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Can I Say That America's Test Kitchen REALLY Irritates Me?!

I was just reading on the home cooking board, about a great chicken roast recipe from ATK. I often watch the program Saturdays on PBS, I seem to be drawn to it even though it makes me bristle.

I really am sick of the introduction when whatever recipe they're preparing that day is described in awful terms, e.g., beef brisket.

They talk about it as if we all have eaten nothing but terrible brisket year after year til they came along. They use words like "tough", "stringy", "dry" and show a disgusting pan of congealed fat and stringy meat. I mean why do they have to overdo it like this? Their intros always use these descriptive terms - "gummy", "greasy", "limp", "soggy", etc.

If they started their shows in a more honest way, perhaps I could get into them. They could just say that they've found a way to make REALLY GREAT fried chicken or whatever, without the pix of pools of grease and burned chicken.

Okay, end of rant.

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  1. This is my favorite food show. I never noticed that and I don't care. It is just my personality. I like the way they try different things and then explain about the best way to do it. Too many shows are based on personality fluff.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      I'd like to know the names of the shows with "personality fluff" (nice term!). I never watch the Food Network and so am only familiar with the PBS lineup. Jacques P. too fluffy? Martin Yan? Well he is always hyped wayyyy up, but fluffy? Nah. Weir in the City? Oh yeah! Now here's true fluff.

      Lydia B? Down to earth and interesting imo. Bittman? He's the anti-fluff.

      1. re: oakjoan

        Food Network has the fluff. There are some good shows but for the most part, fluff.

        PBS has the good stuff.

    2. I also love ATK. It's what really got me interested in cooking instead of being scared of choosing the wrong recipe.

      1. I don't watch television, so you have lost me there, but I really resent the fact that they have no references in the back of their books or footnotes. I mean if you have used 50 recipes to work out your absolute best recipe why not a bibliography? A lot of the cookbooks I consider really good are honest on the subject of references. ATK didn't invent cooking or baking even if they would like you to think so. And good "science" always is referenced.

        1 Reply
        1. re: wally

          The "best recipe" refers to those tried out in the test kitchens, not to published recipes from other sources.

        2. I think it is the best cooking show on the air. It is more about actual cooking than entertainment and personality. It is logical, informative and hopefully teach people to cook rather than just follow recipes.

          1. oakjoan, I'm with you
            different strokes for different folks and allathat
            the only cooking show I'm watching at the moment is Molto Mario reruns, and when Bittman comes back on I'll check that out too.

            MM works for me because of the lack of filler and gush. Actual information oozes from all sides instead. I see that's what some like about ATK, but their manner bugs me so I don't watch it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pitu

              Is there going to be another season of Bittman? I liked that show - the right combination of food tourism and cooking.