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on March 7, 2016
I grew up with various editions of this book. It is an incredible resource. I bought this for my brother in law. He is a chef. I actually got him two different editions. One for home, the other for work. He had never read it. He loves it. There is basic knowledge about ingredients and cooking techniques. There are great recipes for both the beginner, and the experienced cooks. This is food porn.
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on May 30, 1999
Can you believe that Joy of Cooking does not even have a recipe for beef stew???? If you have an ox tail handy, you are in luck. The introduction was incredibly pompous. The entire tone of this book turned me off, and when I found that I could not even find simple recipes for simple foods, I stopped looking.
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I actually have both the original and the new JoC. This one's a vast improvement over the original. This one's updated with all the new foods we're all used to now that we just didn't have 20 years ago, like star fruit and jerk rubs. And it revises recipes from the original -- the cornbread recipe now includes a "northern" and a "southern" version, with the "southern" version actually resembling authentic cornbread.
This is the first cookbook I ever bought. It is still the seminal reference work for cooks. From how to skin squirrels to making hard candy to how to roast turkeys, anything you want to know about any food, it's in here. I've probably cooked dozens, if not hundreds, of the recipes in this book over the years, and haven't been disappointed yet. Every recipe is tested and consistent -- and that's probably the best thing you can say about this book. It's consistent. It's also the primo information source on food ingredients, from types of flour to varieties of pears. Due to its scope, individual sections are somewhat limited, but they are effective at piqueing the imagination. The book also assumes a small amount of skill on the part of the reader -- the brand-new cook will find plenty here that is do-able, but some things will look intimidating. That said, rest assured that *nothing* in here is outside the ability of the average home cook.
In short, I have no reservations at all about wholeheartedly recommending this book to every single cook reading this.
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on December 12, 2000
How much easier these recipes would be to read if they would list all the ingredients and their quantities at the BEGINNING of each recipe, rather than sprinkling them through. The classic JOY is the same format, I realize. Sometimes tradition needs to be rethought. This is one of those times.
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on October 7, 1999
Growing up the only cookbook we every used was the original Joy of Cooking which was a fabulous reference. I recently looked at the new edition and didn't like it at all! Very hard to understand a recipe - so many recipes 'refer' you to other pages and you rarely find a simple recipe with a list of ingredients and instructions. They should have stuck with the old format. Not recommended.
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on January 2, 2003
I have a lot of cookbooks. Many of them have pretty, shiny pictures of food I could probably never make (certainly not from their recipes). The Joy is not that kind of book, but it is always the first book I pick up when I'm looking for a new dish. The recipes may not be flashy, but they WORK. The proportions are always right and the techniques are always straightforward.
I frequently use it to double-check recipes from more contemporary cookbooks - you know, the ones from those celebrity chefs. If they disagree, nine times out of ten, I'll use the Joy version.
I never had a copy of the original version, so I can't comment on how they compare. What I can tell you is that the All-new, All-pupose Joy of Cooking is simply indispensable.
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on May 12, 2013
This is one of the flat-opening plastic-comb bound editions. It's a little worn - with love and use - but was perfect for me to use as a working cookbook. Really lucky to find this one, and it's highly recommended if you're really going to use "Joy of Cooking" on a daily basis.
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on December 10, 2000
My perspective differs from many who have written wistful paeans to the 1975 edition and long for its return. I've only had the benefit of using the current edition. Over the last two years of use, the New Joy of Cooking has been the most consistent, outstanding cooking reference that I have ever used. I have prepared more than 40 recipes from this book, and the results have rated from good to superb. What sets this book apart is that it covers an unprecedented breadth of cuisine -- from apple pies to chicken paprikash -- while it maintains a uniformly high standard for quality. By using Joy, you will not waste an hour of your time following a recipe that yields a poor result. A copy of Joy belongs in every kitchen.
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on November 5, 2014
I know this will be controversial to some, but for me the best Joy is the 1997 version. I have the 75th Anniversary edition but rarely use it. (However there are some recipes in the 75th anniversary edition that aren't in this one that are good so I keep them both in the kitchen.) I bought this as a replacement for the copy I purchased in 1999 and basically ruined through use. I'll probably ruin this one and have to buy another again!!!
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on March 5, 2000
Cooking is an avocation for me and I looked forward to the new Joy of Cooking, especially since it was accompanied by the CD. After looking carefully through both the book and trying the CD, I wound up giving it to the local library book store. Joy has gone from being a leader to being strictly second rate. For a general purpose cookbook, try Bittman, The Cook's Bible or the NY Times Cookbook. The lack of either good basics or any creativity makes this less than worth the money. The CD is simply the worst I have seen. Williams Sonoma is much better. Pass on this one.
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