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The Joy of Cooking

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  85,635 Ratings  ·  954 Reviews
Since its original publication, Joy of Cooking has been the most authoritative cookbook in America, the one upon which millions of cooks have confidently relied for more than sixty-five years. It's the book your grandmother and mother probably learned to cook from, the book you gave your sister when she got married. This, the first revision in more than twenty years, is be ...more
Hardcover, 1152 pages
Published November 5th 1997 by Scribner (first published 1931)
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The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. RombauerHow to Cook Everything by Mark BittmanMastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia ChildBetter Homes and Gardens New Cook Book by Better Homes and GardensMy Greek Traditional Cook Book 1 by Anna Othitis
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 14, 2016 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The day I found out my grandmother was dying was the day I got this book.

She was sick and we were both very hopeful that she would get better. She was lying on the couch in the living room and asked me to boil her a potato. I, being 19, had NO idea how to boil a potato! But I did not want to bother her about it - so I went into the kitchen and started up the pot of water.

Not only did I ruin that cute little potato ... but I saw my grandmother lose it!! She came into the kitchen and saw the whole
Mar 04, 2008 Carey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The 1997 edition is infallible.

The pre-1997 editions are good if you want to can or pickle your own veg, cook opossum, and make aspic.

The fifth edition, ie the 75th Anniversary edition shown in the picture above, contains too much retro-inspired nonsense and does not continue the practical and innovative approach laid out in the 1997 edition.

Basically, the 1997 edition took the heart of the Joy of Cooking, that is, that it is a book that contains all the recipes your average american cook nee
Oct 14, 2007 Rob rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: knife and spatula wielding omnivores
Shelves: cookbook, own
I would not consider this my "everyday" cookbook but the The Joy of Cooking is a definite must for anyone that takes their cooking seriously, enjoys spending a bit of time in the kitchen, and needs a good all-purpose reference that covers everything from emergency substitutions to complete banquet spreads.

What do I like most about The Joy of Cooking? It is fairly encyclopedic, covering about as broad a range of cooking topics as it can; while most of the recipes are from the Western tradition, i
Aug 29, 2007 Dianne rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
In their attempt to modernize the book, the authors omitted many recipes and techniques that are still relevant. Where is Sole Florentine, for heavens sake? And while not many families routinely can or freeze food as a winter survival strategy, there are still times when I would like to know how to do it - when my CSA gives me more corn than we can manage, or when local strawberries are beautiful, fresh, plentiful, and cheap. The lack of ice cream recipes is frustrating, especially given that so ...more
Jan 23, 2011 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking-baking
I don't know why it took so long for me to include this very worthy book to my Goodreads Library. This is my second copy. The first, a paperback, became so tattered and worn that my son presented this valued edition as a gift. I have been cooking for more than forty years, but continue to return to this book for ideas, information and special recipes. On many occasions I search for new ways to prepare foods and will find the ideal formula for preparation. Frequently I will "tweak" the recipe in ...more
Aug 10, 2007 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historians and zookeepers
i love this old 1973 edition rescued from my mom's basement. the writing style is awesome: you can hear them chiding you for your awkward kitchen skills. heavily uses ingredients that are out of fashion now, so that's historically interesting: lots of parsley, livers, anchovies, tarragon.

the recipes are not all so daunting: some of them are forward-looking to today's minimal cooking in their simplicity and flexibility. saved me many times when my fridge was sadly understocked.

also, you can cook
February Four
Dec 26, 2010 February Four rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For Christmas, I decided I was going to have Japanese strawberry shortcake (as in a sponge cake filled with strawberries and cream). I needed a basic sponge cake recipe and couldn't find one anywhere, not even in my usual high-altitude baking bible, Pie in the Sky, nor in the other book I had, The Best Recipe. It was December 24th, the only other recipe I'd found was online from New Mexico but which I did not trust (it asked me to beat the eggs until stiff, a HUGE no-no at high altitude). Almost ...more
Jun 17, 2007 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who has a kitchen!
Shelves: health, cooking
Goodness gracious, this book could be called "The Kitchen Bible". It has contains information on anything and everything you could ever want to know about preparing food. I don't understand how anyone can possibly know this much (I think writing this book would be more difficult than writing a dictionary) but I'm sure glad that they do!
Jun 21, 2007 Kecia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all cooks
Shelves: cookbooks
Started as a project for my church back in the 1930s here in St. Louis, The Joy of Cooking is now an American classic. It is encyclopedic in scope. If you just want to know how to boil an's in there. If a friend brings you rudabaga...there's a recipe for that, eel....there's a recipe for that, wild game...there's a recipe for that, triple layer chocolate's in there too. Want to know which wine glass to use...where to place the forks...or how to do practically anything in the k ...more
Manik Sukoco
I'll start with the written content: this cookbook is a complete guide not just for cooking, but for food as a whole. There are recipes for every conceivable type of consumable. Beverages (nonalcoholic and alcoholic), appetizers, snacks, candies, jellies, desserts, sauces/toppings, stuffings, and what goes in-between: simple entrees to full-blown multi-course dinners. The instructions are detailed and easy to understand. Unlike cookbooks that tell you to "cut into fillets and braise until done" ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 16, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
If you look on GoodReads under "Popular Cookbooks Books" (sic) the Joy of Cooking is right at the top. It's reputably the go to cookbook, a "teaching" cookbook for those who don't just burn toast, they're capable of burning water. I'm not that bad, but neither am I a gourmet---I could use some teaching. I've long coveted this doorstopper book of 1,132 pages containing 4,500 recipes and finally broke down and ordered it when I had a Barnes and Noble coupon. It's like an encyclopedia of cooking.

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
I grew up with this cook book. The version I learned to cook from and came to love was given to my mother as a wedding gift to my mother. Thanks to my mother's help, I believe that should be the 1951 version as seen here.

This book has a recipe for just about anything you might want to cook, and several things that you might not. Having said that, if it's not in the book, it might not be worth cooking. Not only are there 1000's of recipes, there is good gouge on substitutes, sauces, dips, how to
Jun 14, 2012 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone needing a good reference cookbook
Shelves: cookbooks
I received Joy of Cooking as a wedding present. During the six years that my husband and I lived overseas, this was my "bible." I learned how to pluck feathers from a chicken and how to set a table. I learned to cook vegetables and meats that I never knew existed and went from someone who could barely boil water to a very decent cook and hostess.

My bookshelf is full of many other cookbooks, but my shabby, dog-eared and weary copy of Joy will be passed down to my daughter, full of all my notation
Cynthia Nobles
Feb 22, 2016 Cynthia Nobles rated it it was amazing
I develop lots of recipes, and when I need to know what's considered standard ingredients for a specific dish, I always turn to this book. It's a great reference source. If you never owned another cookbook, you could get along fine with just this one.
Wendy,  Lady Evelyn Quince
Simply put:

My cooking Bible. I could not live without it.

From drinks, to appetizers, to brunch, to soups, to tasty vegetable dishes, to meat courses, to fish, to desserts...this is it!

I've learned to prepare rabbits and squirrel, made spaetzle and dumplings, elegant desserts like pears soaked in wine and cream...and so many more!

Not bad for a woman whose first prepared meal was overcooked linguini (20 minutes in a pot) and canned, cold clam sauce. :-0

5 stars /A++++++++++
Jan 04, 2010 Jonspillers rated it it was amazing
My parents bought me my first copy of Joy in 1998. Somewhere along the line I broke its back so I recently purchased a new copy. I expect that tells you how much I value this cookbook. It is far from the only cookbook in our home, but it gets used more than any other. I have seen other editions and while they have their following, I prefer this one. From Chicken Fried Steak to Crispy Roast Duck to something called 'vegetables', 1997 Joy has what you need.
Steven Peterson
Sep 12, 2010 Steven Peterson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a copy of the 1997 edition of “Joy of Cooking.” It is probably my most used cookbook. The recipes are doable (for the most part), clearly written, and produce nice tasting meals! I am a big fan of that classic. And this volume represents the 75th anniversary version of this classic, originally published in 1931.

One thing I wanted to do is to see if some of my favorite recipes had been changed. For example, my old copy of “Joy of Cooking” contains a recipe for fried rice that was better th
Steven Peterson
Sep 12, 2010 Steven Peterson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent cookbook. As my eyesight is not what it once was, I wish that the print were larger; on the other hand, this book is now 1000 pages long. I'd rather settle for smaller print and a less heavy book!

And the length is one of the pluses of this book. Other cookbooks that I have run a few hundred pages and have larger print and pictures. The end result? Far fewer recipes! I am interested in a rich collection of recipes--not something that is easy to read and short on content.

Linda Stewart
Nov 28, 2011 Linda Stewart is currently reading it
For someone who thinks the only necessary kitchen appliance is a coffeemaker (ok, and maybe a microwave), I am fascinated by The Joy of Cooking. I know people who read cookbooks. My Aunt Helen, for one. Others collect them. My neighbor, Elspeth Smith had all the Junior League cookbooks from Bergen County. And she actually used the recipes to create wonderful canapes and elegant dinners! Tony and I would rather eat at the local diner than shop, cook, and clean up after dinner. BUT, reading The Jo ...more
Laura Zimmerman
Mar 04, 2013 Laura Zimmerman rated it it was amazing
Over the years I have collected many cookbooks. Some for the recipes, some for the photos, some for the trial-and-error variations on different recipes...cookbooks are appealing to me for lots of reasons. However, despite my sagging shelves full of cookbooks, I didn't have a copy of The Joy of Cooking. Compared to others, from afar it seemed...kind of dry, I thought. No great photography, no glossy pages, no celebrity chefs' photos on the front (I will say that I've never bought a cookbook just ...more
Martin Gibbs
Jan 09, 2012 Martin Gibbs rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-about-food
This book will always hold a special place in my heart, since it is the first cookbook I ever looked at. At age 10, I took this down from our bookshelf, opened its cover, and discovered an entire world I never knew existed. It is an encyclopedia of lovely goodness, a rich array of culinary forays that only an empty wallet can prevent. And we sure didn't have all the money to make half of the things I wanted, but boy Mom and I sure try!

I now have a newer version, and it does lack the original re
Feb 06, 2014 Beverly rated it really liked it
This is such a useful cookbook. I often add things to the recipe or change them slightly, but they almost always give a good starting point and often a good whole recipe. And the introductions to various food types and different meats are fantastic. I'm always amazed at how much instruction they give despite the fairly short recipes.
Apr 10, 2007 Chris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbook
I can't believe this only has three stars - that's like giving giving the foundation of your house three stars. Joy might not be the most exciting cookbook, but I use it almost daily, not only for recipies but just for everything I need to know about food. How should I store beets? How many teaspoons are in a cup? What exactly constitutes "three medium potatoes? I want to thicken my soup, but I'm out of cornstarch. I've got potatoes and leeks and want to make soup, do I need anything else? Every ...more
Feb 06, 2009 Betty rated it it was amazing
All good kitchen require this book. The older verions are better, but you can't find those to buy mostly, they are passed down in familys beacuse they are just so useful. But this version is still good. Although it reduses the fat in everything and has fewer good recipes for bread that don't require a bread machine. I find it very comprehencive. If I need to know how to braise, boil, or roast, this book will tell me. If I want to find a substiute ingredent, this is the place to look. If I want t ...more
Nov 02, 2011 Kanani rated it it was amazing
My best friend gifted this book to me when I first got married over 12 years ago. The cover has fallen off and the pages are coming apart because it is such a well-loved, oft-consulted point of reference. While this is not the version we have at home, I can't imagine it's so very different. My husband and I have tried different recipes for the same dish from varying sources, but we almost always find that the Joy of Cooking has the best recipe. The only gripe I have is that I usually like cookbo ...more
Kitty Lusby
Jun 13, 2015 Kitty Lusby rated it it was amazing
This is THE cookbook. The one cookbook to rule them all. The cookbook you reference to alter a recipe from another cookbook.

Joy of Cooking should be in every kitchen. The recipes aren't frilly and gourmet, but they are always, always accurate and delicious. As a wedding gift, a housewarming present, a start to a kitchen library, or a general reference guide, there is nothing like The Joy of Cooking. If you can't cook, and you get a copy of The Joy of Cooking, you will learn to cook.

The recipes
Jul 06, 2010 Knotty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of course, the classic cookbook. Certainly my go-to for how-to on the basics. My pie crust that everyone loves is straight out of this book.

I would give this to any young person who showed an interest in cooking, or to someone starting a new household. While you may only use a quarter of it in your lifetime, it is a comforting book to have around.
Feb 16, 2014 Diana rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Although this was my mother and my grandmother's staple cookbook, this has never been as useful to me as, say, Mark Bittman's 'How to Cook Everything'. Because it has been around for so long, despite updates, many of the recipes seem old-fashioned and fussy to me, which is likely what appeals about it to so many other cooks! Don't get me wrong, the 'Joy' is always useful for time-honored recipes (this is where I get my Hollandaise recipe, and was horrified to learn that my mother-in-law, an othe ...more
May 14, 2014 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbook
My 1982 copy of “Joy of Cooking” is worn, stained, and coming apart at the binding, yet it’s one of the last of my many cookbooks I’d be willing to part with. Although there are more modern and trendy recipes in nearly every magazine I pick up, “Joy” is my go-to book for the basics. Need to know how to stuff and roast a chicken, ice a cake without a decorating bag, whip up some gumbo, pickle beets, shred a coconut, bake muffins, oven-fry potatoes, cook dried fruit, or use garden produce in a qui ...more
Aug 08, 2007 Allison rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Shelves: cookbooks
This book is lazy. The recipes are always sub-standard to what I can find from other sources. It is outdated even with its attempt at modernity. The original is a gem for modern cooks because of its glimpse into the American culinary past; this modern version is waste of cookbook shelf space.
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Seventy-five years ago, a St. Louis widow named Irma von Starkloff Rombauer took her life savings and self-published a book called The Joy of Cooking. Her daughter Marion tested recipes and made the illustrations, and they sold their mother-daughter project from Irma's apartment.
More about Irma S. Rombauer...

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