Help me choose a Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen cookbook.
I'm thinking of getting a massive tome of a cookbook. I've my eye set on the Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen series; I've glanced at the Joy of Cooking but like the CI/ATK's style more. I know that CI/ATK has a lot of duplication between books, but lucky me, I don't have any of their cookbooks. This is going to be my occasional-use/party-cooking/impress guests cookbook since I know the receipes tend to be time consuming.
So my current choices are:
The New Best Recipe
Cook's Illustrated Cookbook
America's Test Kitchen Complete Cookbook 2001-2014
The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook
Only the first two are available in my library so I'll be taking a look at them. I had a quick skim of the last two in my local bookstore, and both look solid.
1) I have a decently stocked kitchen, but I don't have much room in the way of expansion--I might get a small thing like a quick-read thermometer, but I'm not going to have fourteen kinds of knives in the kitchen. So I'm not sure how much use I'd get out of the shopping guides (which I know is in the Cooking School book, not sure about the others) for equipment. Shopping guide for ingredients is a little more helpful, but again, I'll probably get easily available at the expense of a little bit of flavour.
2) For approximately the same size, Cook's Illustrated Cookbook has around double (?!) the amount of recipes as America's Test Kitchen Complete: 2000 vs. 1000-ish. Did the latter just have a lot of pictures?
3) How much duplication are there between the recipes in Cook's Illustrated Cookbook vs. America's Test Kitchen Complete? I know the former came out around 2004...
4) I skimmed the how-to cook X sections in the Cooking School cookbook and found it really helpful and informative, buuut...I was hoping that some of that information might be duplicated in the other bigger books because I would like more recipes as a whole than their...I think it was 600.
5) I'll revisit this once my library copy comes in, but while I'm sure I'll find the details on "how we derived this exact receipe" interesting, it's not crucial for me, and I think that takes up a large component of New Best Recipe.
Thoughts on what to buy would be appreciated!
PS: I'd also love thoughts on how How to Cook Everything
compares with the above. (Or if it has a lot of How To Info like the Cooking School cookbook, I could get it + an CI/ATK book.)