Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, And Good Food

Paperback | August 12, 2010

byJeff Potter

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Are you the innovative type, the cook who marches to a different drummer -- used to expressing your creativity instead of just following recipes? Are you interested in the science behind what happens to food while it's cooking? Do you want to learn what makes a recipe work so you can improvise and create your own unique dish?

More than just a cookbook,Cooking for Geeksapplies your curiosity to discovery, inspiration, and invention in the kitchen. Why is medium-rare steak so popular? Why do we bake some things at 350° F/175° C and others at 375° F/190° C? And how quickly does a pizza cook if we overclock an oven to 1,000° F/540° C? Author and cooking geek Jeff Potter provides the answers and offers a unique take on recipes -- from the sweet (a "mean" chocolate chip cookie) to the savory (duck confit sugo).

This book is an excellent and intriguing resource for anyone who wants to experiment with cooking, even if you don't consider yourself a geek.

  • Initialize your kitchen and calibrate your tools
  • Learn about the important reactions in cooking, such as protein denaturation, Maillard reactions, and caramelization, and how they impact the foods we cook
  • Play with your food using hydrocolloids and sous vide cooking
  • Gain firsthand insights from interviews with researchers, food scientists, knife experts, chefs, writers, and more, including author Harold McGee, TV personality Adam Savage, chemist Herv&eacute This, and xkcd

"My own session with the book made me feel a lot more confident in my cooking."

--Monica Racic,The New Yorker

"I LOVE this book. It's inspiring, invigorating, and damned fun to spend time inside the mind of 'big picture' cooking. I'm Hungry!"

--Adam Savage, co-host of Discovery Channel's MythBusters

"In his enchanting, funny, and informative book,Cooking for Geeks(O'Reilly), Jeff Potter tells us why things work in the kitchen and why they don't."

-- Barbara Hanson, NewYorkDaily News

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From the Publisher

Are you the innovative type, the cook who marches to a different drummer -- used to expressing your creativity instead of just following recipes? Are you interested in the science behind what happens to food while it's cooking? Do you want to learn what makes a recipe work so you can improvise and create your own unique dish?More than ...

Jeff Potter has done the cubicle thing, the startup thing, and the entrepreneur thing, and through it all maintained his sanity by cooking for friends. He studied computer science and visual art at Brown University.

other books by Jeff Potter

Cooking For Geeks: Real Science, Great Cooks, And Good Food
Cooking For Geeks: Real Science, Great Cooks, And Good ...

Paperback|Oct 29 2015

$41.74 online$51.95list price(save 19%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 9.25 × 8 × 0.7 inPublished:August 12, 2010Publisher:O'Reilly MediaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0596805888

ISBN - 13:9780596805883

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Recipe Index; List of Interviews; Preface; How to Use This Book; On the Web; Acknowledgments; How to Contact Us; Safari™ Books Online; Chapter 1: Hello, Kitchen!; 1.1 Think Like a Hacker; 1.2 Cooking for One; 1.3 Cooking for Others; Chapter 2: Initializing the Kitchen; 2.1 Approaching the Kitchen; 2.2 Kitchen Equipment; 2.3 Kitchen Organization; 2.4 Giving Kitchen Tools As Gifts; Chapter 3: Choosing Your Inputs: Flavors and Ingredients; 3.1 Smell + Taste = Flavor; 3.2 Tastes: Bitter, Salty, Sour, Sweet, Umami, Others; 3.3 Adapt and Experiment Method; 3.4 Regional/Traditional Method; 3.5 Seasonal Method; 3.6 Analytical Method; Chapter 4: Time and Temperature: Cooking's Primary Variables; 4.1 Cooked = Time * Temperature; 4.2 Foodborne Illness and Staying Safe Well, safer-there's no such thing as 100% safe.; 4.3 Key Temperatures in Cooking; Chapter 5: Air: Baking's Key Variable; 5.1 Gluten; 5.2 Biological Leaveners; 5.3 Chemical Leaveners; 5.4 Mechanical Leaveners; Chapter 6: Playing with Chemicals; 6.1 Traditional Cooking Chemicals; 6.2 Modern Industrial Chemicals; Chapter 7: Fun with Hardware; 7.1 Sous Vide Cooking; 7.2 Commercial Hardware and Techniques; Cooking Around Allergies; Substitutions for Common Allergies; Afterword; About the Author; Colophon;