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They're telling me what to like and how to like it!?

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I am a fan of the TV shows of America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country by America's Test Kitchen. I don't like everything they do. They try a bit too hard sometimes. They also try to make something of what was and still is nothing.

But, when they tell me what I'm supposed to like and how to like it...
When they tell me what is 'perfect' and it's the opposite of what I would call perfect...

Well, I jump on Chowhound.com and tell you all about it.

This link: https://www.americastestkitchen.com/r...

describes what I would throw in the garbage and start over again.

that crunchy crispy burnt egg would be a laughing disaster in my home. if anyone tried to serve that in our kitchen it would go untouched. my MiL makes them somewhat like that and my kids and I won't touch them.

Perfect would be defined differently, and certainly not with a crunchy crispy tough egg white. no. that is definitely NOT perfect!

Thanks for letting me rant about this abomination of a trend that should be outlawed!

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  1. Eggs are very personal. There are a lot of styles out there and they are all valid. ATK describes what they are going for, so if that's not how you like it, don't make it. Personally, I do at times like a crisp edge on an otherwise soft egg. If I don't want crisp edges, I prefer to poach (and I love poached eggs just as much as fried).

    1. Outlawed? Really? Eat your eggs however you like them, but your commendation of that shown is as ridiculous as their claim of perfection.

      4 Replies
      1. re: wadejay26

        The things that people get all worked up over, I tell ya.

        1. re: wadejay26

          Eggs should be Outlawed... no..people who like eggs should be Outlawed !

          1. re: 3MTA3

            Then only outlaws will have eggs.

          2. re: wadejay26

            I must be slow. What is Gastronomos commending here (that is shown)? I could find only one link, and that one seemed more condemnation than anything....

          3. Doesn't this apply to basically any food or restaurant that has ever been labeled "best" or "perfect" by anyone? What about the 23023985235 recipes out there for "best ever chocolate chip cookies!"?

            All food tastes are personal, and everyone has their version of "perfect". If you disagree, just make it the way you like it and happily go about your day. Crunchy crispy burnt eggs could well be perfect fried eggs for many, many people out there - their preferences are just as valid as yours! :)

            1. I agree with you that ATK's anointing any one version as "perfect" is silly but the link shows an egg that is described as having crispy edges, tender white and runny yolk. Not tough egg white or burnt in any way. In fact, that is just how I like my eggs!

              Of course, you're welcome to yours any way you like!

              1. I did view the episode that admits that their favorite way of frying an egg is to baste it with a spoon. They also admitted that, to them, it's difficult to do more than one egg at a time that way. I haven't had any trouble doing more than one egg with the classic basting method, but I guess they're trying to show an easier way by covering with a lid. Too bad, it seems like the consensus is crispy. I'll keep to my basting and tender whites. thanks .

                1. I'm not too offended. Eggs are like brownies, or lasagna, or steaks .... there is no perfect recipe. Everyone knows what they like or don't like. All they can do is tell you what their goal is for that particular recipe and try to reach it.

                  1. You're kind of hitting at the core, the raison d'ĂȘtre of America's Test Kitchen. Their 'perfect' everything seems silly to me. I used to watch, but unless I hear about an ATK recipe that interests me from a fellow Chowhound, I don't bother with ATK anymore.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: MplsM ary

                      Funny enough, I enjoy most everything else they make. Not everything ends up on my dinner table,... some things won't make it to my breakfast table either...

                    2. I'm with you, "crisp" and "fried eggs" should never be together in any description.

                      1. Give them (ATK) 6 months to a year, and they will come up with a new perfect way to cook eggs. You may or may not like it better.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: mike0989

                          Like death and taxes...
                          But truly, just about every media chef out there claims their xy and z are "perfect!".
                          They're just selling advertisement/subscriptions, so I certainly don't take it literally, let alone personally.
                          If I had a nickel for every time The Barefoot Contessa said "it's perfect!", I'd have enough money to live in a closet in her barn ;-)

                          1. re: monavano

                            So does just about everyone who posts on a CH Home Cooking thread asking how to roast chicken, make rice or tomato sauce, or bake chocolate chip cookies. Chacun a son gout. If their version of a dish appeals to your particular palate, there's value in their explanation of how and why they include the steps they do. And if it's not your style, you may also learn how to AVOID getting their results.

                            1. re: greygarious

                              I do this with the restaurant critics. some of them have the opposite taste I do. they like what they like, or have to oblige the current trend, and I'll do what I know is true.

                              1. re: Gastronomos

                                Same goes for wine critics. And once you know someone's taste is quite different from your own, what they write can become as informative as it would be if you shared their taste.

                                1. re: MelMM

                                  absolutely. and generally i share the same tastes as Americas Test Kitchen. I like that they said the "Ultimate" egg is a basted egg, but to make it simple for the home cook that isn't proficient at cooking an egg properly, they made this crunchy crispy thing and called it 'perfect'.
                                  and as someone pointed out, now i know what NOT to do to a perfectly good egg...

                                  1. re: MelMM

                                    Yes, once I realized that Robert Parker's 'fruit bombs' are *not* what I enjoy, it was quite liberating.

                                    1. re: mwhitmore

                                      Parker only likes bombastic fruit bombs.

                          2. Yes, there does seem to be a kind of "missionary zeal" in the US to educate the "masses" about food, and what is good and what should be liked.
                            While educating people is fine as is expanding their horizons and options, preferences and likes are really a subjective and personal thing, and no one should be told what to like. It seems to happen a lot with coffee, breads, salads, sandwiches, and other things. There are lots of articles on the internet or on shows with titles like "You're doing it wrong..." or "Only X people know how to do X well"

                            I don't live in the US, but I notice it seeing it from abroad thanks to the internet. Besides, that rather self-righteous educating tone seems to be pretty particular to US sites.

                            1. I watched the video.
                              The egg is not burnt, neither the chef nor the host told the viewers what they should like, and I don't seem to hear when they called these eggs or this recipe perfect.

                              What am I missing here?

                              This recipe and video is a typical ATK demo. I'm a big fan of everything ATK, so I've watched for years.
                              What gives that makes this irk folks so much?

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: monavano

                                The beginning of the video is Titled as "Perfect Fried Eggs".

                                In the video she stated, correctly, that the "Ultimate recipe they found was from Jose Andres" where he bastes the egg.
                                She says that she is incapable of doing this with more than one egg at a time. I've not suffered from such nonsense.

                                As for Chris saying that he cooks eggs over low heat and doesn't get the crisp edges...well, that's the point, no crunchy crisp bitter egg whites... That's perfect!, err, ULTIMATE!

                                I guess I'll pass on 'perfect' and just continue doing them "The Ultimate" way I've always done them...

                                1. re: Gastronomos

                                  Yes, ultimate and perfect are all in the eye of the beholder.
                                  I think the "recipe" is a bit overwrought. I've been doing something similar-using steam/covered eggs- for many years, so this wasn't a revelation for me.
                                  But, they've got to keep reinventing the wheel somehow, or else they'll go the way of the dinosaur!

                              2. Since I do prefer a crispy edge on my fried eggs with a soft yolk, thank you for posting this link to how to make a perfect fried egg.

                                1. That fried egg is perfect. That's how they look when I fry over-easy eggs in my wok at home. Egg white has no flavor; it needs that lacy, crispy, salty edge to taste good.

                                  And anyway how is this a "trend"? I bet if you took a poll right here most members would vote for no browning on eggs. Preferring crispy browned eggs seems to be in the minority in the US.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                    The hipster thing these days... anything... With a sunny side up egg over the top. Sunny side up to these and those seems to be this definition of crunchy crispy brown egg bottom and edge.

                                    You like it? Good. I don't. And I mentioned earlier in here that ATK admits in the video that the "Ultimate" version isn't this at all, but rather a basted egg...

                                  2. They are always going for the "Ultimate". Well they've achieved it. They are the Ultimate PITA Cooking Site.;-).

                                    1. Based on various scrambled eggs and omelet threads, I'd say the don't-brown-eggs camp is more dogmatic than ATK about what constitutes a 'perfect egg'.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: paulj

                                        perhaps they are the few that are more dogmatic, but I've seen many more on CH that cheer an overcooked crunchy crispy browned egg or omelet on many threads than a properly cooked tender fluffy creamy omelet and fried egg.

                                        it may also be similar to most people claiming they like their steak rare and maybe squirm and order one like that in a restaurant, but they truly really want a very well done dry steak.

                                        Whatever anyone is accustomed to / with what or how they grew up...

                                      2. That is pretty much their shtick: they come up with an ideal (which I don't necessarily agree with) and/or "problems" that need solving (which may not be problems to you or me) and then test and tweak recipes to meet their stated goals.

                                        I don't much like their shtick, which I think often overcomplicates technique while dumbing down results to some unhappy medium, so I mostly ignore them. But at least they tell you up front what you're going to get.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: julesrules

                                          I guess that's why i'm okay with it. Just because they tell you up front ... okay this is going to be a cakey brownie, not a fudgy one.... or something of that sort. If I get... here's going to be a delicous runny yoked egg, I'm gonna skip right over that. Not my thing. I have a bunch of their magaines all bound up by year and I have my favorites picked. Some recpies I never bother with at all because up front they tell me that I'm not going to like it.

                                          1. re: julesrules

                                            Jules, you've put it well. I do watch them, because I think there's usually something to learn from most any cooking show, but the smug attitudes and the "our opinion is the only correct way" message is silly.

                                            I like cooking shows and theirs is different from the others, so it gets watched around here.

                                          2. Recipes should be more descriptive. Rather than fried eggs, it should be "fried eggs with crispy brown on the outer edge with very runny yolks" or "tall, soft, cakey pancakes that a fork cuts through easily." Words like "perfect", "delicious" and "best" are subjective. Like Joe Friday, just the facts, ma'am.

                                            1. I wonder how many eggs they fried before they came up with this 'recipe'.

                                              My mother taught me to cook 'basted' eggs using the lid technique when I was probably not yet ten years old. The difference is that she never fried them so the edges got crisp and neither do I.

                                              I watched the video and I disagree with their pan selection. They used a 12" nonstick and cooked four eggs. I use an 8" nonstick and only cook two eggs at a time. The finished pair of eggs have circular whites and slide right out of the pan and onto the plate.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: John E.

                                                Basted with a spoon is how they claim is the "Ultimate" way, and how I grew up and still make them today. No lid needed.
                                                And no crispy crunchy edges or Bottoms!

                                                1. re: Gastronomos

                                                  The video I saw did not show them basting with a spoon. They used a lid to get the whites on top of the yolks cooked and opaque. That's they way I cook them too. Much less fat is needed to fry the eggs, without crispy edges. It's easier too.

                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                    they didn't show it. they said it would be too difficult for the general public to do more than one egg at a time basting with a spoon. so they went with easier and labeled it 'perfect'.
                                                    Bridgette says this in the video. and attributes the "Ultimate" method to Jose Andres. (not me, LOL)

                                              2. Gastro- you have really outdid yourself this time. "Outlawed", seriously?

                                                You understand that these types of shows are all about market share, right? The point is to get subscribers. ATK schtick is the "perfect/perfection" angle. Pioneer Woman has another angle and Barefoot Contessa yet another.

                                                If it is not "perfect" to you move on. Life is short. Enjoy your own eggs.

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: foodieX2

                                                  LOL. Thanks. I do.
                                                  I get that they have to do them this way because of the new trend to do them indifferently and easily. The hipsters love it. Anything with a fried egg over the top. And somehow ATK admits in the video the correct "Ultimate" egg is basted with a spoon.

                                                  1. re: Gastronomos

                                                    So why waste time ranting? Pour yourself a glass of wine, put up your feet and relax.

                                                    1. re: foodieX2

                                                      Ranting can be fun. Especially with a target like Chris Kimball! ;-)

                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                        I can't help it. Speaking of Chris, he has new glasses. Does anyone else think he now looks like Mr. Mackie from South Park?

                                                        1. re: janmcbaker

                                                          Mmkay.

                                                2. Thats how i like my eggs and how I've always cooked them minus cracking them into a bowl and using oil.

                                                  Omelettes on the other hand I don't want to see a touch a brown ever. Gross

                                                  Best hangover eggs. Use bacon fat, chop some green onion tops in, lots of fresh pepper cover till done. Nice and crispy edge not tough because you crack into a hot pan and cook fast. On toasted english muffin.

                                                  Today had best omelette ever. Pat off butter in pan, chopped up garlic clove. Put in free range eggs whisked with salt. Filled with my last little piece of rosemary rinded asaigo from TJs, top with fresh pepper. Served with sourdough. hmm something about sourdough and eggs...

                                                  I grew up on poached eggs cooked very tender. I hated the wateriness. Of course have there place when Im sick that what I want, on toast cut into pieces so yolk gets to all bites.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: daislander

                                                    <<Omelettes on the other hand I don't want to see a touch a brown ever. Gross>>

                                                    daislander, I couldn't agree more.

                                                    at home, no worries. at the diner... I need a whole helluva lotta luck getting anything other than overcooked hard dry brown omelet. BLECH! or, GROSS, as you say.

                                                    <<hmm something about sourdough and eggs...>>

                                                    yes. :-)