Food & Wine
Cook's Illustrated

Cook's Illustrated November/December 2018

At Cook's Illustrated, our test cooks are dedicated to testing and retesting recipes 20, 30, sometimes 50 times until we come up with a recipe that will come out right the first time -- and every time -- you make it. And each issue of Cook's Illustrated is 100% ADVERTISING FREE, so you get unbiased and objective information on every page. As we like to say at Cook's Illustrated, "We make the mistakes so you don't have to."

United States
Boston Common Press, LP
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6 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
cooking for twenty-five

Twenty-five years ago, the premier issue of this magazine hit newsstands and mailboxes. From day one, Cook’s Illustrated stood out as a unique publication that, quite frankly, shouldn’t have worked. Launched at a time when food magazines were glossy and laser-focused on the food of chefs and restaurants, Cook’s Illustrated proclaimed—through hand-drawn illustrations, exhaustively tested recipes, and detailed explanations—that the home cook was king. The magazine’s success and growth over the last quarter century is, to me, proof positive that Americans, now more than ever, care deeply about cooking, spending time in the kitchen, and feeding family and friends. Our mission over the past 25 years hasn’t been to make foolproof recipes; to perform rigorous, unbiased equipment reviews; or to explain the underlying science of everyday cooking. While these tenets form…

4 min.
your quirkiest quick tips

Pouring Boxed Broth Boxed broth sometimes glugs and splashes out of the container, which can cause a bit of a mess. Dan Messier of Beacon, N.Y., found that by simply rotating the box so the spout is at the top of the container instead of the bottom, he can pour the broth without any splashing. Cleaning Crevices Cookware with tight crevices, such as panini presses and grill pans, can be hard to clean. Karen Pizzuto-Sharp of Seattle, Wash., found a solution in a compressed air duster. Designed to clean between the keys on a keyboard, the can’s fine blast of air also lifts off crumbs in narrow cooking spaces. Thermometer Holder for the Grill Avid griller Neil Macmillan of Nanaimo, British Columbia, came up with a convenient holder for the thermometer he sticks inside the…

7 min.
low-stress turkey for a crowd

Hosting a big crowd on Thanksgiving has the potential to be disastrous. That’s because the usual approaches—roasting two average-size birds or one enormous one—are fraught with issues. Two turkeys require dual ovens—a nonstarter for most. And a single large bird hogs the oven, making it off-limits for other dishes. A 20-pounder can also be a real challenge to maneuver in and out of the oven and nearly impossible to flip during roasting to promote evenly cooked white and dark meat. What’s more, a large bird tends to overcook on the exterior while the interior comes up to temperature. And no matter how many birds you roast, there’s still the last-minute scramble to make gravy from pan drippings. Finally, you must compose yourself for tableside carving. But keep reading, because things are…

9 min.
roast beef and potatoes for company

Roasting beef with potatoes, a hallowed British tradition, sounds like it will produce the ideal holiday spread. While the meat cooks, the spuds sitting underneath or around it soak up the drippings and transform into a flavor-saturated side dish that impresses just as much as (if not more than) the roast itself. But as smart and serendipitous as that sounds, it’s folklore. In my experience, cooking the meat and potatoes together rarely produces the best version of either one; in fact, it pits the two components against one another. The problem is partly due to a lack of space. Most roasting pans can’t accommodate a piece of meat large enough to feed a crowd plus enough potatoes to go alongside. So the options are to cram the potatoes into the pan,…

9 min.
game-changing turkey gravy

When there are pies to bake, potatoes to mash, and a turkey to carve, the gravy can become an afterthought, often thrown together at the last minute amid the chaos of getting all the food to the table. At that point, there’s no time to eke out a flavorful stock for the base, and the roasted bird may or may not have generated the drippings you were counting on to infuse the gravy with rich turkey flavor. The result—whether gloppy, runny, greasy, or just plain dull—is a shame, since many of us drizzle gravy over the entire plate. After spending weeks reimagining the gravy-making process from start to finish, I came away with an approach that produces a full-bodied gravy that truly tastes like turkey and can be almost entirely prepared…

5 min.
rome’s greatest little-known pasta

Rome has four iconic—and outrageously good—pasta dishes: cacio e pepe, amatriciana, carbonara, and gricia. I’ve long been a huge fan of the more well-known first three but had never tried gricia, which features guanciale (cured hog jowls), ground black pepper, and tangy, salty Pecorino Romano. So when my colleague Sasha Marx, who grew up in Rome, offered to make it for lunch on a quiet day in the test kitchen, I couldn’t refuse. Sasha put a pot of rigatoni on to boil while he sautéed chopped guanciale in a skillet. When the pork was deeply browned but still retained a tender chew, he removed it, leaving behind its rendered fat. In went the drained rigatoni, which was only halfway cooked (also known as al chiodo, or “to the nail”), along with…