For us, Good Eats' binge-worthy appeal wasn't just watching Alton Brown explain the science behind mayonnaise emulsions—watching in awe as he fashioned ingenious kitchen gadgets out of everyday objects was also a huge draw. The culinary mad scientist's infamous disdain for unitaskers—or a cooking tools with just one purpose—often sent faithful home viewers rummaging through their toolboxes. And he also reassured us that for every pricy new appliance, there was a DIY alternative that worked just as well (if not better).
Here are the seven most brilliant kitchen hacks and homemade gadgets ever seen on Good Eats.
① Automatic Pepper Drill
Every Good Eats devotee remembers how quickly Brown could season an entire fillet of salmon, but it wasn't until the show went off the air that he revealed this genius way to make steak au poivre without developing carpal tunnel.
② Charcoal Chimney Grill Top
The secret to having your tuna steaks come out perfectly charred on the outside yet beautifully rare on the side? Do as Brown does and slap the grill's grate directly over the chimney starter. Your new rocket engine-grade cooker will sear a hunk of tuna in mere seconds while leaving a ruby center.
③ Coffeemaker Oatmeal
The next time you're trapped in an ill-equipt budget hotel, try this convenient breakfast hack instead of those rubbery, lukewarm breakfast bar eggs.
④ Pie Tin Dumpling Steamer
Stab a few holes into the bottom of a couple disposable pie tins, stack them between a cookie cutter or two (or some hollowed-out tuna cans), and, suddenly, your regular old stockpot is fit to steam layers upon layers of silky homemade dumplings.
⑤ Fried Turkey Derrick
Put together this ingenious, simply constructed rig, and an extra-crispy version of a Thanksgiving bird is all yours. No fire extinguisher needed.
⑥ Ceramic BBQ Slow Smoker
With just a handful of well-placed flower pots and a portable stove, anyone can become a bona fide barbecue pit master—aided by the help AB's signature rub, of course.
⑦ The Ultimate Stovetop Popcorn Popper
Leave it to Brown to put an end to our universal movie night tooth-chipping fears. Popping your corn in a metal mixing bowl means the kernels naturally fall to the curved bottom, bringing them closer to the heat and upping their poppability. In the end, you've got a pillowy white sea of fluffy corn, just waiting for a good dose of brown butter—the ideal snack for our next Good Eats marathon.