Ratio - Michael Ruhlman


By Michael Ruhlman

  • Release Date: 2009-04-07
  • Genre: Methods
Score: 4
From 37 Ratings


Michael Ruhlman’s groundbreaking New York Times bestseller takes us to the very “truth” of cooking: it is not about recipes but rather about basic ratios and fundamental techniques that makes all food come together, simply.

When you know a culinary ratio, it’s not like knowing a single recipe, it’s instantly knowing a thousand.

Why spend time sorting through the millions of cookie recipes available in books, magazines, and on the Internet? Isn’t it easier just to remember 1-2-3? That’s the ratio of ingredients that always make a basic, delicious cookie dough: 1 part sugar, 2 parts fat, and 3 parts flour. From there, add anything you want—chocolate, lemon and orange zest, nuts, poppy seeds, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, almond extract, or peanut butter, to name a few favorite additions. Replace white sugar with brown for a darker, chewier cookie. Add baking powder and/or eggs for a lighter, airier texture.

Ratios are the starting point from which a thousand variations begin.

Ratios are the simple proportions of one ingredient to another. Biscuit dough is 3:1:2—or 3 parts flour, 1 part fat, and 2 parts liquid. This ratio is the beginning of many variations, and because the biscuit takes sweet and savory flavors with equal grace, you can top it with whipped cream and strawberries or sausage gravy. Vinaigrette is 3:1, or 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, and is one of the most useful sauces imaginable, giving everything from grilled meats and fish to steamed vegetables or lettuces intense flavor.

Cooking with ratios will unchain you from recipes and set you free. With thirty-three ratios and suggestions for enticing variations, Ratio is the truth of cooking: basic preparations that teach us how the fundamental ingredients of the kitchen—water, flour, butter and oils, milk and cream, and eggs—work. Change the ratio and bread dough becomes pasta dough, cakes become muffins become popovers become crepes.

As the culinary world fills up with overly complicated recipes and never-ending ingredient lists, Michael Ruhlman blasts through the surplus of information and delivers this innovative, straightforward book that cuts to the core of cooking. Ratio provides one of the greatest kitchen lessons there is—and it makes the cooking easier and more satisfying than ever.


  • Good Book, Bad E-Book

    By therealrlh
    My wife checked this out from the library and loves it. So before buying the e-book version I downloaded the sample. In that small number of pages there is a missing figure and another figure mislabeled (the caption appears to be from the missing photo). That discouraged me from buying. Publishers need to get serious about the quality of their electronic versions. (And iBooks Author should be the standard for cookbooks in general).
  • Not your everyday cookbook

    By the pink sox
    If you are a cookbook collector, the type that buys big, glossy collections of recipes featuring dozens of full page pictures of food, then this book may not necessarily be for you. If, however, you want to really learn how to cook, cook properly, and understand what you're doing, then you shouldn't hesitate to buy this book. Ratio reads much more like Alton Brown's Good Eats than Rachel Ray, in that instead of getting direct instructions from point A to point B, you're given a map so that you can properly place yourself and better understand the interconnected nature of cooking. I've given this book to five or six people that I know enjoy cooking, and all of them have read it cover to cover and found that it really improved their understanding of what they cook.