Cooks Illustrated Menu: Southern BBQ

Southern BBQ Menu with Cooks Illustrated

Southern BBQ Menu with Cooks Illustrated

More than 1 million home cooks rely on Cook’s Illustrated magazine to provide trusted recipes that work, honest equipment reviews and ingredient taste tests, and time-saving kitchen tips.  Published by the hosts of America’s Test Kitchen television series, Cook’s Illustrated is known for an almost fanatical approach to creating the best recipes for the home cook’s favorite foods.  To do this, they test every recipe 20, 30, sometimes up to 100 times in their own 2,500 square foot test kitchen where they make the mistakes so you don’t have to.  They also test and recommend which kitchen equipment is the best to use, which supermarket ingredients really make a difference and which techniques work best for the home cook.  And because Cook’s Illustrated is advertising free, you can trust their objective ratings to identify what products are worth your money and which to avoid. Subscribe to Cooks Illustrated here, or sign up for the Perfectly Plated Sweepstakes for the chance to win $5,000 in merchandise from Ballard Designs.

Grilled Glazed Baby Back Ribs from Cooks Illustrated

Grilled Glazed Baby Back Ribs

Barbecued ribs are a real treat but they usually require the cook to tend the grill for hours on end. To shortcut the process, we start baby back ribs on the stovetop and gently simmer them in salted water until they are almost tender, which takes less than half an hour. (For maximum efficiency, use this simmering time to light the grill.) We then apply a flavorful glaze and grill them just until the glaze is caramelized (about 15 minutes) to get perfectly cooked ribs in record time.

Grilled Glazed Baby Back Ribs recipe

All American Potato Salad from Cooks Illustrated

All-American Potato Salad

Too many potato salads are bland. The key is to season the potatoes when they hot and can still absorb other flavors. We choose russet potatoes because they crumble a bit when cooked and form a creamy, cohesive salad. Once the chunks of peeled potatoes are tender, they are drained and seasoned with a splash of white vinegar. After cooling a bit, it’s time to add the other seasonings—sweet pickle relish, mustard powder, celery seed, parsley, salt, and pepper—as well as finely chopped celery and minced red onion. Just 1/2 cup of mayonnaise is enough to dress 2 pounds of potatoes perfectly.

All-American Potato Salad recipe

Buttermilk Coleslaw with Green Onions and Cilantro from Cooks Illustrated

Buttermilk Coleslaw with Green Onion and Cilantro

The perfect buttermilk coleslaw recipe would produce a salad with crisp, evenly cut pieces of cabbage lightly coated with a flavorful buttermilk dressing that would cling to the cabbage instead of collecting in the bottom of the bowl. We found that salting and draining the cabbage removed excess water and wilted it to a pickle-crisp texture. For a dressing that was both hefty and tangy, we combined buttermilk, mayonnaise, and sour cream.

Buttermilk Coleslaw with Green Onion and Cilantro recipe

All menus and recipes are courtesy of Cooks Illustrated. Find more recipes from Cooks Illustrated here, enter the Perfectly Plated Sweepstakes from Ballard Designs and Cooks Illustrated, or subscribe to Cooks Illustrated here.

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply


    April 12, 2015

    Please add a small picture of the finished recipe along with the print version.
    That way, when printed, you also have the picture.

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      July 31, 2015

      Thanks for your feedback Mary! We’ll see what we can do!

  2. Reply

    Marilyn Fillis

    April 6, 2015

    Are these recipes going to be in my next Cook’s Illustrated???? I really want the biscotti recipe the most..

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      April 7, 2015

      Hi Marilyn,
      These recipes will not be in the newest Cooks Illustrated issue. They’re actually previously published recipes. You can find the biscotti recipe here though.
      The How to Decorate Team

  3. Reply

    Rié | Portobello Design Blog

    February 24, 2015

    So glad to find your blog; really well done. Just a suggestion, but if you re-vamp your catalogue to have a blog like feel, include your blog posts throughout, you would sell a lot more products, not that you don’t sell a lot now, and would encourage other bloggers to take your ideas from Ballard’s blog and re-blog on theirs with your ideas… People want a lifestyle and will by more if one is attached to the product. All the best, Rié 661-487-9742