A tour of America's test kitchen (2023)

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Tara BellucciDirector of News and Culture

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updated June 15, 2019

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A tour of America's test kitchen (1)

Name:america test kitchen
Ort:Brookline, MA
Size:2,500 square meters

If you didn't know it was there, you'd never assume that an authority on recipe testing and development is housed in a plain brick building surrounded by condos and cafes. Like its popular magazines, America's Test Kitchen doesn't look flashy, but inside it is seething with energy and experience. I went behind the camera to see what a typical day looks like in the culinary nerve center responsible for two TV shows, two magazines, a handful of websites, and countless cookbooks.

It's fitting that you enter America's Test Kitchen in the library. With over 3,000 cookbooks available, each final recipe begins. Julia Collin Davidson, executive food editor for the cookbook division and a familiar face to viewers of America's Test Kitchen Live, descends the spiral staircase from the office level to show me around. And like every test chef, we started with the books.

Every recipe for Cook's Illustrated, Cook's Country, cookbooks and TV shows starts with research. That includes the library here in the tasting kitchen, as well as online and trips to restaurants and bakeries. The chef selects 5 different recipes to test and try side by side. Editors and chefs weigh the differences between each approach and what they want to achieve, and at the end of the process, the framework for the new recipe is defined. It can take weeks to perfect the final version, and snippets of each level can be seen in America's Test Kitchen any day.

I arrive straight after shopping and watch the interns quickly dismantle the piles of groceries and, after checking the order list on their clipboards, transport them to each chef's drying and cooling rooms. A photo session is taking place in the small kitchen (if you can call a kitchen with 8 ovens a small wall). Test chefs return from a meeting, and soon the sizzling of oil and the rhythmic clicking of knives fill the air. Everyone works alone on recipes for Cook's Illustrated, Cook's Country, book team, or photo team (ready recipes are prepared for shooting). That is, until there is a tasting.

In a corner of the kitchen, the book's team tests variables for beans: mainly the difference salt makes in soaking water. Not sure how they decided, but the two black bean dishes were creamy, and the salty seasoning of the chorizo ​​definitely had me devouring my servings.

On the other hand, chefs juxtapose sautéed Brussels sprouts. The battle between shredded and halved has, for me, an undisputed winner, but in America's Test Kitchen everything is up for a vote.

In a space that advertises the scientific approach to cooking, it's surprising that it also feels a little magical. It certainly seems to require a bit of the supernatural to keep everything going. Chef Erin McMurrer assures me that everything is in the organization.

Preparing and tasting Brussels sprouts in two ways. Prior to publication, Cook's Illustrated recipes are tested an average of 65 times by test chefs and then by 150 readers.

7 Questions for Executive Chef Erin McMurrer

What do you like most about the test kitchen?
We have everything at hand. There are over 300 tools we've tested, so we've got the best of the best, from small gadgets to big ones. If you've ever worked in a restaurant kitchen, it's naked, you work together, relax with this or that. Here we have enough for everyone and we can do our work better.

What is most used?
We have 33 ovens in the kitchen, 53 burners and 3 microwaves and they are in action. For small appliances such as mixers, food processors and blenders.

What would you change in the kitchen?
Our biggest challenge is space. With so many people working here, the number of ingredients coming in, and the amount of device testing we do, space is always at a premium. storage space, special. We need to have duplicates of everything, part for photo shoots and the rest for general use. A room just for photo equipment would be great. And a private barbecue area. We currently grill in the back alley so we have to get the grills in and out and that's a lot of wear and tear on them. We grill year-round, so even if the weather is bad, someone still needs to grill outside. A protected area with covered storage for equipment would be ideal.

I spoke to some of the test chefs and interns, and each one is working on something different! Approximately how many recipes are developed and tested in a day?
We have about 40 test chefs and interns working in the kitchen, and each one works on a recipe or two for Cook's Illustrated, Cook's Country, Book Team or Photo Team. It can be between 40 and 60 recipes every day.

Is the work in the test kitchen more of a restaurant kitchen or an eat-in kitchen?
Oh, definitely home cooking. Everything we do, we're about to cook at home. There were considerations when designing the kitchen, as it is also a TV studio and photo studio, but each station has its own mini-kitchen with a stove, oven, worktop and sink nearby. So that's 8 pantries in our big kitchen.

They do a lot of device testing. What is the process for this?
It starts with a category. If we test sauce pots, is it 4 liters or 2.5 liters? Everything has to be available nationwide, so Lisa [McManus, editor in chief of Device Reviews] and her team narrow it down and order it. Then as many tests as reasonable are performed. When it comes to pots and pans they fall over, oven mitts catch fire, rice cookers run too long. And whatever you make, we store and use it right here in the test kitchen. This way, we can monitor how they are behaving over the long term, and if there are any issues, we can run the test again.

Do you love something special right now?
I just participated in the vegetable peeler device test. I loved our former winner, theknife master, but theHuller Kuhn Rikon YIt's amazing. Carbon steel blade, under $5. I've used it non-stop.

Check out three more cooking tips from Erin: 3 Space Saving Lessons for Home Cooks From America's Test Kitchen

America's Test Kitchen, by the numbers:

• Ovens: 33 (Fisher & Paykel DCS)
• Brenner: 53
• Microwave: 3
• Faucets and sinks: 8 (Kohler)
• Refrigerators: 20
• Freezers: 10
• Dishwasher: 2nd
• Entry: 1
• Grills: 15 (mixture of gas and charcoal)
• Cabinets and drawers: 500
• Cookbooks: 3,000

• Grocery bill: $523,000
• Flour: 2,400 pounds
• Sugar: 1,900 pounds
• Garlic: 240 pounds
• Bacon: 480 pounds
• Soap: 60 gallons

• People working in the kitchen: 40
• Meat: 50 pounds
• Chicken: 100 pounds
• Milk: 10 gallons
• Eggs: 15 dozen

More on America's Test Kitchen:
america test kitchen
Amerikas Test Kitchen Feed

Ready to Melt: How to Make American Cheese
Recipe Overview: The Cook's Illustrated Vodka Pie Crust
Questions for Kimball: How do I cut a chef's illustrated recipe?




America's Test Kitchen library houses over 3,000 books. (image credit:apartment therapy)


How do I get past America's Test Kitchen recipes for free? ›

Simply sign up with your email as a free registrant. This will allow you to see the recipes and reviews from season 22 of America's Test Kitchen and season 14 of Cook's Country. You can also get a two-week free trial membership for instant access to everything across our sites.

What happens to all the food on America's Test Kitchen? ›

We've been composting since February 2019. Leftover food gets put in this community refrigerator and scooped up by hungry employees. This system ensures food gets tracked and recirculated, when possible. So you know which products are worth your money (and we know which ones to stock in the Test Kitchen).

Why is Chris no longer on America's Test Kitchen? ›

After a 2015 contract dispute, he left the company and launched Milk Street Kitchen, which was later retitled Christopher Kimball's Milk Street.

How much do the chefs on America's Test Kitchen make? ›

The typical salary for a test cook at America's Test Kitchen ranges from $43,781 to $53,000 per year, according to Glassdoor.com, which provides information about companies.

Do America's test kitchen testers get paid? ›

Average America's Test Kitchen Kitchen Team Member hourly pay in the United States is approximately $12.50, which meets the national average.

Is America's test kitchen app free? ›

Sample selected content without an account or try out the entire app with a free trial. - Unlimited access to the ATK app requires a monthly or annual Digital All-Access membership, which also includes all the content across the America's Test Kitchen, Cook's Illustrated, and Cook's Country sites.

How much does it cost to belong to America's Test Kitchen? ›

Standard Membership, $39.95 per year – Benefits include the ability to access recipes, reviews, and videos on a single website of your choice (Cook's Illustrated, America's Test Kitchen, OR Cook's Country).

Why is the test kitchen closing? ›

In a media statement on Thursday, Chef proprietor, Luke Dale Roberts said that the current global uncertainty around COVID has become difficult to sustain a restaurant of its kind and maintain everything that he believes in.

How does America's Test Kitchen make money? ›

Your financial support of your local public television station helps to allow your local station to carry the America's Test Kitchen series and other programming. However, the direct production costs for the series (filming, editing, and distribution to your local television station) are covered by our sponsors.

What happened to the main guy on America's Test kitchen? ›

In 2015, when he left the America's Test Kitchen TV shows, his association with the radio program also ended. He began hosting a new weekly radio cooking show in 2016, Milk Street Radio, also heard on WGBH-FM in Boston, airing Sundays at 3 p.m., and syndicated to other US public radio stations.

What's the difference between Cook's Country and America's Test kitchen? ›

A frequent question is the difference between the two shows. “America's Test Kitchen” sets out to create recipes that work, while the homier “Cook's Country” looks at history as told through food, Lancaster said. With the same teams, though, the two shows may be almost indistinguishable to viewers.

Why is it called Milk Street? ›

The name "Milk Street" was most likely given to the street in 1708 due to a milk market at the location, although Grace Croft's 1952 work "History and Genealogy of Milk Family" instead proposes that Milk Street may have been named for John Milk, an early shipwright in Boston.

What is the highest paid chef job? ›

6 high-paid chef jobs that you can pursue
  1. Sous chef. National average salary: $60,145 per year. ...
  2. Director of food and beverage. National average salary: $60,426 per year. ...
  3. Executive chef. National average salary: $66,211 per year. ...
  4. Food scientist. National average salary: $68,830 per year. ...
  5. Food technologist. ...
  6. Private chef.

How much does a 5 star chef earn in USA? ›

The average salary for chef in a US Michelin star restaurant is a little under $57,000. However, experienced workers, such as sous chefs, in a city like New York, can expect to make considerably more – in the region of $70,000–80,000.

What is the highest paying chef? ›

High Paying Executive Chef Jobs
  • Corporate Executive Chef. Salary range: $82,000-$104,500 per year. ...
  • Research Chef. Salary range: $50,000-$95,500 per year. ...
  • Chef De Cuisine. Salary range: $53,000-$79,500 per year. ...
  • Chef. Salary range: $31,000-$62,500 per year. ...
  • Banquet Chef. ...
  • Chef Manager. ...
  • Food Stylist. ...
  • Culinary Specialist.

Which tester gets more salary? ›

Highest salary that a Automation Tester can earn is ₹8.5 Lakhs per year (₹70.8k per month).

How much do Amazon testers make? ›

How much does an Amazon Tester make? As of Nov 30, 2022, the average annual pay for an Amazon Tester in the United States is $56,744 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $27.28 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,091/week or $4,728/month.

Can you make a living as a product tester? ›

You Can Get Paid to Test Products. Product testing is a fun way to make extra money on the side. You get rewarded for your opinion and have an influence on the products and services companies sell. And, if you participate in enough panels, you can make upward of $25 per hour testing products.

How long is the free trial for America's test kitchen? ›

With your 14-Day Free Trial Membership you will have complete access to the America's Test Kitchen video library featuring all 19 years of America's Test Kitchen TV... That's more than 400 complete episodes. Plus all the recipes, taste tests, equipment reviews, and science information from every segment.

How do I cancel my America's test kitchen free trial? ›

Your subscription will automatically renew for 12 months, unless you cancel. You may cancel at any time during your subscription or any renewal period by contacting customer service at 1-800-526-8447 or support@americastestkitchen.com, and you will receive a full refund on all unmailed issues.

Is America's test kitchen filmed in a house? ›

Typically filmed in the test kitchen studios in Boston, Season 21 of AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN pivots and takes home cooking quite literally, presenting all 26 episodes from cast members' homes.

How much does a cup of flour weigh America's test kitchen? ›

While the weight of a cup of flour varies from brand to brand, in the test kitchen we go by the metric that 1 cup is equivalent to 5 ounces.

How do you enter America's test kitchen? ›

To be a member of the studio audience for America's Test Kitchen, you will need to contact them directly. You can call them at 1-800-526-8442 (Monday-Friday, 8am-7pm CST) or write to them from their website here: https://www.americastestkitchen.com/support.

Why is it called a test kitchen? ›

A general overview: a test kitchen is a kitchen most often equipped with multiple cooking stations where test cooks and chefs research, test and develop recipes for home cooks. Recipes are often testing multiple times and critiqued by many people.

How many Michelin stars does the test kitchen have? ›

This has culminated in the first Michelin star restaurant in San Luis Obispo County. Six Test Kitchen is among the 22 new restaurants in California to receive the coveted one star awarded by Guide Michelin Guide in 2021.

Who works in the BA test kitchen now? ›

MemberTitleAt Bon Appétit
Brad LeoneFormer Test Kitchen Manager Test Kitchen Video HostSeptember 2011 – Present
Chris MoroccoTest Kitchen Director Former Deputy Food EditorFebruary 2011 – July 2013 February 2015 – Present
Dan SiegelVideo DirectorDecember 2018 – Present
1 more row

Does America's test kitchen give tours? ›

Our Food & Wine Tour of Piedmont and Tuscany with America's Test Kitchen is a stunning tour from start to finish. We provide behind-the-scenes access to culinary experiences that are otherwise difficult to discover on your own."

Is America's test kitchen trustworthy? ›

America's Test Kitchen, publisher of Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country magazines, cookbooks and hosts of public television's America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country cooking shows, has built, and is proud to maintain, an unassailable reputation as an unbiased and advertising-free cooking authority.

Is America's test kitchen legitimate? ›

America's Test Kitchen is a very real kitchen located in the Seaport neighborhood of Boston. It is the home of Cook's Illustrated magazine and Cook's Country magazine and is the Monday-through-Friday destination for more than four dozen test cooks, editors, food scientists, tasters, and cookware specialists.

Why did the host leave America's Test Kitchen? ›

Chris Kimball, seen here cooking for a guest segment on Morning Edition, is leaving America's Test Kitchen over a contract dispute, the company says.

How tall is Dan Souza? ›

Souza Pereira
FighterFighting StyleHeight
Mohammad Fakhreddine-6' 0"
Daniel Souza Pereira-5' 10"

Did Alex join the kitchen? ›

Culinary career

She appears as a television personality on the Food Network shows The Kitchen, Chopped (as a judge), Iron Chef America, All Star Family Cook-off, Guy's Grocery Games (as both a judge and a competitor), and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. She hosts Alex's Day Off, The Cooking Loft, and Supermarket Stakeout.

What brand of ovens are used on America's Test Kitchen? ›

With Sub-Zero and Wolf's 70-plus years of experience building quality appliances engineered and tested to last 20 years, the partnership is a natural fit. “America's Test Kitchen and Sub-Zero and Wolf empower home cooks to feel confident in the kitchen.

Can you visit 177 Milk Street? ›

Tours are limited to 10 people and must be reserved in advance.

Who owns America's Test kitchen? ›

America's Test Kitchen
No. of episodes541 (list of episodes)
Executive producersJack Bishop Kaitlin Keleher Julia Collin Davison Bridget Lancaster
Production locationsBrookline, Massachusetts (seasons 1–18) Boston, Massachusetts (seasons 19–present)
17 more rows

What city is Milk Street in? ›

Christopher Kimball's Milk Street in downtown Boston is home to our magazine and our cooking school. It also is where we record our public television and radio shows.

How much do Gordon Ramsay's waiters make? ›

Gordon Ramsay Group Salaries
Job TitleSalary
Server salaries - 2 salaries reported$34,039/yr
Lawyer salaries - 1 salaries reported$114,580/yr
Line Cook salaries - 1 salaries reported$37,487/yr
Food Server salaries - 1 salaries reported$34,649/yr
9 more rows

Which country is best for chefs? ›

Switzerland tops the charts, offering the highest net incomes for chefs. Not that surprising given the Swiss top the world salary charts and taxation is low compared to their Western European peers.

How much does a chef earn on a cruise ship? ›

Average Royal Caribbean group Chef yearly pay in the United States is approximately $32,965, which is 41% below the national average.

Who's the best chef in the world? ›

1. Dabiz Muñoz
  • #1 Dabiz Muñoz. Spain.
  • #2 Rene Redzepi. Denmark.
  • #3 Joan Roca. Spain.
  • #4 Massimo Bottura. Italy.
  • #5 Andoni Luis Aduriz. Spain.
  • #6 Bjorn Frantzén. Sweden.
  • #7 Disfrutar. Spain.
  • #8 Alain Passard. France.
5 Nov 2022

How much is a chef paid in Dubai? ›

The average salary for Chef is AED 40,000 per month in the Optional[Dubai], Optional[United Arab Emirates]. The average additional cash compensation for a Chef in the Optional[Dubai], Optional[United Arab Emirates] is AED 68,000, with a range from AED 1,620 - AED 2,36,000.

What is the minimum salary of a chef in USA? ›

As of Nov 30, 2022, the average hourly pay for a CHEF in the United States is $22.66 an hour. While ZipRecruiter is seeing hourly wages as high as $42.55 and as low as $8.17, the majority of CHEF wages currently range between $14.90 (25th percentile) to $30.05 (75th percentile) across the United States.

Can chefs make millions? ›

There's no doubt that being a chef can be a lucrative career. After all, there are plenty of examples of chefs who have made millions of dollars.

Can you become a millionaire as a chef? ›

However, what many people don't realize is that the restaurant industry is one of the easiest fields for anyone to become extremely wealthy. No matter where you start in the restaurant industry, you can become a millionaire or more.

How do I access NYT recipes? ›

In order to access NYT Cooking, we require users to create an account, or log in with an existing New York Times account. Registered users will have access to a limited portion of NYT Cooking's content and tools, while full access will require a subscription to NYT Cooking.

Is there a free app for recipes? ›

The Food Network Kitchen app is designed especially for use on a tablet, but it does also work on smartphones. The free version of this app gives you unlimited access to more than 80,000 trusted recipes from Food Network chefs like Tom Kerridge and Rachel Khoo.

How do you unlock a chef DIY recipes+? ›

Be a Chef! DIY Recipes+ can be obtained from Nook Stop for 3,000 Nook Miles. The item only appears in Nook Stop after the player has upgraded Resident Services, has completed the DIY customization workshop, and has developed the island to three stars for K.K. Slider to visit the island weekly.

How much does a subscription to America's Test Kitchen Cost? ›

Standard Membership, $39.95 per year – Benefits include the ability to access recipes, reviews, and videos on a single website of your choice (Cook's Illustrated, America's Test Kitchen, OR Cook's Country).

Are NY Times recipes free? ›

The New York Times has added a paywall to NYT Cooking, its online recipe database and companion app. As of Wednesday, June 28, new subscribers to the paper will be asked to pay $5 a month for access to the 18,000 or so recipes on Cooking, not to mention videos, how-tos, and seasonal content.

How can I get Nytimes for free? ›

How to get a free NY Times 72-Hour Pass
  1. Click on the New York Times Digital code redemption link on the SF Library page.
  2. Click Redeem to get 72 hours of continuous access.
  3. Register with your personal email address, or click on “log in here” if you have already created an account.

How do I get free NYT digital access? ›

Click New York Times Online (In-Library Access) or go to nytimes.com. Click Log In and then Sign Up to create an account with your email address, or log in if you already have an account. Click through 11+ articles during your session to ensure you do not reach the New York Times pay wall.

What is the most popular recipe site? ›

  1. All Recipes. Taking the top position is All Recipes, a top-tier recipe website that is estimated to have over 25 million visitors each month. ...
  2. The Food Network. Another outstanding player in the culinary game is The Food Network. ...
  3. Yummly. ...
  4. Epicurious. ...
  5. Tasty. ...
  6. Spoonacular. ...
  7. Delish. ...
  8. Edamam.
24 Jan 2022

Is there a free Food Network app? ›

The Watch Food Network app, available for iOS and Android devices, unlocks on-the-go access to shows like Chopped, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Cutthroat Kitchen, Barefoot Contessa and much more. It's easy and free as part of your cable subscription package.

What is the best cooking app for beginners? ›

12 Best Free Cooking Apps In 2022
  • Tasty. ...
  • BBC Good Food. ...
  • Food Network Kitchen. ...
  • Mealime Meal Plans & Recipes. ...
  • Cookpad. ...
  • Kitchen Stories. ...
  • BigOven. Used On Apple iOS, Google Play, And On Web Browsers. ...
  • Allrecipes Dinner Spinner. Used On Apple iOS, Google Play, Alexa, And Snapchat's Food Scan.
12 Oct 2022

How do I get KK to come? ›

Once you're passed over to Isabelle for the final part of Project K, she will explain that in order to convince KK Slider to visit your island you will need to increase your star rating to three stars. To check your rating, speak to Isabelle and select 'Island Evaluations'.

Why can't I unlock cooking in ACNH? ›

This is only because they haven't met the in-game criteria to unlock the feature. Players must have at least a 3-star island rating, upgrade their Resident Services tent to a building, and complete their DIY customization workshop with Tom Nook.

How do you unlock food recipes? ›

How to get more cooking recipes in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  1. Obtain a daily cooking recipe from the Restaurant after building it at Happy Home Paradise.
  2. Catch and dive for various fish and sea creatures to be inspired with a new recipe.
6 Oct 2022

What is the difference between Cook's Country and America's Test Kitchen? ›

A frequent question is the difference between the two shows. “America's Test Kitchen” sets out to create recipes that work, while the homier “Cook's Country” looks at history as told through food, Lancaster said. With the same teams, though, the two shows may be almost indistinguishable to viewers.

How much does a cup of flour weigh America's Test Kitchen? ›

While the weight of a cup of flour varies from brand to brand, in the test kitchen we go by the metric that 1 cup is equivalent to 5 ounces.

How long is the free trial for America's Test Kitchen? ›

With your 14-Day Free Trial Membership you will have complete access to the America's Test Kitchen video library featuring all 19 years of America's Test Kitchen TV... That's more than 400 complete episodes. Plus all the recipes, taste tests, equipment reviews, and science information from every segment.


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