Alton Brown Built a Giant Easy-Bake Oven, Is a Real American Hero

It could be seen from space on a clear night.
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Publish date:
March 28, 2016
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cooking, inventions, cookbooks, pizza, engineering, Alton Brown, Easy-bake Oven

I remember my first Easy-Bake Oven. I got it for Christmas and made my father eat crappy little cake after crappy little cake, all while feeling very adult and self-sufficient. "They tasted terrible," my father told me, "but you were so cute I had to eat them." Oddly, I do not remember eating a single cake concocted in the Easy-Bake, but I enjoyed the process.

It turns out that not even Alton Brown was immune to the charms of the Easy-Bake Oven. Though his parents wouldn't buy him one (thanks, gender norms!) he eventually got his baby-Alton hands on a beautiful, teal Kenner model from a cousin, and all it cost him was some G.I. Joe's.

The oven relied on the power of a 100-watt bulb to do its cooking and, as you can imagine, young Alton was not impressed with the results. Though the little cakes weren't up to 5-year-old Alton's standards, he found the experience "empowering" and the "memory of cooking with light...never faded," so Alton Brown did a very Alton Brown thing and made a giant, extremely bright Easy-Bake Oven-inspired "Mega Bake" oven.

Besides the "cooking with light" concept, the Mega Bake and Easy Bake only have their paint jobs in common. Fifty four lights power this baby which, at a 1,000 watts a piece, brings us to a wattage of 54,000, which translates to 450 amps, and around 1,026,000 lumens. Apparently that amount of lumens could be seen from outer space on a clear night, a fact that makes Mr. Brown very happy.

Heat-wise, this translates to 64o degrees (Fahrenheit, I'm assuming) or "hot enough to cook a pizza," which is what really matters. Alton then cooks a pizza — in just three minutes! — using a very high-tech ship's wheel.

Guys, I think Alton Brown may have just out-Alton-Brown'd himself.

In addition to constructing very large, nostalgia-packed monster ovens and Tweeting pictures of Post-it notes, Alton also has been busy working on a new book, which I am very excited about. The cover of said book shows him in bed, eating fries, upside down, which is essentially my sexual orientation.

The book, which will hit both brick and mortar shops and this thing known as "the internet" this fall, is his first in five years and is titled "EveryDayCook." According to Eater, the recipes are "significantly less straightforward than recipes in Brown's previous books, but are just as playful."

Think: buttermilk lassi; nitrous pancakes; lacquered bacon; seedy date bars; Smokey the Meat Loaf; fish sticks and custard; onion oxtail soup; Mussels-O-Miso; Garam Masalmon Steaks; cider house fondue; Open Sesame Noodles; and midnight mug cake for 2.

Brown also included recipes for a green grape cobbler, savory Greek yogurt dip, sardine paté, peach punch pops, and roasted chile salsa. In total, there will be 101 recipes in the new book as well as "artful photos, a plethora of useful insights on methods, tools, and ingredients."

None of that sounds extremely "everyday" to me but, according to Alton himself it's the stuff "you would eat if [he] invited you over for a meal," which he "doesn't have to do now, because you'll have the book; you can do it yourself." Rude.

But back to that Mega Bake: what would you use it to create? I'm thinking nachos, or anything else with cheese. Also, how cool would a Mega Bake cookbook be? It wouldn't be very practical, but practicality is overrated.