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The James Beard Award–winning, bestselling author of CookWise and BakeWise delivers essential cooking know-how based on her expansive understanding of food science. Want to cook fluffier scrambled eggs and more flavorful sauces, keep your greens brilliantly green, and make everything taste more delicious? KitchenWise combines beloved cookbook author Shirley Corriher’s down- The James Beard Award–winning, bestselling author of CookWise and BakeWise delivers essential cooking know-how based on her expansive understanding of food science. Want to cook fluffier scrambled eggs and more flavorful sauces, keep your greens brilliantly green, and make everything taste more delicious? KitchenWise combines beloved cookbook author Shirley Corriher’s down-to-earth advice with scientific expertise to address everyday cooking issues. Whether you are a beginner or a professional chef, Shirley’s guidance will save you time and money, and help you know exactly what to do at the stove. A gifted teacher with a degree in chemistry, Shirley takes readers through the hows and whys of what she does in the kitchen, explaining the science behind common problems and offering solutions for how to fix them. (For example, salt has an amazing ability to suppress bitterness and allow other flavors to emerge.) In KitchenWise, which is filled with more than thirty of Shirley’s favorite time-tested recipes, readers will learn why certain ingredients work well together and what makes good food great. Amazingly informative, approachable, and packed with proven techniques, KitchenWise serves up new ways to get the most from your meals.


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The James Beard Award–winning, bestselling author of CookWise and BakeWise delivers essential cooking know-how based on her expansive understanding of food science. Want to cook fluffier scrambled eggs and more flavorful sauces, keep your greens brilliantly green, and make everything taste more delicious? KitchenWise combines beloved cookbook author Shirley Corriher’s down- The James Beard Award–winning, bestselling author of CookWise and BakeWise delivers essential cooking know-how based on her expansive understanding of food science. Want to cook fluffier scrambled eggs and more flavorful sauces, keep your greens brilliantly green, and make everything taste more delicious? KitchenWise combines beloved cookbook author Shirley Corriher’s down-to-earth advice with scientific expertise to address everyday cooking issues. Whether you are a beginner or a professional chef, Shirley’s guidance will save you time and money, and help you know exactly what to do at the stove. A gifted teacher with a degree in chemistry, Shirley takes readers through the hows and whys of what she does in the kitchen, explaining the science behind common problems and offering solutions for how to fix them. (For example, salt has an amazing ability to suppress bitterness and allow other flavors to emerge.) In KitchenWise, which is filled with more than thirty of Shirley’s favorite time-tested recipes, readers will learn why certain ingredients work well together and what makes good food great. Amazingly informative, approachable, and packed with proven techniques, KitchenWise serves up new ways to get the most from your meals.

30 review for KitchenWise: Essential Food Science for Home Cooks

  1. 5 out of 5

    Susan Z

    When you want to geek out, this is the cookbook for you. It analyzes the recipe from a scientific perspective, explaining why some techniques work better than others. This more about kitchen science than recipes, although there are several recipes, they aren't the focus and there are no pictures. If you want a cookbook, you should pass on this. If you want to "kitchen wise" this is for you. Thank you Scribner and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. When you want to geek out, this is the cookbook for you. It analyzes the recipe from a scientific perspective, explaining why some techniques work better than others. This more about kitchen science than recipes, although there are several recipes, they aren't the focus and there are no pictures. If you want a cookbook, you should pass on this. If you want to "kitchen wise" this is for you. Thank you Scribner and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alicia Bayer

    While I enjoyed some elements of this book, it really frustrated me at times. The author uses science and an understanding of ingredients, heat, reactions, etc. to instruct you on cooking. She provides some recipes to illustrate her teachings (there are no photos or nutritional info and these are not the bulk of the book). It goes into great detail about this science, but often reads like a textbook. There are no photos and there's no levity to break up the text. All that said, I would have love While I enjoyed some elements of this book, it really frustrated me at times. The author uses science and an understanding of ingredients, heat, reactions, etc. to instruct you on cooking. She provides some recipes to illustrate her teachings (there are no photos or nutritional info and these are not the bulk of the book). It goes into great detail about this science, but often reads like a textbook. There are no photos and there's no levity to break up the text. All that said, I would have loved the book if it had been helpful in what I use food science for -- finding ways to recreate great recipes and results with alternative ingredients. I love cooking but I also juggle several challenges in my kitchen. I cook very frugally as a mom of 5 (3 still at home now) on a tight budget. I am also a health nut and tend to cook from scratch with natural and organic ingredients. I have a child who's a cancer survivor, a husband who's disabled, and I recovered from serious autoimmune illnesses by adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle, so my first priority in food is keeping my family healthy and not producing the best tasting biscuit. Lastly, I cook for kids who are gluten free, vegetarian, and sometimes dairy-free. I frequently find ways to use kitchen science to do things like make really convincing gluten free or vegetarian versions of well-loved foods. For instance, when we started foraging a lot of pheasant back mushrooms my family loved the flavor but they were a little chewy in mouthfeel. I brainstormed about what had a similar mouthfeel and realized it could make a great vegetarian version of clam strips. I cut it into strips, marinaded it with some bouillon and some nori for sea flavor, and breaded and fried it, and it became a well-loved treat here. When Corriher started talking about all of the ways various flours and starches helped with baking, I was so hopeful that she would talk about ways to use mixtures of gluten free flours and starches to replicate gluten in baking and bread recipes. Even though she clearly knows all about how gluten free flours like tapioca starch and arrowroot work in recipes, she goes into extreme detail just about gluten recipes. She also cares only about the best tasting result, which goes against what I use the science for. I don't want to know that shortening and extra sugar will make a recipe better, I want to know how to use that knowledge for my benefit in finding healthier ways of getting the same result. Even though I am a food science nerd, I had to make myself finish this book. It just gets long and frequently feels like a college lecture. If it had been actually helpful for my needs then I would have probably devoured it (no pun intended) but it was ultimately not very helpful for my kitchen. I read a digital ARC of this book for review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    To be published on my blog at release: Nonstop Reader. KitchenWise: Essential Food Science for Home Cooks is an indepth science based instruction manual about the chemistry and physics involved in food preparation. Due out 17th Nov 2020 from Simon & Schuster on their Scribner imprint, it's 288 pages and will be available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. According to family lore, my first word was not mama or dada but "why". According to my mother, I've not stopped asking why from that To be published on my blog at release: Nonstop Reader. KitchenWise: Essential Food Science for Home Cooks is an indepth science based instruction manual about the chemistry and physics involved in food preparation. Due out 17th Nov 2020 from Simon & Schuster on their Scribner imprint, it's 288 pages and will be available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. According to family lore, my first word was not mama or dada but "why". According to my mother, I've not stopped asking why from that day to the present. This book is written for cooks who really want to know *why* eggs prepared a certain way are not as fluffy, or why their quiche was a runny catastrophe in the middle. This book is for cooks who want to understand *why* their gelatin mold didn't set properly with certain fruit but worked fine with the same recipe using different fruit. The author was formerly a research chemist and has an academic background. There is a lot of technical information contained here (which was a huge plus to me, but won't suit readers looking for a straight cookbook containing mostly recipes). Because of the nature of the interconnectedness of the ingredients we use in cooking and their relationship to one another, this book is sometimes difficult to navigate. The chapters are arranged thematically: Flavor, Proteins, Fruits & Vegetables, Grains, Perfect Sauces, On Freezing, Baking, More Desserts, and an index. I made use of the search function often on the electronic copy which I received for review. Much of the information in the book is referenced in other chapters, so this isn't a book which is easily read cover to cover like a novel. For cooks looking for good background info about why things work (or don't) in the kitchen and how to improve standard recipes without a huge amount of trial and error, there's a lot to love here. For readers looking for a cookie-cutter cookbook, this is emphatically not what you're looking for. Kitchen science 4 stars. Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary Reeve

    You may already know Shirley Corriher as the daffy food scientist on “Good Eats” or the oracle to whom “Cook’s Illustrated” writers turn in desperation after they have prepared 97 pounds of short ribs in 97 different and disappointing ways. She’s a biochemist, a cook, and a culinary sleuth, who specializes in explaining why recipes do or don’t work. The author’s new book, “KitchenWise,” would be a good companion for anyone who wants to improve their mastery in the kitchen. The author explains th You may already know Shirley Corriher as the daffy food scientist on “Good Eats” or the oracle to whom “Cook’s Illustrated” writers turn in desperation after they have prepared 97 pounds of short ribs in 97 different and disappointing ways. She’s a biochemist, a cook, and a culinary sleuth, who specializes in explaining why recipes do or don’t work. The author’s new book, “KitchenWise,” would be a good companion for anyone who wants to improve their mastery in the kitchen. The author explains the chemistry behind cooking fruits, vegetables, fish/meats, sauces, baked goods, and desserts. She includes a helpful section on freezing and about 30 illustrative recipes, each with bullet points about what that recipe demonstrates. The book is more reference volume than conventional cookbook, something to help you assess how a new recipe is likely to turn out and a way to troubleshoot issues with your current cooking. If you have read the author’s prior books – “CookWise” and “BakeWise” – you may already know much of the foundational information in this volume. Even so, there were ideas I found fresh and new, and recipes that I prioritized in my “must try” file. The author’s approaches to lentils, popovers, and puff pastry were all – for me, at least – new, different, and thoroughly explained. Unfortunately, when I tested the author’s lentil recipe, I was disappointed in the results. The recipe promises lentils with a creamy mouthfeel, the result of an alleged interaction with two secret ingredients. I noticed no improvement in the texture of the lentils, and I found the taste of one of the key ingredients to be overpowering. Readers should also be aware that this book is presented very traditionally. The version I reviewed had no pictures, only the occasional chart, and fairly lengthy scientific discussions. The recipes tend toward the venerable. Many thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Penmouse

    Research chemist Shirley Corriher uses her science background,, and refined tastebuds, to create tasty or to repair "bad" recipes. She starts her cookbook explaining the chemical make-up of what makes tastebuds zing. Later in her cookbook she discusses how different cooking techniques or ingredient changes can turn a so-so recipe into a memorable one. In the Lemon Chicken with Thyme recipe the recipe has tips and technique that explain how the recipe is made to showcase all its flavors. She writ Research chemist Shirley Corriher uses her science background,, and refined tastebuds, to create tasty or to repair "bad" recipes. She starts her cookbook explaining the chemical make-up of what makes tastebuds zing. Later in her cookbook she discusses how different cooking techniques or ingredient changes can turn a so-so recipe into a memorable one. In the Lemon Chicken with Thyme recipe the recipe has tips and technique that explain how the recipe is made to showcase all its flavors. She writes heating the empty pan prevents sticking or waiting until the chicken browns allows it to release itself from the pan. If you truly want to learn the science and art of cooking, KitcehWise will help you reach that goal. Recommend. Review written after downloading a galley from NetGalley.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Offers the hows and whys that tells you why Certain things happen in food preparations. She explains the various roles of ingredients. There are recipes throughout the book but this is not a cookbook. It is an understanding of how the ingredients react with other ingredients. This is quite helpful. I would need this book to be with my cookbooks as the book is packed with useful information. I know I couldn’t remember everything. It’s a lot to remember. I do think it will make me a better cook. D Offers the hows and whys that tells you why Certain things happen in food preparations. She explains the various roles of ingredients. There are recipes throughout the book but this is not a cookbook. It is an understanding of how the ingredients react with other ingredients. This is quite helpful. I would need this book to be with my cookbooks as the book is packed with useful information. I know I couldn’t remember everything. It’s a lot to remember. I do think it will make me a better cook. Disclaimer: I received an arc of this book from the author/publisher from Netgalley. I wasn’t obligated to write a favorable review or any review at all.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    This is an interesting guide, covering the science behind cookery in order to help home cooks overcome kitchen issues and solve problems with recipes. Some of the explanations felt a bit longwinded and more detailed than necessary, and some parts were so dense as to be confusing. As an avid home chef, I definitely picked up some helpful tips which will improve meals, but I felt I really could have garnered these from an article, rather than a book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amary Chapman

    This is an interesting cookbook. It presents the recipes inside in a scientific manner...the what and why the recipe evolves as it does. Learning how the cooking process works and the chemical reactions should make the failures in cooking less. If you know why something didn't work and what the solution may be, your successes in the kitchen will grow exponentially. I requested and received a NetGalley ARC to peruse and offer my opinion freely. This is an interesting cookbook. It presents the recipes inside in a scientific manner...the what and why the recipe evolves as it does. Learning how the cooking process works and the chemical reactions should make the failures in cooking less. If you know why something didn't work and what the solution may be, your successes in the kitchen will grow exponentially. I requested and received a NetGalley ARC to peruse and offer my opinion freely.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laney Estel

    Much of this book is about the theory of cooking. This is really important in order to succeed in cooking in general. From Proteins, to veggie, sauces, even freezing, this book carries the do's and don'ts behind the basics of cooking. You won't exactly find recipes in this book. It's purely techniques. Ever wondered how to make caramel? It's in here. Buerreblanc? DONE. Emulsions... yeah there's a secret. If you ever wanted to brush up on your techniques, this one is for you. Much of this book is about the theory of cooking. This is really important in order to succeed in cooking in general. From Proteins, to veggie, sauces, even freezing, this book carries the do's and don'ts behind the basics of cooking. You won't exactly find recipes in this book. It's purely techniques. Ever wondered how to make caramel? It's in here. Buerreblanc? DONE. Emulsions... yeah there's a secret. If you ever wanted to brush up on your techniques, this one is for you.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cozy Book Spot

    This book is awesome and It has great tips! It teaches you how to cook, how to get the best flavor, how to keep the nutrients in the food, the right temperature! This is exactly what I was looking for! I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review

  11. 5 out of 5

    roxi Net

    I'm sure I recently mentioned this recently -- in March 2020, I hit my kitchen full-force in cooking and baking, however I hit a wall in June. I was so tired of cooking that I reverted back to bowls of cereal for dinner (Lucky Charms anyone?). I lost my interest and only after picking up my cooking-related galleys and trying recipes, have I regained my love of cooking and baking. Reading through KitchenWise has really helped me get out of that rut. Having close friends who are scientists (and my I'm sure I recently mentioned this recently -- in March 2020, I hit my kitchen full-force in cooking and baking, however I hit a wall in June. I was so tired of cooking that I reverted back to bowls of cereal for dinner (Lucky Charms anyone?). I lost my interest and only after picking up my cooking-related galleys and trying recipes, have I regained my love of cooking and baking. Reading through KitchenWise has really helped me get out of that rut. Having close friends who are scientists (and my day job involves daily interactions with researchers) this author peaked my interest in her background as a research biochemist. 'A little science can free you to be much more creative in the kitchen' - how cool is that? I'm the furthest away from being a scientist, however, SCORE! You don't really stop (or at least I don't) to think about the different between taste and flavor. Reading the chemical makeup of five physical taste receptors, how the size and shape of a protein determines how to brine, ginger enhances flavor of fresh fruit, was all fascinating. 'Helping mother nature' wasn't something I really thought about -- I'm a fan of raw vegetables, fruits, on their own, but pairing them together and slightly seasoning or sweetening -- what what? I'd recommend this book for anyone who needs a bit of help or renewed enthusiasm for the kitchen. It's not scientifically overwhelming (or my brain would shut down), I do miss photos of recipes, and numbered instructions, but overall a good read and simple recipes.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    "KitchenWise" explains some of the chemical reactions in cooking and some troubleshooting tips based on this information. The author also included recipes that demonstrated the points she was making in the chapter. She talked about flavor and things that can be done to increase flavor in food. Then she talked about meat, eggs, and other animal products, with much of the focus on using eggs in cooking and troubleshooting possible problems. The next section was on fruits and vegetables, and much o "KitchenWise" explains some of the chemical reactions in cooking and some troubleshooting tips based on this information. The author also included recipes that demonstrated the points she was making in the chapter. She talked about flavor and things that can be done to increase flavor in food. Then she talked about meat, eggs, and other animal products, with much of the focus on using eggs in cooking and troubleshooting possible problems. The next section was on fruits and vegetables, and much of the focus was on potatoes (baked potatoes, French fries, potato salads, etc.) and troubleshooting problems with potatoes. The next section was on beans and grains. The next was on making the perfect sauce, and many of these seemed to involve cream or chocolate. She talked about which foods freeze well and which don't. She finished with a section on baking (mainly cookies, cakes, and baguettes) and a section on chocolate, ice cream, and other desserts. Apparently, getting the "perfect" dish very often involves a lot of butter, cream, egg, or sugar. No wonder most commercial cakes taste so extremely sweet since they use more sugar than flour (by weight)...and that's not including the icing. Since I'm more interested in healthy (but still tasty) eating, much of her advice wasn't helpful for me. Overall, I'd recommend this book to people with an interest in science and cooking who are most interested in how food tastes. I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Darius Ostrowski

    As a huge fan of the TV show “Good Eats” I was really looking forward to reading “KitchenWise: Essential Food Science for Home Cooks” by Shirley O. Corriher. Ms. Corriher’s approach to food science and her simple explanations were always entertaining, informative, and useful. Unfortunately, having seen “Good Eats” and possessing all the cookbooks from that series, there wasn’t too much new in this book. I enjoyed the explanations, and a few of the tips and tricks will be valuable in my kitchen, b As a huge fan of the TV show “Good Eats” I was really looking forward to reading “KitchenWise: Essential Food Science for Home Cooks” by Shirley O. Corriher. Ms. Corriher’s approach to food science and her simple explanations were always entertaining, informative, and useful. Unfortunately, having seen “Good Eats” and possessing all the cookbooks from that series, there wasn’t too much new in this book. I enjoyed the explanations, and a few of the tips and tricks will be valuable in my kitchen, but much of the book has been covered elsewhere. I’m not really sure who the audience is for this book – there are too few recipes to make it a cookbook and too much science to make it a handy kitchen reference guide. I think I would mostly use this to understand what went wrong when something failed, a guide to trying something different. If that’s the case, then unfortunately this book doesn’t cover enough ground to make it worthwhile. So – an overall enjoyable review of things learned elsewhere with a few new tips and tricks. And a good guide for learning what went wrong, although for pretty specific instances. I requested and received a free advanced electronic copy from Scribner via NetGalley. Thank you!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lydia Corona

    This book is everything I didn't know I needed. I'm a beginner cook trying to figure out the basics of cooking. Recipes are my go-to for making food but I never really understood the minds of the people who created the recipe. I just follow as they say but never understand why it works. That is until this book. This book goes into detail of the food science behind the magic of great tasting food and honestly has given me confidence on actually experimenting with food on my own now that I know ho This book is everything I didn't know I needed. I'm a beginner cook trying to figure out the basics of cooking. Recipes are my go-to for making food but I never really understood the minds of the people who created the recipe. I just follow as they say but never understand why it works. That is until this book. This book goes into detail of the food science behind the magic of great tasting food and honestly has given me confidence on actually experimenting with food on my own now that I know how to course-correct.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Denice Langley

    I always loved Shirley's visit to Good Eats and really loved this book that expands my knowledge of cooking science. I was familiar with a few of the principles but many will improve the results coming from my own laboratory. When I tell high school students that cooking is a form of chemistry, they always laugh until I start breaking it down for them. Their interest in chemistry usually improves at that point. No more I'll never use this in real life comments when they recognize the efforts pay I always loved Shirley's visit to Good Eats and really loved this book that expands my knowledge of cooking science. I was familiar with a few of the principles but many will improve the results coming from my own laboratory. When I tell high school students that cooking is a form of chemistry, they always laugh until I start breaking it down for them. Their interest in chemistry usually improves at that point. No more I'll never use this in real life comments when they recognize the efforts pay off.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    KitchenWise by Shirley O. Corriher is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early November. Technical, but approachable suggestions and strategies for successful cooking experiences - to put it even simpler, the very accredited and experienced Corriher offers failsafes on recipes to allow for more tinker-ability and personal flair, as well as reasons on how & why those failsafes work so well. A must-have for even the most accomplished of all cooks, if not only to answer the head-scratchers behind KitchenWise by Shirley O. Corriher is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early November. Technical, but approachable suggestions and strategies for successful cooking experiences - to put it even simpler, the very accredited and experienced Corriher offers failsafes on recipes to allow for more tinker-ability and personal flair, as well as reasons on how & why those failsafes work so well. A must-have for even the most accomplished of all cooks, if not only to answer the head-scratchers behind recipes for common dishes.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jenn Adams

    For fan's of Alton Brown's Good Eats! In fact (I only learned after I finished this) - the author of this book made guest appearances on that show. While this book does have a smattering of recipes, it's far from a cookbook. Instead, it will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about food science (and plenty you didn't know to ask about). How do proteins cook and what do varying cooking methods do differently? Do vegetables really lose nutrient when they cook? Why are my cakes coming out For fan's of Alton Brown's Good Eats! In fact (I only learned after I finished this) - the author of this book made guest appearances on that show. While this book does have a smattering of recipes, it's far from a cookbook. Instead, it will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about food science (and plenty you didn't know to ask about). How do proteins cook and what do varying cooking methods do differently? Do vegetables really lose nutrient when they cook? Why are my cakes coming out wrong? Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    This book is good for someone who is interested in the how and why of cooking. It borders a little too much on science for me. Only a few recipes are included and no photos or illustrations. I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nic

    Reads almost like a textbook at times. Seems like it might be better as a reference than as straight-up reading material, unless you have a very good memory for cooking guidelines.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I absolutely loved this primer. Great information - now I know why my scrambled eggs sometimes stick to the pan! - mixed with somewhat unusual recipes. I can't wait to try out the great pumpkin! I absolutely loved this primer. Great information - now I know why my scrambled eggs sometimes stick to the pan! - mixed with somewhat unusual recipes. I can't wait to try out the great pumpkin!

  21. 5 out of 5

    June

    A must have in these days when I’m cooking more than ever. It’s so useful to know the science behind successful food prep.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jillian Baker

    Very informative and actually easy to read for an instructive book. I borrowed from the library and wish I had my own copy as a reference.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sercalunna Pautasso

    Highly informative and easy to follow book! It helped to understand how cooking works and I liked the easy recipes. I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nick Salenga

    This is a great book that delivers essential cooking know-how based on expansive understanding of food science.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mariko

    Concise, but very informative! I learned a lot.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jill Grantland

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ju Ann

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  29. 5 out of 5

    Phillip Oliver

  30. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Peipert

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