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The Joy of Cooking

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  145,450 ratings  ·  1,172 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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John Becker
John Becker - author and grandson of Irma Rombauer, cookbooks

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Judith You have to buy it or get it from a library. There are many used copies available and different editions, different years.
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  145,450 ratings  ·  1,172 reviews

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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 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
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have had my Joy of Cooking volume for many decades and it is showing its age and frailty. I read/heard several interviews with the Rombauer family members that have put together the new 2019 edition of this classic.

The book cover claims that this edition has revised over 4,000 recipes and added 600 new ones! It is certainly bigger both in format and in weight. I agree with the authors’ choice not to add photos of the recipes both for space consideration and because there is nothing that dates
Oct 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: knife and spatula wielding omnivores
Shelves: own, cookbook
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 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
February Four
Dec 26, 2010 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
Barbara H
Jan 23, 2011 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
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
No pictures, but everything in this cookbook is delicious.
Aug 10, 2007 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
Corban Ford
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed flipping through this, and I made a pretty good dinner ALL BY MYSELF. (what an achievement right?) The Joy of Cooking just has so much depth to it, with hundreds of recipes, add ons, possible amendments, and very interesting segments on cuts of meat, best way to use grains, and well thought-out menus. it's the OG of cookbooks for a reason, and in my eyes the best cookbook of all time.
Feb 23, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cooks Looking for a Useful General Reference
Shelves: cooking, reference
Aptly described by other reviewers as an American classic, The Joy of Cooking has been in "my" kitchen for as long as I can remember. My own personal copy, which I still own, came to me as part of a prize that I won in a book raffle during college. I somehow managed to misplace the other four cookbooks that were also part of the prize (lost in a move, I believe), but this volume is still around.

More than just an extensive and thorough cookbook, this is a culinary reference work, containing all s
Jun 21, 2007 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
Jun 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who has a kitchen!
Shelves: cooking, health
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!
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Been hip to this book and have used it here and there ( I don't really cook all that much), but last night I made a mac and cheese for a large family dinner, and that shit was flame so I decided to shout them out.
May 14, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, cooking
I got this way back when I first got married. I wasn't a good cook then and I'm not now! This cookbook didn't help!
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
This big, amazing book covers about everything one needs to know. Procedures, instructions, recipes, techniques, guides, food charts. This needs to be in every cooks library. Timeless information
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
Jan 04, 2010 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.
Natalie Rood
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
This book is an absolute classic and for good reason. If I want to experiment with a new ingredient that's on sale at the grocery store, I can almost always find a recipe in my lovely handmedown copy of Joy of Cooking. I've been told that the 6th edition is the "definitive" one, but I'm quite fond of my 5th edition and don't feel the need to buy another.
Lisa Vegan
My mother used this, among many other cookbooks. I've never used it much. But it's very useful as a reference to determine the correct cooking times for different methods of cooking many different vegetables.
Cynthia Nobles
Jan 31, 2016 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.
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: how-to-cook
One of my go-to favourites in the kitchen. What I love about the 75th anniversary edition of Joy of Cooking is that it has a little bit of everything, evocative of the time period each edition was published. There are recipes for finger food and casseroles with the most 1950s names, alongside recipes for making sushi rice. It's fun to flip through the pages, learning the difference between appetizers and hors d'œuvres to the entertainment and course planning aspects of home dining. You might not ...more
Ruby Lewis
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enJOYed this book

it was a JOY to read
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since the last time I updated my reading log, a pandemic has set in and I've been in quarantine for over three weeks - which I have the good fortune of being less directly affected by than many, but it's still a bit of a change. I think in a lot of ways this is the least interesting update I could possibly make here, because for lots of us it's universally true. Since the beginning of March, I've gone to a few museums for class puttering along as normal, then seen my whole school shut down, then ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 31, 2011 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
Laura Zimmerman
Jan 20, 2013 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
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++++++++++
Aug 08, 2007 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.
Laurie Stoll
Feb 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: own
Although this book is FILLED with recipes, it was always one of the last I would look through for recipes.
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In 1931, 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.

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