well. If you are really getting into cooking here this book will make you a better cook, and also a better person.

u/teamoney80mg · 1 pointr/Cooking

Watch Jacques pepin videos on youtube he is a master of technique and the reasons why we do things the way we do in a kitchen. This is a great book.

u/pyrogirl · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

If this is the sort of thing that interests you, you need a copy of Harold MeGee's On Food and Cooking.

u/Kuopo · 1 pointr/IWantToLearn

Thanks. Here's an Amazon link if anyone else is also interested.

u/evorgeloc · 1 pointr/cookbooks

If you are looking for basic cooking information the Joy of Cooking is obligatory.

A couple things I've learned along the way is first to start slow and work through cookbooks. It's easy to keep buying book after book but they are just decoration if you don't know them well. Secondly, be wary of books with lots of pretty pictures! In my experience they are full of single-purpose recipes that don't teach you the true nature or source as you spoke of above.

As far as source recipes I'd second everything mentioned so far but if you are looking to blow people away with Italian and Mexican dishes (my particular favorite styles)... look no further than:

The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking - Marcella Hazan - Possibly my favorite author of cookbooks of all time. This is definitely the one to start with in my opinion.

The Art of Mexican Cooking - Diana Kennedy - If you are looking for real mexican food this book is a great place to start.

Bonus Book... not a cookbook but a great way to learn about cooking

u/ProfTournesol · 1 pointr/Cooking

the book you need to read is 'on food and cooking' by harold mcgee

u/FeelTheFish · 1 pointr/argentina

Se que pasaron 9 dias y seguro nadie lee esto a menos que lo googlee:

Estuve investigando desde que hiciste el post porque yo también andaba con ganas de aprender potente, hasta ahora las 2 mejores cosas que encontre fueron:

Un libro de Herald McGee,

Si buscas el on food and cooking pdf te salta primero

Y lo otro que encontre es esto:

Un curso by harvard que es gratis y es de la cienca detras de cocinar, que basicamente te hace poder pensar las recetas en base a como interactuan cosas por lo que voy viendo de lo que va el curso.

Casualmente en este curso aparece el que escribio ese libro. También estudian platos de Ferran Adria


u/the_greenhornet · 1 pointr/Cooking

If you really want to learn the details of what cooks do and why, I strongly recommend this book:, it is, IMHO, the cooking bible.

The Food Lab is also a good resource and there are lots of videos:

Other than what the others have suggested (Jacques Pepin, Alton Brown's "Good Eats"), I would also recommend to watch Julia Child's videos (mostly French fare) and Heston Blumenthal's "How to cook like Heston".

u/speakingcraniums · -2 pointsr/Cooking

Like I said, if your just doing this at home then don't worry about it. But if you want to be the best cook you can be (and why wouldn't you) then following the tiny rules and suggestion adds up to a better, more consistent product.

That said, what your saying is not totally correct, the comment I linked is about there being no reason to ever salt them before they go into the pan and that since the water retention is higher, the eggs will cook faster allowing you make your eggs actually lighter and fluffier because you can reduce the time the eggs spend on the burner. Infact the comment directly stated that its better for omelette (really it's just better for everything). OPs omelettes are tough because their heat is too low, although that's not what the top comment is saying.

Source: I've made thousands of omelettes and thousands more different egg dishes. I do the best I can.

Infact talking about this so much made me make myself one just to make sure I wasn't getting something wrong and, it was a damn fine omelette. Little hole in the middle but you just serve that side down on the plate :)

Second source : I own the book, everyone should own this book.