12 Alton Brown Recipes That We Can’t Stop Making
We’ve been counting on him for “Good Eats” for more than two decades. By Southern Living Editors
We’ve been counting on him for “Good Eats” for more than two decades.
Alton Brown has been teaching us the science behind cooking, making us laugh, and giving us amazing recipes for more than 20 years. With the return of his classic show Good Eats this year, we’ve been combing through some of the best Alton Brown recipes of all time. From weeknight favorites like meatloaf to holiday-ready dishes like roast turkey, Alton has tips and tricks for all your favorite classics. Baking is all about the way ingredients react with each other, so it’s no surprise that Alton Brown has some amazing dessert recipes, starting with his famous chewy chocolate chip cookies. As we prepare get our Alton Brown fix with the reboot of Good Eats, let’s take a look back on some of our favorite recipes he’s brought us.
WATCH: Alton Brown’s Simple Hack for Brewing Better Coffee
Good Eats Roast Turkey
This juicy roast turkey recipe has more than 5,800 incredible reviews, and when you try it, you’ll see why. Of course, Brown found a way to thoroughly cook dark meat without overcooking the white meat—a creation he calls a “turkey triangle” and playing with the oven temperature. All you need for his “turkey triangle” creation is foil and canola oil. Brown’s famous turkey brine and a piping hot oven ensure a juicy turkey with beautifully browned skin. Get the recipe here.
These classic chocolate chip cookies are appropriately named—they’re unbelievably soft. The secret? There are actually several. Using bread flour instead of all-purpose keeps more moisture in the cookies. This recipe calls for more dark sugar than granulated, which contributes to the chewiness. Instead of two whole eggs, these cookies need one whole egg and one egg yolk. Why? Egg whites dry out your batter. Last, adding a little bit of milk ensures moist batter and cookies. Get the recipe here.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
You know Alton Brown would never consider store-bought mac, and this homemade baked macaroni and cheese is a fan favorite. His special ingredient is adding an egg to the sauce for extra richness and creaminess. The crispy breadcrumb topping adds just the right amount of texture to this kid-friendly classic. Get the recipe here.
Because Brown admits he’s “not much of a morning person,” he makes his French toast custard the night before. Not only will you be able to sleep in, but a “mature” custard will actually taste better. Beyond making the custard the night before, Brown says “the most important part of making French toast” is actually leaving your bread out to dry overnight. Fresh bread will fall apart in the pan, while stale bread will soak up the custard and remain sturdy. Bonus: You only need six ingredients. Get the recipe here.
Good Eats Meatloaf
“Great meatloaf is always juicy, but it never falls apart. It is neither bland nor so seasoned that it loses its meaty soul,” Brown said when he introduced this recipe on Good Eats. “A great meatloaf is, in fact, a lot like a great hamburger, only turned inside out.” This meatloaf manages to hit the perfect balance. A few fun facts about Alton’s legendary meat loaf recipe: The binding starts with store-bought garlic croutons, you only need one egg (trust him!), and you actually don’t bake it in your loaf pan (it’s simply used as a mold). When combining your mixture, don’t squeeze the meatloaf, just toss it. The true star of this meatloaf recipe is the gorgeous glaze on top. Get the recipe here.
Best Ever Green Bean Casserole
To do this old-school recipe the Alton Brown way, start from the top. “I think of beans the way I do pasta. In other words, I don’t ever put these into a pot of water without having at least a gallon of water at a boil, liberally seasoned with not one, but 2 tablespoons of salt,” Brown said. Instead of store-bought crispy fried onions, Alton’s recipe calls for roasting your own, which adds so much more flavor. One thing our Southern selves love about this recipe? It’s made in your trusty cast-iron skillet. Get the recipe here.
Who Loves Ya Baby-Back?
Brown’s famous baby back ribs recipe starts with his 8 3 1 + 1 rub, which denotes eight parts brown sugar, three parts kosher salt, and one part chili powder. The “plus one” is a separate spice blend that’s added to the original 8 3 1, which includes Southern-favorite Old Bay. Once your rub is ready, “don’t be prissy about” seasoning the ribs. After they’re seasoned and wrapped in foil, Brown recommends chilling them for at least one hour, but says they’ll be even better if you give them the entire night. With these baby back ribs, “aggressive oven management is required.” He added, “When it comes to ribs, speed kills.” So be patient—these ribs are so worth it. Get the recipe here.
Hot Glazed Bonuts
We love a recipe mashup, and this indulgent breakfast treat starts with Alton Brown’s Southern Biscuit recipe. Brown says the Bonut provides the “lift of a biscuit but all the golden brown beauty of a donut.” Since nothing has ever tasted worse after frying and glazing, this delightful creation is truly genius. The glaze will adhere best if you dip the Bonuts in it while they’re still warm. Get the recipe here.
Luckily, Brown knows that good fried chicken involves buttermilk. His recipe requires the chicken soak in the buttermilk for 12 to 24 hours so the tangy flavor can “invade” the chicken meat. “Liberal seasoning is advised” with his four-ingredient “poultry shake” spice blend. One interesting aspect of Alton’s fried chicken is that he doesn’t season the flour he dredges the chicken in. For this, he offers two reasons: You waste a lot of seasonings, and spices like paprika (from the “poultry shake” blend) “burn, and by stashing them under the crust, you’ll be protected.” What Alton says is “the most important point,” though, is to get as much of the excess dredge off as possible. Extra dredge will fall off in the pan and burn, which of course, is not what you want. Like a Southerner would, Brown fries his chicken in his cast-iron skillet. Since he uses science to guide his cooking decisions, he strategically places different pieces of chicken around the pan where they’ll cook best. Get the recipe here.
Brown says this garlicky soup is “really the only culinary tradition” that his family has at Christmastime. It’s aptly named Christmas Soup because that’s the one time all year they make it. Although Alton knows the soup is Polish in origin, no one in his family knows when it was actually created or written down. “We just know that it’s been in the family since, you know, we got our start,” he said. With kielbasa sausage and several pantry staple ingredients, you can cook up this comforting soup for a chilly winter night, too. Get the recipe here.
Looking for a fun, new baking project? Try these homemade marshmallows, and you may never go back to store-bought. As with making any candy-esque treat, you will need the right equipment to make marshmallows. One of the most important aspects of making marshmallows is proper pan prep—you don’t want all that hard work to get stuck to the pan! Get the recipe here.
Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
With all the flavorful dishes that line the sideboard at Christmas and Thanksgiving, Alton likes to keep his mashed potatoes simple. This five-ingredient recipe has everything you need in a mashed potato recipe. The reason they’re so creamy is not just any cream, but a homemade garlic cream. Grated parmesan cheese is the perfect finishing touch for these dreamy spuds. Get the recipe here.