Alton Brown’s Net Worth and the Cooking Hacks That Made Him Rich!

Alton Brown has a net worth of $13M, but do you know how he made his riches? (Included are some of his coolest cooking hacks!)
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  • The Man, the Myth, The Legend

  • Alton Brown’s net worth today is listed as $13 million according to That’s no small fortune. You probably know him as a famous TV chef in the US, but how did he end up there? What led to him making millions? The story, as most stories, is quite interesting. Read on to find out more!

    If you read on we will also reveal some really cool Alton Brown cooking hacks, complete with recipes. The sort of things that made him famous. Maybe you can use Alton Brown’s net worth to improve your own? His inventions could inspire you to come up with some revolutionary idea of your own, you never know!
  • Brown’s Early Career

  • Alton Brown did not start out as a chef. No, far from it - he was a cinematographer,. In fact, he used to shoot music videos for R.E.M. And, funnily, later in life it seems Brown, in true R.E.M. spirit, lost his religion as he stated that he "could no longer abide the Southern Baptist Convention's indoctrination of children and its anti-gay stance.”

    Puns apart regarding R.E.M. lyrics, something used to bug Brown when he worked as a cinematographer and that was the quality of cooking shows airing on American television. It bugged him so much he wanted to do his own cooking show, but to do that, he figured he needed to learn how to cook. As a result, he enrolled in the New England Culinary Institute, where he graduated in 1997. In other words, he became a chef in his mid thirties.
  • The Road to TV Fame

  • Alton Brown’s net worth did, of course, not rise into the millions just because he became a chef though. He had to become famous first and with that, he wasted no time. Already in July 1998, a year after graduating as a chef, the pilot for Good Eats, Brown’s cooking show, aired. A year later it was picked up by the Food Network and that’s when fame came rolling round. The show came to an end after 249 episodes.

    According to Brown Good Eats was his attempt of combining Julia Childs, Mr. Wizard and Monty Python. In the show he explored the history of various foods, the science and technique behind cooking something and how to find the best cooking equipment. He has a notorious hate for single purpose cooking utensils, preferring multi-purpose tools, often tools that weren’t invented to be used for what he uses them for. In other words: the show was a lot about cooking hacks…the Alton Brown way.
  • Other Cooking Shows with Alton Brown

  • As the story often goes, once someone becomes famous other opportunities present themselves and Brown came up with other concepts for shows that were picked up by TV networks. Something which, of course, helped the Alton Brown net worth to be what it is today!

    The second show Brown was part of was Iron Chef America, after which he did Feasting on Asphalt. In Feasting on Asphalt Brown took his own motorbike and together with his crew drove from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, stopping along the way to sample various foods. Brown actually injured himself in a motorbiking incident en route, which was caught on camera and aired in the fourth and final episode of that season! In the second season Brown followed the Mississippi River instead, eating his way north.

    In the third and final season of Feasting on Asphalt Brown swopped his bike for a boat and went island hopping in the Caribbean. Ah, what some people get paid to do. Wouldn’t we all want to eat our way around the world?
  • Cutthroat Kitchen

  • Another show that helped the Alton Brown net worth to increase significantly is Cutthroat Kitchen. In the show, which first aired in 2013, four chefs compete against each other. In each round the chefs are assigned a dish to create, only they’ve also been given money in the beginning of the show, which they can use to sabotage one another in various ways. For example, an ingredient or some form of equipment will go missing from a chef’s kitchen if a competitor has paid to have it removed.

    As of 2016 the show is still airing on the Food Network, meaning Americans seem to really enjoy chefs trying to sabotage each other’s cooking…or maybe what they enjoy is seeing the inventiveness the chefs use to overcome their hurdles! The American dream, after all, is all about overcoming obstacles to create what it is you desire.
  • Alton Brown Cooking Hacks

  • As mentioned, some incredible cooking hacks are probably partly what led to Brown’s 13 million dollar net worth. However, he says, in an interview in Gizmodo, part of the reason he came up with them was because he was cheap: “I'm lazy—that's where they come from in the first place. I'm also cheap—that's where the other half comes from. I use almost everything in my kitchen at home.”

    The cooking hacks are often really simple, like using a potato masher to mash the avocado for your guacamole. Or why not use a waffle iron to cook bacon?! He also uses a panini press to make roast chicken! A very flat chicken I may add.

    Instead of a mortar, Brown uses a coffee grinder to grind whole spices. Great if you want freshly ground spices for more flavor, or want to make your own spice blends. You can use the same coffee grinder to grind rice for your tempura, instead of buying rice flour.
    Ever had problems cutting a raw squash, or pumpkin? Use a mallet to tap on top of a butchers knife to make the knife slide through more easily.

    If you have a popcorn popper you can use it to dry herbs, or toast pine nuts. Don’t have a popcorn popper? You can make your own popcorn in the microwave easily - all you need is brown paper bags, popping corn and salt. Check out Brown’s recipe for it on his website:
  • A Simple Alton Brown Recipe Cooking Hack

  • Meringues are those sweet little cakes made of eggs and sugar, right? Right?! Ah, but not always. You see, Brown makes vegan meringues. He calls them Magical Mystery Meringues. Instead of eggs he uses the liquid from canned garbanzo beans, also known as aquafaba. Apparently the meringues are supposed to come out tasting like clouds…well you have to try that, don’t you?! Find his recipe below.


    3/4 cup "aquafaba" – the liquid from one 15-ounce can of chickpeas* at room temperature
    1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup sugar


    1 Heat the oven to 200 degrees F and line 4 half sheet pans with parchment paper.
    2 Whisk the aquafaba and cream of tartar on medium speed in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk until foamy – about 2 minutes. Gradually add in the sugar followed by the vanilla extract then increase the speed to high beat to stiff peaks, another 2-3 minutes.
    3 Scoop the meringue into a gallon sized zip-top bag (or piping bag) and pipe into quarter-sized rounds. Bake for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. The meringues may feel soft in the oven but will continue to dry as they cool.

    1 - Add 2 teaspoons instant coffee crystals and 6 drops of chocolate bitters to the batter before baking
    2 - Dip into tempered chocolate and cool

    *Low-sodium or no-salt added recommended
    YIELDS: Makes approximately 400 quarter-sized cookies

    Recipe originally found on:

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