Keys to Good Cooking by Harold McGee

Keys to Good Cooking Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes by Harold McGee
Published by Penguin
Review copy provided by TLC Book Tours

Keys to Good Cooking is not a cookbook.  Rather, it is like an encyclopedia for your kitchen.   The book is packed to the brim with cooking tips, from the most important supplies to have in your kitchen to how to properly cook meats to what type of flour is best to use in what situation and everything in between.  This book will not provide you with recipes, instead it will guide you in choosing recipes that make sense and will be delicious and also how to modify those recipes that don’t work so well.  Put simply, Keys to Good Cooking is a must-have accessory for any kitchen.

I’m fairly new to the kitchen – I didn’t really start cooking until two years ago, and only more recently have I been more adventurous with my cooking – so Keys to Good Cooking was like a godsend to me.  There is just SO MUCH helpful information in this book that I wouldn’t even know where to begin.  I’ll just say that it pretty much covers any type of food you could ever want to cook – anything you’re cooking, you will find some type of helpful hint or sometimes a detailed explanation that will make cooking it easier.

I must admit that Keys to Good Cooking was difficult to read in a way that would adequately prepare me to review it, because it really is a reference book and not something that one can easily read straight through.  I did skip a few sections, most notably the ones that focused on things I never cook, but I plan to go back and read through them if and when I decide to make those types of foods (for example, I really don’t bake, so I didn’t read much about cakes and cookies and pies, just sort of skimmed those sections).  But the great thing about the book is how well it’s organized, so if I decide to bake a cake from scratch I can easily reference that section to ensure I don’t mess anything up. :)

The bottom line is this:  Keys to Good Cooking is an excellent reference book to keep in your kitchen.  And if you are a novice in the kitchen like myself, you absolutely MUST have this book.  It is extremely helpful and will encourage you to branch out and try new foods and new recipes you may have been nervous about before.  I most highly recommend Keys to Good Cooking.

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7 thoughts on “Keys to Good Cooking by Harold McGee

  1. It sounds like an incredibly useful book. I’m often trying to figure out how to tweak a recipe to fit the ingredients I have on hand, or make a substitution or something. I’m glad you reviewed it.

    • That’s exactly what this book is perfect for, Jeane. I hope you at least can take a look at it via the library or something, because it sounds like it would be a great choice for you!

  2. Saw your article in the NYT regarding cooking oil. I switched to Virgin Coconut Oil some 7 years ago, and will never turn back. It cannot be burnt. And it is nutritious.

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