America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) is a half-hour long cooking show distributed to public TV stations. It is filmed in the US and is also available in most markets across Canada.
Julia Collin Davison and Bridget Lancaster are co-hosts on the program. A handful of test cooks in a real, working test kitchen are filmed on the show. They show off their family-recipes, best cooking tricks, and overall love of food.
The series is partnered with publishers of Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines, and beginning with Season 19, the series will be filmed at the Innovation and Design Building ATK’s test kitchen with Boston, Massachusetts. To learn more about this great resource, continue reading.
Who is on the Show?
Hosts Julia Collin Davison and Bridget Lancaster and chefs Keith Dresser, Becky Hays, Lan Lam, Erin McMurrer, Elle Simone Scott, and Dan Souza prepare recipes as they discuss what works, what doesn’t, and why, underlining the rigorous recipe testing process at the core of the mission of the test kitchen.
Equipment consultant Adam Ried, gadget analyst Lisa McManus, and degustation consultant Jack Bishop help viewers understand what to look for when buying gear and ingredients.
America’s Test Kitchen brand also produces cookbooks, podcasts, and related blogs for each series and magazine, providing recipes, reviews of equipment and ingredients, and tips.
While the TV shows have underwriters to cover their costs, the magazines and websites are supported by subscribers and do not carry advertisements. ATK launched America’s Test Kitchen Kids, starting in September 2018.
What You Can Watch on America’s Test Kitchen
A typical episode of the show consists primarily of two or three recipes that adhere to the episode’s theme. Each recipe is tested 40-60 times before appearing on the show or in the books. When broadcasting, each recipe is presented by a test cook to one of the hosts, Julia Collin Davison or Bridget Lancaster, who walks through the steps, explaining common problems that may arise when cooking.
Other segments are inserted periodically throughout the episode, usually composed of two or more of the following: a segment of Equipment-Testing, where Adam Ried tests cooking equipment and discuss the best model to purchase; a Tasting Lab segment in which an ingredient or several representative supermarket brands of a prepared food product are tested and tested by one of the hosts by experts and audiences; the segment of a Science Desk, discussing the science behind a relevant technique used in the recipe; a segment of Quick Tips, showing tips and tricks from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine and emails and letters from viewers.
The Test Kitchen Helps You Make Delicious Meals
America’s Test Kitchen is a huge kitchen of 2,500 square feet situated just outside Boston. It is the home of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine and Cook’s Country Magazine. It is the destination for more than four dozen test cooks, editors, food scientists, tasters, and cookware specialists.
Their mission is to repeatedly test the recipes until the viewer understands how and why it works, and until one gets to the “best” version. The test kitchen begins the process of testing a recipe with a total lack of confidence, which means they do not support a face value argument, no theory, no methodology, and no method.
They simply assemble as many variations as possible, test a half-dozen of the promising ones, and blindly taste the results. Then they build their own hybrid recipe, varying ingredients, techniques, and cooking times until they reach a consensus.
The outcome is the best version of a specific recipe, but they know that the ultimate judge of their performance can only be the audience. As they like to say in the kitchen test, “We are making mistakes, so you don’t have to.”
All this would not be possible without a conviction that good cooking is indeed based on the basis of a scientific technique, just like good music.
Some people like spicy foods, and some don’t, but there’s the correct way to sauté, there’s the best way to prepare a pot roast, and there are objective scientific principles involved in making perfectly pounded, healthy egg whites.
The main aim of the show is to explore the cooking basics so you can become a better chef. Make delicious meals with America’s Test Kitchen now by visiting their website for great recipes!