Cookbook Review: The Joy of Cooking

I remember reading an article in Real Simple magazine a long time ago about the best cookbooks – and The Joy of Cooking was given the award for the best all around cookbook. I called my mom and asked her if she had an extra one or she could keep an eye out for one on her yard sale adventures and the next time she came to town she brought me her very own copy. Thanks, Mom. I still use it all the time!

This is one of my favorite cookbooks (do I say that every week? I guess I have a lot of favorites) – if I don’t know how to prepare something this is where I turn. How to cut a chicken? How to clean a fish? It’s all here.

A couple of weeks ago I was preparing artichokes which is something I don’t prepare very often and as I looked through The Joy of Cooking I felt  guided through the process of preparing the artichokes to the point where I was confident that they would turn out great. And they did. And now I feel like since the process has been demystified for me we should be eating them more often. Thank you Irma!

Recipes Tried: The crepes, dutch baby recipes and rolled sugar cookies are now standard in our house and I have made countless other recipes – from roasted red pepper and goat cheese lasagna to peach kuchen.

Pros: I have made so many recipes from this book and I haven’t had one not turn out. Make sure you get a newer version (mine was printed in 1997 and is great) as there have been lots of revisions and recipes added over the years.

Cons:  There are some hand drawings, but no color photographs.

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  1. I too love the Joy of Cooking cookbook for what sounds like the same reasons. Often, I don’t need a recipe so much as I need guidance with something new or that I don’t handle very often. I enjoy the history lesson behind the recipes and have felt as you mentioned walked through new adventures in the culinary world. I would appreciate an ingrediant list at the begining of each recipe as I tend to miss one or get into the recipe only to find I am missing something. This is one of the only cookbooks that I actually keep in the kitchen! That is saying something!

  2. This book is a staple, imho. When other cookbooks fail, this one is there for me.