What are some other good encyclopediac recipe books like "The Joy of Cooking"?

Most people have heard of “The Joy of Cooking”, and for good reason. It covers a pretty wide range of foods, cooking techniques, recipes, etc. and is a staple in many kitchens. What other cookbooks are like that?

My contribution is Marcella Hazan’s “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking”. Although it is a great reference for standard Italian pasta dishes, it covers lots of other things like roasted meats, side dishes, desserts, etc. that aren’t necessarily what you’d think of as being Italian. It’s not as much of a cooking reference as “The Joy of Cooking”, but the breadth of recipes means it’s often the book I go to first when I’m trying to decide what to make.

Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. I have it and consider it a modern version of Joy of Cooking.

I’ll contribute The Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook and The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

If you can find a culinary school textbook, those are all kinds of full of recipes, from all over the world, and using all sorts of methods.

My old textbook is actually my go-to whenever I am looking to make something new, or that I haven’t made since culinary school days.

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is an interesting approach to understanding what is going on in the kitchen. Cook’s Illustrated’s Cookbook is a great source, my go-to in the kitchen.

David Thompson’s Thai Food is the definitive English cookbook for this wonderful cuisine. It begins with a lengthy discourse on the history of Thai cuisine. A thorough guide to the utensils, ingredients, and techniques used in Thai cooking is next. Finally you get on to the exotic recipes and menus.

I’m a fan of The New Basics Cookbook. It seems like an update of Joy of Cooking.

Not really a fan of the organization, but the Cook’s Illustrated book is my current go-to bible. [But be careful buying the book directly from Cook’s; at least at one point they’d stealth sign you up for a cookbook-of-the-month club without really telling you]

Not all the best recipes, but if you’re looking for a volume of recipes try the Mary Margaret McBride Encyclopedia of Cooking. My wife came with one of these. She never read a page of it, but I loved this thing. There are a bunch of interesting dishes, tons of basic info on food preparation, and an a cornucopia of middle American traditional dishes from bland to adventurous. For any dish there may be several variations of the basic recipe provided.

We’ve used the Woman’s Day multivolume series for decades and it rarely disappoints.

It’s a little specialized, but only a little: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Every recipe I’ve made from it has been a winner, and it covers a pretty wide variety of different cuisines and techniques. There’s a big category of recipes that aren’t covered (meaty ones), but other than that it’s got great breadth. We use it more than any other cookbook except Joy of Cooking.

We are Kenji Lopez-Alt fans and enjoy his Food Lab cookbook:

My daughter and her fiance both love to cook and both are vegetarians. I texted my daughter and asked if she had heard of the book (planning on buying it for them). She responded that the book is great; indeed they have prepared meals for me from the book.

The Woman’s Day Encyclopedia of Cookery is really good. It’s been out of print for years. I got the full set at a garage sale quite a while ago. It’s a good source of recipes for thinks like turkey stuffing and hoppin’ john.

How accessible are the recipes for the standard American consumer? Do you need ingredients that are found in good quality grocery stores or would a trip to the Asian market be necessary?

Somewhat related, are there any Vietnamese recipe books that might be recommended?

I have The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2019. All the recipes from the show during that time span (I believe they update the book every year). Got it as part of a Christmas present ant it’s very good at showing me any basic recipe I ever need.

I highly recommend The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book; if you’re going to have just one book on baking bread, this is the one to have.

I’ll second the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook! When I moved from under my parents’ roof in 1974, my mother gave me her copy which was probably 20 years old at the time. I learned to cook from it. I still have it and cook from it frequently. It’s excellent!

A few years later, she gave me a new copy of “The Joy of Cooking” for Christmas.

I have more than three dozen cookbooks on the pantry shelf now, but BH&G and JofC probably get the most use!

Definitely. Also Julia Child’s “Art of French Cooking”.

I don’t really know what the American consumer has readily available. Most of the fresh ingredients are easy to find in Australian cities. However, some rare recipes involve ingredients that I haven’t seen anywhere. And no advice is provided about substitutes for them.

Here are some recipes from his TV show, Thai Street Food, to give you a taste.