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pjackso
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What FistFullaRoux said: "...Take it for what it is. Most of the time, his "recipes" are more about techniques..."

This is absolutely true. I didn't realize it until I got his book ("I'm only here for the food") and decided to cook something from it -- there were very few actual recipes in it.

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One lone show planted that tiny seed of doubt in me...

While I do enjoy the show, I also had an experience that made me doubt some of his "scientific info".

There was an ep. of GE that was about homebrewing beer. As a homebrewer myself, it was disheartening to hear the numerous errors and amount of incorrect information in that show. Since then I've always taken the info in that show with a grain of salt...

Alton addressed this in some interview that I read some time back. He said he recieved more complaint mails about that episode than any other one and realized that some of his methods are not condusive to the best homebrewing. I think he was trying to get people to see how easy it is and used his scientific-thinking to try and speed up the process. I think the issues were with boiling the grains, adding ice to the wort, and not boiling hops for long enough. For a newbie, maybe the show got them into homebrewing, which is a good thing. For long-time homebrewers like myself, it really wasn't aimed at us so I guess I can look past a lot of the errors.

Explore the food, beverages, and people of Wisconsin EatWisconsin.com

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the ladder thing was way over the top but when he was shopping in the hardware store i was laughing so hard.when looking at the bases for the fryer and one had three wobbly legs- two words" burn ward" :laugh:

"i saw a wino eating grapes and i was like, dude, you have to wait"- mitch hedburg

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Generally, I'm a pretty big fan.

I agree that his recipes are not always the best (although his mac and cheese remains the inspiration for mine) but I like his focus on science, technique, etc over rote recipes and I like that he takes on, for the most part, useful items.

He's definitely for the beginner cook and as I cook more, I find him more limited and his advice less useful but for friends who want to start cooking, he's the first one I recommend. I'll also usually check his episode index out before I try a new ingredient, etc just to see if he's covered it.

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  • 1 month later...
That turkey frying getup was one of the more ridiculous setups. Second only to probably the smoker in Scrap Iron Chef. Is deep-frying turkey (which seems crazy to me) really worth it?

The turkey derreck was way over the top. ....

I've never had deep fried turkey. But everyone who has had it says it's great. I've always wanted to try it. (eating. probably not making as I don't want to buy all that equipment)

I've never had a hankering to try deep-frying a turkey. Last year I smoked my first turkey (about 9 hours using almond and hickory woods in my wook-fired smoker) and was told by my family that in the future ONLY smoked turkey was to be served at Thanksgiving. That finishes it off for me, no over-the-top derrick rigs for me, just my trusty Brinkmann...

I made a specific turkey brine of AB's a few years ago which was way too much work and the results were hardly different from my unbrined birds . I use other recipies now because I have become a believer in brining. I was left uninspried to try anything else until he did the "brown rice cooked in the oven" sequence. I made a double-batch and froze the bulk of it to be steamed back into life as needed. It worked and tasted great. However, mostly I watch him to be entertained and pick up pointers and the background science to apply to the things that I do cook. So for me he's a must have on my viewing line-up simply beause he does entertain. (Other threads here have commented on the shift of what's available on Food TV and I agree that the watchable choices are diminishing).

About uni-taskers: My take is the meaning behind this dictum is really "don't fill your kitchen with cheesy gadgets that promise the moon and don't reaaly work any better or more quickly than the tools you already have." I joked with my wife once that he needed to get rid of his cooktop because is was a uni-tasker. It was only good for applying heat to things. :wink:

Porthos Potwatcher

The Unrelenting Carnivore

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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About uni-taskers:  My take is the meaning behind this dictum is really "don't fill your kitchen with cheesy gadgets that promise the moon and don't reaaly work any better or more quickly than the tools you already have."

That is a very good way -- a sensible and reasonable way -- to view that, uh dictum. He already "confessed" that his maxim of "no uni-tasker but the fire extinguisher" just might have been incorrect, so I think -- no biggie.

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alton brown.

i've said it before,

i'll say it again:

you should not need a wetsuit and

flowcharts to make toast.

:laugh:

That's why he's so great though!

I watched the first 6 seasons or so of this show towards the end of college, and I forget how much I learned from it. I didn't learn any real cooking techniques growing up, so I was a sponge. Alton taught me how to make thickened sauces and gravies, omelettes (to this day I picture the 13 steps from that episode in my head as I make an omelette), frittatas, steak in a skillet, as well as how to steel a knife, chop an on onion, can homemade jam, keep salad greens fresh in the fridge, evaluate tools... the list is endless. Watching his show as part of my self-education in how to cook gave me the confidence to try new things, to improvise, and the desire to learn WHY.

I'm going to give those episode to my hypothetical future children when they go to college.

"Nothing you could cook will ever be as good as the $2.99 all-you-can-eat pizza buffet." - my EX (wonder why he's an ex?)

My eGfoodblog: My corner of the Midwest

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Alton Brown is one of the few reasons left to watch Food Network. At least the camera work is decent (not too-close-up & jittery) and he generally picks interesting topics using unusual approaches. And he can be entertainingly funny. The rest of the fools on that network (and the shows) suck.

Ray

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