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

Random House
$70.97 $20.14

Collects recipes for the author's most requested dishes, including brisket with onions and leeks, maple-roasted carrot salad, and ...vanilla rum panna cotta with salted caramel. read more

$24.97 $23.08

Want a Fast & Simple Vegetarian Meal Plan? Start with these 36 low carb vegetarian diet recipes that contains proven steps and str...ategies on eating vegetarian for nine weeks. There are numerous benefits to becoming a vegetarian; however, there are also be read more

$35.00 $23.24

This elegant bridal edition of "Good Housekeeping"'s trusty cook's companion will help newlyweds get off to a delicious start as t...hey launch their new life together. Featuring a 32-page color insert on outfitting, organizing, and maintaining the couple's read more

$24.95 $13.75

Healthy in a Hurry offers the ultimate answer to the perennial weeknight question of "What's for dinner?" With hundreds of quick a...nd flavorful main-course recipes, it promises to become an everyday cooking tool for those who want to get a healthy,... read more

$24.95 $13.79

Shares ten ways to flavor rotisserie chicken at home, as well as over one hundred recipes made with either homecooked or chicken, including options for appetizers, soups, sandwiches, salads, and entr¬ees. read more

$34.95 $34.85

The Mediterranean Diet consists of eating the traditional foods (and drinks) of the countries neighboring the Mediterranean Sea. I...t is not a traditional diet in the sense of "go on a diet," even though it is a great way to lose weight and improve health. read more

$35.00 $22.78

Make Sunday family dinner day If you long to bring back the tradition of a weekly sit-down supper, you'll find everything you need... to create wonderful meals and memories in this classic cookbook. It contains a full year's worth of triple-tested,... read more

$34.95 $30.93

Fish is a delicate meat, and, as such, should be treated with some care when preparing. In order to bring out the fresh, luscious ...flavors of a truly great fish, you won't need a lot of ingredients or time. You just need to be creative. In this cook book I read more

$24.95 $21.12

Want to start baking (again) but can't find the time? The Weekend Baker makes it easy with its unique organization. Recipes are gr...ouped by how long they take, from the simple to the elaborate. Need a dessert in under an hour? Turn to Baker's Express and w read more

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