Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes by Harold McGee
McGee is a food scientist and a columnist for the New York Times and author of the best general food science book ever (above).
This book is a (mostly successful) attempt to cover this academic subject in user-friendly fashion. McGee has a great ability to boil down a complex idea to very few words and bring clarity to the subject.
The book is designed so readers can just dive in anywhere, so he often repeats things, almost word for word, from chapter to chapter. Lots of great tips. Penguin, 2010, 576 pages, hardcover, few recipes, few illustrations.
Meathead, BBQ Hall of Famer - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.