A kitchen isn’t complete without stained and highly used cookbooks on a shelf. It may be easy to find great recipes online, but you still need cookbooks! A great cookbook contains more than just recipes – they’re enjoyable to read even when you’re not cooking. We’ve put together our list of essential cookbooks that can fit nicely into any kitchen and get great use. Without further ado, we present the Kitchen Cabinet Kings list of essential cookbooks for any kitchen!
1. How to Cook Everything
How to Cook Everything accomplishes exactly what the title says it does. This cookbook has a little of everything and makes it extremely simple to find what you’re looking for. More than just recipes, this cookbook spends time explaining cooking techniques, tools and more. It’s a fantastic starter cookbook that won’t ever let you down.
2. Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
Italian cuisine is a staple that everybody should be prepared to cook. There is nobody better than Marcella Hazan to bring amazing Italian recipes and techniques into your home. This is truly a classic that will take your food to the next level and teach you what it means to cook Italian food.
3. Joy of Cooking
Joy of Cooking is a book many of us have seen in our parents, grandparents or relatives homes. It’s been an influential cookbook for almost 100 years, and continues to be a classic. Joy of Cooking has taught countless people how to cook with no prior knowledge and is considered by some to be “The Cooking Bible”. If you’re not sure which cookbook to start your collection with, you can’t go wrong with this one!
4. Mastering the Art of French Cooking
This is the definitive book on French cooking that people have turned to since the early 1960’s. While this is the go-to cookbook when it comes to French cuisine, it’s also an incredible instructional guide and great read. Reading this book and following the recipes will elevate your cooking skills like none other. Even if you removed every recipe from this book, we’d still recommend it. Buy this, even if “French cuisine” isn’t your thing!
5. The Taste of Country Cooking
Edna Lewis is a great woman with a great story. The Taste of Country Cooking is written extremely well with great stories and anecdotes. Along with those, you get fantastic country recipes. This book is split into seasons and holidays, making it easy to figure out what you’d like to cook. Any interest in Southern/country cooking should result in you giving The Taste of Country Cooking a read. You’ll love it!
6. Baking: From My Home to Yours
Our essential cookbook list can’t be complete without a book dedicated to baking and sweet treats. Dorie Greenspan, the author of this perfect baking cookbook has written recipes for top chefs across the world. Many bakers, chefs, and home cooks agree that the best baking recipes come from Dorie. This cookbook has 300 recipes, each better than the last, guaranteed to wow you.
No list can ever be perfect or complete. We think that our cookbooks above are the essential picks for any kitchen. We’d love to include additional cuisines, but that’s where you come in! As you learn more about what you want out of a cookbook and see what the essentials lack, you’ll be able to add to your collection. We would recommend adding 2-3 additional cookbooks from other cuisines and 1 “restaurant cookbook” from a chef that interests you.