Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen
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Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  1,401 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Alton Brown has smoked a salmon in a cardboard box, roasted a prime rib in a terracotta flower pot, cooked onion soup in an electric skillet, used a C-clamp as a nutcracker, and a binder clip to hold a probe thermometer in place. While his machinations may border on the Rube Goldberg-esque, it is among Brown's missions to present the best - and often the simplest - tool to...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by Stewart, Tabori and Chang
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Lance
After trying for about a year to seriously learn how to cook by reading Joy of Cooking and McGee's On Food and Cooking, I started to get really discouraged and was considering committing suicide in a MacDonalds by eating BigMac Meals 'til I expired.
I realized that my knowledge was so rudimentary that even such celebrated tomes as those aforementioned could not save me from my fast-food induced demise. While I could understand the science, when it came to actually doing the cooking, I didn't know...more
Paul
Okay, I like Alton a bit too much, but I can honestly say that my cooking life is divided into before Alton and after Alton. This is a great guide on what you need in your kitchen. My dad always says the most important thing in any job is having the right tool. This helped me get the right tools.
Daniel
May 04, 2008 Daniel rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Everyone
Well, I just finished the book, I've never seen the show, and I don't have cable or regular TV. I will say this is a book worth owning, if you love to cook. This is also the book that should be a part of everyone's kitchen.
Claire
I'd give this 3.5 if I could but...

If you are a serious cook, a couple registering soon, a Food Network junkie or a Good Eats fanatic (and I happen to fall into all of these categories) this book is for you.

If you haven't seen Alton's show on FN, his philosophy regarding kitchen equipment is simple is better and the only "unitasker" allowed in his kitchen is the fire extinguisher. He hates all kinds of gadgets that serve 1 or very little purposes.

His book walks through the different categories...more
Andrew Shuping
I bought this book just after I started my first professional job and had a kitchen of my very own to stock. And like many I had no idea what the heck to buy! or why I should buy it or anything else. Trust Alton to save my sanity. Alton doesn't tell you what brands or models to buy (he even suggests that you look at something like Consumer Reports for that.) No what Alton does is walk you through what types of things you might want in your kitchen, why you might want them, and what types of thin...more
Kelly
I like to cook. And when I get a chance I enjoy watching Alton Brown on the Food Network. I've learned a lot of interesting things by watching him. This book explained what a lot of basic cooking gear is used for, what are suitable replacements (the best multi-purpose tools), and other suggestions. Obviously, a normal cook can't afford to buy nor store everything you might find in a chef's kitchen. Alton did a good job of delineating between the useful and the unnecessary for a normal cook. I di...more
Pam
I mistook Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen for a recipe book when I borrowed it from my library. Actually it does have a handful of terrific recipes that highlight the use of various kitchen appliances. However, this book is a remarkable guide to choosing anything related to kitchen appliances and tools. It not only references practically anything you would find in a kitchen, it tells how to use it the proper way, and where to find it. Throughout the book he tells the history and science/tech...more
The Cyber Hermit
I always appreciate Alton's thoughtful, thorough explanation on Good Eats and the general food knowledge he shares both in personal appearances and on Iron Chef America.

This is a good book for anyone looking to expand the potential for their kitchen. You don't have to take all his recommendations but he carefully outlines why he chooses what he does, what he likes and what he doesn't. It's a definite help in making an informed decision on what to add to your kitchen.
Michael Haydel
This is the book I turn to...actually, Alton Brown is who I turn to any time I want a no bullshit answer to just about any culinary question.

As for when I'm curious about a particular kitchen implement, this is the book. Anything else, he's probably covered in a Good Eats episode.

Fucking brilliant.
Ash Ponders
Wish I had read this before I owned a bunch of cooking stuff.
Amy
Jul 02, 2012 Amy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: cooking
I read this book over a period of a couple months, a little bit at a time. I don't think it is really a book that most people would want to sit and read straight through. It is really more of a reference book for those wanting to upgrade/remodel/refresh their kitchen. I like how Alton Brown gave some science behind why certain things work better in certain situations and also how he said that while he may prefer one brand of (discussed item) over others and why, that he also told about other bra...more
Robyn
I read straight through, even though I'm not presently stocking a kitchen or trying to reduce clutter in mine. The information is extensive and comprehensive. I enjoy Alton's "voice" and it's clear he knows of what he speaks. I'd say not worth owning, but definitely worth having available via library or a friend for when it's needed. The problem is that newlyweds and those striking out on their own (freshly graduated, freshly divorced, etc) will use this intensively for a short time, then not ag...more
Charles Grigsby
Man, how is this ranked lower than his cookbooks?

Gear is *chock* full of knowledge of cooking equipment based on actual testing and experience all with a practical bias. Now a days with most chefs from food network telling you that the equipment you need is from the line of stuff that they are selling, the guy telling you what you should buy based on practical application is a gentleman and a scholar.

Although I do have to say that when I say practical, AB does cover just about anything that ha...more
Amanda
This is a great book recommendation from Unclutterer. Alton guides you to a clutter free kitchen. This book is also full of great guidance for the right tools for you as a chef. I like the priority lists at the beginning of the chapters: What you need, what you need (really), what you would take to the island.

He's considerate of different budgets, which I totally appreciate. And he can tell you a dozen uses for pretty much any tool in your kitchen. I was constantly saying, "I would have NEVER th...more
Crystal
This is such a cool book. Alton Brown, one of my favorite food personalities, talks about the insides and outsides of every piece of cooking gear imaginable. He gives fairly unbiased pros and cons to each piece, and talks about the science behind utensils, cookware, and appliances. For example, he has a very straight forward explanation of the differences between cookware materials: stainless steel, copper, aluminum, cast iron, teflon, etc.

A great reference for anyone starting a new kitchen gad...more
Cliff
I've been wanting this book for some time. Being a fan of Alton Brown, I was curious to see how the book covered these particular topics of what kitchen equipment works well and which do not. I've already used much of what I've read to remove some of the clutter. It was a good reference point for me to begin tossing out my cheapy knife set and start replacing it with proper knives.

I've only just completed reading through the small appliances section and am looking forward to the section on utens...more
Elise Traversa
A friend loaned this to me as I am putting together my wedding registry. It was great for thinking about what we should register for and for people that are just moving out on their own. I wouldn't recommend it for people that already have a fully stocked kitchen.
Tom Higgins
Aug 13, 2007 Tom Higgins rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: any one who cooks
Shelves: done, cook
Alton Brown is part of the great DIY wave that has washed up over the fringe and is getting the mainstream wet. He clearly spells out why things work they way they work in a kitchen and what the parts are that you will use to build good eats.

This is not one of the plethora of pretentious "cuisine" books that the affectedly eppicurious tend to name drop over sips of frapacinos. This is a geeks guide to cooking gear, it is the FAQ for kitchen ware you always wanted.

Run do not walk, and cook some...more
Nicky
Generally I hate it when people talk about kitchen equipment. Why? Because it's just someone trying to sell me something that I don't want.

I loved this book. It provides practical, detailed analysis of materials and design for all the basic kitchenware such as pots, pans, and knives as well as for some highly specialized things like ice cream makers.

It also features sidebars on the science and trivia behind the gear and a few recipes that showcase the equipment or make you think about it creat...more
David S
Jan 25, 2008 David S rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Anyone who likes to cook
Shelves: non-fiction
From the proponent of the multi-purpose kitchen tool, Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen serves as a ready reference for those needing advice on... well, gear for your kitchen. Don't know what type of metal your next skillet purchase should be made of? Not sure what you need out of a good rice cooker? Don't remember the difference between a serrated and a scalloped blade? AB knows. My copy might collect dust between uses, but I rarely make a kitchen equipment purchase without consulting it.
Alex
Mar 12, 2011 Alex rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: food
This is a great reference book. I wouldn't suggest reading it cover to cover, but if you are about to buy a new kitchen tool, I'd recommend checking this book out. It has great recommendations on what to look for in different types of tools, and which tools to avoid altogether. The chapter on pots and pans was especially helpful, covering different metals and which types of pans they're good for and why. I've already bought myself a new, cheap, and very useful aluminum stock pot as a result.
Judy
This is an interesting and entertaining book to read. Brown goes through all the categories of kitchen equipment (Pots and Pans, Small Things with Plugs, Sharp Things, etc.) with additional interesting facts written in boxes or "hand-written" on the side of the page (The Magic School Bus for grownups?). At times he goes into too much scientific detail for my comfort, but it will probably be helpful when I consult the book about a specific purchase.
Tommy Powell
Wonderful collection of Alton Brown thinking and cooking. Great little insert pieces such as; how steel is made, how to use sand for storing root vegetables, how to pack a cooler, etc...

Good and detailed information on pots, pans, silicone baking sheets, utensils, and various other kitchen gizmology.
Several concise recipes as well; try the Sabayon desert some hot afternoon.

Brown's curiosity and love-of-the-clever is on every page.
Rosemary
For people suffering from Good Eats withdrawal, this book is a fast read with practical kitchen equipment recommendations written in the same style Brown speaks.
Stephanie
SO HELPFUL. I trust Alton to stock my kitchen. So, the fact that he's open about his utensil-purchasing philosophy is helpful, as is the fact that he's brand-specific about what he likes is really nice. RELIEF. Also, I happen to agree with his (a) tips for cutting down on what you have and (b) things he thinks you should have - I'm sure that helped with my enjoyment. But really, if you're trying to stock a kitchen: read this!
Alicia
I borrowed this book from my library to get a better idea of what kind of kitchen tools I should put on my wedding registry. I am a fan of Alton Brown's so I trust (most of) his advice. I thought this was a great way to get the basics of cookware and kitchen tools so I could make an informed decision. I feel a lot more organized about what's on my registry now that I'd removed the unnecessary things!
Hope
If you like Alton Brown's "Good Eats" cooking show, you'll like this book. You can hear his dry, humorous voice talking to you as you read. It's an interesting book in that it's more of a reference book but the writing is so much fun, you don't mind reading it. I also like that I can skip around to look at sections I'm interested in and not worry about reading things sequentially.
Jennifer
Alton Browns Books Are Great. Especially if you like eating, science, and are interested in cooking. I knew I had to have this book before I started buying replacements for the kitchen equipment I had to leave behind when I moved. And the recipe for carrot raisin salad in here - I'm pretty sure I scared the neighbors with my cries of joy. Can't wait to bust out the food processor.
Jonathan
After receiving this book as a birthday gift last year, it stayed in the kitchen for a while.
It was a nice read that was quick and to the point. It included Brown's manta of, "no unitaskers" and presented an array of items that could be purchased to streamline your kitchen.

Next time I have to pick a book for the newly engaged or foodie I'll be sure to consider this as a gift.
aaron
this is a great book if you are looking for the best of kitchen items. this books adds both the wittiness and the geekiness of alton brown. he really puts out a good book and the writing style is very much in the same vein as his show "good eats" on food network. if you are a fan of browns or just want to improve your kitchen, then this is a perfect way to start!
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Alton Brown is an American food personality, cinematographer, author, and actor. He is the creator and host of the Food Network television show Good Eats, the miniseries Feasting on Asphalt and the main commentator on Iron Chef America.
Brown received a degree in drama from the University of Georgia. He first worked in cinematography and film production, and was the director of photography on the m...more
More about Alton Brown...
I'm Just Here for the Food: Food + Heat = Cooking I'm Just Here for More Food: Food x Mixing + Heat = Baking Good Eats: The Early Years Good Eats 2: The Middle Years Good Eats 3: The Later Years

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