Alex asked in Food & DrinkCooking & Recipes · 2 months ago

Can you recommend a [text]book or something along those lines on cooking?

I'm a novice in the kitchen and would certainly like to learn more, however when you look for books as they relate to cooking, the market is saturated with cookbooks. I'm not looking for recipes, I'm looking for more of the basics. What do you use the many different types of knives for, what are the general uses for different kinds of spices, general cooking techniques, etc. Is there anything that anybody could recommend?

8 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    Joy of Cooking.

    Yes, it's a recipe book.. It's also full of information regarding food, food preparation, etc.. It's an all around resource.

  • Clive
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Cookbooks for students are the best as they're written for people who know nothing. You don't say what country you're in but if in the UK, Delia Smith's Cookery Course or "How to Cook" are excellent - they are more than just recipe collections. And you can learn a lot from her web site

    As for knives, you don't need many. The only two I ever use are an 8" chef's knife and a smaller serrated vegetable knife, which must be kept SHARP - that makes life much easier. And a potato peeler for peeling potatoes. Chinese cooks only ever use a big cleaver and the chef's knife does that for you. It'll do everything from chopping onions to some butchery on a chicken leg (which I needed to do the other day to cut one into the thigh and the drumstick).

    Really, as a man who has always been single, for dinner I tend to go between recipes I have found and like, and just cooking some meat and veg using the instructions on the packets.

  • Dimo
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    " ... What do you use the many different types of knives .... "

    The different knives make is *easier*, but you really only need on good very sharp knife. A picture the one knife I had -- a hand-down, many decades old:

    As a start in the kitchen, I would suggest a big 8" chef, a little 3" paring, and a 10" bread knife.

    Videos are somewhat helpful, but many are wrong. I got me starting cooking in England, in secondary school. In a real class, with a real teacher, you get mistakes corrected when you make them. If you can find an Adult School with cooking class, DO IT! Far better than anything you can do on-line.

    Attachment image
  • 2 months ago

    there are cookbooks for learning.

    Start looking at some cook books for kids.

    My daughter bought her boys one by Emeril Lagasse that was very good and explained a lot of stuff in easy terms.

    Start at the library.

    AND FYI many cook books include techniques and tips, detailed instructions, etc. Try Joy of Cooking or the big book of cooking by Betty Crocker.

    Lots of photos showing what to do, etc.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 2 months ago

    The Joy of Cooking was my go-to book for a lot of that stuff. Still is. The edition that came out in the early 1960s is the one I use most. It does those basics better than the 90s edition I also have. You can find the 60s edition online fairly cheaply. I've been using it since 1972. There isn't much you need to know that's not in there.

    Cookbooks don't usually say much about knives. Indeed, in home kitchens there isn't much to say. Get a bread knife, a good paring knife, and a chef knife possibly in two sizes, learn how to sharpen them, and they will do all the cutting the average home cook needs. Instead of a paring knife, I usually use a tomato knife, thin and lightly serrated. Mine came from a dollar store. Once you get some experience and want to branch out into complicated recipes that require specialized knives, you can go to a place that sells good knives and spend to your heart's content.

  • 2 months ago

    Get the Cooks Country cookbook. All the recipes are detailed and explained well.

    The other option would be to get any one of these

    Betty Crocker

    Better Homes and Garden

    The Joy of Cooking

    King Arthur Flour cookbook

  • CB
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Fannie Farmer was my reference guide. You can find one on Amazon for about 30usd.

  • oikoσ
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    If you need a thorough, comprehensive book on cooking, I recommend Larouse Gastronomique. (Don't worry; it's in English). If you want thorough analysis of individual subjects, you want America's Test Kitchen, both their books and their magazines.

    • Alex2 months agoReport

      The first one looks especially promising, but I'll check out both. Thanks!

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.