The 6 Best Tips and Tricks We Learned from Alton Brown This Year
The food science whiz has yet to lead us astray!
When it comes to food facts and game-changing kitchen hacks, we always look to Alton Brown. And true to form, the cookbook author, television host, and all-around food science whiz served up plenty of fascinating tips and tricks this year. Scroll down for six of our favorites.
The trick for more flavorful lemonade
We know, we know, your lemonade recipe might as well be gospel, but hear us out on this one. Brown managed to come up with a lemonade recipe that isn't loaded with sugar but still checks both the delicious and refreshing boxes. While it does involve more effort, the Good Eats host swears it pays off in the end. His trick? Making a lemon syrup from preserved lemon to add "real depth of flavor."
How to make creamier scrambled eggs
This year we came across Brown’s innovative recipe for scrambled eggs from his 2016 book Everyday Cook that stopped us in our tracks. Whether it’s a splash of cream, milk, cornstarch, or even water, there are plenty of tricks out there for achieving fluffy scrambled eggs. But Brown swears by a teaspoon of good old-fashioned mayonnaise from creamier eggs. Yes, regular mayo.
How to fire-proof kebab skewers
Nothing puts a damper on a good grilling session like burning one of your wooden kebab skewers on the grill. Fortunately, Brown has a genius way to avoid singed skewers. Prevent fires and last-minute stress by keeping your skewers in a recycled water bottle full to the top with water. “That way the skewers will always be ready for grilling,” he shared on Instagram. “Just give the bottle a little squeeze and they'll pop right up.”
The RIGHT way to cook pasta
Prepare to have everything you knew about cooking pasta turned on its head. Instead of salting the water and bringing it to a boil before adding the pasta, Brown adds his dry pasta to salted cold water and then brings the whole thing to a boil. Together. One big cold, firm family. Gasp! Before you knock it, this topsy-turvy technique supposedly saves time, effort, and water.
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The key to “perfect” popcorn
Unlike some of his more complicated kitchen tips, neither beakers nor Bunsen burners are required to pull this one off. The key to Brown’s “perfect” popcorn is nothing more than a metal bowl. According to the food science whiz, a standard, six-quart metal bowl is "the perfect corn popper” because the shape of the bowl causes the "oil and unpopped kernels to pool at the bottom where the heat is the greatest, while popped kernels rise up the side away from the heat,” which prevents the popped kernels from burning. This technique only works on the stove—please do not put a metal bowl in the microwave!
The ultimate kitchen tool
One of our most popular stories of the year was about Brown’s $6 “must-have” kitchen tool. The host of Food Network's Good Eats: The Return is apparently a huge fan of a bench scraper to do everything from moving chopped veggies around a cooking board to scraping dough. “I use it as an extension of my hand,” he explained.