Customer Review

98 of 114 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately you'll have to second-guess Heston, 17 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Heston Blumenthal at Home (Hardcover)
This book is high quality. Nicely bound, nice finish, nice size. Hefty, in fact. A value. Pricing was very reasonable and shipping fast (and free!) to Sweden.

Heston has much to share and you cannot help but bring your game up a notch following his techniques.

However, you must have some knowledge going in, or you may disappoint. Take, for example, his roast chicken. The techniques (brine, slow/low roasting and finishing) are excellent. The details, well, perhaps missing or even inaccurate.

If you cook a chicken in a low oven and remove when the internal temperature reaches 60C, you will be serving pink, bloody meat. There will not be enough temp 'bounce' during resting to ensure a finished bird (because of the low/slow cooking method and the reduced deltaT between internal temp and the highest temp of the bird - a reduced thermal inertia, if you will. I even took it to 62C in anticipation, knowing I would need to reach nearly 66C for the bird to be just done). After resting, there will not be any internal temp rise during the last, finishing step of browning the bird at 240C for up to 10 minutes.

I haven't read the entire book in detail to discover any other caveats (I happened to fancy a roast chicken last night, Sunday evening. Good thing I had enough chicken I browned in the roasting pan for my sauce. I was not able to serve anything except the majority of the breast, my family's least favourite part. The rest was too pink/under-cooked. Now, I suspected this would be the case but I wanted to faithfully try Heston's approach. I utilized an accurate oven thermometer and a digital probe, which I have calibrated for accuracy.)

When I cook chicken sous vide I usually take it to about 64, and still find some people prefer it done a bit more, though to me it is perfect there. Is Heston wrong on this one? Possibly. I would at least suggest he add some more information to the recipe, enabling the reader to better manage his or her expectations... especially when it comes to bloody chicken bones.

So, overall, an excellent addition to your collection, but be careful.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Oct 2011 06:13:20 BDT
Jackal says:
There are many strange things in the book. Like page infusing gin with spices by putting it to boil (p 382). Surely that would remove most of the alcohol.

Posted on 6 Jan 2012 15:57:08 GMT
M. Atkinson says:
Actually, you have to boil for a good few hours to remove the majority of the alcohol. Even when you flambe something, more alcohol remains than is burned off!

Posted on 26 Jan 2012 12:25:16 GMT
Having just watched his TV show in which he was roasting a chicken I thought I'd take a look at the book.

He voiced a warning to say that although he prefers it cooked to 60C, guidelines say it must be cooked to 75C.

Posted on 2 Feb 2012 18:53:22 GMT
P. Wells says:
Well it worked for me - using his times and temperatures. Best roast chicken I have ever cooked!

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Feb 2012 15:52:21 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Feb 2012 15:53:06 GMT
Paul R. says:
Yes I would have to agree, obviously cooking at such a low temperature means cooking for long periods, 4 hours in this case, but the results have been perfect every time.
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