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Cookwise: The Hows and Whys of Cooking Revealed with 235 Great-tasting Recipes [Hardcover]

Shirley Corriher
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
Price: 20.86 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Cookwise: The Hows and Whys of Cooking Revealed with 235 Great-tasting Recipes + Bakewise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking with Over 200 Magnificent Recipes
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 476 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (26 Jun 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688102298
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688102296
  • Product Dimensions: 26.3 x 20.9 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 392,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

Shows aspiring cooks how to get consistent results every time and provides tried and true recipes that demonstrate not only how to cook but why doing things in a certain way ensures great results.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I suspect there may be interesting food science in this book (as suggested by a reviewer), but I am disappointed that the author did not test her recipes. I can comment on only one recipe, the first and last I tried. I may never try another. Does 2&1/4 t. of salt in 14 muffins sound suspicious? 1/4t worked nicely. Vanilla in the instructions, but not in the ingredient list left me guessing. 450 deg. sound high? I removed them 5 minutes earlier than the minimum time and they were burned to inedibility on the bottom. 14 muffins she says? More like 21. A good scientist encourages replication. Let us hope the next edition shows the benefit of recipe-testing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tools for the experimental cook 1 Dec 1997
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is an excellent cookbook for the experimental cook. If you open up three or four cookbooks to gauge the similarities between different recipes for the same dish, get a few ideas, and then use them to make up a version of your own, this is the book for you.
Have you ever wondered which were important steps in a recipe, and which were OK to change? Have you wondered why you can't get consistent results from some ingredients, and wished you knew exactly what was happening so that you could compensate? Shirley Corriher explains chemically and mechanically what is happening to the ingredients at each point in preparation and cooking and gives you the benefit of hundreds of controlled kitchen experiments that it would take years (and endless patience) to duplicate for yourself. This book provides the tools to launch off into your own creations even in the previously mysterious realms of breads and sauces.
The recipes are good, but more importantly, they illustrate a particular reaction or effect, and give you the tools to customize them for yourself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great info for interested cooks! 4 Sep 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I heard the last portion of Shirley's interview on NPR and was impressed by how easily she described the science of bread making. Being an avid breadmaker, I dashed out and bought the book. After reading Cookwise I felt far more confident adding my own flare to recipes. I learned how much adjustment I can make without throwing the balance of the ingredients. Every cook needs to know the reasons why recipes succeed or fail and this book has it. On a critical note, this book isn't a reliable source for recipes. Many of them didn't work for me, and further, Cookwise isn't organized as a cookbook, anyway. If you want fabulous recipes and a comprehensive index, try Joy of Cooking.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is not just another cookbook...... 25 July 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is not just another cookbook.......it's a book that discusses food properties and the hows and whys of successful cooking. It tells you why certain ingredients are used in recipes, why they work the way they do and why other ingredients may not work as well.
It's exciting to read a cookbook that actually explains to you why recipes work rather than just telling you "How Good It Tastes"! I recommend it wholeheartedly. It's not a cheap book, but if you're serious about cooking, it's well worth the money.
FatBoys ought to know, JDWilli
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great concept but some baking recipes don't work 28 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Being an avid baker/engineer type, I was excited to get this book, but when I began to make some of the recipes, I was appalled at the mistakes Ms. Corriher makes--for instance, in the basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, the amount of salt she calls for ruined the cookies, and they were not at all sweet enough. Another disaster was the pie crust recipe, which turned out tough and hard. I followed her recipes exactly. However, I really enjoyed the whys and how-to's she presented--but will follow someone else's recipe next time!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
An excellent addition to any cooking library, this book was written for cooks who not only enjoy cooking, but also strive for perfection. Have you ever had a great recipe that could be improved if only you could add just the right ingredient or change the cooking process to achieve the desired effect? CookWise will not just tell you how, but it will also explain why. With its abundance of recipes and clear explanations, you will want to make room on your bookshelf next to your favorite cookbooks for this soon-to-be Classic reference. Shirley Corriher has written the "engineering manual" for the art of cooking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much of a recipe book for me 26 Jan 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking is one of my favorite books in the kitchen, so when I heard the NPR interview of Shirley O. Corriher, I was deeply excited about her new book. Alas, I didn't find the book nearly as interesting as she was on the radio. I guess it's just too much like a recipe book (of recipes I'm not particularly interested in) for me. Oh well. I'll still look forward to her next book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I was looking forward to reading Shirley Corriher's Cookwise, but I have found her book to be very disappointing. The book's organization is very strange--it may make sense from a biochemical standpoint, but not from a cooking standpoint. For example, while having a chapter on fats may make sense chemically, having information on pastry doughs, deep frying, and sauteeting all in the same chapter makes no sense for the home cook. Admittedly, Corriher does provide a conventional index for her recipes, but the organization of the book is so confusing that I find it takes me far longer than it should to look up information. While I do think that she gives some useful factual information, the recipes she provides are less than helpful. Corriher has tried so hard to make recipes that are foolproof that she loses sight of what the typical cook has in the pantry. As a frequent breadmaker, I found her approach to breadmaking especially strange in this regard. I have never before seen a bread recipe which calls for Vitamin C tablets, and while I have no doubt that the recipe works, I doubt that many of us have it available in the kitchen. It would be far easier for me to try to make bread without Vitamin C and crushed ice and risk a failure (which is rare in basic breadmaking) rather than go to the trouble that Corriher goes to. In fact, very few of the recipes are feasible unless you have duplicated Corriher's pantry--a bread recipe which calls for four different flours plus flax seeds (?!) may work well, but is not helpful for the cook who wants to make bread NOW and is lax enough to only have two types of flour on hand. On the whole, I would much rather be reading Harold McGee's The Curious Cook or Anne Willan's La Varenne Practique.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book
Shirley knows her stuff alright. This and bakewise are essential cookery books as even Khymos agrees. She must of spent her whole life perfecting these recipes what a legend. Read more
Published on 23 Feb 2012 by DanV3185
5.0 out of 5 stars a great companion to the home chef
it is truly one of the best reference tools for the home chef. the recipes are nice and it is a remarkable tool for writing your own recipes.
Published on 4 July 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars The Science of food!
If you're interested in the particulars of food, from bread to eggs to chocolate, this is the book for you. Read more
Published on 29 Jun 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Brings cooking down to a science. Builds confidence.
I am an avid cook and I loved this book. I actually read it like a cooking magazine instead of just using the recipes. Every recipe I have tried has been fabulous.
Published on 26 May 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars The science is the secret -- and that secret is revealed!!
This "cookbook" is really more like a chemistry book. It teaches you what is going on when you cook. With this new understanding, ALL my recipes are better. Read more
Published on 7 May 1999
3.0 out of 5 stars A good "How and Why" book, but poorly organized
I LOVE cooking, and with lots of reading, TV shows, many hours spent in restaurant dining rooms, at-home experimentation and mistakes I've fallen even more deeply in love with... Read more
Published on 29 April 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Liscense for Cooking Freedom!
This is the one book that gave me the understanding to be able to cook what I want with the items I have, and have them turn out great every time! Read more
Published on 20 Mar 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Paydirt!!!!!
As an avid cook, food lover and cookbook collector, I've always been frustrated by my lack ability to bake great bread from scratch, as well as the lack of competent cookbooks... Read more
Published on 9 Dec 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars shirley's book is a curious cook's dream.
Shirley Corriher's Cookwise is a wonderful gift to cooks who want to know "why". Going through the basics of fine cooking is one thing. Why it happens is another. Read more
Published on 9 Dec 1998
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