The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science
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The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

4.9 out of 5 stars 7,184 ratings

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Product details

Listening Length 21 hours and 22 minutes
Author J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
Narrator Mike Chamberlain Release Date October 22, 2019
Publisher Tantor Audio
Program Type Audiobook
Version Unabridged
Language English
Best Sellers Rank #12,297 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#3 in Celebrity Chefs & Restaurants
#14 in Agricultural & Food Sciences
#56 in Food Science (Books)

Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
7,184 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 28, 2018
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512 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on March 29, 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars It is absolutely amazing, and also a fantastic gift
By Anne on March 29, 2017
This is a cook book that everyone must buy. It is absolutely amazing, and also a fantastic gift!! I am a scientist myself, and so the descriptions and the science behind the cooking is SO cool! Great gift for scientist friends in particular!! I have attached a few photos of some of the things I have prepared from the cook book and Kenji's website. The meals I have prepared have turned out absolutely delicious, AND they look very much like his professional photos too!!! This is the first time where I've followed the recipe, and what I make looks like what the authors made! This book is absolutely amazing. It will educate you, it will make you a smarter and more confident chef, and it will absolutely entertain you! Kenji has some subtle jokes throughout and some extremely cute pictures of dogs. Awesome book and will be purchasing for family and friends as gifts!
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296 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on January 31, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on July 18, 2020
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1.0 out of 5 stars A Chef's Opinion
By Stephanie on July 18, 2020
I was so excited for this book to arrive because I geek out over food science and I've always been fascinated by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt's Serious Eats articles. However, I've never been so disappointed by a book about food. Having been classically trained and a professional chef for over a decade, I understand that I'm not the target audience here. He's almost laughing in the face of traditional methods and he's proud of it. I'm all for efficiency and trying out new methods (that's why I bought the book) but every Food Lab technique I've tried has been a disastrous failure.

The worst yet is the caramelized onions. He claims that if you add a tiny amount of baking soda to sliced onions, you can cook them at a higher temperature and they "caramelize" in a fraction of the time as the traditional method. I loved the idea because I battle with our kitchen staff about rushing caramelized onions (the flavor isn't right if you rush them). I figured this would be a nice compromise if it works so we tried it. We caramelized onions the traditional way (1.5 hours at the lowest temperature possible) alongside this version. The photo attached is 5 minutes into the cooking process. We were fascinated by the difference in color between the two methods (traditional on the left, Food Lab's version on the right or bottom). When they were done, the difference in taste was night and day. The traditional onions were a beautiful, deep golden hue and had incredible depth of flavor. The Food Lab's were bland and were such an odd yellow-orange color that someone asked if we added turmeric to them. (I should have taken a photo of the end result but my overwhelming disappointment distracted me.)

We decided to make caramelized (French) onion dip with each batch. I mean, if the "turmeric" onions made a decent French onion dip then I can get behind this method. They're getting puréed anyway so the weird mushy texture won't be noticeable in the dip, right? Wrong. It was AWFUL, only suitable for the garbage. However, the batch with the properly caramelized onions was so good that my boss texted me on an off day and asked, "do we have any more of that French onion dip anywhere?"

This book is no good for actual cooking science. The "caramelized" onions is just the tip of the iceberg. Our staff was also able to tell the difference between a classic sauce made with real chicken stock and with Lopez-Alt's fake chicken stock (chicken broth with added gelatin), among two more failed experiments before this book got tossed. I didn't even feel right about donating it or selling it because I didn't want anyone led astray with bad information.

The one positive thing it achieved is that my staff now believes me when I say there is no substitution for proper technique. Nothing has gained me more street cred with an entire kitchen staff than trying Food Lab techniques and then showing the proper, time-tested processes in comparison. Really, there is no comparison.
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Top reviews from other countries

3.0 out of 5 stars Like other reviewers have mentioned
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 16, 2017
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35 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular book. Ive bought four.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 29, 2020
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8 people found this helpful
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 30, 2018
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7 people found this helpful
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Alexander Groth
5.0 out of 5 stars Das beste aller Kochbücher
Reviewed in Germany on August 13, 2019
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23 people found this helpful
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D. P. Ibison
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just how, but why.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 10, 2019
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2 people found this helpful
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