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The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

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4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  8,652 ratings  ·  199 reviews
A revision of the Fall 2005 BookSense pick and bestseller, this edition features a new light recipe chapter, more than 1500 color photos, heavy duty paper and binding, over 2 dozen new recipes, and handy new cooking charts. This instant classic belongs on the shelf of every home cook. Publisher's Weekly called it "a foolproof, go-to resource for everyday cooking." The new ...more
Spiral-bound, Revised Edition, 736 pages
Published September 30th 2006 by America's Test Kitchen (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Leeda
Mar 24, 2008 Leeda rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: mine
I read a whole lot of cookbooks, collect masses of recipes, and do an awful lot of cooking and baking. This is far and away the absolute best cookbook I've seen out there--and I was raised on both Betty Crocker AND Better Homes & Gardens cookbooks. They take a very scientific approach to developing recipes and testing ingredients/cookware. This allows them to figure out how things could go wrong and use somewhat nontraditional approaches that make food better. Plus, I appreciate that their c ...more
Valerie
I love this cookbook, and don't think I can say enough good things about it. It's great for basics, and has many recipes that I come back to again and again. Most are great for weeknight cooking, and the directions are very easy to follow - many with photographed step-by-step instructions.

This is a great book for beginning cooks as well as more advanced cooks who are looking to add some variety to the rotation of weeknight dinners.

I also like the binder/loose-leaf page format. You can rearrang
...more
Sadie
After this book saved my Thanksgiving, I felt it deserved a review from me. My husband's family has commented many times on what a good cook I am...and 99.9% of the reason goes to this book! I mean, I am not one of those cooks who can throw a little of this and a little of that into a pot and it turns out marvelous. I am black and white when it comes to cooking, I follow the instructions to the letter. If the recipe calls for white pepper, I go buy WHITE pepper...black pepper isn't even consider ...more
Zack
If I were to own just one cookbook, it would be this one. It contains a staggering number of recipes, like any good cookbook should, but the best part is the multitude of helpful culinary hints. How should I store lettuce? What is an acceptable substitute for buttermilk? How can I tell if my bread dough is adequately proofed? What the hell does it mean to proof bread dough, anyway? At 700+ pages it commands a sizable portion of the shelf, but the ring binding is perfect for laying open on the ba ...more
Sara
Wow. This cookbook is amazing. Everything is so well thought out and well done. This is THE way to make everything! When I want to make something that I know will be excellent (although possibly a lot of work) I go to this cookbook. The great thing about this cookbook is that the authors have tested so many different ways to make the same dish and they present the easiest, best tasting way.

Because the authors are so precise, the timing of these recipes is not for those living at 8500 feet (like
...more
Jennifer
I picked this book up at a Costco of all places because it was cheap and I'd tried and liked some recipes from the Cook's Illustrated magazine. I didn't expect it to be by far my favorite cookbook.
I'd consider myself more of a foodie than a cook, which is why I love this book. The recipes are simple, directions easy to follow and for most recipes there are pictures of the end result. Most importantly, the recipes, without fail, turn out delicious. Even my foodie friends that I've turned on to th
...more
Arlith
So far, all the recipes have come out very tasty. Some of the recipes are a little fussy, and a few seemed like they created way too many dirty dishes. I'm going to be trying more of them, I haven't found one I wouldn't make again yet.

Highlights:
The tomato sauce that accompanies the lasagna recipe is fantastic, and really easy!
The meatloaf is the best I've eaten.

Julia
i am so excited to have found the joy of cooking/betty crocker cookbook of the 21st century. you can't really beat the nerd chef's appeal of this cookbook. the test kitchen TESTS ALL THE RECIPES and then tells you how to do it just right... with fabulous little hinty-bits about techniques AND they also test products and give recommendations about the best things to buy. now, as one that doesn't necessarily appreciate product placement, this part was a little weird and it definitely dates the boo ...more
Lorraine
Are you a fastidious cook? Does Chris Kimball remind you of yourself in the kitchen? If so, this cookbook is for you. It's short on tempting photography of finished dishes but really strong on detailed recipes, the right product, cookware, etc. I watched the show on PBS for years before getting the book. You may want to do this to get 'the flavor' of their cooking style. If you're willing, it will definitely help you make basic and complex meals on your own.
Lillian
Dec 18, 2007 Lillian rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like to cook
probably totally nerdy for me to add this, but seriously, this book answers any questions for the everyday cook. I sometimes just sit and read it. Way good recipes with explanations as to why they did certain things. It's full of good tips and photos and ratings for different brands of what to buy and things like that. Anyone who likes to cook should get it and read it!
Ann Johnson Davis
My stepchildren (who are deathly afraid of any food that looks "different" ie didn't come from a box) will eat everything I've made from this cookbook. The orange chicken & green beans is great (but too much soy sauce & chili paste for me). We have it every Thursday night! DH makes the peanut butter cookies on a regular basis, and they rarely last more than a day.
Betsy
I think I might need to get my hands on the newer edition of this cookbook. I'm generally not a fan of new editions b/c often my favorite recipes have been changed. In this case, though, the design of the cookbook needed serious improvement. ATK's recipes are tried and tested to ensure they always work. And they do. This is a very user-friendly cookbook which contains lots of helpful pages like "good salad combinations" to provide endless variations. The recipes are delicious and many are family ...more
Maggie
I love this Cookbook...I've made many recipes, and the kids have eaten most, if not all of them. This is my go-to cookbook when I can't figure what I want to cook that night...or for when I'm menu-planning for the week.
Laura Schnettler
One of my favorite cookbooks. I love ATK. The recipes are very detail oriented, ingredient heavy, and labor intensive, but so delicious! Not your calorie counter cookbook.
Jennifer
Mar 26, 2009 Jennifer added it
Shelves: food, own
Again, this is a book I return to again and again to get information or to look up standard recipes. A must have for any kitchen.
Victoria Drob
These recipes are practically fool proof. I've prepared at least 70% of these dishes and they come out perfect every time. The binder and tab format is very convenient for use. Easy to follow, though not always easy to implement. Some recipes are great for weeknight dinners, others are fancier fare. It really encourages you to try the stuff you thought might be beyond your culinary grasp. This is my go-to when looking for dishes new and old. I love all things "America's Test Kitchen" produces an ...more
Karen Hanson
I'm a huge fan of America's Test Kitchen. I'm pretty big on cooking and it's just about the only cooking show I like to watch. Great tips, recipes, and explanations of why things are done the way they are. I was super excited to get this cookbook as a gift for Christmas last year (I literally carried it around for several days) and it has pretty much taken over as the only cookbook I use. It is a great cookbook to have on hand for the everyday basics and has tons of info such as equipment recomm ...more
Susan
The book just arrived in the mail this morning, so I haven't had time to actually try any recipes, but coming from America's Test Kitchen, the recipes tend to work every time (I've had ONE recipe fail, from the American Classics cookbook).

Here's what I've noticed so far: it's big, it's heavy, but because it has a ring binding, designed to stay open flat where you want it, you won't care. The book is divided up into chapters on appetizers, salads, meats, breads, desserts, etc., but the first cha
...more
Camille
So I like to read cookbooks. Front to back. I really enjoyed this one because of all the side notes. I learned a lot of useful things about the science behind cooking. I'm a bit of an applied science junky anyway and my current labratory is my kitchen. Sorry kids - you and Dad are my test subjects!

I've liked most of the recipes I've tried so far. Those that I didn't care for turned out fine, I just didn't like the seasoning. We aren't very adventureous around here so things like curry didn't go
...more
Elle
I have tried about 50 recipes from this and most I have cooked or would cook again. The book doesn't have a gimmick-it is full of good, solid food that would please crowds of people with varied tastes. Some of my favorite recipes include weeknight chili, stuffed bell peppers, creamed spinach, cream biscuits, sugar cookies, molasses spice cookies, and snickerdoodles. Once in awhile you'll come across a recipe too fussy for the family chef, but the overwhelming majority are realistic and have a go ...more
Nicole
My second favorite cookbook (only coming up second to "The Flavor Bible"), and my most favorite cook book of recipes. We received this as a wedding gift from one of my parents sweet friends, and we've been in love (with each other and the book) ever since.

I've always wanted to know 'the best' recipe for this, that, and everything in between. Oh, and what size egg is best, and who makes the best ingredient for that, and what makes this come out flat?

Favorite recipe so far: Eggplant Parmesan...HUG
...more
Sarah
I absolutely love this cookbook! I consider it my cooking Bible because it's absolutely packed with every basic recipe you could ever need! It's similar to the classic Betty Crocker and Better Homes and Garden's all purpose cookbooks but better! Like their Cook's Illustrated products, America's Test Kitchen recipes have great directions and explanations for why things work. This book is great for a beginner cook who is trying to learn the ropes (seriously it would be next to impossible to mess u ...more
Lindsay
My mom gifted me this in 2006, when I was a grad student living on my own and desperately needed to learn to cook. This cookbook taught me to cook, along with cultivating a better sense of taste and an appreciation for fine food made from normal ingredients. In 6 years, only a handful of recipes have been deemed "never cook again" - and that's out of hundreds of recipes I've tried (yes, I counted up every recipe I made out of this particular book). Whenever I cook from this book for company, eve ...more
Emily
Is it weird to have a signed cookbook? Well, if it is or not, mine is signed. I was living in Boston (where ATK is located) when this one came out, so I went to the book signing. Very interesting listening to the cooks interact and explain what they do and don't like about the book, and about their customers! They all seemed quite frustrated that people don't tend to follow precisely the recipes that they work so hard on. A great book but, to be honest, recipes do tend to be a bit too exact for ...more
Megan
Received this as a bridal shower gift from a friend who loves to bake and insists that late one night she wandered into her kitchen to discover this book kicking Betty Crocker's ass.

I haven't made much from this book yet, but so far, the recipes I have made have been mighty tasty. Unfortunately, there is a large meat section filled with tons of gross dead animal pictures. The seafood section is especially creepy. Otherwise, it seems to be a good cookbook. The recipes use a lot of fresh ingredie
...more
Jessica
I just discovered the convenience of checking cookbooks out from the library, and this was the first one I did. This is a great general cookbook, and if I didn't already have my dog-eared Joy of Cooking, I would buy this one. I also own the Cook's Illustrated Best Recipe book, and I like that one better for the detailed explanations of why they selected certain ingredients and methods in one recipe over another. This book was a simplified version of that, which I didn't really need. But this is ...more
Kate
Feb 05, 2012 Kate rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: beginner cooks, experienced cooks
Shelves: cookbooks
I read this cookbook from cover to cover. It has great recipes, tips and equipment reviews. We have referred to it almost every day since we got it because there is always something new to learn.

For fans of the magazine/website, the only downside is that each recipe is not quite as detailed as you will find in each issue. The cookbook is already huge and I understand they can't fit every tidbit. I would find a recipe in the book, look the same one up on-line and see a great note of advice that I
...more
Nicole
I'm using this religiously. The directions are clear and there are some recipes that have become staples at our house. My only complaint is that some of the recipes are all-day projects. For a family cookbook I think there should be more time-saving tricks. (The recipe for pizza is amazing, but the dough was like my life's work. I wanted to make it ahead of time and refrigerate it, but the recipe informed me that it would keep in the fridge for up to "12 hours." What? So I make it the night befo ...more
Michelle Greene
Best cookbook ever!!!!! Very easy to follow and understand!!!
Blair Mcdermott
Wonderful recipes! All of the ones I tried turned out great. Highly recommended!
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