Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

New York Times BestsellerA visionary new master class in cooking that distills decades of professional experience into just four simple elements, from the woman declared “America’s next great cooking teacher” by Alice Waters.In the tradition of The Joy of Cooking and How to Cook Everything comes Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, an ambitious new approach to cooking by a major new cul...

Title:Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1476753830
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:480 pages

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking Reviews

  • Sarah
    Dec 14, 2016

    What a great idea for a cookbook! I feel like this should be required reading for anyone even marginally interested in cooking. For one thing, it's fascinating, and very well written. But perhaps more importantly, Ms. Nosrat provides a non-intimidating guide to correcting the mistakes (over- or under-seasoning, not knowing which ingredients pair well together, not knowing how to cook a cut of meat, etc.) that scare folks out of the kitchen. Genius! The number one comment I hear when I talk about

    What a great idea for a cookbook! I feel like this should be required reading for anyone even marginally interested in cooking. For one thing, it's fascinating, and very well written. But perhaps more importantly, Ms. Nosrat provides a non-intimidating guide to correcting the mistakes (over- or under-seasoning, not knowing which ingredients pair well together, not knowing how to cook a cut of meat, etc.) that scare folks out of the kitchen. Genius! The number one comment I hear when I talk about tackling a challenging recipe: "I couldn't do that." Or, "I wouldn't dare try that." That makes me so sad, because cooking is definitely a skill perfected with trial and error. Here, Ms. Nosrat equips the reader with information that takes some of the guesswork out of the trial and error part of cooking. It's just wonderful.

    I received a review copy of this cookbook from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  • Chessa
    Apr 04, 2017

    Full review at

    I love a good cookbook, but Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat goes beyond the normal boundaries of the genre. I would almost say that this book is like the kosher salt in your kitchen - it's going to enhance alllll the other recipes and cookbooks in your life. Personally, I have more confidence in my cooking than before reading this book, AND my food is more delicious. I couldn't' really ask for anything more!

  • Morgane
    May 27, 2017

    What a pleasure to read!

    The first half of the book explains the four elements (salt, fat, acid, heat); the second half has recipe suggestions based off those elements. Overall the whole book is designed to encourage you to experiment. There are small sections where Nosrat breaks down different combinations of foods: what to do if you have avocados and tomatoes, or if you really want to cook with sesame oil, or if it's summertime and you want to grill something. At no point does it feel like you

    What a pleasure to read!

    The first half of the book explains the four elements (salt, fat, acid, heat); the second half has recipe suggestions based off those elements. Overall the whole book is designed to encourage you to experiment. There are small sections where Nosrat breaks down different combinations of foods: what to do if you have avocados and tomatoes, or if you really want to cook with sesame oil, or if it's summertime and you want to grill something. At no point does it feel like you need to have an elaborate kitchen and a full pantry. You can make a good meal out of just a few simple things!

    People who cook often will be comfortable with this approach, but even people who rarely cook can enjoy this book. Nosrat offers simple techniques and lots of illustrations, so you don't need to know anything about cooking to get started.

  • Jessica
    May 18, 2017

    This is a unique cookbook in that only about half of the book is recipes. The first half talks about the four main elements of cooking - Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat. Each chapter explains that element and how it affects cooking. She also includes "test" recipes to test out each element and using that element when cooking. The second half of the book is full of recipes and then at the very end she creates some sample menus based on the recipes given. This is more like cooking school in book form. M

    This is a unique cookbook in that only about half of the book is recipes. The first half talks about the four main elements of cooking - Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat. Each chapter explains that element and how it affects cooking. She also includes "test" recipes to test out each element and using that element when cooking. The second half of the book is full of recipes and then at the very end she creates some sample menus based on the recipes given. This is more like cooking school in book form. Michael Pollan writes the forward and I remember Samin being featured in his book

    when she teaches Pollan how to cook better. Overall, a very thorough and educational book about cooking. This is one you could refer back to time and again and learn something new each time.

  • Cindy
    Jun 01, 2017

    This review is based on the reading of the book and not on the testing of recipes.

    I read the first part and skimmed the rest.

    What I got from the beginning, this seems like a great book for learning how to cook. It's not just a recipe book. The first half of the book is dedicated to the four elements in the title and how they work and why they are important. They other section I really appreciate is the images (illustrations really) of cut up veggies. Great for someone like me who doesn't know

    This review is based on the reading of the book and not on the testing of recipes.

    I read the first part and skimmed the rest.

    What I got from the beginning, this seems like a great book for learning how to cook. It's not just a recipe book. The first half of the book is dedicated to the four elements in the title and how they work and why they are important. They other section I really appreciate is the images (illustrations really) of cut up veggies. Great for someone like me who doesn't know the size differences of chop and dice. The last part is recipes. No picture here, which is generally a requirement for me to get a cookbook.

    I'll definitely be coming back to this book when I have more to to try the methods within.

  • Cynthia
    Jun 07, 2017

    I bought this after seeing her at an author talk. She's INCREDIBLY fun and lively and the book is wonderfully illustrated. She brings a lot of cooking experience, humor, and scientific knowledge to her explanation of how an understanding of the four basics of salt, fat, acid and heat can enable you to cook pretty much anything in the kitchen.

    Perversely, what I found was that this book actually made me feel more intimidated about cooking, not less, despite her funny stories about real-life kitche

    I bought this after seeing her at an author talk. She's INCREDIBLY fun and lively and the book is wonderfully illustrated. She brings a lot of cooking experience, humor, and scientific knowledge to her explanation of how an understanding of the four basics of salt, fat, acid and heat can enable you to cook pretty much anything in the kitchen.

    Perversely, what I found was that this book actually made me feel more intimidated about cooking, not less, despite her funny stories about real-life kitchen mistakes and her reminders that, e.g., it's just stew, if it doesn't work this time you can try it again. I got her basic message that you need to understand the four tools and then you can improvise. But there was a sort of subtext about "I made this polenta following the recipe at Chez Panisse and the gifted professional chef tasted it and made an adjustment I never would have expected, and as a result the dish went from bland to fantastic." I cook a lot and am basically happy if everything looks nice and is basically tasty. After reading this, I started to feel like every dish in a meal has to be ... perfected, and at a higher level of flavor than I am probably currently achieving. So ... a good cookbook, maybe best of all for a younger cook who can absorb the information without having a crisis of confidence. Lively, funny, informative but ... ultimately not the best cookbook, for me, that I've read this year. The recipes that make up the second half of the book are fine and appealing but, again, nothing that made me flag the page and think, "Wow, can't wait to try this one!"

  • Lisa
    Jun 11, 2017

    Not your usual cookbook! Chef Samin Nosrat is less focused on recipes than explaining the building blocks of good cooking - the titular salt, fat, acid, and heat. She provides clear explanations, and helpful 'flavor maps' that will let you figure out which salt, fat, and acid are most likely to be appropriate for a given regional cuisine. I also loved the illustrations, and the irreverence. (Anyone who includes 'rations for the apocalypse' in their when to salt chart has a great sense of humor.)

  • Melissa
    Jun 11, 2017

    Part "this is why we cook food the way we do" guide, part cookbook. 100% delightful. Nosrat's writing style and tone are easy to understand and completely not-intimidating. While reading this I was inspired to try some changes in the way I cook based on her advice in each chapter - it seemed to work and make me more inventive. Along the way, Wendy MacNaughton's delightful artwork helped illustrate ideas with charts and graphs as well as providing some humor and whimsy. A must-have for home cooks

    Part "this is why we cook food the way we do" guide, part cookbook. 100% delightful. Nosrat's writing style and tone are easy to understand and completely not-intimidating. While reading this I was inspired to try some changes in the way I cook based on her advice in each chapter - it seemed to work and make me more inventive. Along the way, Wendy MacNaughton's delightful artwork helped illustrate ideas with charts and graphs as well as providing some humor and whimsy. A must-have for home cooks!

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