Owing to the screen size of your device, you may obtain a better viewing experience by rotating your device a quarter-turn (to get the so-called "panorama" screen view).
owlcroft logo
An Owlcroft Company web site
Click here to email us.

The Induction Site

Search this site, or just roll your cursor over the colored boxes below the pictures.

  Advertisement:


  Advertisement:


Good Basic Cookbooks

"We never do anything well till we cease to think about the manner of doing it."
—William Hazlitt


Our other "good cookbooks" pages:

About "Basic" Cookbooks

(You should already have read the general notes on our selection of cookbooks and on interpreting our book listings, as found on our Good Cookbooks main cookbooks page.)

These are cookbooks that can be—or are mainly intended to be--used by those still learning the elements of sound cookery. They can also, of course, be continuing references long after one has learned the essentials, and many a master cook can consult them with profit, but we list them here because they are noted for their instructional value.

          Basic:
book cover Cook's Companion, The

by Stephanie Alexander

Hardback:
Penguin Books Australia
USD $79.25
Price and availability from The Book Depository.
Available - ships from the UK in 3 business days

This Australian volume is organized alphabetically by ingredient, and can serve as an introduction to the values, virtues, and uses of each. It's also invaluable if you ever need to know how to cook kangaroo or wallaby--we doubt even the old Joy had those--but it's by no means region-specific (except that measurements are Australian, not necessarily the same as British, and certainly not U.S., but adapting is no major issue).


          Basic:
book cover How to Cook without a Book:
 Recipes and Techniques Every
 Cook Should Know by Heart


by Pam Anderson

Hardback:
Broadway Books (A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc)
USD $21.01
Price and availability from The Book Depository.
Available - ships from the UK in 3 business days

The title expresses the idea: don't learn recipes, learn cooking. Anderson sets out to give the reader a sound grasp, to be well and truly memorized, of how to cook, technique by technique (even to little mnemonic rhymes). And, to read the reviews, she succeeds admirably.


          Basic:
book cover Great Food the John ASH Way:
 Simple Techniques for Sophisticated
 Tastes


by John Ash

Hardback:
Random House USA Inc
Book unavailable from The Book Depository;
link is to copies (new & used) at AbeBooks.


The teaching is divided into three parts: flavorings, techniques, and treatments for familiar main ingredients. The emphasis is on keeping cooking manageable, so that it remains a pleasure, and does not become a tedious chore. An interesting feature is Ash's advocacy of moderate oven-drying of fruits and vegetables, so as to concentrate and enhance their flavors--not to the extreme of "sun-dried" (usually oven-dried) tomatoes, but enough to drive out about half the natural moisture content.


          Basic:
book cover James Beard Cookbook, The

by James A. Beard

Paperback:
Avalon Travel Publishing
Book unavailable from The Book Depository;
link is to copies (new & used) at AbeBooks.


When a man has an esteemed annual cookbook award named after him, it's a good sign that his own cookbooks are something special. Beard was truly that overworked word, a dean of American cooking. This, his mainstay cookbook, is encyclopedic yet accessible; it can well serve both experienced cooks and those just starting out in the kitchen.


          Basic:
book cover James Beard's American Cookery

by James A Beard

Paperback:
Little Brown & Co
Book unavailable from The Book Depository;
link is to copies (new & used) at AbeBooks.



          Basic:
book cover How to Cook Everything - The Basics:
 All You Need to Make Great Food -- With
 1,000 Photos


by Mark Bittman

Hardback:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
USD $21.24
Price and availability from The Book Depository.
Available - ships from the UK in 2 business days


          Basic:
book cover Kitchen Survival Guide, The:
 A Hand-Holding Kitchen Primer
 with 130 Recipes to Get You
 Started


by Lora Brody

Hardback:
HarperCollins Publishers Inc
Book unavailable from The Book Depository;
link is to copies (new & used) at AbeBooks.


Lora Brody wrote this aptly named text for her son when he was going off to college. It presumes that its reader knows nothing about cooking or kitchens, and proceeds to give that reader a solid grounding in the necessaries, from stocking a pantry to actual cooking.


          Basic:
book cover Julia's Kitchen Wisdom:
 Essential Techniques and
 Recipes from a Lifetime
 of Cooking


by Julia Child

Paperback:
Alfred A. Knopf
USD $11.00
Price and availability from The Book Depository.
Available - ships from the UK in 3 business days


          Basic:
book cover Julia's Kitchen Wisdom:
 Essential Techniques and
 Recipes from a Lifetime
 of Cooking


by Julia Child

Hardback:
Alfred A. Knopf
USD $20.09
Price and availability from The Book Depository.
Available - ships from the UK in 3 business days


          Basic:
book cover Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home

by Julia Child

Hardback:
Alfred A. Knopf
USD $49.16
Price and availability from The Book Depository.
Available - ships from the UK in 3 business days


          Basic:
book cover Way to Cook, The

by Julia Child

Paperback:
Alfred A. Knopf
USD $39.26
Price and availability from The Book Depository.
Available - ships from the UK in 3 business days


          Basic:
book cover Way to Cook, The

by Julia Child

Hardback:
Alfred A. Knopf
Book unavailable from The Book Depository;
link is to copies (new & used) at AbeBooks.



          Basic:
book cover "New York Times" Cookbook

by Craig Claiborne

Hardback:
HarperCollins Publishers Inc
USD $31.47
Price and availability from The Book Depository.
Available - ships from the UK in 3 business days


          Basic:
book cover Learning to Cook with Marion Cunningham

by Marion Cunningham

Hardback:
Random House Australia
Book unavailable from The Book Depository;
link is to copies (new & used) at AbeBooks.



          Basic:
book cover Modern Classics Book One Us Edition

by Donna Hay

Paperback:
HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
USD $21.38
Price and availability from The Book Depository.
Available - ships from the UK in 3 business days


          Basic:
book cover How to Eat:
 The Pleasures
 and Principles
 of Good Food


by Nigella Lawson

Hardback:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Book unavailable from The Book Depository;
link is to copies (new & used) at AbeBooks.



          Basic:
book cover Jacques Pepin\'s La Technique Complet

by Pepin

Paperback:
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers Inc
Book unavailable from The Book Depository;
link is to copies (new & used) at AbeBooks.



          Basic:
book cover La Methode

by Jacques Pepin

Paperback:
POCKET BOOKS
Book unavailable from The Book Depository;
link is to copies (new & used) at AbeBooks.



          Basic:
book cover La Technique

by Jacques Pepin

Hardback:
Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Book unavailable from The Book Depository;
link is to copies (new & used) at AbeBooks.



          Basic:
book cover Joy of Cooking

by Irma Von Starkloff Rombauer

Hardback:
Prentice Hall (a Pearson Education Company)
Book unavailable from The Book Depository;
link is to copies (new & used) at AbeBooks.



          Basic:
book cover Delia's Complete Illustrated Cookery Course

by Delia Smith

Hardback:
Ebury Publishing
USD $34.33
Price and availability from The Book Depository.
Available - ships from the UK in 2 business days


          Basic:
book cover Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, The:
 America's Bestselling Step-by-Step Cookbook,
 with More Than 1, 400 Recipes


Edited by Good Housekeeping

Hardback:
Hearst Communications
USD $28.90
Price and availability from The Book Depository.
Available - ships from the UK in 3 business days


          Basic:
book cover Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

Edited by Jennifer Darling

Paperback:
Random House Publishing Group
USD $10.06
Price and availability from The Book Depository.
Available - ships from the UK in 3 business days


          Basic:
book cover Betty Crocker Cookbook:
 1500 Recipes for the Way
 You Cook Today


by Betty Crocker Editors

Hardback:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Book unavailable from The Book Depository;
link is to copies (new & used) at AbeBooks.



          Basic:
book cover Concise Larousse Gastronomique:
 The World's Greatest Cookery Encyclopedia


(author not specified)

Paperback:
Octopus Publishing Group
Book unavailable from The Book Depository;
link is to copies (new & used) at AbeBooks.


"Encyclopedia" is certainly the name for it: this, the "concise" version, sports 1,440 pages. It is one of the most highly regarded cookbooks in history.


Click here for our Good Cookbooks main cookbooks page.



  Advertisement:


  Advertisement:


Perhaps interested in growing some of your own vegetables and fruits to cook with? Click here to visit the Growing Taste gourmet home-gardening web site!
Like wine with your food (or on its own)? Click here to visit That Useful Wine Site: advice & recommendations for both novices and experts.

All content copyright © 2002 - 2017 by The Owlcroft Company.

This web page is strictly compliant with the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) Extensible HyperText Markup Language (XHTML) Protocol v1.0 (Transitional) and the W3C Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Protocol v3 — because we care about interoperability. Click on the logos below to test us!



This page was last modified on Saturday, 2 January 2016, at 6:01 pm Pacific Time.