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Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,027 Ratings  ·  93 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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May 26, 2008 Lance rated it really liked it
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
Mar 15, 2010 Claire rated it really liked it
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
Andy Shuping
Aug 23, 2011 Andy Shuping rated it it was amazing
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
May 07, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing
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.
May 04, 2008 Daniel rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 16, 2010 Kelly rated it liked it
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
May 07, 2013 Pam rated it it was amazing
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
Anand Mandapati
Aug 17, 2014 Anand Mandapati rated it it was amazing
I wish this book were available when I learned how to cook, but, alas, it's only came out in 2008. I've been a huge fan of Alton Brown and Good Eats throughout the years and have tried hard to adhere to his multitasker strategy but this book really teaches you how to do that well. Amongst many things I've picked up from the book, he's taught me how to love cast iron, stoneware, and food processors. No matter how experienced you think you are in the kitchen, you'll always learn something from Alt ...more
The Cyber Hermit
Oct 09, 2010 The Cyber Hermit rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, cooking
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.
May 10, 2015 Kara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food-and-drink

A highly instructive tour of your kitchen but done in a funny, irreverent style.
Michael Haydel
Apr 03, 2009 Michael Haydel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference
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
Mar 25, 2013 Ash Ponders rated it really liked it
Wish I had read this before I owned a bunch of cooking stuff.
Amy "the book-bat"
Jul 02, 2012 Amy "the book-bat" rated it really liked it
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
Jul 08, 2012 Robyn rated it liked it
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
Andrea James
Jan 24, 2016 Andrea James rated it liked it
Shelves: cooking
Alton Brown has strong opinions about kitchen gear and particularly about gadgets. If you've seen Good Eats you'll know about his rants against Uni-taskers.

The last gadget featured in this video is pretty funny:

The advice on Good Eats is very helpful - Alton was the first introduced me to the plunger measuring cup (which at the time was nowhere to be found in the UK) - and his writing is very readable. If you live in the UK, this book has useful pointers i
Charles Grigsby
Oct 28, 2007 Charles Grigsby rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 09, 2009 Amanda rated it liked it
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
Feb 09, 2016 Jack rated it it was amazing
For the food geek and gear head in me, this book was the answer to the question, "What should I buy for my kitchen?" AB's quirky sense of utility can sometimes border on fanatical (No uni-taskers in the kitchen!) but this book is a good rundown of the hardware we all crave but often don't need.
Sep 06, 2009 Crystal rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 01, 2012 Cliff rated it really liked it
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
Elise Traversa
Jan 23, 2014 Elise Traversa rated it really liked it
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 it was amazing
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
Aug 07, 2008 Nicky rated it it was amazing
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
David S
Jan 25, 2008 David S rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 12, 2011 Alex rated it liked it
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.
Jun 25, 2008 Judy rated it really liked it
Shelves: food-cookbooks
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
Sep 30, 2010 Tommy Powell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kitchen-reading
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.
Jan 14, 2014 Rosemary rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 28, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cook
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!
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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
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