Good Cooking comes from understanding how ingredients work together and experience. Getting that understanding can only come from getting your hands dirty in the kitchen and soaking up any information that comes across your kitchen counter.  Reading cookbooks is one of my favorite pastimes!  I read cookbooks like some people read novels.  Unfortunately not all cookbooks are created equal.  I have complied a list of some of the cookbooks that have made the biggest impact on my cooking and my education.

Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat is by far the most influential book I have ever read and has definitely helped me along on my journey to go from home cook to chef.

Want to be the best cook you can be? Read my Reading Must haves for the best cookbooks

Chef Samin writes in the most approachable way that no matter your skill level you will learn something new.  If you are a novice and just starting out cooking there is No Other book that will start you off in the right direction that will make you an amazing cook right from the beginning.   This book is more of a text book than a cookbook, although there are recipes, but it is a fun and educational read that you just can’t miss!

The Second most influential cookbook in my life is Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer.  For over 80 years Joy of Cooking has been the Gold Standard of amazing home cooks learning and taking their cooking to the next level.

Learning to cook? Want to take your cooking to the next level? Read my Reading Must haves for the best cookbooks!

Joy of Cooking is the quintessential American Cookbook of all time.  From your Great Grandmothers Kitchen to today this impressive tome has every morsel of technique and skill that you can learn tucked into it.   Don’t let the lack of photos or the size of this book intimidate you.  You may not read this one cover to cover but you will find yourself going to this book anytime you want to learn something new.

Sometimes you need a good basic.  You really can’t get all fancy until you master the basics anyway.  So when you want to make a classic, basic dish this cookbook can not be beat.  My grandmother and mother both had this book and when I moved out of my parents home in 1992 this was a gift from my mother.  I use the exact same edition and it is an invaluable cookbook in my collection.

Want to up your cooking game? Read my Must Read Cookbooks post to see what cookbooks changed my life

Classic easy home cook recipes.  This cookbook is a true must have!  When I am making something I have never made before I go to this cookbook first.  I read the recipe to learn the classic basic way to make it then I jazz it up a bit!

James Beard is the Godfather of American Cuisine.  No cookbook library would be complete without at least one of his cookbooks.  I am sure you have heard of Chefs of famous winning James Beard Awards.  For generations professional chefs everywhere have learned and been inspired by James Beard.  There is no reason as home cooks we can’t be just as inspired and learn just as much!

Learn the best cookbooks to read!