Cook's Illustrated Meat Book: The Game-Changing Guide That Teaches You How to Cook Meat and Poultry with 425 Bulletproof Recipes by Cook's Illustrated Magazine

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Grilled lamb shoulder chops with garlic-rosemary marinade

    • TrishaCP on June 05, 2021

      Nice flavor. The longer the marinade the better.

  • Pan-seared thick-cut strip steaks

    • jenmacgregor18 on August 10, 2016

      Both this version & the grilled sirloin strip steaks turn out well. Straightforward instructions and good results.

    • twoyolks on March 12, 2019

      A really nice way to cook a thick steak. By cooking it in the oven first, it dries out the exterior which makes the steak brown very quickly with a very nice crust.

    • mharriman on June 16, 2019

      Interesting alternate method of cooking steak. At 20 minutes in oven my one and a half inch thick steaks were well beyond 105 degrees but searing and then resting them for 15 minutes helped create a nice crust and restored the juiciness. Very good with the beer reduction sauce and crumbled blue cheese ( not in this cookbook) I used to finish and serve.

  • Herb butter

    • jenmacgregor18 on August 10, 2016

      I used this on strip steaks. The leftovers were also good on potatoes. I imagine it would be good on any number of veggies or meats. An easy flavored butter. I ended up liking this better than the red wine pan sauce, which surprised me.

    • mharriman on October 27, 2022

      This is essentially what's in most German Krauter butter recipes. It's a simple mixture to put together, especially if you have chives on hand. I softened my butter in the microwave, and after mixing it with the garlic and herbs, I rolled into oval-shaped balls and refrigerated them until serving time. They're always festive looking and tasty as they melt over a just grilled or pan-fried tenderloin steak.

  • Grilled porterhouse steaks

    • jenmacgregor18 on August 10, 2016

      This turned out well. The whole steak was tender. I would repeat this.

  • Classic red wine pan sauce

    • jenmacgregor18 on August 10, 2016

      This was very good; but I noticed we were returning to the parsley shallot butter more frequently. Since the butter is easier to put together, I'll probably stick with it in the future.

  • Skillet chicken fajitas

    • jenmacgregor18 on January 23, 2017

      Low effort with great results, even with just a 30 minute marinade. Delicious. Make sure you've got your oven fan on & the window cracked when you're searing the meat. There is some smoke. That sear gives it a great flavor. The gentle finish in the oven cooks it through without drying out. I did use boneless chicken thighs; but I wouldn't hesitate to use the breast meat as indicated.

  • Grill-roasted boneless turkey breast with herb butter

    • twoyolks on April 17, 2015

      The herb butter seemed to add nothing to the final recipe. I think this would be better being brined before cooking.

  • Chicken tikka masala

    • twoyolks on February 01, 2019

      The flavor of the chicken was good with just enough spice flavor. The sauce was a bit bland and tasted solely of tomato. The garam masala did not come through at all (or maybe my spices are old). I did use chicken thighs which worked well and put the spice rub on the chicken a few days in advance. I didn't find that the broiler did a good job with the yogurt as a lot of it curdled instead of browning.

  • Tandoori chicken

    • twoyolks on December 03, 2014

      This is a nice facsimile of tandoori chicken but it doesn't really develop the same exact texture or flavor as a restaurant version.

  • Chicken paprikash

    • twoyolks on January 30, 2015

      The flavor of the peppers overwhelmed everything else. There wasn't enough sour cream to make the sauce truly creamy. For us, this was barely edible.

  • Blender Béarnaise sauce

    • twoyolks on March 12, 2019

      This was a bit blander than I'd expect for a Béarnaise but was very easy to make.

  • Mid-South Carolina mustard sauce

    • twoyolks on February 08, 2016

      This is a very thin sauce that primarily tastes of mustard but not too strongly. There's a little bit of heat but not too much.

  • French-style pork stew

    • twoyolks on January 10, 2016

      The broth had good flavor. The cabbage melted into the background. The pork was tender but rather bland. The ham hock was a bit too strong. The best meat was the kielbasa. The carrots seemed a bit out of place.

  • Basmati rice pilaf

    • twoyolks on December 03, 2014

      The spices really didn't add anything to the rice. There wasn't much difference than just plain boiled basmati rice.

  • Oven-fried chicken wings

  • Thai grilled beef salad

    • SACarlson on June 28, 2019

      The ingredient proportions in the dressing recipe are all off. There are better recipes for Thai beef salad out there, so I would skip this one.

  • Cuban-style picadillo

    • vhague on June 20, 2017

      This recipe is excellent. It has more complexity of flavor than other picadillo recipes I have utilized. I only have minor complaints with how it is laid out. First, you're instructed to cook the ground meat in the sauce. I'll change that next time I make it, as I feel it didn't add anything but grease to the final flavor. Secondly, you do not need to drag out your food processor to chop a single onion and green pepper. It's just added dishes for a meal that advertises itself as weeknight friendly.

  • Thai chicken curry with potatoes and peanuts

    • vhague on March 09, 2019

      Too complex for a weeknight - you make the curry paste from scratch.

  • Pepper-crusted beef tenderloin roast

    • mharriman on December 26, 2021

      A big hit at Christmas dinner for 10 people ranging in age 3-97. Excellent flavor, especially if you like pepper. The most time consuming part was coarsely grinding the peppercorns. I found grinding small amounts using a mortar and pestle was more efficient than using a pepper mill. I set my prepared roast on a rack in an All-Clad roasting pan with excellent results. 4.75 lb beef tenderloin was at medium rare- medium at 70 minutes, same time as the cookbook’s instructions for a 6 lb roast. Enough for 8 adults and two children with leftovers (main dish in a buffet). The mashed potato instructions in the side bar on the preceding page are way off as far as time needed to boil the potatoes. Mine were tender at 20 minutes and I doubled the recipe for 10 people. The other instructions were basic reminders how to create mashed potatoes. Mine kept piping warm in a covered casserole dish for 20 minutes.

  • Red wine-mushroom pan sauce

    • mharriman on April 20, 2020

      A delicious sauce for New York strip steak (on previous page in same cookbook; reviewed earlier). I was lucky to have fresh thyme on hand, and it added an interesting depth of flavor to the mushrooms, shallot, wine, and butter. Served with baked potatoes and cabbage salad. Husband remarked: let’s have this again.

  • Pepper-crusted filets mignons

    • mharriman on October 27, 2022

      I followed the directions as written and the steak was delicious. I made the herb butter instead of the Blue Cheese one, and it reminded us of German pepper steak with Krauter butter we used to have while living in Germany. Th herb butter in this cookbook is essentially the same.

  • Simple roasted rack of lamb

    • mharriman on June 22, 2021

      The timing/ temperature directions were spot on. I pan seared a 1.2 lb lamb rack, cut in half for two people, in a cast iron skillet, roasted for 12 minutes, then tented for 10 minutes with excellent results. First rubbed oil and cumin seeds on the lamb ( idea from different cookbook). Cumin imparts wonderful flavor. Will repeat. This would make an easy, delicious company meal. Served with Boiled baby potatoes In rosemary butter and a garden salad.

  • Maple-glazed pork tenderloins

    • mharriman on December 06, 2020

      A little on the sweet side for my taste but still very good. The glazing and roasting instructions are very specific and spot on. Very juicy and tender results.

  • Braised lamb shanks in red wine with herbes de Provence

    • mharriman on March 17, 2019

      The whole family loved this. This recipe needs a very large pot in order to “nestle in” the shanks between the vegetables and braising liquids. I used two 3 1/2 quart size Le Creuset pots for four 16 oz shanks and they fit perfectly, two in each pan. I used cotes du Rhône wine as suggested and it made a wonderful au jus with the chicken broth and herbs. After removing the pot lids at 90 minutes, I thought the shanks looked pretty much done cooking, so I only left them uncovered for 15 minutes. During the final 45 minutes of cooking, I boiled the potatoes and made the mashed potatoes (on page 99). Those needed much less melted butter ( about half the stick) and much much less ( a bare 1/4 cup) half and half. Served with steamed green beans and a romaine salad. A wonderful family meal when you have the time.

  • Stir-fried beef with sugar snap peas and red peppers

    • jbny on September 11, 2017


  • Irish stew

    • Penchantforproduce on November 11, 2014

      I LOVED this recipe. I did make two substantial changes. First I used goat meat (Chevon - which is young goat, even milder than most lamb.) Second I left some meat on the bones and seared these deeply to build flavor. I In fact added extra meaty bones (perhaps a half pound) I had from buying a whole goat. I did not sear the actual meat, just the bones. I have used this technique many times in stews to great success. You get the deep flavor from the browned meat on the bones without drying out the meat.

  • Swedish meatballs

    • cmartinfirvida on June 27, 2020

      These were not worth the trouble. There are more satisfying Swedish meatball recipes out there. The texture was pretty nice for the meatball, but they were not really savory and the sauce was too bland. My family asked me to never make this recipe again and that happens pretty infrequently.

    • Beebopalulu on December 02, 2019

      These were good but I'm not certain if they are worth all the fiddly steps. Sauce was excellent, but I might take a simpler approach to the meatballs themselves next time.

  • Pan-seared oven-roasted pork tenderloins

    • Fiddlestix22 on May 10, 2019

      The garlicky cilantro sauce is soooo good (try it with cumin and coriander rub on the pork). Good technique for pork tenderloin that doesn't overcook it.

  • Stir-fried pork, green beans, and red bell pepper with gingery oyster sauce

    • Beebopalulu on December 02, 2019

      Good basic stirfry recipe - good for a weeknight dinner

  • Swedish pickled cucumbers

  • Simple beef chili with bacon and black beans

    • Beebopalulu on December 16, 2019

      Like the smoky flavour of the bacon, but note that the spice level is not very child-friendly

  • Slow-roasted beef

    • Beebopalulu on December 02, 2019

      With slight variations this is my go-to recipe for all types of beef roasts. Instead of searing it first, I just cook it slow and remove from the oven at 120 F. Then beef can then rest for up to 2 hours (particularly helpful if your guests are prone to being late), before being reheated/browned at 450 F for 10 minutes.

  • Bacon-wrapped meatloaf with brown sugar-ketchup glaze

    • lofolky on February 15, 2021

      This was a delicious meatloaf! I have tried so many recipes and this is the first that I really loved and will definitely make again.

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  • ISBN 10 1936493861
  • ISBN 13 9781936493869
  • Published Oct 01 2014
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 504
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Cook's Illustrated
  • Imprint Cook's Illustrated

Publishers Text

"Carnivores with an obsession for perfection will likely have found their new bible in this comprehensive collection." –Publishers Weekly

The Ultimate Meat Resource

Whether you’re grilling hamburgers or roasting big beef tenderloin, no one wants to waste time and money on inferior recipes. The Cook’s Illustrated Meat Book is a master class in meat and poultry that will give you the skills you need to cook with absolute confidence. We begin with a comprehensive guide that covers shopping (what’s the difference between natural and organic labels), storing (just how long should you really refrigerate meat and does the duration vary if the meat is cooked or raw?), and seasoning meat (marinating, salting, and brining).

Matching cut to cooking method is another key to success, so our guide includes fully illustrated pages devoted to all major cooking methods: sautéing, pan-searing, pan-roasting, roasting, grilling, barbecuing, and more. We identify the best cuts for these methods and explain point by point how and why you should follow our steps (and what may happen if you don’t).

Then there are the recipes—425 foolproof recipes from twenty years of America’s most trusted cooking magazine such as Pan-Seared Thick-Cut Steaks, Juicy Pub-Style Burgers, Oven-Barbecued Spareribs, Slow-Roasted Bone-In Pork Rib Roast, Garlic-Roasted Leg of Lamb, Grilled Glazed Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Julia Child’s Roast Turkey, and more. Every page features practical and valuable information distilled from cooking thousands of pounds of beef, pork, and poultry to the exacting standards of the test kitchen.

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