There isn’t much that can beat a home-cooked meal. For some, however, cooking can be a bit of a challenge. But it doesn’t have to be. You can use many resources to learn both the basics of cooking and how to master it. Books are particularly helpful because they’re so easily accessible, are full of pertinent information and can be handed down with all of your handwritten notes and tips inside.
The “For Dummies” series is especially popular for those looking to learn something new. Cooking Basics for Dummies will be an integral part of your collection as it covers everything you need to know to get started in the kitchen.
It’s important to consider any dietary restrictions that you have before picking out a cookbook. Fortunately, there are books for just about every dietary restriction. From high blood pressure to diabetes and heart health to gluten-free, there is a book for you. Though not necessarily dietary restrictive, specialty diets like keto and paleo are also widely available.
Your personal goals will help you determine the cookbooks that you choose to purchase. If your goal is to lose a few pounds, you might not be searching for a dessert cookbook. But if you are, there are plenty that specializes in low-calorie treats. There are a variety of cookbooks on the market that cater to your health goals.
Consider the type of equipment you have or will need to purchase for your cooking needs. Some cookbook recipes are specific to certain cookware like cast iron skillets, air fryers, baking sheets, sheet pan dishes and more. There are even cookbooks for small spaces, like college dorm rooms, where cooking equipment and space are limited.
The “For Dummies” book series is known for hiring experts in a certain field to write their books. Thus, you can rest assured that the information you’re receiving is accurate and well-researched. When you find a book you are interested in, look up the author to check their credentials for better peace of mind. In doing so, you might find more work of theirs that interests you.
Today, there are several different ways to read a book. Some readers prefer the traditional physical copy, while others opt for e-books. The choice is yours, but there are some things to consider before making your decision. For instance, physical copies put less strain on your eyes and can be handed down to loved ones. However, they can be bulky. E-books can store many books on one device but can be a bit of a nuisance in the kitchen due to liquid and food spills.
Look for books that cater to your skill level. If you’re a beginner, look for books that are made specifically for beginners. These books will go into great detail about the recipes, equipment and history or simply summarize the basics. If you’re a visual learner, look for cookbooks with lots of pictures. Also, consider the metric system used, particularly if looking for cookbooks of a different culture.
The dummies series offers cookbooks at $12-$27 for physical copies and ebooks. The ebook edition of their standard cookbook costs as much as $35.
Cooking classes can be quite beneficial when learning how to cook. However, they can be pricey. The cookbooks offered in the “For Dummies” series are written by experts in their fields who share a ton of useful information. Books allow you to go back as many times as needed to perfect a recipe. They can also go into greater detail with the glossary and the background of a dish.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to read a cookbook. Many cookbooks provide readers with a lot of information about a dish to understand better what you’ll be cooking. Readers can choose whether or not to read this information. Knowing the history of a dish will not only help you sound like an expert but will make you a better cook overall.
What you need to know: This cookbook is perfect for novice cooks who want to learn the basics, from fundamental techniques to creating simple recipes.
What you’ll love: The step-by-step guidelines cover how to boil an egg, dice vegetables and even how to plan menus. There are over 150 recipes that also cover grilling, pressure cooking, baking and more. Tips are offered if you have to tweak certain recipes for dietary purposes.
What you should consider: This option is not for those looking to specialize in a particular cuisine.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This book is excellent for those who own an air fryer and are looking for inspiration to shake things up in the kitchen.
What you’ll love: Written by nutrition and diet experts, there are over 150 recipes to try. The book details how to prepare your food for air frying and how to use your air fryer safely and effectively.
What you should consider: Some users noted that there were very few photos of the completed dish.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This cookbook sets out to prove that following a heart-healthy diet doesn’t have to be boring. It can be exciting and delicious.
What you’ll love: Life-saving basics are covered in this cookbook, in addition to tips on how to choose food from the grocery store, healthy eating habits, how to control the risk factors of heart disease and much more. There are also over 100 recipes from top chefs and a cardiologist.
What you should consider: Some of the recipes are complicated, and the average household may not have all of the necessary ingredients on hand.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Ashley Willis writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.