The 2 Staple Ingredients Alton Brown's Test Kitchen Can't Run Without

"Good Eats" starring Alton Brown was a kooky, science-minded spin on traditional food-related television series. Part sketch comedy show, part cooking show, it showed the curious among us the science behind what we do in the kitchen and why. How can we create better-tasting meals by understanding the properties of the ingredients? Why does brining a turkey make it juicier than basting it? That's not to mention Brown's best food hacks from his cookbooks and beyond, like making your oatmeal in a coffee pot or adding mayonnaise to your scrambled eggs.

"Good Eats" spawned a range of cookbooks (four of them, one for each era of the series) and catapulted Brown to Food Network stardom and cult status among home cooks. People swear by his roast turkey recipe, which has almost 6,000 reviews and a 4.9 average rating on Food Network, as well as his chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe, which uses bread flour and an extra egg yolk to retain moisture. What fans may not know is that behind Brown's quirky presenting style and food hacks, though, was a small army of chefs working in a test kitchen to ensure that his ideas and recipes were successful.

Consistency in ingredients is important in test kitchens

A former "Good Eats" test kitchen chef, writing for The Kitchn, dished about what working on the show was like. Besides discovering that spatchcocking a chicken drastically cuts down the cooking time, she revealed that there were two ingredients Brown's team always on hand: Diamond Crystal Kosher salt and King Arthur flour. The reason for this is very important, especially in test kitchens. Per the writer, the quality ingredients allowed for consistent results when recipe testing.

You might want to take a cue from Brown's staff in your own home cooking. Always using the same brands of butter, flour, sugar, and more ensures that you'll be able to clearly see the different results between any recipes you're comparing, according to Food Blogger Pro. For example, if you use King Arthur flour for one iteration of your chocolate chip cookie recipe, but then use Gold Medal for the next and change the amount of baking soda, you'll likely get different results but won't know why for sure. 

Cooking comes down to science, meaning you should treat recipes like science experiments, changing one variable at a time. So, make like a chef and use the same brands on repeat for great results every time. Even if your preferred brand of butter isn't on sale the next time you're ingredient shopping, buy it anyway — your favorite cookies will thank you.