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I'm Just Here for the Food: Food + Heat = Cooking
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I'm Just Here for the Food: Food + Heat = Cooking

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  11,505 ratings  ·  229 reviews
Blending humor, wisdom, history, pop culture, science, and basic cooking knowledge, the host of Food Network's Good Eats presents an indispensable, innovative, and instructional cooking guide that features various cooking techniques accompanied by a "master" recipe for each technique, and provides a
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Harry N. Abrams
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kathrina
I have a 13-year-old who thinks he wants to go to culinary school, but has still only mastered the arts of ramen noodles and jello. He's a fan of foodie rock stars like Anthony Bourdain, Gordon Ramsey, and, of course, Alton Brown. So, this summer we're making cooking homeschool -- I've got it all planned out, and this book is our text. We'll focus on one cooking method a week, and come September, I'll have another hand in the house that has no excuse for not coming up with dinner once in a whil...more
Ron
Mar 20, 2008 Ron rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: cooking
This book changed my life.

I’ve never been a big cook. I think mostly because I’m a little impatient and the results are spectacular enough normally for me to get a charge of out taking the time to cook.

That may all be changing because of a book I got this weekend. The Mrs and I like to watch Good Eats on the Food network. Its just a fun show. I watch cooking shows for the same reason I was do it yourself shows. Its fun to watch people who know how to do something well do it. But I don’t ever co...more
Max
I came late to the Alton Brown party, so my man-crush on him seems ill-timed now that he's widened out in his celebrity role on the Food Network. But Brown is a man after my own heart - understand the science of something so you can play with it. I make something by the recipe the first time so I get the mechanics, then I start to tweak it. Brown's book is a great guide to your kitchen and it will make you throw away about half the crap you got for your wedding because they're unitaskers.
Daniel Ley
Simply put, this is the science behind cooking laid out in a practical approach. Alton Brown doesn't just teach you how to cook certain meals, as an ordinary cook-book would, but delves into the theory of cooking methods and gives you the tools to understand what is going on when making food rather than having you blindly repeat a recipe - useful information when something goes wrong, or if you have different cooking apparatus than the person who wrote the recipe, or if you can expand the recipe...more
Lindsey Duncan
This is not a cookbook: it's a mad-science exploration of cooking. Alton Brown explains the chemistry, physics and processes of the foundational methods of cooking food, breaking them down with hilarious commentary and consistent precision. Throughout the book, he explains the inaccuracies in home equipment and how to combat them ... at an extent that is frankly ridiculous for any but the most neurotic, but it certainly is entertaining to ponder - and that's the point. But no, I won't be melting...more
Robyn
Did not finish.

I enjoy Good Eats, I generally enjoy Brown's perspective on cooking, and I definitely agree that knowing the foundation of cooking will make you a better cook. This book, however, is not for me.

Too many pages had text discussing one thing, sidebars discussing something else, and drawings demonstrating a third. Like learning food science from an unmedicated 5 year old with ADHD. The drawings were also too stylized, not as basic and clear as the drawings in Brown's other books. Th...more
Jacob
This is a great cookbook and really the only one (except Brown's other books) worth listing as a book I've read here. I haven't read it cover-to-cover. Like any other cooking or brewing book, there's not a lot of reason to read the parts that don't apply to what you're cooking. Despite this, I've read enough of the sections to get a good feel for it. If you enjoy the shows and find them helpful and entertaining, you'll find the books the same way. He focuses on teaching you how to cook more than...more
Amy
Alton Brown is just fun to read. He is witty and humorous but he is also very Good at explaining how cooking happens. My boys love to watch his television shows when they can. They consider it funny and educational and worth their time to watch by their own choice! This book is not quite as funny as the tv series but it is very educational and the recipes aren't bad, either. I learned the best way to make hard cooked eggs is in the oven and haven't gone back to boiling since!
Greta Stough
I know there is something wrong with me because I am recovering from a hard core crush on Alton Brown that lasted several years. Well, they say the first step is admitting you have a problem, but geeky glasses, food, AND science? I have no will power against his panoply of charms. And he even wrote a decent book. Food science at its most fun.
Gillian
Alton Brown is my favorite chef on Food Network. I've learned a lot from his show. I love how he shows the science behind cooking and helps you to understand what is happening. Thanks to him I made a PERFECT Thanksgiving turkey this year. It was my first also. :) I was very pleased...Thanks Alton!!
Barrington Library
Alton Brown illustrates the science behind cooking so its easy to see why a recipe works. His recipes are always reliable, many of them are staples in my house.

Heather-Staff
Nate
Jun 24, 2014 Nate rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: food
This book changed the way I think about cooking. The emphasis of A.B.'s book isn't on recipes (though there are a lot of fantastic ones in here), it's more about technique and cooking knowledge. How to cook different ways, what foods benefit most from certain methods, understanding the science behind cooking. The book is not intended to be opened for the first time 20 minutes before dinner to find a "quick and easy recipe." This is a book that teaches you HOW to cook so that you can apply the kn...more
Leigh-Ann
If I know WHY I'm supposed to cook a certain way, I'm more likely to actually do it that way! Alton tells me why!
Krista Cameron
Alton Brown is one of my heroes.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book to get a better understanding of each cooking method. And I like his scientific approach to each method and the way he describes them in a manner and using examples that everyone would understand.

In all honesty, I haven't made a lot of the recipes and I can't remember if there are any that I have made again. However, I have read it numerous times from front to back and find it an educational and worthwhile read - of course,...more
Libby
I haven't finished this yet but I have a good sense of it and I plan to finish it. This is not really a traditional cookbook. It does have recipes, but that's not really the main point. He breaks cooking down into different methods of heating things (grill, boil, braise, etc) and talks about each of those methods. I really like the scientific explanations- often on the molecular level. This is just what I need to help me become a better chef, and really understand how to cook. Also, I have never...more
Jamie
For many years I've been addicted to the off-beat cooking show filled with unabashed geekery known far and wide as Good Eats on food network. I feel a certain kinship with Alton Brown. He's from north Georgia, an unashamed geek, and he loves food of all kinds but has a deep love of true local cuisine and road-food. (This idea is explored in his "Feasting" documentaries for the last three years.) And his show has revealed knowledge of everything from Star Trek to Lord of the Rings to the Termina...more
Natasha
It's taken me a while, but Alton Brown has grown on me. I now appreciate his cooking shows (I used to find them silly and annoying), and have learned a lot about ingredients and the art/science of cooking.

He's kindof the Bill Nye of the cooking world :)

This is not an allergy-focused book (i.e. not gluten free, vegan, raw, etc) but I checked it out because let's face it, I don't have a clue what I'm doing in the kitchen. Sure, I can follow a recipe, but I don't know why some things "work" and s...more
Irvin Sha
A fine book that does a decent job discussing some of the underlying science behind cooking. That being said, it's a little on the simple side, mainly focusing on the transference of heat from cooking implements to food (e.g. Maillard reactions, etc.) While this is useful, it doesn't exactly lead to any earth-shattering changes in the way you cook. You figure out that certain materials are better for cooking with (e.g. cast-iron > aluminum). Maybe you'll start seasoning your food a little ear...more
Darren
Billed as a guide to help organise you and your kitchen, I'm Just here For the Food by U.S. celebrity chef and TV star Alton Brown has set this ring-bound guide to be a key kitchen companion and store for your recipes, notes and other cooking essentials.

The eight sections feature a full-page plastic pocket to hold clippings, equipment manuals and warranties and the like and many blank pages for storing notes. A range of reference information such as food yield equivalent calculations, ingredient...more
Bethany
Feb 17, 2008 Bethany rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who eats food.
Shelves: 2008, food
Everyone who cooks should own this book. Alton Brown's humorous and informative show, "Good Eats" on the Food Network has long been a family favourite to watch and this book is just as quirky, funny, a bit theatrical even and most importantly, informative as his TV program with the added convenience of it being a book. Loaded with easily understandable metaphors and simple graphic illustrations (but no photos... except on the cover, of course), his is not a book to buy for new recipes (although...more
Cindy
Apr 05, 2009 Cindy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of the show
Shelves: 999, cookbooks, blog
I am a big fan of Alton Brown's show on The Food Network, Good Eats. So I looked forward to reading his cookbook. But I have to admit this is not what I expected. The book is organized by cooking method, which seems a little strange to begin with. Then there are no pictures of any of the recipes. There are fun little sidenotes, and interesting tips, but the recipes are constructed in a rather strange way.

Then again, Brown has so many little quirks and extreme preferences that I don't intend to f...more
Joy
This is more than just a cookbook. This is a blueprint of culinary knowledge! How often have you read a cookbook and truly learned from it? Instead of merely following instructions (or recipe) this book, THIS BOOK teaches you to make your own instructions!

Much like his television show (Good Eats), this book talks a lot about the why's of cooking. It presents the science behind food in an understandable and fun way littered with wit and humour. It tells you why doing certain things make your food...more
Eric Bridges
Feb 05, 2010 Eric Bridges rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone wanting to learn how to cook
Shelves: books-i-own
If anyone told me that they wanted to learn how to cook, and were serious about it, this is probably the first book I would hand them. It's a book that skillfully focuses on basic cooking technique, rather than recipes, which is something that is essential for a beginning cook, but that is sadly lacking in the cookbook world. And not just technique about proper cutting and storing (although it does have that), but even more importantly why things cook the way they do and what is actually happeni...more
Jeff
I've always been a big fan of "Good Eats". And this book is one of his supplements to the series, primarily explaining and demonstrating how heat works with food. Each section focuses on a different method of hot food preparation, He discusses broiling, boiling, grilling, sauteeing, and many others. And there are recipes, a few of which I tried. They were easy to follow and delicious.



I checked this one out from the library. As soon as I can, I'd like a copy for myself. It would make a great refe...more
Tim Nichols
Cooking for nerds. In this handy compendium, Alton Brown walks you through the gamut of cooking methods and teaches you how and when to use each one. Along the way, you'll make some good food, but more importantly, you'll understand what you're doing, and why--and then you can make anything you want.
Nicole Hogan
Cooking rocks, especially when it's cooking the scientific way! The best thing about this cook book is the chapter set up. Rejecting the canonical cook book set up of soup, poultry, meat, seafood, and dessert, Brown organizes his book by cooking method i.e. grilling, searing, roasting, braising. The best thing is that once you understand the pro's and con's of each method (which is accompanied by cheerily colored diagrams - and who doesn't love a good diagram) you can freely apply the cooking me...more
Eugene Mah
This is a book about cooking techniques, rather than recipies. It's organized by cooking method, rather than ingredients like most other cookbooks. There are a lot of cookbooks out there full of nothing but recipies, but many of them don't say anything about the different methods to prepare food. AB also goes into some of the how's and why's of the different preparation methods. afraid to broil? never poached anything? roasts turn out like lumps of coal? deep fried stuff ends up grease laden? Yo...more
Mary
I'm only on page 80, but I'm already itching to review and debating whether 4 stars is enough. I've laughed out loud (literally) probably once every two or three pages. There is something in me that will always love reveling in geekery. (Yes, that's a word). Brown is witty, and he explains cooking elements that my elementary mind can grasp, using the nerd terms I already understand. Really, I had such high hopes for 'Ratio', but it was written with a base knowledge I don't have yet, and taught m...more
Brian
Great cookbook, both in the recipes it offers and the explanations of the science and reasons for their preparation. Really good for someone like me, who likes understand how something works. Also, just really good eats! :)
Melanie
Jul 21, 2014 Melanie marked it as did-not-finish
Tried, but could just not get into it. Mostly prose but with very few recipes, and the old school Alton Brown dogma. It's a bunch of different chapters with different cooking techniques, diagrams, illustrations, and a couple of master recipes.

Maybe some other time (like when my kids/husband are learning to cook).
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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 More Food: Food x Mixing + Heat = Baking Good Eats: Volume 1, The Early Years Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen Good Eats: The Middle Years Good Eats 3: The Later Years

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“The most underused tool in the kitchen is the brain. I blame the food media (yes, that of which I am a part) who have lulled us into a state of recipe slavery. We don’t think about recipes as much as we perform them.” 0 likes
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