Best General Cookbooks

Find our top nine picks for the best general cookbooks published in the United States since 1987.

Inside Martha Stewart’s Cooking School

Continued: Martha Stewart’s Cooking School

The greatest strength of this is the photography—Stewart has a precise instinct for the steps that require more in-depth detail. The plethora of color photos peers into mixing bowls and stockpots. Textures are tangible, and you’re able to know exactly what your batter or stew should look like at each critical stage. The writing favors Stewart’s “of course you can do this” tone, as if success were a universal birthright, no room for argument.

If there’s any criticism, in fact, it’s that recipes are not the focus: Technique is. Each recipe is carefully selected as a vehicle to guide readers through a particular cooking method. It’s far more textbook than recipe book. But it’s a classic.

GIVE THIS TO: Methodical, visual learners with varying degrees of experience. —Tiffany Vickers Davis

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