Watching a few "Good Eats" episodes is a great way for a beginning cook to get an idea what to do in the kitchen or for a gourmet to get a few new ideas. Not sure where to start? Here are a few of the best "Good Eats" episodes:

  1. "There Will Be Oil" This "Good Eats" episode goes into the chemistry behind cooking with oil and which oils should be used when. It's a great primer for the novice cook, and can fill in the gaps in the knowledge of those who are more experienced in the kitchen.

  2. "Pantry Raid I: Use Your Noodle" This is another "Good Eats" episode that gets into basic cooking fundamentals. Viewers learn about the different types of pasta and the best way to cook and serve each. There's never a need to go hungry when you have pasta in the pantry.

  3. "American Pickle" In this episode, Alton Brown talks about the different kinds of pickles from around the world and teaches viewers a few methods for making quick refrigerator pickles. The easy recipes in this episode are great for expanding the variety of foods you have on-hand.

  4. "A Pie in Every Pocket" The pies in this episode are easier to make than traditional pie-shell pies. Experiment with pies as simple as chocolate or as exotic as curried mango.

  5. "Tortillas Again" Leftovers can be tricky to deal with. This "Good Eats" episode provides some great ideas for how to make them something to enjoy instead of endure.

  6. "This Spud's for You" Every cook should know a few good ways to cook potatoes. Tune into this "Good Eats" episode to learn a bit about the science of starches and to learn a few new ways to prepare potatoes.

  7. "Raising the Bar" One of the true marks of an adult is the ability to make a decent cocktail. In this "Good Eats" episode, Alton Brown teaches viewers how to make a few classic cocktails and what should be in a well-stocked bar.

  8. "Olive Me" If you want to give your food a quick flavor boost, you can't go wrong with olives. Alton Brown uses this "Good Eats" episode to teach a bit about the history of olives and to give viewers a few new recipes that use them.

  9. "Churn Baby Churn" Homemade frozen treats like ice cream and sorbet are a real treat. Learn how to pick the best ice cream maker so you can whip up your own icy confections at home.

  10. "Hook, Line and Dinner" Even many experienced cooks are skittish about cooking fish. In this "Good Eats" episode, Alton Brown teaches viewers how to pick the best fish and how to prepare it.

- Lara Stewart