Cook's Illustrated

January/February 2022

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
€ 6,68(Incl. btw)
€ 19,21(Incl. btw)
6 Edities

in deze editie

2 min
counting beans

In my third-grade classroom, a tin bucket filled with dried beans sat in the corner. Most days my teacher would walk between the rows of students and place a small pile of beans on each desk. I always liked to line up mine in the pencil trough at the top of my desk and pick them up one at a time for examination. Many had chipped skins from years of being dropped on the floor, launched across the classroom at enemies, and rattled together as they were poured by the handful back into the tin. We were supposed to learn math from the beans. Twenty beans plus four equals 24. Four piles of three beans is 12. But it always bothered me that these beans were consigned to perform math,…

4 min
quick tips

Get All the Frosting out of a Pastry Bag If the frosting in her pastry bag is unevenly distributed and not extruding smoothly, Kate Sutcliffe of Amherst, Mass., lays the bag on the counter and uses a rolling pin to push the frosting toward the tip. A Crafty Minisponge Christine Hill of La Conner, Wash., uses a small foam paintbrush as a miniature sponge to clean hard-to-reach areas on kitchen tools (such as her Instant Pot’s rim). She dampens the brush and adds a drop of dish soap to help scrub away messes, and then she rinses the brush and swipes the area again to finish the job. A Good Tool for Cleaning Crumbs Bill Kaufner of Oakland, Calif., uses a waiter’s crumb sweeper to clean his kitchen counters. The curved shape is ideal for…

7 min
no-muss, no-fuss chicken dinner

Need a low-effort, supremely satisfying dinner? Roast a chicken. The oven does a terrific job of browning the bird and, with a little know-how, can also help produce deep puddles of umami-packed pan drippings. Here’s my method I start by heating the oven to 400 degrees, which is the optimal temperature for a couple reasons. First, it’s hot enough to deliver deeply browned skin while maintaining moist, juicy meat. At the same time, it’s cool enough to prevent smoke from clouding the oven (see “To Prevent a Smoky Oven, Set the Dial to 400°”). Finally, at this temperature, there’s no chance of the pan drippings overreducing or burning; they’ll just brown to mahogany perfection. That’s important because those drippings—which are more intensely chicken-y than any broth you can buy—are the secret…

7 min
britain’s coziest pie

The way Brits describe their fish pie is a lot like the way Texans talk about brisket or New Yorkers explain a properly chewy bagel—which is to say, with great conviction and affection. The Guardian columnist Felicity Cloake has compared the beloved casserole to a cozy pair of slippers or a Sunday-afternoon film with a mug of tea, and Manchester-based journalist Tony Naylor dubbed it “elbows-on-the-table, fork-in-one-hand, glass-in-the-other eating.” “Fish pie,” he wrote in his own Guardian account, “should be a dish of seamless comfort-troffing.” Unequivocally snug, substantive fare that likely evolved as a Lenten dish made with seafood scraps (see “From Meatless Fridays to Fish Pie”), the dish is the surf equivalent of shepherd’s or cottage pie. It’s typically a mixture of fresh and smoked finfish such as cod, haddock,…

6 min
celery in the spotlight

The essay “A Word for Autumn” by A. A. Milne is, in part, a tribute to the end of summer and a meditation on the changing seasons—but it’s mostly about Milne’s unfettered passion for celery. “It is as fresh and clean as a rainy day after a spell of heat,” he rhapsodizes about the vegetable, which he feels best captures the “crispness” of the cold months. “How delicate are the tender shoots unfolded layer by layer. Of what a whiteness is the last baby one of all, of what a sweetness his flavour.” The Winnie the Pooh author is hardly the lone member of celery’s fan club. For centuries, enthusiasts around the world have flocked to the plant: from Egypt and China, where wild varieties were used medicinally as a hangover cure…

6 min
cold-sear your pork chops

In 2020, my former colleague Andrew Janjigian developed a recipe that was nothing short of game-changing: splatterless, smokeless, perfectly pan-seared steaks. Unlike the reverse-sear method, his technique doesn’t even require an oven: just a dry pan on the stovetop, in which the steaks are flipped frequently during cooking. In minutes, you end up with beautifully browned steaks with rosy interiors and no mess to boot. This “cold-sear” method, as we’ve come to call it at Cook’s Illustrated, is so simple yet foolproof that I was eager to apply it to other cuts of meat, and I wondered if it might be particularly beneficial for leaner cuts that are prone to drying out during a traditional sear. Enter: pork chops. Through the cold-sear method, I hoped to achieve chops with even,…