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The Science of Cooking: Every Question Answered to Perfect your Cooking

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  511 ratings  ·  75 reviews
Which vegetables should you eat raw? How do you make the perfect poached egg? And should you keep your eggs in the fridge? Food scientist Dr Stuart Farrimond answers all these questions - and many more like them - equipping you with the scientific know-how to take your cooking to new levels.

In The Science of Cooking, fundamental culinary concepts sit side-by-side with prac
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 5th 2017 by DK (first published 2017)
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Karen R
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“My aim is for you, the reader to understand more of the science of food and cooking, to help lift the lid on your creativity.” Dr. Stuart Farrimond

Success, Dr. Farrimond, you have indeed hit your target for this reader. What a superb, easy to follow reference on the science of food. This relatable resource provides answers to over 150 culinary questions, a plethora of tips and includes simple diagrams. Chapters cover a wide spectrum of food and factors such as taste/flavors, kitchen essentials,
Amy Rogers
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
ScienceThrillers review:

I love science. I love food. And even if I don’t “love” to cook, I cook a lot, and I love to do it well. So call me the ideal audience for Dorling Kindersley (DK) Publishing’s new book The Science of Cooking: Every question answered to give you the edge, written by British sci-comm polymath Dr. Stuart Farrimond.

I’ve been a fan of DK Books since my kids were young, when every trip to the public library sent us home with at least one of this British publisher’s beautiful, c
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Science of Cooking is a super cool book that any food and cooking lover will enjoy adding to their kitchen. I am an avid cook and baker so I was very excited to read this book. It takes you "behind the scenes", so to speak, of food and cooking and answers every question you can think of pertaining to cooking. The format is colorful and engaging, with tons of color photos and infographics. It's in an easy-to-read Q&A style that makes it easy to flip to the info you're looking for quickly. Hig ...more
Jul 19, 2019 rated it liked it
It has good presentation, although the black text against coloured paper on some pages makes it hard to read unless you are in very good light.

The book also does a poor job of giving its sources, and can sometimes give advice without telling you the reasoning behind the advice. Buy a masher with round rather than wavy holes. Why? It doesn't say.

The lack of sources and the occasional failure to show how a conclusion was reached does undermine the books apparent premise: a "Scientific" approach to
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, recipe-books
This is the cookbook I've been looking for! So much information, packaged in a beautifully presented format.
I'm still a novice in the kitchen, but I always cook better when I understand why things happen. This book has a wide range of tips and useful info.
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you like the science behind cooking, you're gonna enjoy this.
Many months ago, I was watching a TED talk in which Nathan Myhrvold introduced his «Modernist Cuisine» series and talked about the scientific approach in them. Curious to know more, I picked the one that Stuart Farrimond wrote and I believed was a shorter and easier journey to go through.
At first, there are some essential guides to "Knives, Pots & Pans and Utensils" that give general information about them.
Next, there are six major
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you love to cook and want to understand the details of 'how' and 'why' then this book is for you! I love Cooks Illustrated, which delves into the actual science of why recipes work they way they do and I suspected this book would be right up my alley! Anyone can get a cookbook for recipes but this book discusses techniques and provides detail information on so many subjects related to cooking. I see this as so much more than a cookbook. If you're new to the kitchen or have been cooking for ye ...more
Dona Dzambaska
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Probably the best book I've ever read. Although it's structured more like an encyclopedia, I approached it as a novel, reading it from beginning to end in one breath. Will probably re-read it a few more times throughout the years, simply because of its information-density and my inability to memorize it all at once. I highly recommend it to anyone sharing my interest in cooking, nutrition and science. ...more
Sian Bradshaw
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is very well laid out - sort of like a good text book. It's full of very interesting facts all gathered together - I have finished it and there are over 30 flagged pages I want to come back to. The guide to cooking steak is one I will come back to. The page on telling if an egg is too old based on it's angle when dropped into water. ...more
Jan 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
Nice layout, but there where objectively wrong facts in there which totally ruined it for me, because then I just couldn't trust anything in there anymore. ...more
Nov 01, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Probably my expectations were too high or maybe I already read enough books on cooking prior. There is definitely good tips and tricks in this one, but the most frustrating thing that kept me bothering was the thing that drawn to it in the first place - layout and all the visuals. It's a amazing when you skim through it, but I found so hard to read in reality. My eyes where all over the place, some diagrams started from the middle of the page and in unnatural patterns. Some info was repetitive - ...more
Tansy Boggon
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to cook or wants to become a pro in the kitchen. It’s packed with science and practical advice on cooking pretty much everything. However, what is most impressive is the beautiful presentation, which is reminiscent of the nerdy science books I had as a kid. I love it 💛💛💛 ...more
Cher Mendoza
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best DK books I've ever bought. Will definitely recommend this for aspiring cooks and for those who are just curious about cooking. ...more
Asimenia Phantasmagoria
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Numbers, charts, microscopic-scale presentations, explanatory sketches. Spherical knowledge and easily understandable.
Ira Kushnir
Dec 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: popular-science
don't know if this improved my cooking, but definitely made constantly hungry while reading :) ...more
Dale Dewitt
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I truly enjoyed this book. I love to cook and also love science so this book spoke to me on multiple levels. This book is perfect for the beginning Chef or experienced foodie. Even if you think you can cook, the explanation of the processes that make our food taste good is fascinating. This book would also be great for the college graduate starting out as it helps to know which equipment is best in broad strokes and also how to use that equipment to make great meals.
roxi Net
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book broken down in an easy-to-read manner. The images are beautiful, the graphics of food provide quick information that can actually be remembered (my mind is a sieve at times). The information itself is amazing - "How do we taste" provides myths versus truths, and the author describes why we taste (example: we taste bitter because it triggers a range of potentially harmful natural toxic substances). There are explanations of why some flavors go so well together, descriptio ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received this book, for free, in exchange for an honest review.

I am a bit torn on this one. This book is chock full of content, has a beautiful layout and tons of gorgeous pics. I learned a few things, mostly regarding the temperatures in which certain reactions occur (every one should know that 350 is when things burn) which is more than I can saw about most cooking books (and even some science of cooking ones).

On the other hand, the content often seemed more like fun trivia than useful.
To be
Emily Moore
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks, netgalley
A Kitchen Essential

Whenever I learn something new, I do my best work when I actually understand why I'm doing something along with how. When it comes to cooking and baking, you can follow recipes all day long to try to mimic others. That was my wheelhouse, following the instructions of others to try to learn a new trick or two. This book is the cookbook I've been waiting for. Starting with meat & poultry and finishing with baking, it covers every part of the pantry from the basics to common ques
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
The Science of Cooking by Dr. Stuart Farrimond is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early September.

A crucial read for the more technical cooks among us that want fewer things to happen by chance and for perfection & mastery to occur sooner, rather than later (if not right away), so this may be a really good resource for a culinary student or budding home cook. It tells in a slightly page-cluttering fashion about the nature of meat, grading, shelf life, seasoning, and doneness; raw vs. cooke
Victoria Peipert
This book is fantastic! I enjoy cooking but I am definitely not a chef or even feel like I have enough knowledge about the methods and importance of technique. There is so much information in this book that even if I'm not willing to give up my lazy ways on some things (I won't be standing at the grill and flipping a steak to get the perfect cook thank you very much), I can at least learn ways to improve some of my meals by simple adjustments. I also feel like I've gained a bit more confidence i ...more
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If interested in the science of cooking, as the title suggests, this is an incredibly good book for it. It does not delve into the deep science, but it gives a good, simplified overview and is an easy read for any reader of any science level; however, I cannot give it a full 5-stars as the agriculture side is lacking in research. The very real, very important complex grey areas of organic, grass-fed, animal welfare, and antibiotic use are not mentioned at all. It would have been better to leave ...more
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Farrimond is a specialist in the area of food science. He also is known for television, radio and public appearances. In this book Dr. Farrimond presents a book on the science of food that is easy to understand. There are more than 150 questions on the subject which he addresses along with tips and diagrams. Included are a vast area of food, taste, essentials and so much more. The book is interesting and the photography is amazing.

I love most aspects of science, but in the last few years I
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a treasure trove for people with scientific minds wanting to improve their cooking by better understanding the underlying scientific principles. I've got no time for superstition or tradition in the kitchen if it makes inferior food, so this book is great at coming to the defence of the scientific method for great taste.

I definitely learnt a fair amount reading this regarding pastry, dough, the affects of freezing on food, understanding spice, the maillard reaction, etc. It's the kind of
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The one book on cooking that you will ever need, ever. If you're not 100% sure how best to poach an egg, how to tell which cut of beef to buy, or how to tame a very hot pepper, then you need this book. It explains all those weird questions, like "wait, what's the difference between a regular pan and a cast iron skillet?" or "why did my cake turn out so lumpy?!" And it answers all those questions with science. It's awesome. If you're a visual learner (as I am), then this book is definitely for yo ...more
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love Alton Brown's show "Good Eats" because it gets into the WHY of food - why things work certain ways for certain foods. This book, "The Science of Cooking," is like that too, and it's great. With short, to-the-point paragraphs and helpful graphics and photos, this book breaks down not only the science of cooking but the science of FOOD (how a food source's environment affects it's behavior when cooking, etc.). With advice on everything from which type of knife works best for which use, to t ...more
Katie Cat Books
Nov 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Nonfiction. Cooking. Science.

Broken down by food type, this book explores the science behind specific foods and cooking methods.

The author's name is prefaced by Dr, but despite a forward written by him in the beginning, readers fail to know his qualifications in writing this book. Is he a scientist? A chef? Both? Neither?

The design layout of the book is nice, with main sections laid out horizontally followed by smaller sections spread over the following pages.

The science in this book is about
Kate  TerHaar
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just finished The Science of Cooking by Dr. Stuart Farrimond that I received as a free NetGalley ebook. I generally enjoy cooking and am interested in learning why certain methods are used in food preparation so this book fit my interests perfectly.
Wonderful photos and illustrations, as well as concise, informative information, is provided for each entry. I was fascinated with the information about the color of food and how the color impacts flavor. Also interesting is the organic, wild, free
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
From Netgalley for review:
So, each year on the last night of Hanukkah, my husband's family has this tradition of giving each other a book...a tradition I have been very happy to be a part of. I have thankfully found the book I am getting for him this year! Both of us are avid cookers and really love the science aspect of the art, and this book combines the beauty of cooking science with gorgeous pictures. Being filled with dynamic visuals and loaded with tasty information makes this a must for o
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As someone who frequently asks "why?" I found this book interesting and informative. There are various procedure we carry out in the kitchen simply because we were told to by our mums but the reasons behind these have been lost, forgotten or changed! The book contains interesting facts and is presented in an easy read format so you can open on a page and read, or look up an item of particular interest. Knowing the science behind cooking improves your knowledge of why you do something resulting i ...more
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Dr. Stuart Farrimond is a science and medical writer, presenter, and educator. He makes regular appearances on BBC TV, on radio, and at public events, and his writing appears in national and international publications, including the Independent, the Daily Mail, and New Scientist.

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