Why Alton Brown Hates Cooking Artichokes

Alton Brown is known for being a problem solver and go-to resource for how-to in the kitchen. He's also approachable, though, giving viewers a look into his home kitchen — and yes, even his messy refrigerator – via his "Quarantine Quitchen" episodes that he live-streamed with wife, Elizabeth Ingram. But even the "Good Eats" host has his nemesis: the daunting artichoke.

Brown can cook artichokes. He even did a "Good Eats" episode on the vegetable, titled "The Choke is On You," in which he doled out tidbits of information about the strange-looking artichoke, which is related to the sunflower. But he doesn't particularly like to cook them — and this isn't the first ingredient that has plagued Brown; He famously wrestled with a meaningful way to approach the avocado, eventually landing on its fat content and ability to enrich even sweet recipes like ice cream and frosting as a novel way to present the bumpy-skinned fruit.

After Brown's "The Choke is On You" episode, his followers on Twitter were grateful for the lesson, but one fan's response to the show mirrored his hesitation to tackle the artichoke.

Cooking artichokes is 'so much work'

They're a ton of work. A Twitter user named Corinne summed it up perfectly: "Watching Alton Brown show how to eat an artichoke. I like artichokes, but that seems like a lot of work for a little food." The Food Network shared Brown's thoughts on the vegetable: "While I like eating artichokes, I hate cooking them. It's so much work. Who decided we should even eat that?" he wondered.

Yes, you can certainly conquer the intimidating artichoke, but cleaning and trimming them can be quite a chore, which is one reason why it's an ingredient you may just be better off buying in a can or a jar, rather than fresh from the produce department. Marinated artichokes from the jar are ideal for rustic and delicious dishes like our Spinach-Artichoke Sandwich, made simple when the artichoke prep is done for you.

Should you decide to tackle Brown's nemesis, the fresh artichoke does put on quite a show at the table, whether you try out our Grilled Artichoke recipe or our show-stopping Parmesan-Stuffed Artichokes. But if you never roll up your sleeves to attack the artichoke, don't fret; Brown understands.