Although searching online for recipes can be a good way to find new cooking methods, nothing beats a good cookbook. There is definitely something to be said about a hard-copy cookbook. Here’s how to find a good cookbook:
- Decide what kind of cookbook you want. Are you looking for a basic cookbook that provides an overview of many commonly prepared foods? Do you want a gourmet cookbook for fancy parties? Many cookbooks are centered on a certain theme. You can go cookbook shopping with a theme in mind, or simply look for something that is new and interesting. Your cookbook collection should include several basic books as well as specialty cookbooks that suit your interests and tastes.
- Browse the covers. The cover should draw you into the cookbook. Does the food on the cover look like something you’d like to make? The best cookbook is one that has lots of recipes you would personally want to make and eat.
- Look for a suitable format. Keep in mind that cookbooks will be used in the kitchen. Those that are coil or spring bound will be easier to keep open while you are cooking without having to place something on top of the pages to keep it open. A hard cover will withstand years of kitchen use without falling apart.
- Look for pictures. The best cookbooks have photos to show you exactly how the food should look as you prepare it. Have you ever assembled a dish only to wonder if you did it correctly? Good photos can help when you become confused about the written instructions. Those showing the technique as the dish is prepared are usually even better than those only showing the finished product.
- Read a recipe. Read one of the recipes in the book. Is it written in a format that is easy for you to follow? Even if the recipes are somewhat complex, they should be written with easy-to-follow explanations of each step.
- Compare prices. If you are considering two similar books, compare the number of good recipes (ones that you are actually interested in making) with the price, and choose the one that offers more for your money.
A good cookbook is invaluable to expand your culinary expertise. Many cooks have cookbook collections covering the basics as well as their favorite specialties. Each book is carefully selected with recipes that are easily followed by the cook.