The BEST Episodes of America's Test Kitchen

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jul 6, 2019

In "America's Test Kitchen From Cook's Illustrated," a team of expert chefs continue to provide viewers with practical recipes and recommendations that they can use to save money, time and effort in the kitchen. With its uniquely scientific flavor, the show uses blind tasting judges, flash animations and laboratory procedures to answer a variety of kitchen questions. Putting everything from pasta and pasta pots, cheese and cheese graters, as well as host Chris Kimball to the test, this series offers surprises that often defy price points and move beyond fancy packaging and brand expectations.

Paella Party

#1 - Paella Party

Season 6 - Episode 17

A Spanish classic: saffron rice loaded with seafood, meat, and vegetables. Recipes: Sangria; Paella Equipment Corner: Paella Pans Tasting Lab: Olive Oil

star 10.00
1 votes
Two Curry Traditions

#2 - Two Curry Traditions

Season 6 - Episode 15

Rich, exotically spicy Indian curry and lighter, herbaceous Thai curry. Recipes: Indian Curry; Thai Green Curry with Chicken, Broccoli, and Mushrooms Tasting Lab: Coconut Milk

star 10.00
1 votes
Two Chocolate Cakes

#3 - Two Chocolate Cakes

Season 3 - Episode 25

One old-fashioned, moist and homely, the other elegant, dense and ethereal.

star 10.00
2 votes
Easy Apple Desserts

#4 - Easy Apple Desserts

Season 9 - Episode 6

With our no-frills approach to apple pie, you can convert this special-occasion dish to an everyday dessert. And our technique for making moist, rich applesauce cake produces a tender crumb with pronounced apple flavor. Recipes - Skillet Apple Pie - Ginger-Cardamom Applesauce Snack Cake - Applesauce Snack Cake with Oat-Nut Streusel - Applesauce Snack Cake Equipment Center - Drip Coffee Makers

star 10.00
1 votes
Flash in a Pan

#5 - Flash in a Pan

Season 5 - Episode 7

Dinner in less than 20 minutes is the holy grail of weeknight cooking. Many recipes make good on this promise, but most ultimately reflect the minimal effort exerted on the part of the cook. They are fine in a pinch but rarely worth making again. But it doesn't have to be this way. Recipes - Chicken Paillard - Pan-Seared Shrimp with Garlic Lemon Butter Equipment Corner - Cookware cleaning products Tasting Lab - Chicken cutlets

star 10.00
1 votes
Soups of the Day

#6 - Soups of the Day

Season 9 - Episode 8

Think it takes all day to make a flavorful soup? Think again. We set out to disprove this misconception with our intense, meaty-flavored beef and vegetable soup that’s on the table in under an hour. And if you’d like to take more time cooking, our classic Tuscan bean soup is a rustic stew worthy of the effort. Recipes - Beef and Vegetable Soup - Hearty Tuscan Bean Stew - Quick Hearty Tuscan Bean Stew - Vegetarian Hearty Tuscan Bean Stew - Hearty Tuscan Bean Stew with Sausage and Cabbage Tasting Lab - Beef Broth Science Desk - In Search of Glutamates - Brining Beans

star 10.00
1 votes
Pork on the Grill

#7 - Pork on the Grill

Season 9 - Episode 18

We found a sure-fire method to keep a grilled, stuffed pork loin moist without brining. And we paired the pork with a host of great sautéed spinach recipes. Recipes - Sautéed Spinach with Chickpeas and Sun-Dried Tomatoes - Sauteed Spinach with Almonds and Golden Raisins - Sauteed Spinach with Pecans and Feta - Sautéed Spinach with Leeks and Hazelnuts - Grilled Pork Loin with Apple-Cranberry Filling on a Charcoal Grill - Grilled Pork Loin with Apple-Cherry Filling with Caraway on a Gas Grill - Grilled Pork Loin with Apple-Cranberry Filling on a Gas Grill - Grilled Pork Loin with Apple-Cherry Filling with Caraway on a Charcoal Grill Tasting Lab - Artisanal Bacon

star 10.00
2 votes
How to Braise Everything

#8 - How to Braise Everything

Season 19 - Episode 15

Test cook Dan Souza and host Julia Collin Davison teach viewers how to make Braised Oxtails with White Beans, Tomatoes, and Aleppo Pepper. Then, equipment expert Adam Ried reveals his top pick for Dutch ovens, and test cook Becky Hays makes Bridget foolproof Fava Beans with Artichokes, Asparagus, and Peas.

star 10.00
1 votes
Easy Skillet Suppers

#9 - Easy Skillet Suppers

Season 8 - Episode 22

Easy Skillet Suppers Streamlined methods for Beef Stroganoff and Baked Ziti condense all the steps into one skillet—yes, even the noodles. Recipe: Skillet Baked Ziti, Skillet Beef Stroganoff Equipment: Can Openers Taste test: Supermarket Extra-Virgin Olive Oils

star 9.50
2 votes
Restaurant Cooking Comes Home

#10 - Restaurant Cooking Comes Home

Season 5 - Episode 9

Have you ever been tempted to prepare a restaurant recipe only to be disappointed with the results? The recipe sounded great, but once you got to work you realized it was never tested in a home kitchen. Recipes - Flambéed Pan-Roasted Lobster - Crab Towers with Avocado and Gazpacho Salsas

star 9.50
2 votes
Middle Eastern Dinner

#11 - Middle Eastern Dinner

Season 19 - Episode 18

In this episode, test cook Elle Simone and host Julia reveal the secrets to making foolproof Falafel at home. Tasting expert Jack Bishop challenges Bridget to a tasting of canned chickpeas, and test cook Becky Hays makes Bridget the ultimate Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup (Harira).

star 9.50
2 votes
Asian Chicken

#12 - Asian Chicken

Season 6 - Episode 16

Not-so-sweet versions of a Japanese classic and a Chinese take-out standby. Recipes: Chicken Teriyaki; Orange-Flavored Chicken Tasting Lab: Store-Bought Teriyaki Sauce

star 9.33
3 votes
Fish and Chips at Home

#13 - Fish and Chips at Home

Season 7 - Episode 8

The problem with English-style fish and chips is that you’ve got to hop a plane across the Atlantic to enjoy the dish. We wanted to be able to serve English-style fish and chips—large pieces of moist and delicate cod in a crisp and tender coating with thick-cut fries—at home. Most American restaurants that tackle England’s most popular fast food do so poorly—turning out a greasy mess of fish and potatoes. We aimed to create a home-cook friendly recipe for the real thing: large pieces of moist cod coated in a delicate, crisp batter and chips cut thick and served up crispy, with soft interiors. To start, we’d first need to tackle frying for the home cook. While most restaurants have dedicated frying workstations, deep-frying in a home kitchen is a different matter. Cramped space, spattering oil, and inappropriate equipment all conspire to take the fun out of the job. But it needn’t be an onerous task: With a bit of organization and some basic working knowledge, you’ll be turning out fish and chips that will rival those in England. Along the way, we’d also needed to figure out how to organize the process so that everything made it to the table at once—meaning that both fish and chips are served piping hot. Anything less just wouldn’t be acceptable. Recipes: Fish and Chips Tartar Sauce Tasting Lab: Mayonnaise Equipment Center: Candy Thermometers—Update High-End Deep Fryers

star 9.14
7 votes
Cookies

#14 - Cookies

Season 6 - Episode 24

Two cookies, one crisp and elegant; the other oversized and chewy. Recipes: Spritz Cookies; Chocolate-Chunk Oatmeal Cookies Equipment Corner: Cookie Presses Science Corner: Convection Ovens

star 9.00
1 votes
Barbecued Brisket and Corn Fritters

#15 - Barbecued Brisket and Corn Fritters

Season 7 - Episode 18

When you’re looking for a main course to serve a summertime crowd, or want to give a new twist to a summertime vegetable, we hope you’ll turn to these recipes. Summertime entertaining can often mean preparing food for groups larger than 6 to 8—school graduations, Fourth of July, the neighborhood block party—the list goes on. For those times, hamburgers just aren’t practical—unless the cook plans on standing at the grill until everyone is fed. Instead, think brisket. This hefty piece of meat (a full cut can weigh 13 pounds) turns smoky and tender on the grill and leftovers, if there are any, are terrific. Best of all, brisket doesn’t require constant attention, so the cook can enjoy the party too. Brisket isn’t without its challenges, however. On the grill, the meat can take about 12 hours to become fully tender. We wanted to find not only the best way to barbecue brisket, but a way do so more quickly. Summertime also calls for corn. And while we love corn on the cob, we also enjoy other preparations. Take corn fritters. These savory cakes are pan-fried and served hot. They make a terrific side dish or hors d’oeuvres, served as is, or sprinkled with hot sauce. Some recipes are short on corn flavor, but we wanted a recipe that brings the corn front and center. Recipes: Barbecued Beef Brisket For a Charcoal Grill Barbecued Beef Brisket for a Gas Grill Spicy Chili Rub Farmstand Corn Fritters Corn Fritters with Cheddar and Chives Out-Of-Season Corn Fritters Tasting Lab: Hot Sauces Equipment Center: Charcoal Grills—Update

star 9.00
3 votes
Beer Can Chicken Dinner

#16 - Beer Can Chicken Dinner

Season 7 - Episode 19

With our recipes for Beer Can Chicken and Pasta Salad with Pesto, we show you how sometimes the strangest-sounding methods are the most rewarding and how a few easy tricks can give an old standby new lift. Recipes: Grill-Roasted Beer Can Chicken for a Charcoal Grill Grill-Roasted Beer Can Chicken for a Gas Grill Pasta Salad with Pesto Equipment Center: Essential Grilling Gadgets

star 9.00
2 votes
Faster Family Favorites

#17 - Faster Family Favorites

Season 7 - Episode 6

With these quick recipes, you’ll be able to get dinner on the table in a reasonable amount of time—and they’ll taste good too. In theory, quick recipes sounds terrific—but we’ve found most streamlined recipes end up sacrificing flavor for speed and convenience. Take chicken pot pie. Most recipes for quick chicken pot pie are a far cry from the classic comfort food. The filling is not much more than leftover chicken stirred into canned cream of chicken soup and a paltry amount of vegetables—sometimes even canned. These versions are far from the comforting dinner that’s always been a family favorite. We aimed to do better. We wanted a really flavorful chicken stew topped with a biscuit crust, and, yes, we wanted it fast. Tamale pie, an already quick dish, has fallen victim to the dump-and-bake approach: combine a can of chili and a can of creamed corn; top with cornbread mix and bake. Tossing cans aside, we set out to make a fresh-tasting, quick tamale pie with a juicy, spicy mixture of meat and vegetables with a quick, homemade cornbread topping. Recipes: Skillet Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuit Topping Skillet Tamale Pie Tasting Lab: Bottled Italian Dressing

star 9.00
3 votes
Chicken Kiev

#18 - Chicken Kiev

Season 7 - Episode 9

The hallmark of great chicken Kiev is the rich butter filling that melts into a sauce inside the chicken bundles and contrasts perfectly with the crisp bread crumb crust. Popularized during the heyday of Manhattan’s now-shuttered Russian Tea Room, chicken Kiev became one of the restaurant’s premier offerings in the 1960s. The well-heeled were quite familiar with this elegant dish of pounded, breaded, and fried chicken breast stuffed with an herb butter that melted into a sauce. Although chicken Kiev’s Ukrainian roots remain unclear, its current fate is hardly in dispute: It has become a greasy bundle of poultry with a sandy, disconcertingly peelable exterior and a greasy, leaky center. Commonly found in banquet halls and at catered events, this once highbrow dish has become a self-parody. But after preparing several cookbook versions, we realized that pairing a crisp-fried coating with a delicately flavored butter sauce was a great idea that deserved a revival. A dish as special as chicken Kiev deserves a side dish with equal dazzle. We settled on broccoli and turned to pan-roasting, because it works well with many vegetables, imparting a toasty, caramelized flavor. Broccoli, however, can be fussy because the hardy stalks and delicate florets require different handling. We’d need to find a way to get around those issues. Recipes: Chicken Kiev Pan-Roasted Broccoli Pan-Roasted Broccoli with Lemon Browned Butter Pan-Roasted Broccoli with Spicy Southeast Asian Flavors Pan-Roasted Broccoli with Creamy Gruyêre Sauce Tasting Lab: Sandwich Bread Equipment Center: Cookbook Holders

star 9.00
2 votes
Even More Italian Classics

#19 - Even More Italian Classics

Season 7 - Episode 14

Just when we think we’ve become familiar with every Italian dish under the sun, we’re pleasantly surprised to come across a dish we’d somehow overlooked. Join us as we resurrect one Italian classic and streamline another. Take chicken francese. It’s true that this Italian-style chicken cutlet dish isn’t as well known as chicken parmigiana or chicken Marsala, but it’s no less delicious. Coated with a thin eggy crust, the cutlets are served in a light, lemony white wine sauce. With just a few simple elements, it’s hard to believe that such dish can go wrong, but versions we tried proved otherwise. In some recipes, the egg crust was unappetizingly thick and tough, or turned soggy once coated with the sauce. The sauces we tried weren’t much better. While we couldn’t detect lemon in some, others made us pucker, or the wine was too overpowering, giving the sauce an unpleasant boozy flavor. We aimed to conquer these issues and turn out a lemony cutlet dish that we’d want to incorporate into our Italian classics repertoire to make again and again. Another Italian classic, the rich tomato sauce marinara, is not a new discovery, but it’s one worth a second look in terms of simplifying. The hallmark of this sauce is a depth of flavor achieved by hours of cooking, but what if we didn’t have all day? After all, for the modern cook, an all-day marinara, just isn’t a reasonable option. We set out to create an authentic marinara with complex flavors without the hours of work involved. Recipes: Chicken Francese Chicken Francese with Tomato and Tarragon Marinara Sauce Tasting Lab: Sleuthing Canned Whole Tomatoes Equipment Center: Hand (Immersion) Blenders—Updated

star 9.00
2 votes
Meatloaf Dinner

#20 - Meatloaf Dinner

Season 7 - Episode 1

Meat loaf is as synonymous with good old-fashioned American cooking as apple pie. While some may prefer meat loaf made with meat loaf mix, a combination of beef, pork, and veal, there’s something to be said for an all-beef loaf. An all-beef loaf can have terrific meaty flavor and it’s convenient to boot, especially when you can’t find meat loaf mix, or just don’t want to fuss with buying three kinds of meat. However, a meat loaf made with all beef does require some special handling so that it doesn’t taste like a dry, loaf-shaped hamburger. We set out to make a loaf with well-seasoned meat and just enough binder to give the loaf a tender, not tough, texture. In choosing a side dish to partner with our meat loaf, we turned to another old-fashioned dish—skillet-roasted potatoes. Skillet-roasted potatoes are cooked on the stovetop, thus allowing the cook to free up the oven for the main course. We wanted potatoes that are creamy on the inside and crusty on the outside. Some skillet-roasted potatoes can be soggy and greasy—a pitfall we’d need to avoid in developing our recipe. Recipes: Glazed Meat Loaf or All Beef Meatloaf Skillet-Roasted Potatoes Skillet-Roasted Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary Skillet-Roasted Potatoes with Lemon and Chives Spicy Skillet-Roasted Potatoes with Chili and Cumin Tasting Lab: Ground Beef Equipment Center: The Tong Show—Kitchen Tongs Science Desk: How Gelatin Mimics Veal

star 9.00
2 votes
Rainy Day Barbecue

#21 - Rainy Day Barbecue

Season 7 - Episode 20

If you’re a fan of barbecue but never thought it could be replicated indoors, our menu should change your mind. For many of us, it doesn’t seem fair that we can only enjoy barbecue during the short summer months. What about year-round cravings? Take barbecued ribs. If it’s February and a hankering for ribs strikes, does that mean a trip to a local barbecue joint or could we find the answer in our home kitchen? We wanted to develop a recipe for oven-barbecued ribs, so even in the darkest, coldest winter months, we could satisfy our barbecue urges. And these ribs would need to stand up to their outdoor counterparts: tender, fall-off-the-bone meat infused with smoky flavor. Rich, meaty ribs are best enjoyed with a side of tangy coleslaw—specifically buttermilk coleslaw. But while buttermilk provides a trademark tang, it can also make a dressing so thin that it sinks to the bottom of the bowl instead of clinging to the shreds of cabbage. Cabbage poses its own challenges too. We wanted even shreds that were easy to fork and toss with the dressing. And, we wanted crisp cabbage that won’t leach moisture into our dressing, diluting its flavor and turning our coleslaw bland. Recipes: Oven-Barbecued Spareribs Quick Barbecue Sauce Creamy Buttermilk Coleslaw Buttermilk Coleslaw with Green Onions and Cilantro Creamy Buttermilk Coleslaw with Lemon and Herbs Tasting Lab: Is There a New King of Ketchup?

star 9.00
1 votes
Favorite Slow Cooker Classics

#22 - Favorite Slow Cooker Classics

Season 8 - Episode 26

Most of us think of the slow cooker as a kitchen workhorse best reserved for weeknight simple stews, hearty soups, and the like. But what about pulling the slow cooker out for entertaining? Recipe: Beef Burgundy, Beer-Braised Short Ribs Equipment: Slow Cookers

star 9.00
1 votes
Holiday Beef Tenderloin Dinner

#23 - Holiday Beef Tenderloin Dinner

Season 8 - Episode 9

Holiday Beef Tenderloin Dinner Add a rich stuffing to beef tenderloin, and you’ve got the ultimate main course, at least in theory. But making a tenderloin through can be a challenge—this is an expensive piece of meat, so you don’t want to risk overcooking it. We also wanted mashed potatoes so rich and decadent, not a drop of gravy would be necessary to enjoy them. Recipe: Roast Beef Tenderloin with Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Stuffing, Creamy Mashed Potatoes Equipment: Electric Knife Sharpeners

star 9.00
1 votes
Kansas City BBQ

#24 - Kansas City BBQ

Season 8 - Episode 5

It’s hard to choose a best-loved style of ribs, but we’d be willing to bet that smoky, sweet Kansas City ribs are a top contender. These meaty ribs are slow-smoked for their trademark flavor—and in traditional recipes they truly do take all day to cook. We wondered if there was a faster way. Recipe: Kansas City Sticky Ribs on a Charcoal Grill, Smoky Kansas City BBQ Beans Equipment: Barbecue Thermometers Taste test: Pickles

star 9.00
2 votes
Steak Frites

#25 - Steak Frites

Season 2 - Episode 7

The test kitchen explores how to properly sear a steak, make a flavorful pan sauce, and fry up hot, crispy french fries.

star 9.00
10 votes