America’s Test Kitchen (author and publisher) * January 16, 2018 * 416 Pages
I have a bunch of cookbooks from America’s Test Kitchen, and, for the most part, I know that if I follow their recipes, I’m going to end up with a good-tasting dish. If you’re looking for the sure thing (and I am), ATK is always the way to go.
How to Roast Everything is a solid cookbook. It’s organized in a very straightforward way. There is a section in the beginning about roasting basics. It covers kitchen equipment you’ll need, and it also explains cuts of meat from each animal featured in the book (birds, beef, lamb, pork, and seafood). There’s even a small section on different fool-proof sauces.
The book itself is divided into seven sections: Ten Essential Roasts (great for the beginning cook), Poultry, Beef, Pork and Lamb, Seafood, Grill Roasting, and Vegetables and Fruits. There is no grand table of contents. Instead, like in other ATK cookbooks, there is a smaller table of contents at the beginning of each section. (There is a comprehensive index in the back.)
The Vegetables and Fruits chapter surprised me by being my favorite chapter of the book. I’m glad it was included, because it helps round out all the meat-centered recipes.
The reason I’m not giving this cookbook five stars is because it’s a little 1) repetitive and 2) overkill. If you have other cookbooks from America’s Test Kitchen or Cook’s Illustrated, you will already have a lot of these recipes. Also, one cookbook devoted to just roasting is…a lot. Roasted meat is only one part of a meal, so you’re going to have to look for sides elsewhere. Sure, you can serve roasted veggies with your roasted meats, but that gets boring fast.
The bottom line is that this book doesn’t give the full dinner package. It’s got tasty, easy-to-follow recipes and nice photos, but it’s not “the one and only.” For a more comprehensive cookbook, I’d suggest Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook: 2,000 Recipes from 20 Years of America’s Most Trusted Cooking Magazine or Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook or Happy Cooking: Make Every Meal Count Without Stressing or even Joy of Cooking (if you can get over their confusing integrated-ingredient-list-and-cooking-instructions format).
Thank you to America’s Test Kitchen and Amazon Vine for the advanced reader copy!