Alton Brown

May 24, 2013

I'm Alton Brown I cook stuff and write and shoot video about cooking stuff...

Let's see, I host shows on Food Network and am preparing my first stage show to go on tour later this year. I'm working on a CD of weird food songs and launching a YouTube channel. Other than that, I'm just sitting around. Oh, and I'm hosting a new game show on Food Network called Cutthroat Kitchen. So...Ask me anything.

Twitter verification: Verification photo The Alton Brown Tour website:


Thanks so much for all your questions. Hope to see you all later in the year on tour. If you're interested check out Gotta go cook dinner for my kid. Thanks again everyone. ABout

Thank you, Mr. Brown, for doing this AMA.

1) Your show Good Eats has been amazingly educational and informative. One of the most helpful episodes, in my opinion, was the "Live and Let Diet" episode. From your experience in the culinary industry and the entertainment/marketing industry, why do you think there is such a affinity to "fad" diets and not enough attention to simply eating right, as demonstrated in your show?

2) Do you really never leave home without a whole nutmeg and a microplane grater? If so, what is the most random situation you found yourself in where the nutmeg came in handy?

1) Thanks for your comment. I do think there is too much emphasis on "diets" and not enough of simply eating well. The truth is, it's your veggies, lay off the red meat and sweets, drink plenty of water and exercise. 2) I have a grater and nutmeg at all times. I use it a lot on bad coffee, which is most of the coffee in encounter.

Hello Alton!

First off, I'd like to thank you for finally getting around to an AMA. It's something we as reddit have been wanting for a while.

I actually have two questions today. Feel free to answer either of them or both.

  1. What recipe have you never been able to perfect, or it just isn't as good as you'd want it to be?

  2. What is your favorite episode of Doctor Who, and who is 'your' Doctor?

Edit: I made you this

1) I don't think I've ever been able to perfect anything to be honest. I get better but nothing is perfect. I did cook a really good steak once.

2) I don't have a favorite episode but Dr. 10 is my Dr.

Is Alton Brown a Doctor Who fan?

Indeed. I am a Whovian, and proud of it.


I think that a lot of home cooks miscalculate heat. We seem to be a bit afraid of it but must master it to be true cooks. Heat is elemental to the process

What is your opinion on the Paleo movement? I think Alton Brown Paleo recipes would be better than manna from heaven...

I have to say that although I do think the American diet is too grain dependent, I don't think that the meat-heavy Paleo approach is right either. We've evolved as omnivores and that means we should eat a bit of my opinion.

Hi Alton!

What is the one food that Food Network would not let you make an episode of Good Eats about, that you wanted to do the most?

Food Network has always been very supportive of me and they've let me get away with a lot but when I said "sweetbreads" they said "no." Same with rabbit.

What were your impressions of Jamie and Adam during your time on Mythbusters? other way to say it. Smarter than anybody else in the room but completely genuine and unaffected. Nice guys and a delight to work with.

Hi Alton. Been a fan of Good Eats for years. Thanks for explaining what's actually happening when cooking and why you're doing what you're doing.

What is the strangest food you've ever made/ate?

Curried lamb eyes [shudders]

Hi Alton. Been a fan of Good Eats for years. Thanks for explaining what's actually happening when cooking and why you're doing what you're doing.

What is the strangest food you've ever made/ate?

Curried lamb eyes. Yuck.

Mr. Brown, thank you for taking the time for the AMA and for your show and personality that radiates through the camera.

I have two questions: What drove you into the culinary world? What was your favorite homemade meal growing up?

My favorite homemade meal was my mom's spaghetti. I was driven into food because it's the universal subject...everyone loves food. It's what connects all of us to each other.

Thanks for the AMA! Simple question from me:

What is your favorite thing to grill?

Skirt steak...directly on the coals. No grate. Just salt and a wee bit of oil.

Thanks for doing this, AB. You taught me to cook, and more importantly, how to be a teacher. I teach a course on the rhetoric of science & pseudoscience, and during one lesson we watch the Mythsmasher episode. My students love it. I met you at a signing at Bookpeople in Austin, and you couldn’t have been nicer.

One question:

On previous versions of your website you had a blog section. Some of the material was insightful and moving. For instance, I remember the post you wrote after Ma Mae passed away was particularly heartfelt. There was another post I really liked where you discussed the controversy surrounding teaching evolution in schools. Any plans to post some of the stuff again? The blog section of the old site was my favorite part.

I'm flattered that you remember that old stuff. Regrettably, I lost all of it when we took down the old site. I'm not very good at keeping up with that kind of thing.

Hello Alton,

Wanted to say I'm a big fan and you helped me get into cooking and find a common bond with my now wife many years ago.

Just one simple question.
Is there any one thing that you think everyone should know about the food industry or food in general?

The best food is always the food you cook yourself or that is cooked for you by someone who loves you. Simple as that.

what ever happened to Justins tv from Next Food Network Star?

Well, Justin did a show called Rebel Eats, which was an hour special. I don't know what they have planned for him next. I'd really like to see him do a full on cooking show for the digital world but I don't have the power to make that happen.

If you had to pick only one episode of Good Eats to show someone, which would it be?

Probably our very last episode "Turn On The Dark" which was a one hour chocolate special. We pulled out all the stops on that one.

What is your favorite prop that you've used on Good Eats?

Three words: giant, squid, tentical

Hi Alton! Thanks for doing this.

Do you have a date yet for when the Alton Browncast will be available?

Also, what's the latest on Food Files? Is it still in development?

We're going to be launching the Alton Browncast on as soon as we have about 10 of them finished up and ready to go. We want to make sure that when they start releasing that we don't have an interruption in delivery.

Mr. Brown, Thank you so much for doing an AMA. I have just now got into cooking and your Good Eats show has been amazing. I really don't want to be a recipe drone, I want to know the science behind things and you do a great job at presenting all sides of a dish.

As for my question, I'm having a big problem when I do pan sauces with the reduction not taking place fast enough. I got the heat on as high as I can, but my protein ends up cooling down significantly while I wait for a good reduction, I don't believe I'm using too much liquid, but how can I get my reduction to speed up?

Again thank you for taking time out of your day to visit us here at Reddit!

Well, if you have a heat problem then you need more firepower. You may even want to think about getting yourself a countertop induction "burner" which can work much faster wen it comes to reducing power.

Hey Alton! Thanks for doing an AMA! My question for you is how did you lose your accent for television? How difficult of a process was it?

To be honest, my family is from GA but I was born in Los Angeles and lived there until I was 8. So, I've always sounded like I came out of a television.

Looking forward to your web series!

What is cooking's unforgivable sin?

Not tasting food as you cook it.

Hi, Mr. Brown! I've been a fan for years: you were always the chef on TV that answered the kinds of questions I had about cooking. All of the "why?" questions rather than just "how?" So anyways, my question:

During an Anthony Bourdain speaking engagement I attended, someone asked him his favorite "guilty pleasure" food. He began describing the "radioactive mac and cheese" they serve at KFC -- and that he "loves that sh*t!" Any guilty pleasure foods of your own?

This is disgusting and I'm not proud but have you ever dipped Fritos into that fake caramel sauce they make for apples?

What advice would you give to an aspiring cook? Thanks!

Cook, Travel, Eat, Read, repeat

My husband and I really enjoy your shows. We've learned an incredible amount just from Good Eats alone. I sure wish those shows were available on Netflix. I wish I had some great question for you but instead all I have is food nerd love for you :)

I wish those shows were available too. Call Food Network.

Are there any plans to bring back new episodes of Good Eats?

Never say "never"...ever.

Alton, I cook my steaks well done but they never come out juicy. What is the problem?

I think your question answers your question. There's no such thing as a juicy/well done steak in this or any other dimension.

Hi Alton, long time fan here, thank you very much for doing this AMA. Is there anything you've touted on Good Eats as a "golden rule" that you have changed your opinion on?

Yes. I really messed up with cooking pasta in season 1. I said to bring a gallon of water to a boil before cooking dry pasta. Crap! Start in cold water and only use enough to cover the pasta.

Which would you rather cook: A horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?

A horse-sized duck. Definitely.

1) Alton, would you be interested in teaming up with any company to create a travel/pocket-sized microplane grater?

By the way, I've always been a huge fan. Wish Good Eats would still be re-running, and I can't wait for your YouTube channel.

2)What will the YT channel be called?

I already have one. It's in my wallet.

Hello Mr. Brown, recently you called out Makers Mark for lowering the ABV on their whiskey. How did it feel when they finally recanted?

Also, what is your favorite dish that you normally make for dinner?

Well, it's not like I actually had anything to do with that. I think the whole thing was good for bourbon drinkers because it opened a lot of eyes to the fact that there are a lot of great bourbons out there.

Thank you Alton for doing an AMA...

  1. My wife and I really enjoyed both of the "Feasting on Asphalt" series (I even have your book from it also). We both ride our own bikes and love to travel. Q> Are you ever going to do another set of shows involving riding and travel?

  2. I would love to listen more interviews with you like "The Nerdist"

I would love to do more travel-related shows. The problem is, "Feasting" never found enough audience to keep it on the air. Maybe on-line would be different though.

Who is W on the show?

A wonderful actress name of Vickie Wong. She disliked me from the very first audition...that's why she was so perfect.

I love your show (it's my favorite food show). My favorite part is how you incorporate the science and teach your viewers as you tantalize us with the amazing food creations.

1) where do you find your perfect recipes, or do you just create them? 2) Do people really think you have an evil twin named B.A.? 3) What's your favorite little indulgence with eating out/quick fix on the road?

I feel like i should have more cool questions, but i'm never good at that stuff >,< I watch your show a lot and even got my boyfriend to join me (he usually hates cooking shows, but he loves yours because it's accurate and scientifical)

Have a great day and keep being awesome :)

*Edit: Mixed up letters >,<

I don't actually have an evil brother, but I sure do have a dark side. As for recipes, sometimes they're created from scratch but most of the time you're attempting to improve upon a proved formula or a formulae collective in which case you're really creating a spinoff hybrid.

Mr. Brown -

Thank you for doing this AMA - HUGE fan. "Good Eats" got me interested in cooking, and I've tried and enjoyed many of your recipes!

You appear on several shows (Iron Chef America, Next Iron Chef, Next Food Network Star) as the food guru. Have you ever wanted a role as a competitor? Do you ever hang out with other Food Network stars? If so, what do you do? If not, what do you do for fun?

I have no desire to compete...I'm just not that kind of guy...not that way at least. I don't hang out with Food Network stars because, well...I don't really fit in with the big "A" list stars and the young folk think I'm old. So, I'm kinda on a "C" list all by myself, which is perfectly fine.
As for fun...I'll get back to you.


I like tongue though I've never managed to cook it to my liking. I'm a huge steak lover though and especially love hanger steak.

Alton, I love everything you do, from Good Eats to your awesome fashion sense. I have two questions for you:

1) What is your favorite way to prepare rabbit? 2) I am in Atlanta until Sunday night. Where should I eat?

Beef liver Empire State South

Hello AB! I met you last year in Houston at your book signing. What I'd like to know is would you ever be willing to partake in a contest where you would be the prize? Win Lunch/Dinner with AB! Where 10 fans would win a meal with you and where you and those 10 fans could sit and talk about cooking during a nice meal? That is something I'd like to see you do. Or something similar to that. Even in a show format. I'm sure a lot of fans ask a lot of the same questions and this would be an entertaining way to get some answers to questions. Thanks!

I don't think I'd make a very good prize. Just ask my wife.

Mr. Brown, thank you for doing what you do. Whenever people tell me about how they want to learn how to cook, I refer them to your show and your book(s) because they will gain a great confidence in the kitchen.

What is your favorite dish to cook when you are short on time?

What was your favorite food you came across during your roadtrips?

When I'm in a hurry I turn to my panini press. I can cook a butterflied game hen in that thing in 12 minutes.

So..what sled are you riding these days?

Would love to see a rehash of Feasting on Asphalt. That was some fine television.

I'm on a 1967 Flexible Flyer. But in Ga I have to say I don't get many chances to ride.

Please bring your tour to Canada! Please?

Okay, okay...I will.

What do you make for dinner after a long tiring day at work?


Hi Alton, will you ever do another show where you travel across America (or another country) on a motorcycle?

Nope. There's no place left where Guy Fieri hasn't been and I just can't be his cleanup man.

What did you think about going to the strip club with Anthony Bourdain?

If I had a time machine....I would so take that one back. I've never been more uncomfortable in my life.

Alton, you are one sexy, smart man, and I just want to say, keep doing what you do. Muah!

Thanks. I hope your eyes get better soon. (Don't scratch them till the pads come off).

What are your favorite woods for smoking meat by animal variety? :)

Back story: I've been smoking meats in my Weber Kettle BBQ that I found curbside. I place the coals (hickory wood mostly) to one side and put the meat on the other, this method works quite well if I keep the fire small enough.

I tried your brining recipe on a bone-in 9lb pork roast and it helped keep the meat quite moist, kudos!

Bonus Question: I was wondering, have you ever tried White Oak for smoking meats? (I was given this tip recently by a few American Royal winners).

Sincerely, New Jersey Born, now Baffled in Kansas

I live in the south and have a lot of hickory around me so I use that...and oak...but that's it.

Do you ever watch Archer? Do you keep in contact with Lucky Yates?

I was hugging Lucky Yates about 30 minutes ago. I'm a huge fan. He's a great guy...also a very talented puppeteer.

I made your paprika chicken last night. It was the bomb. All my friends think I'm great at cooking now. Mwahah are.

Any words of wisdom for a future Triumph owner?

Buy some kitty litter and keep it in the garage.

C'mon, admit it. You and Thomas Dolby are the same person.

My half brother actually.

As a good Southerner, I'd like to hear your thoughts on Waffle House...


Nice place to go but I sure wouldn't want to eat there.

I just wanted to say that I'm sorry if I startled you outside of Publix/Starbucks after Good Eats started airing. Instead of saying "Excuse me, I enjoy your show," my brain went "Hey, you're Alton Brown" and my mouth followed.

Good Eats was something my family always sat down to watch together, and I gave many of your books to my parents as gifts.

I'm still in therapy.

Favorite bourbon cocktail to make at home and tips on how to make it??

(Also, thanks for doing this AMA. My fiance and I have been fans of yours for years!)

Boulevardier. Look it up. It's like a negroni only with bourbon instead of gin.

Is there anyone within the Food Network confines that you could not/cannot stand?

Hell yes.

Hi Alton! Just wanted to drop a line and say Good Eats one of the best shows on TV! keep up the good work!


I grew up watching and learning from Good Eats. It made cooking cool and fun! You are my culinary hero, turkey triangle 4 life! That said, the only question I can think to ask you is who is your favourite Doctor? :)


Favorite places in NYC to eat? (Preferably <$100 meals please, but also excluding food trucks or popular chain restaurants.)

Also, white or brown gravy for country fried steak / biscuits and gravy?

Barbuto brown

Who is your favorite Iron Chef?

The one who brings me a cocktail during the battle.

How did you get involved in the Iron Chef show? What is your favorite thing about the show? What is your least favorite thing about the show?

When Food Network got the series I was offered two rolls: Chairman or the Hattori character. The chairman job looked boring. (Besides, Mark rocks)

Will we see some of the recipes you couldn't show on food network (ie. rabbit, and sweetbreads) on your upcoming youtube channel?

when purchasing Liquid Nitrogen for cooking should it be the medical grade?

Yes and Yes.

Mr Brown, you once said that "Good Eats" was a cross between a cooking show, Mr. Wizard, and a Monty Python sketch.... I was just wondering what made you skew this way, and are any of your new endeavors going to have the same skew?

That's just the way I am so...yeah.

Hi alton! Thanks for doing this AMA :) Good eats is by far my favorite cooking show and you inspire me to cook and bake new things all the time.

You make a lot of stuff from scratch on good eats that most people wouldn't take the time to. What would you say in your opinion is something people most commonly don't make from scratch but really should?

peanut butter...mayonnaise...bourbon...pick any two.

Hey there! First off, I would like to say that I'm a huge fan of your detailed breakdowns of cooking and the science behind it. Now for my question.

Looking back to when you started out, how does your success compare to the reception you thought you would have? Did you ever expect to become as big or well known as you have, or did you think people would brush it off as a gimmick and ignore your ventures?

Thanks for taking the time to do this AMA!

I'll be honest, I didn't have any expectation. I find that when I do have expectations I always expect low. So this time I just didn't let myself go there. We'll see how it works out.

Eh. He'll answer 20 questions, reference good eats and his latest iron chef, although I hate the American Iron chef with a passion. How can you turn a great program into such a disgrace?

See you on YouTube mr brown.

I'm sorry if you think I turned it into a disgrace. I can only say that the entire Iron Chef America (myself included) have done our best. But hey, life is short so...stop watching. Cool?

FN may not let you answer this question, but how do you feel about the "food porn" aspect of television food channels? What used to be a slew of awesome shows about recipes and cooking now seems to involve repeats of shows seem to be either solely entertainment (Cupcake Wars, those "undercover restaurant" shows) or glorified advertising (DD&D). I would love a channel that was nothing but shows like Good Eats, or in the vein of Cook's Illustrated or America's Test Kitchen.

Have you tried Cooking Channel?

I've been teaching my recently divorced younger brother how to cook. He won't necessarily listen to advice coming from me but if I preface it with "Well Alton says..." his ears perk up. I've even lent him my copy of "I'm Just Here for the Food 2.0".

What flexible dish or meal can I show my bachelor brother to make that has many variations on it that he can try to master?

There is no end to the possibilities of roast chicken.

Now that you've experienced the magnificence that is the Clermont Lounge, how hard has it been to resist the urge to return?

Oddly enough I haven't had even one urge to return...not a single one.

Hi Alton, thanks for doing this. If you could only have one knife in your kitchen, what style/brand would it be?

Cut Brooklyn 8 inch chef's knife.

Hi Alton, I'm a big fan, a young chef in training in Napa Valley, and I have a ton of respect for the amount of knowledge you have in regards to food.

I'd like to ask, if you could pick three chefs in the world to collectively cook you one multi-course dinner, who would they be?

My wife, my daughter, my mom.

[No question]

By the way, my tour website is now life:

Have you considered bringing something like good eats to a webisode format? fact, we're doing that right now.

Hey Alton,

Why Cardigans over Pembrokes? Any plans to add to the pack?

Dogs should have tails...IMHO.

Do you geek out about food at home? Is your wife also a food geek?

My wife geeks out over steak and potatoes.

Any experience with rejuvenating old favorite recipes with new spices? We've recently started started glazing pork roast with a jalapeno/hot pepper salsa prior to roasting in a dutch oven and had pretty good results.

I do this all the time with recipes from a 1962 edition of Joy Of Cooking.

Hi Alton!

I love your Season 01 episode 01 steak's a classic and I used it for many years. I recently have used a new technique which starts in a very low oven and then ends with a very quick sear. Have you tried this method and what do you think?

I have and I really like it for roasts but not so much for steaks.

Do you happen to like... Kosher salt?

Thanks AB for the AMA! Wet brining vs. dry? I tend to go with dry for the simple fact it's easier!

Depends. I've gone to dry brining more often than not because it's so gosh darned easy.

Where do you buy your bow ties at?

All over. In fact I have a line of bow ties coming out with a great company called Hook & Albert.

Hi Alton,

First off, Good Eats really changed me from an early 20s guy who couldn't cook a thing, into someone with a passion for food, and I'm a pretty good cook now, if I don't say so myself.

I've heard you smoke the occasional cigar. If this is even true, what's your favorite cigar?

P.S. I need more Good Eats, or something similar! Anything upcoming that you can share?

Actually I gave up cigars...just couldn't explain them to my daughter.

How do you typically deal with fans on the street? I saw you in soho a few years ago and you were incredibly dismissive of anyone who approached you.

I don't think that's true. First off I usually don't notice when someone approaches me because I tend to be a bit of a goof. But I have never ever blown off a fan in the street...ever. If I'm with my family I may move fast but I've never been dismissive. I'm calling you out on this.

hello! my question is about eel sauce, should i worry about using an expensive rice wine , the sweet mirin works ok , but i dont know somethings not right. also how do i get to thicken up?

With a sauce that strong I'd probably go with the low budget stuff. But Mirin isn't quite right.

Alton, I would just like you to know that I had a AB themed Christmas this past year and I couldn't have been happier. Two questions actually:

  1. Now that it's "over" what was the most fun episode of Good Eats to film?

  2. What's your favorite dessert?

Now if you'll excuse me, I have brownies to finish baking.

1) the Sweeney Todd take off on meat pies

2) Wedding cake (so full of hope)

Alton, I keep bringing home quarts of bacon fat from work and have no intention of stopping. I have no idea what to do with it all. Can you give me some novel ideas?

Um...sell it on-line as a beauty bath.

Hey Alton, I have been a big fan of yours for years! Do you have any other shows or projects coming up that we can keep an eye out for?

Also, I have seen the picture of you and your Scar 17 (very nice rifle by the way) and was wondering if you get involved in any shooting competitions?

No. I'm not that good...not nearly.

Hi Alton! I was at the show at the Castro Theatre. It was really fun. But I have to know if the assistant you picked from the audience was a plant! She was too hilarious to be random. If so, she should go on tour with you! We missed out on a photo op in the line because I guess some crazy person was giving you lip. :( Next time I want to be the first person in line!

My cooking question is this, hard boiled eggs! I can get them perfectly cooked using your method but they are still hard to peel. How can I get perfect eggs suitable for deviled eggs?

None of my volunteers are ever plants. Sometimes I just get lucky and that night was one of those times. She was great with real comic timing.

Here's the truth about eggs, if they're new (fresh) theyr'e going to be tough to peel because the membranes are just so stout. Hard cook the old ones and they'll be easier.

You seemed to have a huge wealth of food knowledge at your disposal when doing commentary on Iron Chef America. How much of that was done on the spot, how much of it were you looking up on your mission control computer and how much was done post-production?

I do a huge amount of pre-show research and the culinary producers at the network are great. Together we get enough information together to keep things moving. The only thing I really do in post is pull together the different story lines and provide connective Voice Overs.

Alton, what is that string instrument in the background?

travel guitar.

This is probably going to get buried, but Alton, my question is are you friends with Ted Allen? Just wondering because you giys are two of my favorite hosts of two of my favorite cooking shows.

I don't see Ted that much because he lives in Brooklyn and I live in Atlanta but whenever we get together we have a great time. I think he's the best host on Food Network and does a phenomenal job on Chopped.

My wife wants to have dinner with you. I'm cool with this if you are. Can we set that up?

I think my wife would want to fight her on that...and she's a toughie.

During Mr. Bourdain's AMA Reddit already came to a consensus on the next show for you both: (credit to /u/Toynbee1)

Brown and Bourdain travel across the world, tracing modern, familiar dishes to their cultural nascency. Brown supplies the facts, Bourdain supplies the color. It's called A to B.

How much do we have to bug you two now to make this a thing?

Mr. Bourdain doesn't need a sidekick.

my dad is a huge HUGE fan of your show good eats. I think he's seen every episode or somewhere close to it. So my question to you, did you enjoy working with puppets a lot on your show or were they a gag to get kids watch your show and learn about good eats?

I adore puppets...besides, they're cheaper than actors!

Mr. Brown, long time fan and I owe a lot of my ability in the kitchen to you.

I'll jump right into this non-food question, is it true you carry a 1911?

Actually a 1911 is a little heavy for every day carry unless it's a Browning 9 hi-power which is essentially a 1911. I carry a Kimber Solo a fair bit.

Alton, your cheesecake recipe has gotten my girlfriend and so many compliments I just wanted to thank you! It's a giant success at family functions. One question if you would be so kind to answer, we follow your recipe exactly but I feel like the cheesecake never gets very firm in the middle. It is almost impossible to slice while keeping the shape of a slice. Is this just the nature of the recipe or are there any tips for helping it firm up a bit more?

It sounds like you might be pulling it a little underdone. Add 5 more minutes to the cooking, or turn off the oven and leave it for another 10. And make sure it's thoroughly chilled before cutting.

Hi Alton! I have to say your show made me fascinated with the science behind cooking. Now I cook more than ever and it is my favorite part of my day. I loved your video on Shun knives and have been drooling over them ever since. I have my own knife set but it is old and I have lost more than one tip in various and unexpected ways.
Do you know of a brand that is still high quality but a bit more affordable then the Shun knives I covet so much?

Not really. Truth is, for what they are Shuns are very reasonably priced. Look on-line for best prices.


Watch your language there little lady. (Thanks)

Is there any good way to cook a steak on a gas grill? I can never get the fat to cook right.

Yes. Make sure the steak is out of the fridge for at least an hour before you cook it. And liberally season with kosher salt AN HOUR BEFORE COOKING. Trust me.

Hi Alton! As a baker I must know, what's your favorite sweet thing that you like to bake? And what's your favorite sweet thing (candy, goodies, snacky snack) you like to eat?

The answer to both questions: Chocolate chip cookie batter!

Im defending my PhD in chemistry next year. Partially thanks to you AB.

Defending? Is someone trying to steal it?

You injured yourself often on Good Eats. Are you accident prone? Ever get injured on your other shows?

Actually I only injured myself on Good Eats once in 14 years. During season one I cut my forehead badly in a chocolate factory in San Francisco. I am grace incarnate.

I absolutely love The Food Network. I'm 18 now and I'm the only teenage dude I know that watches it. Love you on Good Eats and Iron Chef. Just curious to know, who do you think is the very best chef in the world?

My wife (Did you see what I did there?)

Hey, Alton! I've missed your 2 most recent call-in opportunities due to Life in general. You've been fantastic in helping me and millions of others learn to cook or learn to cook better or even just not burn stuff as badly. Anyway, I started smoking meats by building your flower pot clay smoker with the electric hot plate. Fantastic! On a completely unrelated note, if you go someplace new to eat, what's the deciding factor on what you order?


What, in your opinion, is the perfect drunk/ hangover food?

Also, I just wanted to say that your ice cream recipe has become a family tradition in my house. Thanks for that.

French Fries...the greasier the better.

Question from my Mom:

What's a good gluten-free way to pan fry some chicken?

We are humongous fans of you. You've taught me some badass tricks in the kitchen.

Thanks my friend.


try using rice flour instead of AP in the batter (tempura style)

I just want to thank you for putting a food program on TV that could genuinely entertain all in the house.

A privilege...

How do I keep the top lasagna noodles from drying out?

Lots and lots of cheese.

Alton, you exemplify how a TV personality should behave on and off the set. Thank's for being humble!

  1. How do you feel about cajun / creole food? Is it something you prefer to eat or do you cook it as well? I'd love to have some in depth Good Eats knowledge on that style of food.
  2. I thought you might carry a Walther, but I remember reading something about you owning an H&K handgun as well. How often do you make it out to the range and what is your favorite firearm?

Thanks for doing this AMA! I'm very excited for your Browncast! You should try and do a Browncoat special and team up with Nathan Fillion.

I adore both cajun and creole foods which actually aren't that similar if you ask me.

Although I don't carry it due to weight the Kimber Combat II is my choice on the range.

Dear Alton Brown,

My wife uses your french toast recipe regularly and it's an amazing delight. Thank you for this!!! However, I should note that one time she accidentally used french vanilla flavored cream instead of regular, and it came out amazing. Now we always default to that. You should try it.

That's a great idea, only I have to ask, why the hell would you buy vanilla flavored cream when you can just put vanilla in cream???

I always watched Good Eats with my Dad. You sparked our love for cooking. Every Thanksgiving we use your amazing brine recipe!

What inspired you to start experimenting radically in the kitchen?

My chromosomes (it's that X/Y combo)

Howdy Mr. Brown,

Thanks for coming to Raleigh, NC that one time and doing a book signing. What is your favorite type of bbq for pork, beef, and chicken. Also, what type of base for the sauce/rub used?

Hate to say it...but I don't believe in BBQ sauce. I believe in pig, hickory, time, smoke, salt, and pepper.

What kind of pocket knife do you normally carry? I've seen you whip one out to cut a bag before. It started a thread on a knife forum I frequent, no one could make it out.

Spiderco delica in stainless, serrated blade. Or a SOG, or a Microtech...depends.

Why can't I pay to watch Iron Chef America online? I want to give y'all money!

And I sure would like to take it but I am a mere servant of the Chairman.

A few years ago you did a road trip show where you had a Twin Bing® candy bar and thought it was disgusting.

Have you had one since and realized how utterly wrong you were? fact I have.

Which is the better oil for cooking in a skillet--vegetable or canola? My boyfriend and I disagree on this constantly.

Actually I saute a fair amount in olive oil (not virgin) and peanut oil.

I know my post wont be seen....but thank you for being so awesome and teaching me how to cook good (and healthy) food and that it is cool to be nerdy about it ;)

I saw it and I appreciate it.

Why is my Mom so afraid to use any salt, and how can I break her of this habit?

Also, did you come up with Pork Wellington? If so, how? It's genius.

Just do the cooking for your mom. And as for the pork I'm sure I'm not the first person to do it, but it just seemed reasonable. Oh, and if you can, try it with venison. Nom Nom Nom.

As most of us are amateur chefs, what is the number one mistake I should avoid when preparing and grilling a steak?

Steaks should be at room temp before meeting the heat. And you've got to let them rest when they come off the heat.

Do you consider Harold McGee (On Food and Cooking) to be the revolutionary that opened the world up to the science of food, or was is just good timing and we were headed down this path for the knowledge of our food regardless?

I hold McGee in such high esteem that I'm actually on my knees right now...which is a hard position for typing.

I'm making your soft baked pretzels tomorrow, so my only question is mustard or melted cheese for dipping?

Why choose between them. Have both!

Hey Alton! What is your go- to snack when you're hungry? I've always had problems with snacking because I want to keep it healthy while still having some variety.


Mr Brown, my wife and I are Iron Chef America junkies. The burning question we have is, How much do the chefs know about the ingredient beforehand? They seem to go straight into a gameplan as soon as they receive the goods.

Here's the honest answer (as far as I know): about a week before the competition, the chefs are given a list of 8 possible ingredients. They have to be prepared for all of them. I also should tell you that I've been told that on the Japanese version they just flat out told them...but that could be a nasty rumor.

Hello! First off, I'd like to thank you. Just like so many others, you started me cooking by making it fun and accessible. Learning the method and theory behind dishes gave me the tools to cook some pretty tasty dishes myself.

I have an actual food question.. I'd like to make an ice cream with a fruit puree swirl. Meaning that the swirl itself wouldn't completely harden and would stay fairly viscous. How would you accomplish this?

More sugar and probably an invert sugar or combination of sugars. When making the swirl, consider some glucose or corn syrup.

Why do you act like your forgot your days at Pop's in Durham? We remember you, even if it was only for six months! First job out of c-school, we all remember that one.

Honestly I only remember being really crappy at my job. So I think I've worked to forget it.

Any plans on coming through Texas on your tour Mr. Brown?

Yes! We've just added Austin to the second leg of the tour so that'll be the end of January 2014.

Have you considered releasing "Buff Like Me". I would love too see your healthy variations on classic food.

I just ain't that buff...and I never will be.

Hello Mr. brown. I have learned so much from your shows posts and blogs. Honestly you inspired me from a young age to want to be in the culinary industry.

I have three questions for you.

1) What is the one tip would you give someone looking for a culinary school to attend?

2) What is the one restaurant in Hawaii everyone should try?

3) What is your favorite non-typical cut of meat or organ?

I really appreciate your time and the love for food you have helped me learn I have.

1) Make them fight for and over you and really convince you of the quality of the education. Most culinary schools are a waste of time. 2) The Hotel Manago on the Big Island 3) Cheeks

Why are your cooking methods so complicated?

I'm trying to think of one of my methods that I'd consider complicated...can't come up with one. Could you give me an example? Also, just want to point out that by and large...they work.

Holy cow. I wish you were my dad.

Are you sure I'm not?

TIL Alton Brown can't spell

No but I shure as hell can tipe fast.

True story: it's summer, I'm watching TV with the family, and my daughter says to me, "Dad, you remember that turkey you made for Thanksgiving? That was the best turkey I've ever eaten". That was, of course, a Good Eats roast turkey. I just wanted to thank you for that.

Thank you for having enough faith in me to cook it in the first place.

Hi Alton, huge fan here. I was wondering why you dont make the complete Good Eats DVD series available for purchase? I would pay good money for all 249 episodes. Thanks! (thanks for the Karma btw -

Not up to me...up to Food Network.

Alton, one of the weirdest realizations I had about food network is that the chairman on Iron Chef is just a paid actor. Are you ever jealous that they always have a plate for him and not you? ...and how do I go about getting such a job

I think that what you have to do to get that job is to face The Chairman in an Octagon-style death match.

Good luck with that.

How do you feel now knowing I wish you were my best friend? we could grill and make beer together and talk about science and stuff.

Problem is I'm afraid of vampiahs.

For a really long time, you eschewed the internet, at least in terms of self-promotion to the public. In the last few months, that's turned completely around. What changed your mind?

Well...i discovered that it's actually a lot of fun.

I like your shows. But dumb old people don't like you. That is sad.

That's okay. Dumb old people aren't really my demographic.

Do you know how avocado ice cream changed my sex life?

Um...I hope for the better.

Alton, u rock. What is your take on a plant-based diet?

Yay or nay?

Well, it works for cows.

Think about that for a minute.

What is your best advice to get someone to like food/cooking? My fiancee has zero interest in food beyond eating it (I blame her family's boxed meal habits) and I love to cook (thanks to Good Eats) and try new things, any advice to get her to be more adventurous?

Look...just go ahead and dump her before it's too late. She's clearly damaged.

Hi Mr. Brown. I just want to say thank you so very much for describing the culinary arts in such an accessible way for me. Thanks to your work, I have become quite the home chef. Cooking and food have forever been changed for me, for the better.

Thank you dearly.

ps. Your guacamole is the best thing ever, substituting mangos for the tomatoes is a little twist I've added that has been a big hit.

That is very clever! I'm going to try that...very good suggestion.

I love your work! I always feel bad during Iron Chef America that you don't get to eat the food presented to the judges & chairman. Do the chefs prepare any extras for you & Kevin?

Nope...and if they did I'd be as big as a house.

As a Mr. Brown, what did you think of Resevoir Dogs?

Tarantino's best film by far.

You may not want to endorse a name brand of beer. So what is your favorite style of beer?

Sucker for a good lager.

If you could only use one knife for the rest of your life, what would it be?


Holy crap never thought I would see you doing an AMA! Love your show so much!

How come eggs don't actually go bad before the sell by date? And is it true you can tell if an egg is bad by putting it in water?

Think about it. Egg shells are built to keep bad stuff bacteria. So actually they tend to dry out before they "go bad". Truth is, that date on the box is only so the grocery store folks can sort properly.

How the hell did Bourdain get you to go to the Clermont?

Slipped me a roofie.

Hello Mr Brown. Been a huge fan for the longest time, I do have one complaint about Good Eats. The coffee episode. As a northwesterner it was all wrong.

So, set me straight

Last meal. Death row. What's it gonna be? (You're awesome by the way.)

Duck confit because it takes 3 days to make.

As a Proud Cajun, I just wanted to tell you how happy I was that you had a whole good eats explaining Roux. However, now my fiance wants to always make the roux in the oven and I've lost out on forcing him to stir for 4 hours which is tradition in our home - sort of a rite of passage.

I know you're a producer and Food culture and history has always been interesting to me, have you considered creating a show with more focus on food history using the food historians you once used in good eats? Maybe involving recipies that we don't use today - lost recipies of past civilizations...

I am in fact right at this moment working on a series called "Foods That Made America". You'll like it.

Please address my criticism of you from 4 months ago spatulator:

You're 100 percent right across the board. I'll resign my jobs tomorrow and join a monastery. Thanks for the enlightenment. I owe you.

Mr. Brown, I have been reading the book 'On Food and Cooking' and can't help but see that many of the 'Good Eats' episodes draw heavily from there, what are some other food/cooking history books that you draw from?

I'm launching my new website in a couple of months and will dedicate an entire level to our culinary library. There are about 100 titles in heavy rotation. But you're right, I check myself against McGee whenever I have the chance. I don't always agree with him but in those cases I usually keep my mouth shut.

Is there any food trend going on that just makes you roll your eyes?

I don't understand the whole "raw" thing. I'm pretty sure that learning to use fire gave us the ability to seriously up our dietary game and made us what we are...apex predators on planet Earth.

Alton, I make my soft pretzels with lye, on your show you said you can use baking soda. Should I really believe you?

No...lye is better. But if you think I was going to go on TV and tell everyone to use lye, well...I just don't have enough lawyers for that.

Thank you for doing this AMA - your shows have really helped my cooking substantially! Though really, I think my girlfriend appreciates a lot more than I do :-)

My question for you is - do you prefer your chocolate chip cookies crunchy/crispy or soft/chewy?

Either raw, or frozen.

What is your favorite drink?

the next one

Hi Alton, I love you.

Can you tell us a little bit more about each of your new endeavors? I'm excited to have some new AB OC!

live tour, youtube channel, books, CD, Cutthroat Kitchen (new game show) Food Network Star, Iron Chef America.

Alton, what would you consider the one obscure kitchen tool/device that the "Average Joe" may not have, but would most benefit from? Yes, I ended that sentence in a preposition.

spring-loaded tongs.

I made your home-made beef jerky recipe and it turned out awesome! I "shared" it with my friends by giving them small pieces since I could barely part with it. So juicy, so flavorful. I also learned how to properly handle and cut with various knives thanks to your instructional videos, especially how to dice an onion. So thanks for that, eternally grateful.

My question: what is the best way to cut a mango? They are messy and I feel like I'm hurting the soft fruit with my bumbling hands. Also I seem to leave a lot of "meat" on the pit.


One of the new webisodes I'm doing for my YouTube channel will illuminate my method which is pretty much impossible to describe here. Sorry.

Hi. I really really love you. You were the person who got me interested into cooking.(I started watching your show when I was 10, I'm 16 now) My question is what is your favorite thing to cook?

Thanks :)

I won't lie...meat. Cow...meat.

Mr. Brown,

What is the difference between baking soda and baking powder? Why do some recipes call for both, while others only call for one.

Best, Maplebar

baking soda + cream of tartar + a bit of corn starch = baking powder.

If it were possible, would you ever want to cook in space for the astronauts on the ISS?

To cook in space is my dream...absolute dream.

Would you ever consider making an appearance on Top Chef or is there some contractual/other reason you can't?

My loyalty is to Food Network.

Please make less "Iron Chef" episodes and make a lot more "Good Eats" shows.

I go where my masters tell me (until I am my own master that is).

Can you unblock me on Twitter?

Context: For a while there you were posting exclusively in twitpics, which I was unable to view on my old phone/ internet portal. I was then overjoyed when you went back to standard text. A week later you went back to posting only twitpics. I tweeted something along the lines of " oh no! More twitpics!" Then you blocked me "forever". Of course you responded in twitpic form so I didn't even realize this for a week or two. @On_a_Baldridge

Believe me, if I blocked you on Twitter, I had a reason.

3 favorite spices/seasonings (not including salt and pepper).... GO!

cumin sumac fish sauce

Hi Alton! Do you have any hobbies outside of cooking?

I like to fly airplanes. I like to ride motorcycles.

Alton Brown tortured me in Iraq... It's true! A buddy of mine in my squad would watch Good Eats in his bunk most every night and my food cravings associated with these viewings were absolutely debilitating.

What is your favorite party snack to bring to a gathering of friends?

Sorry about that.

Deviled eggs.

What's one question that you hoped someone would ask that hasn't been yet?

I wish more people would ask about the live tour. I'm really excited about it.

Sir, if you could have any kitchen tool become a sonic (insert name here) which would it be?


How do you balance your love of science with your faith?

I don't see a conflict there at all really. Science to me goes with God just fine.

Hi, Mr. Brown. I must say this is pretty darn cool of you to do an AMA on Reddit like this. My boyfriend even called me at work to tell me about it. I love "Good Eats" and am a huge fan of your approach to food.

I wanted ask you what your training was like? Did you go to school for culinary arts or were you a self-taught food guru? I want to become a food writer and was hoping you might have some insight for me, too, peas and carrots.


I have a degree in theater from UGA and a culinary degree from New England Culinary Institute. Everything else I learned the old fashion way...I studied.

Alton would you tell us briefly about your faith and how that has impacted your career?

I'm a Christian. It impacts everything.

what is your favorite way to prepare eggplant? (i'll post mine later)

Eggplant was made for the grill (in my opinion)

First off, I've loved Good Eats and all of your other work on Food Network as long as I can remember. And you're a huge Doctor Who and bowtie fan, and the reason that my boyfriend learned to cook in the kitchen with me, so you're awesome! One basic question since it's summer: What is the best meal/food and drink to take on a picnic?

cold fried chicken...can't beat it.

What was your first recipe you learned?

My grandmother's biscuits.

Where is your favorite place in Marietta, GA to eat?


Have you ever cooked with a pH meter to fine tune the acidic or basic flavors in your dishes?'s called my tongue.

Do you have an opinion on the ketosis diet?

All I can say is that I tried it...I gained 6 pounds.

You live in Atlanta, would you consider appearing at DragonCon? Have you been to DragonCon as a fan?

Yes. I plan to come this year. Can't wait.

I heard you say on Judge John Hodgman that there's very little that can grow on our food that will harm us, if it's being kept in the fridge (I'm not sure of the caveats, hence this question). Could you explain that a little more? Is it safe to eat, say, moldy yogurt? I'm not going to try it, I'm just curious. What are the definite no-nos of food safety at home and what is ok?

Let's put it this way, once food is cooked/prepared, the really bad stuff typically doesn't like it. There aren't too many molds that will actually hurt you (unless you're allergic) but they taste disgusting.

Hi AB! What is something you desperately wish to be invented in the near future?

A cure for cancer....which sucks.

If the world were about to end, what would your last meal be?

An entire case of Little Debbie nutty bars.

My dad thinks you're his soul mate.

He's me.

Who made the puppet you use for your Twitter profile pic?

Mr. Lucky Yates.

Hello Mr. Brown! I remember watching an episode of yours where you used dry ice and warned people at home not to get too close or you'd pass out and your face would freeze off. Always been a little afraid of dry ice since then!

Weird question: what were you like as a kid? (Food related, or not food related.)

Completely invisible.

What is your favorite way to prepare eggs?


Late to the dinner party again dammit. Have you tried haggis Alton?

Many times. Not the biggest fan

Did you actually make all the fruitcake for the fruitcake episode of Iron Chef America?

I'm just rolling my eyes.

I watch your show at work. Old people love you. What's your comfort food?

hummus. I freakin' love hummus.

Always love watching Good Eats, oh the knowledge!

No one has mentioned that you're a pilot. What's your dream plane, cost aside?

Well it's easy to start listing jets, but I have to say that I'm really happy with my Cessna 414a. That said...a King Air wouldn't suck, now would it?

Mr. Alton, I have a nice boston butt in the freezer right now and will hopefully be trying your terra cotta smoking method. I've seen the episode a couple of times. Any other tips I should know before diving in?

Brine that sucker and make sure it's at room temp when it goes into the smoker.

I love your old show "Good Eats". I also know you are a whovian... so, what is your opinion on the season finale? Also what inspired you to think so outside of the box like you did on Good Eats?

I hate to say it, but I didn't think this season was the best. They're trying to hard to tee up the 50th anniversary.

why is/was there no audience in the American version of Iron Chef? That omission just seems to suck the life out of're knowledge and comments were excellent, I must add.

There is an audience of about 50 but there's no room for's a big studio but it's a bigger kitchen (need a TARDIS).

What's your favorite Mark Dacascos movie?

Brotherhood of the Wolf.

Hey Alton! Lifelong fan here ever since my dad showed me Good Eats:

Do you get annoyed when someone pronounces your name incorrectly?

No big deal to me at all. Happens all the time.

I used to love your show on the food channel but its gone now :(. Where did it go?

Look for the Cooking Channel.

Hello, and thanks for doing this...

There are so few cooking-education shows on Food Network anymore. (I know there were some.) Why do you think that happened?? Am I missing something you would recommend? And do you need a bagpiper for an upcoming gig??

It happened because tastes changed. Audiences want reality competition that's what networks have to give them.

Hi Alton, thanks for doing an AmA... Do you have any tips for making a legendary bowl of steel cut oats?

I've gone over to low heat...start in cold water and bring barely to a simmer. No stirring.

Have you ever traveled through Iowa? Iowa seems to be forgotten by people and every person who comes to Iowa seems to thoroughly enjoy our state. Thoughts?

I have traveled through Iowa and there's great food pork in the nation.

Hey, AB! Long time fan, thank you so much for making cooking entertaining as well as educational. There should be more teachers like you out there.

One of the things I love about Good Eats are the equipment hacks you do that take the place of pricier appliances. The steel lotus, cardboard smoker, etc.

I was wanting to venture into sous vide, and those baths are way out of my budget. Do you have a MacGuyverist suggestions, ideas, or hacks on making one?

Thank you again for the AMA, sir. :)

There's a company called Auber Instruments that makes a great temp controller for analog-style crock pots. Look them up on line at

you seem high-strung

do you yell at people?

I find that it's much easier to get your message across if you speak rather softly.

Who would win in a fist fight to the death, bobby flay or Guy fieri

Bobby Flay, hands down. Dude is tough, wiry, determined. No contest.

Heya Mr. Brown! Just wanted to say thank you for your show. It was the first Food Network show I ever saw and it's still my favorite. In fact, it's now the only show on the network I watch! I think I learned more chemistry from your show than I ever did in High School.

So on to the question: I know you're a food nerd, but what other nerdy things are you into? Scifi? Video games? Role playing games?

Actually I'm stuck in a huge roll playing game right now where I'm acting the roll of this guy on TV with food shows and...wait...never mind.

Any love for kamado-style ceramic cookers like the Big Green Egg?

Yes...I call it a flower pot.

What do you think of the recent Amy's Baking Company issue?


(funny and sad and...well)



Hey AB, Huge fan here! I've seen every episode of Good Eats at least twice. My question is, Which do you prefer...... Dry aged or Wet aged steaks?


I know this will get buried, but I want to say a big thank you for bringing cooking shows that are different and entertaining to TV. Watching Good Eats is a definitely learning experience while also being funny and quirky. My wife and I both get a kick out of watching Good Eats and Iron Chef America. Personally, I also appreciate your attitude and openness regarding your Christianity.


Have you read Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck Cookbook? If you haven't, I will mail you my husband's copy when he's not looking. What is your favorite dessert?

I's brilliant. favorite dessert: bourbon.

I realize this is two hours old, but I can't help but chime in: Alton, I watched your episode of Good Eats with the "Flowerpot Smoker" and I built one for myself. I made a bunch of modifications to make it easier to use, but I have to say, it's the best $100 I've ever spent. It seriously makes better product than any smoker I've ever used.

Here's my question: of the techniques you've demonstrated on your show, what is/are the one(s) you use most frequently?

Smoking box Turkey derrick tandoor.

What is your favourite vegetarian/vegan dish?

Fricasse of vegan with orange sauce.

If you could only have one spice in your kitchen, which would it be?


What is the worst recipe you know?

Didn't bother learning it.

First of all, I'm a big fan of yours. Love the shows, the cookbooks, and the recipes. I made your brined turkey for thanksgiving and it was a HUGE hit.

My question for you is about cooking for a picky eater. I eat almost anything, but my boyfriend is incredibly picky. Any suggestions on getting him to try more things, or should I learn to cook for just myself?

Dump him.

Is there any dish that can't be made better with the addition of avocado?

I'm thinking.

...rice krispie treats.

I know from your episode on the Nerdist Podcast that you watch Doctor Who. Have you ever eaten fish fingers & custard?

Clearly you have never Googled "Alton Brown Fish Fingers"

What's your favorite use of vanilla?

Is Takeshi Kaga as great in real life as he is on Iron Chef?

Never met him.

You are a very good cook and I do admire what you do, but why did Good Eats have to be so corny? (We had to watch them in my high school cooking class).

Sorry they forced you to watch them. But it really was the best thing for you. If they hadn't had been so corny you wouldn't have paid attention.

Kids...go figure.

Do you still stand by your opinion that salt is not bad for you?

Depends on what you're doing with it. (Remember that scene in Lethal Weapon? Ouch. )

Ever been fired from a cooking gig?

Nope...fired though from a bus boy job because I was underage.

What did you think of the south park episode "Creme Fraiche"

Pinacle of comedic genius. Though i would never rub a pork loin with butter.

Hey Alton! Thanks for teaching me the science behind good food. I get a lot of compliments about my cooking and I totally credit great teachers like you (and my grandmother).

I'm hoping you can settle a raging debate in my family. I caused a full on mutiny one Thanksgiving, when I dared change our mashed potato routine. I used Yukon Gold (instead of russet), because I like the flavor more. I know you've endorsed Yukon Gold before, but that's not the problem. The problem is that I left the skins on. My reasoning is that they are thin enough to make little difference, as opposed to the skin of russet potatoes, not to mention that's where all the nutrients are! Plus, potato skins make my hands itch, and I hate peeling. I swear they're just as good, my family disagrees, and I have since been relegated to boxed stuffing duty.

So, skins, or no?

I like yukons and yes I leave on the peel.

Alton, I just want to know how you feel about marijuana

It's illegal where I live. That's how I feel about it.

I hate seeing awesome AMAs 2 hours after they're done :(

I'm still here.


Hold on while I look that up.
Dictionary says: One who is narrrowly or intolerantly devoted to his or her opinions and prejudices I don't think that's me. But maybe you should ask someone who knows me.

Alton, what's your favorite burger in Atlanta?

I've always been a fan of the under the rader Earl burger. You?

Red eye mule...hands down.

If you were stranded in the wild (anywhere) what would you try to cook to survive?

My shoes.

Simple question: mac or pc?

mac all the way.

I know you ride motorcycles. Do you ride off road?

at my age...not so much.

What's your favorite food trick you know? For example, peeling garlic by smashing it with a knife, or pitting and avocado by hitting the pit with a knife?

the garlic in two stainless steel bowl trick is pretty sweet.

Hi Alton! Hug!

Thanks so much for doing this AMA!

What's your secret weapon in the kitchen, the tool you're most attached to/enamoured with?


spring loaded tongs.

If you were going on another road trip, but could not use a BMW, what would you ride?

ducati multistrada

what brand are your glasses? Are they custom made?

Most are made by LA eyeworks

Since everybody is talking to you about food, I'll ask something else. Who makes your favorite AR?


Hi Alton, big fan and thanks for doing AMA!

My question: How did your work with food affect your parenting? Did your daughter grow up with only the awesome food you cook, or did you cave to the drive-thru now and then? Was your daughter a picky eater as a toddler?

I cook simply and I always make sure if there's something new or challenging on the plate, there's something she really loves right next to it.

That's a lot of awesome rolling in, so what are you most excited about?

Im really excited about my upcoming live tour. I'm actually going to be singing and playing some of my new food songs.

If you could just acknowledge that I exist, that would be really awesome. Please?!?!

You exist...and you know it.

LOVE the guitar in the background of your instagram verifcation photo. Care to share any info on it or a couple of photos?

Oh, wait... food questions... my bad..

No problem...check out

Why don't you do the GOOD EATS cooking shows anymore?

Part of being a good party guest is knowing when to leave the party.

Thanks for taking this on. I've always loved that your work explains WHY things work, not just what to do. It's a small club of people that are doing that (you, Corriher, McGee, um... - who else am I missing?)

I love that the Good Eats format takes a topic and explains it in half-hour chunks. However, that also makes it a bit scattershot. Have you looked at stitching some of this material together into a sequence or a curriculum, that builds on itself? Or is that format less sell-able in a network setting?

I haven't considered this but it's a good idea that warrants consideration.

Wait a second..."scattershot"?

HOW did you learn to wisk so fast? Your hand literally disappears.

It's my only super-skill.

Other than your daughter, what do you want your legacy to be?

That's enough.

What is your favoirte dinner meal to cook for friends?

roast chickens with roast lemons.

I love your show, but I hate your pizzas.

Hey, thanks so much. Do you feel better, or would it help if you knew you made me feel bad. totally didn't.

What was the most fun skit to film from your Food Network show?

The Silence of the Lambs take off we did in the power bar show.

Anthony Bourdain trashed "celebrity" chefs pretty strongly in his early books and shows. Now he's judging for Top Chef and has his own cooking game show. Thoughts? Also, are you having as much fun as it seems you are?

Seems to work for him.

What do you see as the most difficult to work with, but the most rewarding when well prepared?


How did you first get into cooking and developing your interest for food?

I learned to cook to get dates in college. Simple as that.

Hi Alton! Big fan.

Can you tell us a little bit about what you plan to do on tour?

Live food songs...outrageous food demos, puppets, multi media presentations...puppets, Q+A. Ponchos.

How hard is it to coordinate your show? It looks very intricate at times and I can only imagine it takes a lot of planning to execute.

You've no idea.

How did you become such a wonderful role model?

"He's like the holy grail of food-- How? How?" - my boyfriend

Actually I'm a cautionary tale at best.


In Anthony Bourdain's, Kitchen Confidential, he writes about how a vichyssoise (sp?) as a boy elevated his notion of food to cuisine. What dish had a similar feeling in you?

For me, I had seared ahi tuna with just salt at age 14. I still remember the name of the restaurant. When I think about it, it was the pure expression of ingredients that elevated my mind.

thxs for the ama

The reason I never talk about it is that it's actually vichyssoise.

What sort of things can we expect from your tour?

madness and music and lots of mess.

...Also shoot training videos for Home Depot. I worked there 5 years ago and was shocked to see you in our training videos.

Sorry but I've never been in a training video.

I want to know why ice cream gets crispy when you add it to a root beer float. I am eating one right now!

because part of the water phase of the root beer freezes as ice on the surface of the ice cream. Regular beer does the same thing...don't ask me how I know.

Thank you for doing AMA. My wife and I are huge fans. Question: What is the best way to cook and peel hard boiled eggs? My wife and I are always arguing about this. Thanks again, your Awesome!!

I tend to cook them in water in an electric kettle. If I'm doing a bunch of them I bake them.

On your Homage to Fromage episode, what tricks did you use to get the camera to move gracefully from the countertop to the oven and then back to the countertop? Thank you!

That was a Steadicam operated expertly by Ramon Engle.

What do you think is something that isn't a standard part of the American palate but should be? Andrew Zimmern suggested goat.


How unhealthy do you think it is to only eat one meal a day? (Dinner).

pretty darned unhealthy.

You've had a major change in body weight in the last few years. Congratulations! What tripped the switch?

not seeing when my shoes were untied.

I absolutely loved Good Eats. It was basically porn for for a food lover such as myself.

Thanks but that was not my intention.

Hey AB! Pappy 20yr or 23yr?

I am looking forward to your YouTube channel.

Believe it not I prefer the 12. I'm a simple man with simple tastes.

This will probably get buried, but I've noticed the many different beautiful watches that you wear on the different shows you're on.

My question to you: What is you favorite watch? And if that is too difficult a question, which one do you simply find yourself wearing the most?

A 1957 Rolex 6298

I hope you have the slightest inkling of how many nerds you have gotten laid because they learned how to cook because of you.

Pretty freakin awesome ain't it.

When you tour hits Akron, OH in November- you and the crew can stay at my house in Cleveland!!!


How did you come up with the idea for Good Eats?

Just staring at the wall actually.

Hello, Alton! I am a big fan, Good Eats is easily my favorite cooking show.

I just want to know, how do you feel about all those cooking competition shows (Food Network Challenge, Worst Cooks in America, Cupcake Wars, Food Network Star, etc) that seem so popular now? Personally, I really can't stand that they seem to have taken over Food Network because they marginalize the actual cooking in favor of fake drama.

Everything doesn't have to be a war!

Tell me about it.

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Alton Brown conducted on Reddit on 2013-05-24. The Reddit AMA can be found here.