Welcome to Eat Your Books!

If you are new here, you may want to learn a little more about how this site works. Eat Your Books has indexed recipes from leading cookbooks and magazines as well recipes from the best food websites and blogs.

Become a member and you can create your own personal ‘Bookshelf’. Imagine having a single searchable index of all your recipes – both digital and print!

The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by J. Kenji López-Alt

Search this book for Recipes »

Notes about this book

  • annmartina on October 14, 2016

    If I could give this recipe 10 stars I would

  • ellabee on October 10, 2015

    Kindle only for me -- this one weighs almost *seven pounds*, two more than the unmanageable Ad Hoc at Home. Why not two volumes? I imagine that the illustrations, diagrams, and photos make effective use of the space, and don't want *less* Food Lab wisdom. I just want to be able to manage handling it physically -- in the kitchen, in an armchair, or sitting in bed. Unsettlingly, publisher seems to be surprised by how brisk ebook version sales are.

  • porterbl1 on September 27, 2015

    The pot roast recipe contains an error. I confirmed it with the author on Facebook. The oven temperature should be 275 not 225, and the lid should be partially open.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Foolproof hard-boiled eggs

    • Emily Hope on November 09, 2015

      Although for a hard-boiled egg recipe this is pretty fiddly, it totally delivered on the promise of easy to peel eggs. After five minutes of shelling I had 6 beautiful eggs with nary a dent.

    • mllamas on January 03, 2016

      First time I've ver been able to cleanly peel every egg.

    • rionafaith on November 29, 2016

      I've always started my eggs in cold water, but I decided to try this method after Kenji's vigorous testing. Okay, so it's not totally perfect -- after adding the ice, it took ages to come back to boiling again, and never really did because I got impatient and decided to just start timing from when I hit the simmering temp (I used a candy/deep fry thermometer in my water to monitor it). And my first two eggs still had varying degrees of craters... the other 4 peeled perfectly cleanly, however, far better than usual! The eggs were all perfectly cooked and still tender, too.

  • Perfect poached eggs

    • Charlotte_vandenberg on March 09, 2017

      Not so easy as the recipe suggests, but I'll keep on trying.

  • Extra-crispy sunny-side-up eggs

    • twoyolks on January 08, 2016

      I made this slightly differently in that I cooked the eggs in butter instead of olive oil. I used the same technique and the eggs turned out perfectly.

    • jenmacgregor18 on July 06, 2016

      I never made fried eggs at home. It was just something I always ordered when going out for breakfast. But these turn out perfect every time. So I'll be making them at home now.

  • Diner-style ham and cheese omelet

    • joanhuguet on October 04, 2015

      Kenji's salting and resting technique for omelet eggs is spectacular! I added a good pinch of salt to my eggs and let them rest for about 15-20 minutes while I cooked my omelet filling. The resulting omelet was perfectly seasoned and extremely tender, with no tough outer layer of overcooked egg.

  • Crispy fried bacon

    • twoyolks on November 07, 2015

      I didn't really think there was much I could learn about cooking bacon. I was wrong. I've never had as perfectly crispy (but not overly crispy) bacon as when I used this method.

  • Potato hash with peppers and onions

    • twoyolks on November 07, 2015

      This is similar to the America's Test Kitchen recipe for home fries but, for me, the potatoes ended up more evenly browned and the onions didn't burn. The slight heat from the hot sauce was a welcome addition. I added the optional eggs which were really quite good.

  • Light and fluffy buttermilk pancakes

    • clcorbi on February 20, 2017

      I had all the ingredients on hand to make these pancakes so I knew we had to try them out. This is my first use of the book, and the result was really nice! These pancakes are decidedly fluffier than my go-to recipe (from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone). As always, I doctored the batter with a bunch of cinnamon and a little nutmeg. As good as these were, the batter is a bit fussy to make, because you have to separate and beat an egg white. I will probably only use this recipe on occasions where I have sour cream to use up, but we did thoroughly enjoy them.

  • Fresh ricotta

    • clcorbi on February 28, 2017

      This recipe works! I used the stovetop variation. I actually let the ricotta simmer for too long because I was waiting to see large, defined curds--that never happened. My curds were tiny and couldn't be scooped out with the slotted spoon. After doing some googling, I discovered that this is all right and so I just poured the entire curds/whey mixture into the strainer, rather than trying to scoop out the curds. The ricotta still drained perfectly, so in the future that's how I'll always do it!

  • Lemon ricotta pancakes

    • jenmacgregor18 on November 12, 2015

      Had some leftover ricotta from ziti. This was a good way to use it up. A little tricky to flip, as they were very tender and delicate. After I mangled the 1st one, I ended up with my flexible oxo silicone cookie spatula and another spatula- 2-handed flip. Was fine after that. A non-stick skillet is a must. Great lemon flavor and very light texture. Keeping this one.

    • jenmacgregor18 on July 06, 2016

      good if you're looking for a lower sodium pancake. I left salt out of pancake mixture (but left baking soda as is). Also very good without lemon and with cinnamon & vanilla.

  • Beef and barley stew

    • mirage on January 01, 2016

      It was fine. Forgettable.

  • 30-minute don't-call-it-Tuscan white bean and Parmesan soup

    • mirage on May 30, 2016

      Very light.

  • The best corn chowder

    • e_ballad on March 20, 2017

      I agree with JKLA that the quality of the corn will make or break this dish. But even with fantastic corn picked minutes before from the garden, this particular dish was a little... meh. Calling something 'the best' might have set up unrealistic expectations!

  • Creamy broccoli-Parmesan soup

    • twoyolks on September 26, 2016

      The soup was a bit too heavy on the cheese flavor and there wasn't quite enough broccoli flavor. I also think cheddar would've worked better than parmesan.

  • Chicken and dumplings

    • clcorbi on February 28, 2017

      Absolutely delicious. I used two quarts of homemade chicken stock and a mix of store-bought chicken stock/water for the rest of the liquid, and simmered raw chicken in that mixture to cook it which also helped boost the stock nicely. Flavorful stock really makes all the difference here, since there are really no spices added to the soup. The dumplings were nice and tender as advertised. This is just perfect comfort food, and if you have pre-cooked shredded chicken and homemade stock on hand, it also comes together in around 30 minutes.

  • Easy skillet-braised chicken with peppers and onions

    • joanhuguet on October 04, 2015

      This recipe missed the mark for a couple of reasons. First, 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika was completely overwhelming, giving the broth a gritty texture and acrid taste. In addition, there was far too much liquid in the braise. I had to take out the meat and bring the sauce to a rolling boil for about 15 minutes in order for it to have any body whatsoever.

  • Santa Maria-style grilled tri-tip

    • bching on January 01, 2017

      Great tri-tip grilling instructions. This recipe will be my go-to--although I will vary the rub often, I imagine. We found we preferred the texture of the meat cut with, rather than against, the grain.

  • Basic pan-seared pork chops

    • joanhuguet on October 07, 2015

      Moderate heat and frequent flipping produced an evenly pink, medium pork chop with no grey overcooked bands at the edges. Mine was done well before the 10 minutes of cooking time were up, so begin checking temperature early.

    • ellencooks on February 16, 2017

      Mine was also done before the 10 minute pork. Still good. Served with the maple mustard glazed pan sauce, which was excellent.

  • Maple-mustard-glazed pan-seared pork chops

    • joanhuguet on October 07, 2015

      I found that this sauce was overly sweet, although it could have been that the particular mustard I used (Trader Joe's Grainy Dijon) was not strong enough. Next time, I might try a combination of grainy and smooth Dijon for a stronger mustard flavor.

  • Cooler-cooked rib-eye steaks with shallots, garlic, and thyme

    • twoyolks on February 08, 2016

      This was a decent example of a sous vide steak but neither the technique nor the ingredients really add anything beyond any other recipe. None of the flavor of the shallots, garlic, or thyme end up in the steak or really the cooking juices from the steak.

  • Quick chickpea and spinach stew with ginger

    • joanhuguet on October 24, 2015

      Luscious, elegant, and easy. I've made this twice since the book came out, once with spinach and once with rainbow chard. Reheats very well, but also very good at room temperature. Don't skip the drizzle of olive oil at the end.

  • Roasted Brussels sprouts and shallots

    • twoyolks on February 08, 2016

      The Brussels sprouts are good but I prefer Cook's Illustrated's roasted Brussels sprouts which are similar, but don't cook as long and get covered during roasting. The shallots almost completely burned for me as did some of the Brussels sprouts. I think using a smaller baking pan would help. I did like the addition of sweetness and sour via the Balsamic vinegar.

  • Cheesy Hasselback potato gratin

    • Jojobuch on August 06, 2016

      Very tasty! Used double cream in the UK, you can probably get away with single cream though. Stacking vertically gives a really nice crunch across the top of the dish.

    • tasteslike on December 31, 2016

      Wonderful flavor & easier to make than it looks. Used fontina and parmigiano reggiano for 2 cheeses. Otherwise, followed recipe exactly (cut potatoes to specified size with mandoline and used specified size copper gratin dish). Unfortunately, the potatoes weren't cooked all the way through (discovered only when served). This needed another 30 minutes (add time while potatoes are still foil covered). First Food Lab recipe that wasn't perfect. Will make again and cook longer.

    • debkellie on February 12, 2017

      A nice crunchy top as Jojobuch says; and needed longer as tasteslike says.. I subbed in 1.5 cups buttermilk as I was short on cream.. so almost "healthy".. nice side.

  • Ultra-fluffy mashed potatoes

    • twoyolks on December 10, 2016

      I didn't particularly care for these. The flavor was dominated by the butter. The potato flavor didn't factor in at all. They also weren't particularly fluffy.

  • Rich and creamy mashed potatoes

    • twoyolks on November 29, 2016

      These are perfect mashed potatoes to be served with gravy on top. They're rich enough without being too rich or buttery.

  • Easy cranberry sauce

    • twoyolks on November 29, 2016

      This is now my favorite cranberry sauce. It's a good balance between a whole berry sauce and a jellied sauce. It's more of a cranberry jam. It's also not too sweet so it works well with the other Thanksgiving dishes.

  • Perfect roast prime rib

    • tasteslike on December 31, 2016

      So good. Cooked at 160F for 5.5 hours then at 550F for 15 min. Even though cooked to medium by temperature, meat was red and juicy. This bothered some of the guests, put was perfect for my family. Will definitely do again.

  • Oxtail jus for prime rib

    • tasteslike on December 31, 2016

      Amazing meat juice. Perfect with the prime rib and leftovers exactly right as jus for French dip. Oxtails are magic flavor bombs. Was glad to have this as Food Lab prime recipe doesn't make pan juices at all (the moisture all stays inside the roast).

  • Slow-roasted boneless leg of lamb

    • tasteslike on May 16, 2016

      In 45 years of cooking, this is the best way to roast lamb that I've tried (and I've tried lots). I'll never do it another way (cook lamb at 200F for 2.5-3 hours, rest at least 30 min, put in 550F oven for 6-10 min). The meat was succulent and quite tender. I used the garlic, anchovy & rosemary variation, and the flavors, for me, were perfect.

  • Slow-roasted boneless leg of lamb with garlic, rosemary, and anchovies

    • tasteslike on May 16, 2016

      See my comments under the master recipe for Slow-Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb. This method of cooking lamb is genius, and the garlic, rosemary & anchovy rub truly complemented the meat. Will make this again every Easter for the rest of my life.

  • Maple-mustard-glazed roast pork tenderloin

    • joanhuguet on January 17, 2016

      Wonderful technique - tenderloin was a perfect medium and juicy.

  • Pasta with garlicky broccoli, anchovies, and bacon

    • rosten on August 24, 2016

      pretty tasty! could even use a bit more garlic!

  • Pasta with extra-garlicky shrimp scampi

    • JoanN on December 07, 2015

      Made half a recipe with small elbow macaroni because it was on hand; the corkscrew pasta called for would hold more of the yummy sauce. Used already shelled shrimp, so skipped the cooking the shells part; eager to try it that way, though, since I'm sure it imparts a lot of flavor. Add pasta water by the tablespoonful to start; quarter of a cup (for half a recipe) was too much and needed to be boiled down.

  • Perfect easy red sauce

    • twoyolks on February 08, 2017

      This was a fine, simple marinara sauce but there wasn't anything special about it.

  • Pasta with caramelized eggplant and rich tomato sauce (Pasta alla Norma)

    • joanhuguet on July 31, 2016

      A delicious summer classic. The marinara recipe provided here, which uses half olive oil and half butter to round out the harsh notes of canned tomatoes, will be my new go-to recipe for easy tomato sauce.

    • Astrid5555 on December 10, 2016

      One of the better Pasta alla Norma recipes outside of Italy. Letting the eggplant caramelize to a deep brown until completey tender makes a big difference. No need to re-season the eggplant slices with salt after cooking since they are quite salty after having tossed them with salt beforhand to draw out the water.

  • Ultra-gooey stovetop mac 'n' cheese

    • twoyolks on November 13, 2015

      This is very creamy and very good but very rich. I used Velveta for American cheese and it worked very well. The longest part of this recipe is waiting for the water to boil. This also reheated very well, even in the microwave.

    • Emily Hope on November 20, 2015

      This recipe definitely lives up to its name; it's like a super luxe Kraft. But I have to agree with twoyolks that it's very rich; I love mac and cheese but could only eat a small serving, and couldn't get enthused about the leftovers because of the heaviness. Oddly, the kids didn't care for it. The recipe also made a giant amount; if I were to make again (not sure I will), I'd probably cut in half and cut down on the butter. Served with roasted broccoli.

  • The ultimate Bolognese sauce

    • HazukaPie on March 23, 2017

      I could only buy chicken livers by the pound so I tripled the "flavor bomb" (liver, anchovies, soy, marmite) and froze 2 aliquots for future use. This recipe makes enough sauce for about 4 lbs of pasta - about 4 quarts.

  • Traditional lasagna Bolognese

    • Jojobuch on January 21, 2016

      Definitely the most involved lasagna recipe I ever made; lots of extra ingredients in the ragu - some of which are very odd (marmite? Fish sauce?) - and I had never added cheese to my bechamel (I guess it becomes a sauce moray?) for lasagna. The result was worth it though, it received rave reviews at a dinner party. It's a weekend project but leftovers freeze very well.

  • Creamy spinach and mushroom lasagna

    • rionafaith on September 03, 2016

      This is fairly labor intensive, and took almost 3 hours of prep, but it was worth it -- the taste is absolutely fantastic, definitely restaurant-quality. I was a bit scant on the mushrooms as I only had two 10oz containers and it would probably have been better with the full amount, or even more, but then I'm a mushroom fiend. Only problem I had was the noodles sticking together a bit and I don't think I agitated them enough or maybe didn't have enough water in the pan when soaking them, so I'll be more mindful of that next time.

  • Classic baked ziti

    • twoyolks on February 08, 2017

      This did not live up to its promise. By putting so much cheese on top, when eating this, you get bites of all cheese or bites of not enough cheese. The extra tomato sauce on top also didn't help.

  • Almost-no-stir risotto with chorizo and Brussels sprout leaves

    • Jane on April 04, 2016

      This was a strange risotto. By the time the rice finished cooking it was not the creamy consistency that slow cooked and stirred risotto has. And then you add a lot of cream and cheese, which still doesn't make it seem like a risotto. Finally, two minutes is not long enough for Brussels sprouts leaves to wilt - it was more like 5. Not one I will be repeating.

    • twoyolks on February 13, 2017

      I agree that this risotto was strange. The cream was an odd addition that lent some creaminess but not the kind I'd associate with risotto. It sorely missed the enrichment of butter that's typical in risotto. The combination of the Brussels sprouts and the chorizo was just an odd flavor that didn't meld well together.

  • Mild red wine-olive oil vinaigrette

    • mamacrumbcake on August 14, 2016

      Good, solid vinaigrette for every day. The garlic and the shallots really add to the depth of flavor.

  • Winter greens salad with walnuts, apples, and Parmesan-anchovy dressing

    • clcorbi on February 28, 2017

      I really enjoyed the easy, Caesar-ish dressing on this salad. The only substitution I made was to use arugula in place of the frisee, since we prefer that green. Unfortunately, I don't think this salad is for me--I need to accept that I just don't like bitter greens like radicchio. The walnuts didn't really help much since they are sort of bitter, too--I would have subbed them with pecans if I'd thought about it. This is just not to my taste.

  • Kale Caesar salad

    • clcorbi on March 06, 2017

      This makes a really, really good salad. I made a half-recipe with one bunch of kale, and after we tried the salad, I instantly regretted not making a full recipe. We followed the instructions with no changes other than to chiffonade the kale, and to massage the dressing into it rather than just mixing it in. The breadcrumbs really add an extra lovely dimension of crunchiness, and it's essential to make nice homemade ones to get that delicious crunch. Luckily, the bread can bake while the rest of the salad is being assembled, so it isn't too fussy. I would not hesitate to make this delicious salad again.

  • Chopped ranch Cobb salad

    • jenmacgregor18 on February 09, 2017

      I used 1/2 the buttermilk and 1/2 mayo as my light sour cream & buttermilk were going to be too sour. I added a little Worcestershire and onion powder. My garlic was apparently very strong. It had quite a bite to it. Next time I would use a little less garlic, maybe a smaller clove or 1/2 clove. And I'll just use regular sour cream and skip the mayo. Otherwise, it turned out very well. How can you go wrong with bacon, tomato, chicken, ranch & blue cheese?

  • Extra-crunchy chicken-fried steak with creamy gravy

    • twoyolks on December 04, 2015

      The flavor of this was very good. It was also very crisp and crunchy. However, it was simply too salty. I'd cut back significantly on the salt next time.

    • ellencooks on March 09, 2016

      I made these with cubed steaks. Definitely too salty but good texture and spices. Just need to cut down on the salt.

  • Chicken Parmesan

    • twoyolks on November 13, 2015

      This is a classic but very good version of Chicken Parmesan.

  • The ultimate quintuple-cooked thick and crispy steak fries

    • twoyolks on February 08, 2016

      The fries got crunchy but they didn't get as crunchy as I like. They simply aren't as good as the triple cooked fries from Modernist Cuisine.

  • How to carve a bone-in prime rib

    • tasteslike on December 31, 2016

      Very helpful tips for carving bone-in prime rib.

You must Create an Account or Sign In to add a note to this book.

Reviews about this book

  • Dallas Observer

    If you’re willing to learn, you will love The Food Lab. For the home cook who’s serious about his craft and willing to buy a gadget or two...is basically a college-level course in cooking techniques.

    Full review
  • Eater

    You don't need this book, if you've got a fast internet connection. But when the power goes or the wi-fi goes down, the people who own this book will be the ones you want inviting you over for dinner.

    Full review
  • Food52

    Kenji’s voice is inspirational and thought-provoking, cerebral and accessible, academic yet Internet-y...This is an obsessive cook at his best, teaching readers in a way that both he—and they—enjoy.

    Full review
  • Leite's Culinaria

    Website reviews best cookbooks of September, 2015.

    Full review
  • Real Baking with Rose Levy Beranbaum

    ...he has opened my eyes to new and better ways of cooking without the need of high tech specialty equipment. This is an extraordinary and invaluable cookbook.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 0393081087
  • ISBN 13 9780393081084
  • Published Sep 21 2015
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 938
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher WW Norton & Co
  • Imprint WW Norton & Co

Publishers Text

Ever wondered how to pan-fry a steak with a charred crust and an interior that's perfectly medium-rare from edge to edge when you cut into it? How to make homemade mac 'n' cheese that is as satisfyingly gooey and velvety-smooth as the blue box stuff, but far tastier? How to roast a succulent, moist turkey (forget about brining!)-and use a foolproof method that works every time? As Serious Eats's culinary nerd-in-residence, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt has pondered all these questions and more. In The Food Lab, Kenji focuses on the science behind beloved American dishes, delving into the interactions between heat, energy, and molecules that create great food. Kenji shows that often, conventional methods don't work that well, and home cooks can achieve far better results using new-but simple-techniques. In hundreds of easy-to-make recipes with over 1,000 full-color images, you will find out how to make foolproof Hollandaise sauce in just two minutes, how to transform one simple tomato sauce into a half dozen dishes, how to make the crispiest, creamiest potato casserole ever conceived, and much more.