Cookbooks & guides
Great cookbooks are much more than just a simple collection of ingredients and stylish food photography. Beloved recipes become family traditions, a heritage shared by communities and even entire cultures. At their best, cookbooks are emotional, insightful and even transformative. Filled with the passion, wit, and sense of adventure worthy of any novel, truly great cookbooks earn their place in the kitchen and in the hearts and minds of their readers.
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Barbecue & grilling
Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling
An absolute must-have cookbook from the barbecue genius behind amazingribs.com.
A comprehensive guide to all things smoke from a barbecue master and winner of five James Beard awards.
Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto
A complete meat education from the man who might just make the best brisket in the world.
Go Kamado: More Than 100 Recipes for Your Ceramic Grill
A smoker, oven and grill, Kamado-style grills have earned the praise and respect of many pitmasters.
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking
The best-seller-turned-Netflix series will teach you to cook instinctually from scratch.
The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science
Serious Eats’ J. Kenji López-Alt’s “magnum opus” of food and science.
The Flavor Bible
Go beyond simply following recipes by delving into this index of flavor and ingredient pairings.
The Art of Beef Cutting: A Meat Professional’s Guide to Butchering and Merchandising
Master beef fundamentals and cutting techniques with this clear and concise guide.
Half Baked Harvest Cookbook: Recipes from My Barn in the Mountain
Even if her cookbook had no text at all, Gerard’s cookbook would be worth the price just for her stunning photographs. Seriously. Her slightly-messy-but-impossibly-gorgeous shots are the signature style that launched a thousand food blogs. But luckily, Gerard’s recipes are as inspiring and vibrant as her photography, incorporating ingredients in exciting, unusual ways.
Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden
Photographers Todd Porter and Diane Cu cook fresh, seasonal food from their sprawling suburban garden, which boasts numerous vegetables and 38(!) fruit trees. A fruit or vegetable from their garden is the star of 100 recipes, which tell the story of their personal and professional journey to Bountiful.
Damn Delicious: 100 Super Easy, Super Fast Recipes
Damn Delicious has attracted a devoted audience looking for practical, super-easy, super-fast meals that can fit busy lifestyles without resorting to takeout. Her 30-minute skillet sprints and quickie breakfasts never sacrifice flavor for speed and make homemade meals a delicious possibility for working parents.
Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant & Unfussy New Favorites
A fearlessly creative and accessible cook working from her tiny NYC kitchen, Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen-inspired recipes are always solid because she never stops working on them, as evidenced by posts on even more perfect apple pie and even more perfect blueberry muffins, where she improves her older recipes by incorporating new tricks and techniques from fellow cooks.
Desserts & sweets
Robicelli’s A Love Story With Cupcakes
Obscenities and obscenely delicious cupcakes live side by side in a book filled with themed love letters and warm nostalgia, comic strips and bold, irreverent humor. A cookbook filled with passion, attitude and jaw-dropping expertise. And booze. Don’t forget the booze. Make no mistake. These are R-rated upscale cupcakes living in a pink-frosted PG cupcake world.
BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts
J. Kenji López-Alt called Stella Parks a “living, breathing pastry goddess.” A lovely hyperbole? The James Beard Foundation didn’t think so. Her best-selling cookbook is filled with fresh, foolproof recipes and the sometimes-surprising histories of classic desserts and pastries. Find Stella and her delightful pastries on Serious Eats.
The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook
Magnolia Bakery started in the New York City’s West Village back in 1996. Now, their vanilla cupcakes and banana pudding are truly world-famous, as you can find their old-fashioned (but funky) bakeries all over the world, from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. to Seoul and Abu Dhabi.
Sally’s Cookie Addiction
Sally’s addiction to creating uncomplicated, approachable recipes has made her blog, Sally’s Baking Addiction, immensely popular among foodies and bakers of every skill level. Her “unfussy” baking style will have you baking amazing cookies, cupcakes candy and desserts in no time.