Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food (Google eBook)

Front Cover
"O'Reilly Media, Inc.", Jul 20, 2010 - Cooking - 432 pages
27 Reviews

Are you the innovative type, the cook who marches to a different drummer -- used to expressing your creativity instead of just following recipes? Are you interested in the science behind what happens to food while it's cooking? Do you want to learn what makes a recipe work so you can improvise and create your own unique dish?

More than just a cookbook, Cooking for Geeks applies your curiosity to discovery, inspiration, and invention in the kitchen. Why is medium-rare steak so popular? Why do we bake some things at 350° F/175° C and others at 375° F/190° C? And how quickly does a pizza cook if we overclock an oven to 1,000° F/540° C? Author and cooking geek Jeff Potter provides the answers and offers a unique take on recipes -- from the sweet (a "mean" chocolate chip cookie) to the savory (duck confit sugo).

This book is an excellent and intriguing resource for anyone who wants to experiment with cooking, even if you don't consider yourself a geek.

  • Initialize your kitchen and calibrate your tools
  • Learn about the important reactions in cooking, such as protein denaturation, Maillard reactions, and caramelization, and how they impact the foods we cook
  • Play with your food using hydrocolloids and sous vide cooking
  • Gain firsthand insights from interviews with researchers, food scientists, knife experts, chefs, writers, and more, including author Harold McGee, TV personality Adam Savage, chemist Hervé This, and xkcd

"My own session with the book made me feel a lot more confident in my cooking."

--Monica Racic,The New Yorker

"I LOVE this book. It's inspiring, invigorating, and damned fun to spend time inside the mind of 'big picture' cooking. I'm Hungry!"

--Adam Savage, co-host of Discovery Channel's MythBusters

"In his enchanting, funny, and informative book, Cooking for Geeks (O'Reilly), Jeff Potter tells us why things work in the kitchen and why they don't."

-- Barbara Hanson, NewYork Daily News


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Well written; fun and educational. - Goodreads
The tips and tricks it teaches are useful for everyone. - Goodreads
As a geek, I loved Jeff's analogy: Recipes are code. - Goodreads
This is not a cookbook as there are very few recipes. - Goodreads
Recipes may have bugs or need corrections. - Goodreads
Often there are two recipes to compare and contrast. - Goodreads

Review: Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food

User Review  - Jessica - Goodreads

I've been looking for a non-mix hot chocolate recipe for awhile! I also LOVED the fact that this book is great mix of scientific information, cookware, kitchen design layout---and just a lot of ... Read full review

Review: Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food

User Review  - Daniel Aarno - Goodreads

Well written; fun and educational. This truly is cooking for geeks - the book explains things so that (even) a geek can understand it. Personally I found a that a too large part of the book was about ... Read full review


Hello Kitchen
Initializing the Kitchen
Choosing Your Inputs
Time and Temperature
Air Bakings Key Variable
Playing with Chemicals
Fun with Hardware
Cooking Around Allergies

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

Jeff Potter has done the cubicle thing, the startup thing, and the entrepreneur thing, and through it all maintained his sanity by cooking for friends. He studied computer science and visual art at Brown University.

Bibliographic information