Cookbooks Buying Guide

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With seemingly countless cookbooks available, it’s easy to find one specific to just about any food category, style, or topic. If you have a favorite cooking show host, food blogger, restaurateur, or food publication you follow, chances are you can find a cookbook showcasing their cooking knowledge, insight, and special recipes.

Types of Cookbooks

Types of Cookbooks

From novices to seasoned chefs, there are cookbooks tailored to every level of cooking skill. It’s helpful to read reviews or get a glimpse of the pages to see whether a particular book matches your cooking abilities. For specialty books covering things like grilling, slow cooking, pastries, soups, or fondues, the same principle applies: Be sure to take a look to see whether the recipes, ingredients, and prep work all match your cooking acumen -- or at least your desire to learn more.

Overall basics

There are staple cookbooks covering multiple food categories that every cook should have. These go-to cookbooks, like Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, dish up all the kitchen basics.

How to

If you’re new to the kitchen and just learning to cook or bake, there are books that explain the most basic tasks. Many include step-by-step instructions and pictures to guide you on how to accomplish the fundamentals.


For advanced cooks, there are cookbooks that cover topics at a higher level and in more depth than the average cook desires.


Cookbooks abound dedicated to specific foods (such as cakes, cookies, or soups), cuisines (Italian, Mexican, Chinese), or cooking styles (roasting, braising, grilling). These topic-specific books can go from basics to beyond.

Special occasions

From birthday parties and bridal showers to Sunday brunches and holiday dinners, themed cookbooks are filled with ideas and recipes to inspire.


With diabetes, heart disease, and obesity all increasing, there is a multitude of health-focused and diet cookbooks. So if you’re looking for a lifestyle change that depends on making a cooking and eating change, you’re sure to find a book to help.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Before buying any cookbook, look through the content to make sure it’s the type of guide you’re looking for. You want it written to your level or above with good direction. It should include trusted recipes, easy-to-read type, and a usable index. Photos can be inspirational and helpful in guiding you through difficult steps. Removable pages are a bonus, as they let you pull out the recipe you’re working on and return it to the book later -- no need to lug around the whole book.


Cookbooks range in price from a few dollars to several hundred.


Cookbooks come with hard covers, soft covers, wire bindings, ring bindings, and more. How you will use the book may dictate the style you choose. For example, if you will cook from if often, you will want one that lies flat.


Every cookbook is designed with a purpose, and the style reflects this. Decide whether you will use the book in the kitchen as an on-the-spot guide, page through it as enjoyable reading, keep it as a reference, or simply put it on display.


With several levels of food authorities, cookbooks authors may include corporations, groups, and organizations (such as Better Homes and Gardens), famous food personalities, and more. Decide what level of authority you trust.


Whether it’s a beautiful picture of finished food or a sequence of images showing how to perform a certain task, photos can provide more information than words. Decide their value to you, as some books have many illustrations while others have none.

Kitchen on sale

Rome Industries
$50.87 $41.99

Made from Heavy Duty Cast Iron. Enjoy hot toasted sandwiches and pies over the campfire with Rome's classic Pie Irons. The set con...tains one of the round & square design. A 72 page recipe book is included with an amazing selection of recipes. read more

Home Decorators Collection
$23.00 $20.00

The Juice Manifesto Cookbook brims with ideas for wholesome and healthy nourishment. Included in this healthy recipe book are nume...rous recipes for juices, smoothies, teas, tonics and more accompanied by stunning photographs. You'll also find answers to that nagging question on your mind - what to do with all the pulp?! With diet and exercise tips, inspiration for healthy living and ideas to incorporate juices into your meals everyday, this natural recipe book could be the first step towards a healthier lifestyle. Attractive hardcover. Includes 120 recipes, numerous health and exercise tips and nutrition advice accompanied by beautiful photographs. Written by Andrew Cooper, photography by Al Richardson. read more

Home Decorators Collection
$25.00 $22.00

Through four stunningly photographed chapters, 60 recipes and numerous baking tips, The Pie Project Cookbook pleases the palate an...d wins the hearts of pie lovers, bakers and foodies everywhere. The pages of this pie recipe book bubble with the authors' passion for this decadent dessert. Featuring a wide assortment of recipes that span hot, cold, hand and cheat's pies, including simple recipes to satisfy instant sweet cravings, this pie recipe book definitely takes the cake. Attractive hardcover. Includes 60 pie recipes and numerous baking tips accompanied by stunning photography. Created by Phoebe Wood and Kirsten Jenkins. read more

Home Decorators Collection
$25.00 $22.00

If you don't have the time for making menu plans and whipping up healthy meals, this is the cookbook for you. Superfoods Superfast... Cookbook packs 100 nutritious recipes that can be made in 20 minutes or less and readymade menu plans you can use. With ideas for balanced meals that are healthy, tasty and easy to make, this recipe book would make a great gift for a busy parent, foodie or anyone who loves to eat healthy. Attractive paperback. Includes 100 nutritious recipes and several healthy menu plans. Written by Julie Montagu, photographs by Yuki Sugiura. read more

C.R. Gibson
$26.41 $22.01

Pocket page recipe book lets you organize and store your most widely used recipes. Measuring approximately 9-Inch wide x 9.5-Inch ...tall x 1.75-Inch thick when closed, this organizer has durable 3-ring construction which allows you to redistribute pages... read more

World Market
$13.98 $12.58

Cookbooks -Studies show that eating home-cooked meals reduces obesity and develops lifelong healthy eating habits. Make wholesome ...meals for the family with the over 100 inspiring recipes in "The Family Cooks." These recipes are "low in the bad stuff... read more

World Market
$13.98 $12.58

Cookbooks -Featuring over 600 bright ideas for quick and easy meals, this not-so-little book of simple, healthful favorites by Bri...tain's foremost food writer is the ideal cooking companion for busy lifestyles. Discover comforting food recipes for every... read more

$14.41 $11.84

From "Glacier's Edge Burritos" to "Dirty Socks Peach Cobbler," "The Scout's Backpacking Cookbook" highlights hand-picked outdoor r...ecipes, plus cooking methods and tips for a Scout-friendly cooking experience. This is the must-have resource for cooking... read more

C.R. Gibson
$27.10 $22.58

Pocket page recipe book lets you organize and store your most widely used recipes. Measuring approximately 9-Inch wide x 9.5-Inch ...tall x 1.75-Inch thick when closed, this organizer has durable 3-ring construction which allows you to redistribute pages... read more

Nature's Cuisine
$18.99 $15.86

This cook book has 100 simple, delicious recipes that are great for any cookout.

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