Tuesday, April 10, 2007

America's Test Kitchen

For those of us who both like to cook and like to believe there is a best way to do everything, the show America's Test Kitchen is great. Every week, they report on items like the best way to cook blueberry muffins or chicken noodle soup, or the best measuring spoons or the best brand of refried beans. Yes, it's geeky, and I'm sure the idea of devoting time to finding the best method for basting a chicken sounds terribly silly to most. I know finding the best way to brush your teeth or fold a towel isn't as important as finding the best way to build a bridge or educate children or extricate ourselves from Iraq. However, I think that if we as a society devoted more time to quality in all things no matter how trivial we might not be mired in the cavalcade of mediocrity that is American Idol, Wal-mart, NASCAR, and our last three presidents.

Wow, how did I rant myself into that corner? Back to the show. This week on ATK, they covered barbecue. Well, sort of. The results were less than appetizing to this Memphis boy, but I think they found the best way to cook ribs in the oven. I have absolutely no idea why anyone would ever want to do this. Although, the method was kind of interesting. They used tea leaves on the bottom of a sheet pan to generate smoke, put the ribs on a rack and wrapped it all in foil. It sure as hell beats the guy on Cookin' in Brooklyn who (no lie) boiled the ribs first. Shudder. And though it's not what I'm aiming for with The Sauce, they also made a 20-minute BBQ sauce of primarily ketchup, mustard and molasses that looked like it might have been good.

The point of all of this rambling is that I'm going to spend some time cooking BBQ sauce recipes other than my own. I'm starting here with the ATK sauce, and then I'll work my way through some of that book I bought not too long ago. Results to follow.


Shannon said...

boiled? ketchup? this nation needs some savin'.

NoBreadNoLife said...

ATK is great. I'm still a big Alan Harding fan, but boiled ribs is pushing it just a tad too far. I'll be really interested to follow your exploits with other sauces, keep up the good work.