best cookbooks of all time.

Best Cookbooks of All Time

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With recipe websites littering the internet, you would think that cookbooks were a thing of a past. Think again. Maybe it’s nostalgia, but there’s something special about having a physical copy of a well-used cook book with oil stained pages. Below are some of my favorite cookbooks of all time. All the cookbooks listed below are cookbooks that I own and use in the Sizzle and Sear test kitchen. 

Best Classic Cookbooks

Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I: 50th Anniversary Edition: A Cookbook
Julia Child's classic cookbook! The beef bourguignon recipe in this cookbook is a classic that never gets old. Every home cook should try making it at least once! Well worth the investment of time and effort.
Joy of Cooking: 2019 Edition Fully Revised and Updated
This newest edition of the Joy of Cooking may be missing directions on how to skin a squirrel that is contained in older editions of this classic cookbook,, but this is a go-to cookbook for learning the basics and then moving beyond them.

Best Fusion Cookbooks

Momofuku: A Cookbook
Momofuku Noodle Bar was born in 2004 when David Chang open his first restaurant in New York City. The restaurant was inspired by Chang's experience in Japan visiting ramen shops. This cookbook has a mixture of both simple dishes accessible to all home cooks and more complex dishes that can inspire.
Momofuku Milk Bar: A Cookbook
Milk Bar is a bakery started by Christina Tosi under the brand of Momofuku. This cookbook includes a recipe for 'Crack Pie', which reminds me of a giant version of the delicious Canadian snack of butter tarts. An easy but delicious recipe in the cookbook is the corn cookies. The flavour of corn plays a prominent role in these cookies. I know that sounds strange, but they are truly delicious! You'll have to get your hands on some freeze-dried corn or corn-powder, but it'll be worth it in the end!

In order to make the corn cookies featured in this cookbook, you will need some corn powder. This is different from corn flour or corn starch, and it has a distinct corn flavour. If you can’t get a hold of corn powder, you can make it yourself by blending up some freeze dried corn into a fine powder; a blender or food processor will do. 

Best Southern Cookbooks

The Taste of Country Cooking: The 30th Anniversary Edition of a Great Southern Classic Cookbook
This cookbook by Edna Lewis takes a different approach; it is organized by season. Although this cookbook is now 45 years old, it's a good glimpse into the roots of black southern cooking.

Best Indian Cookbooks

An Invitation to Indian Cooking
In this cookbook, author Madhur Jaffrey, introduces the American cook to Indian cuisine. This is the perfect book to learn the basics as Jaffrey goes into detail about ingredients that are accessible to the North American cook.
My Indian Cookbook
I found this cookbook while browsing Williams Sonoma one day. The in house chef was cooking up some samosas. The samosas were the most delicious I had ever tried so I picked up the book and made them at home and was not disappointed.

Best BBQ Cookbooks

Master of the Grill: Foolproof Recipes, Top-Rated Gadgets, Gear, & Ingredients Plus Clever Test Kitchen Tips & Fascinating Food Science
This book is my grill companion. It goes into detail about different techniques for both gas and charcoal grills and how to effectively get the most out of each. It's got a huge listing of recipes that were developed specifically for the BBQ. One of my favorites is Beef Teriyaki.

Best Canadian Cookbooks

Earls The Cookbook: Eat a Little. Eat a Lot. 110 of Your Favourite Recipes
Earls is the go-to restaurant when Canadians celebrate birthday, anniversaries, and other special events! The menu can be best described as fusion, and now you can make many of your favourites at home! I recommend trying the Beef Bibimbap; a Korean rice and vegetable dish served in a hot stone bowl. The dish is topped with an egg that is stirred into the dish along with some pickled vegetables and gochujang—a fermented red pepper paste. The dish is salty, sweet, sour, and savoury all at once! A true treat and comfort food!

Best Peruvian Cookbooks

The Fire of Peru: Recipes and Stories from My Peruvian Kitchen
I bought this cookbook after visiting Peru in 2014. I fell in love with Peruvian cuisine. Everything from ceviche to anticuchos to saltados! And this cookbook has it all! It even has a recipe for classic Peruvian cocktail, pisco sour! If you are interested in bringing the taste of Peru into your home kitchen, I highly recommend this book!

Best Celebrity Chef Cookbooks

Alton Brown: EveryDayCook: A Cookbook
The latest cookbook from Good Eats star, Alton Brown. The book is organized by course and flavor is the main focus of each recipe. If you are feeling experimental, try the nitrous pancakes! It's a recipe where you place pancake banner inside a whip cream canister, pump it full of nitrous oxide, and dispense it into a hot pan. The nitrous oxide aerates the pancake for an extra fluffy texture!
Heston Blumenthal at Home
Heston Blumenthal is one of my favorite celebrity chefs! From the United Kingdom, his restaurant, the Fat Duck, is considered one of the first to experiment with molecular gastronomy. Don't let the molecular gastronomy scare you off though; many of the recipes in this cookbook are accessible to the home cook. My favourites include Brussels sprouts and bacon, and the bacon and banana cookies! His take on a chocolate melting cake where a frozen ganache is placed inside the batter before baking is also a treat!

Best Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot Cookbooks

Pressure Perfect: Two Hour Taste in Twenty Minutes Using Your Pressure Cooker
If you are just getting started with pressure cooking, this cookbook is your go-to guide! A wide range of recipes, with everything from whole chicken to cheesecake! All the recipes can be adapted for use with electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot.

Best One-Pan One-Pot Cookbooks

Cook It in Cast Iron: Kitchen-Tested Recipes for the One Pan That Does It All (Cook's Country)
Get the most of your cast iron pan with a cookbook dedicated to this piece of cookware!
One-Pan Wonders: Fuss-Free Meals for Your Sheet Pan, Dutch Oven, Skillet, Roasting Pan, Casserole, and Slow Cooker
Week night meals can be a pain because of all the dishes! This cookbook promises to simplify things by only providing one-pan recipes. There are sections dedicated to frying pans, sheet pans, dutch ovens, roasting pans, and more!

Best Modernist Cuisine and Molecular Gastronomy Cookbooks

Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking
If you are interested in getting into molecular gastronomy, this is the bible. While many of the recipes are inaccessible to the home cook, you will learn about different techniques such as sous vide, combi oven cooking, spherification, and much more. One of the my favorite recipes, which is accessible to home cooks, is the Korean chicken wings with gochujang sauce! It uses a unique batter which results in the crispiest wings I've ever tried!

If the original series of Modernist Cuisine is too expensive for your taste, try Modernist Cuisine at Home; a condensed version that contains recipes that are accessible to the well-equipped home cook. Since publishing Modernist Cusine, Nathan Myhrvold has also come out with Modernist Bread, a cookbook dedicated to modern techniques in bread making, and The Photography of Modernist Cuisine, a collection of high quality photos from the Modernist Cuisine test kitchen.

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