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.
We found the secret to a light and fluffy whole-grain pancake recipe in a package of muesli, a mixture of raw whole oats, wheat germ, rye, barley, toasted nuts, and dried fruit. But pancakes made with whole muesli were chewy and gummy, so we converted the muesli into a flour (in the food processor) and then set out to find the perfect combination of muesli “flour,” all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, and leavening to achieve a properly light whole-grain pancake recipe.
This is the absolute best way to cook bacon, we promise. First, the oven gives you a larger margin of error (a couple of minutes) than the skillet when it comes to timing. Second, the oven cooks the bacon strips more consistently; when part of the bacon is done, all of it is done—there are no raw or burnt spots. And the only thing you need to do is to turn the pan halfway through cooking.
To create a fruit salad with great fruit flavor, we had to rewrite a few rules. We found it hard to judge the proper amount of sugar when it was added directly to the salad, so we macerated each fruit in just the amount needed to release its natural juices; we balanced the sweetness with fresh lime juice. But first, we mashed the sugar with orange zest and cardamom (in bartending circles, this process is called muddling) to ensure even flavor distribution in our fruit salad.
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.