Joy of Cooking (Sixth edition - 1975) by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker

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Notes about this book

  • CRStahly63 on May 30, 2021

    Copyright 1931-1964

  • chawkins on June 13, 2013

    Notable recipes per 101 Classic Cookbooks: beef Wellington or filet de boeuf en croute, butterscotch ice box cookiew, chocolate custard cake-devils' food, crown roast of pork, roast turkey and rule for meringue.

  • smsheil on October 23, 2011


  • Breadcrumbs on June 04, 2011

    This was the very first real cookbook I purchased for myself. Prior to that I'd picked up some pamphlet-type books and a paperback copy of the Duncan Hines cookbook on sale. I picked this up at a food and wine fair and there was a spin to win contest w every purchase. My spin won me a copy of the Good Housekeeping Cookbook which turned out to be a real gem for me. I can't honestly recall ever making a recipe from the Joy of Cooking but I did refer to it over the years when I was stuck or, just looking for info on a dish or ingredient.

  • nicolepellegrini on December 12, 2010

    A necessary reference book for any chef's collection. Great basic info on everything from roasting a chicken to freezing food to basic sauces. Use it a lot when I am constructing my own recipe but need guidelines for cooking times, temperatures and techniques.

  • dgcbooth on October 14, 2010

    Note that some of the editions vary widely from each other. For example, there's a 1990's edition (1997 I believe) that had a more dry tone and departed from the earlier lightheartedness. The recipes were also not as good a collection and the information more sparse. The 2006 edition notes in it's forward by Ethan Becker that they were trying to bring the "joy" back to Joy of Cooking and return to more of the 1975 edition. From what I've seen, and from reviews, they succeeded. Review, or read reviews about, whatever edition you're considering before purchasing if you do not already own this book. If you can a much older edition, they're great fun to read, even if you don't try the recipes :)

  • shifra1 on July 18, 2010

    75th Anniversary Edition

  • nomadchowwoman on January 07, 2010

    Classic American reference. I know some people for whom this is their only cookbook. I use it if I'm looking for a simple take on a classic American or immigrant-American dish, for the most basic sauces or muffins, etc. A great book for getting a perspective on American cooking and its evolution.

  • lbarzin on December 29, 2009

    The one cookbook to have if you're stranded on a desert island. Even Julia Childs credits this as her go-to cookbook.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Brownies Cockaigne

    • Laurendmck on February 20, 2010

      I make these all the time. I add one tablespoon of instant coffee powder and I bake them exactly 21 minutes.

    • cpauldin on January 05, 2012

      This is a very good brownie recipe. Make sure the eggs are at room temperature as recommended- they seem to have a better texture.

    • BlytheSpirit on January 31, 2012

      This is my favorite brownie recipe.

  • Sourdough chocolate cake

    • Laurendmck on March 20, 2010

      I couldn't find this recipe in the 2006 edition.

  • Skillet corn bread

    • Laurendmck on January 03, 2018

      Simple and just delicious. Made in a cast iron skillet and the edges were perfectly browned.

  • Sauerbraten

  • Cornmeal pancakes

    • Laurendmck on February 20, 2010

      p. 645. Double the recipe. Would be great with blueberries.

  • Veal scallopini with tomatoes

    • Cheri on June 19, 2012

      Made a modified version of this. We really liked it. Omitted Marsala. Sauted the mushrooms, tomatoes, basil and garlic in olive oil and butter. Removed from pan and quickly sauted the veal, then added veggies back to skillet for a few minutes. Served over wide egg noodles that were dressed with butter and parm. Yum.

  • Sweet and sour pork 2

    • vickster on January 27, 2018

      A good, basic Sweet-and-Sour recipe. Very common ingredients used. I added 1 tbsp. more cornstarch. And I used boneless chicken thighs.

  • Filled cookies 1: raisin, fig, or date cookie filling

    • vickster on August 08, 2015

      I made fig-filled crescents using Roll Cookie recipe. Also tried rolling up strips of dough, filling with fig filling, and cutting up after baking like a fig newton. Very good use of a few of my many figs currently on the tree!

  • Candied citrus peel 1

    • radishseed on January 25, 2013

      This recipe worked really well. I used a combination of Meyer lemon and grapefruit peels, ignoring the part about dipping them in chocolate at the end.

  • Speculatius

    • radishseed on December 01, 2019

      I chilled the dough about 6 hours instead of the 12 hours in the recipe. Perhaps because of this, it was very soft and difficult to work with. I tried using a cookie mold to shape the cookies, but it was all too soft and sticky, and I had to scrape it out. I ended up rolling some of the dough with a springerle rolling pin and stamping the rest with a cookie stamp. When I baked the first batch, the cookies spread a lot and lost all the definition of the designs. I froze the rest of the dough before baking it, but didn't get better results. That said, it still tastes like a cookie.

  • Scalloped oysters 1

    • ellabee on February 23, 2013

      p.112 of 1953 Joy. Prepared with a pint of oysters, *just* fits into #20 gratin. Use baking sheet below to catch bubble-over.

  • Bourbon balls

    • ellabee on October 07, 2022

      Can substitute walnuts or black walnuts for pecans. Have made for years for Christmas, by hand. Without a food processor, chopping nuts into a meal (sifting through biggest strainer) and crushing the vanilla wafers are both time-consuming processes. With a fp it might be tempting to make these more than once a year.

  • Apple, peach or plum cake Cockaigne

    • kimslist on September 13, 2010

      How can something so simple and wholesome be so delicious? My go-to recipe when I need to use up the extra plums from my tree. Great with firm varietals. Irresistible fresh from the oven.

    • MWFhome on July 17, 2014

      Suggest using light brown sugar for best effect to show off fruit. Sugar color is unspecified in the recipe. If fruit is very sweet, next time I would reduce sugar and cinnamon. It is an easy recipe for summer fruit, appreciated by guests.

  • Chicken paprika

    • chriscooks on July 28, 2018

      Substituted nonfat plain Greek yogurt for sour cream. Works well if you are trying to control fat consumption.

    • ianapoli on January 15, 2016

      old fashioned recipe, quick and easy. served with rice but noodles would be okay too

  • Hot green bean salad

    • crandall57 on May 24, 2015

      Served the bacon dressing over fresh spinach. Added grated red onion and lemon thyme. Used peach white balsamic vinegar.

  • Wheatless pie dough

    • L.Nightshade on July 18, 2014

      This recipe is tagged gluten free, if it contains rye flour, it is most definitely not gluten free.

  • Pickled beet salad

    • eliza on February 10, 2016

      This is my favourite pickled beet recipe. I use white vinegar, and it's ready in a couple of days. Really good in sandwiches or with sour cream and dill. Very easy. I've made it with regular beets and with golden beets from the garden.

  • Corn fritters with fresh corn

    • chefmichael on August 06, 2014

      Hmmm... 1 egg and 2 teaspoons of flour did not make a batter that bound enough to keep these together. Basically this is fried leftover corn. Good if your corn is super freshly leftover, but we wanted a more cake-like fritter here. We had less than 5 ears of leftover corn but more than 2.5 cups. Proportions seem off. Or perhaps Ohio sweet corn in season is bigger than what the recipe was tested with.

  • Cream cheese refrigerator cookies

    • HazukaPie on December 02, 2016

      These are under "ICEBOX COOKIES" in the index.

  • Cheese dips 1

    • nicolemorgan86 on February 09, 2012

      Note that the recipe also relies on 1 oz. of cream cheese. Made this without the roquefort and used a bit more cheddar instead. Also subbed serrano-vinegar hot sauce for the Worchestershire. Great dip for baked pretzels, although very rich and filling.

  • Baked potatoes

    • BlytheSpirit on November 23, 2013

      This is a great, basic recipe for baked potatoes. I have been lazy the last few years, using microwaves etc. And trying a few new-fangled techniques such as baking in salt. However, this is the method I fall back on - at the end of the day.

  • Braised pork chops with sauerkraut

    • chawkins on May 17, 2014

      Trying to use up the sauerkraut and applesauce in my refrigerator, EYB brought me to this recipe from one of my oldest cookbook. Quite simple, all you need to do is to crisp the bacon, brown the pork chops and mix the bacon, kraut, applesauce, dry mustard, brown sugar, wine and pepper together in a casserole, put the chops on top and bake. It was quite good, the applesauce and the sauerkraut complimented each other and the pork chops well.

  • Buttermilk pancakes

    • cjannace on March 19, 2016

      These were very good, but very thin. Next time I may try not sifting the flour first to see if it makes them a little thicker.

  • Summer squash casserole Cockaigne

    • KissTheCook on September 09, 2020

      As cockamamie as it sounds. Do not try unless you like eating soup out of a can.

  • Strawberry and rhubarb preserves

    • KissTheCook on June 22, 2017

      Way too sweet for me with 7 C. sugar instead of 8 called for.

  • Spiced rhubarb conserve

    • KissTheCook on June 13, 2017

      Bitter. Don't know if putting using whole lemon & orange rind ruined it, but either way, addition of red hots not to my liking.

  • Corned beef hash and potatoes

    • Rinshin on October 08, 2022

      There are all kinds of corned beef hash from chunky potato to almost mashed versions. Some very simple and dry. The version I still like the best is from 1971 edition that included stock,creamed gravy (or mixture) garlic, any mushrooms and my addition horseradish. This is the first recipe I made when this book was purchased. I now add bay leaves and nutmeg as well. I cook vegetables using only olive oil until they start to stick with Worcestershire sauce from Paul Prudhomme’s meat loaf idea. Today made with this year’s frozen corned beef from St Pat’s. Very nostalgic and divine with fried eggs or poached eggs right in the pan and glass of chilled Vinho verde. Photo added.

  • Sourdough bread

    • loehmichen on December 13, 2020

      This recipe makes a delicious, simple sourdough sandwich loaf. I used 3 cups of bread flour and 1 cup of stone ground whole wheat for the sponge. And 1 cup all purpose flour for the final step. Included the suggested 2 T of butter but not the egg. Baked in glass loaf pans - took only 40 minutes.

    • loehmichen on December 13, 2020

      This recipe makes a delicious, simple sourdough sandwich loaf. I used 3 cups of bread flour and 1 cup stone ground whole wheat for the sponge and 1 cup all purpose for the final dough. Added the suggested 2T of butter but not the eggs. Baked in glass loaf pans for 40 minutes.

  • Honey mint sauce

  • Persian balls or centers

    • jdub1371 on February 14, 2021

      These are wonderful. I was looking for a way to use up some dried figs. Made the crystallized ginger version. Was low on pecans so I used half pecans and half slivered almonds. The food processor worked fine instead of a grinder. Recipe is easy to scale up or down. Nice sweetmeat to have around for a nibble after supper. I could see dipping these in chocolate to make a very sophisticated Raisinet kind of thing.

  • Date bars Cockaigne

    • lawrencecharcuterie on December 19, 2021

      Like a thin moist oatmeal raisin cookie. Not particularly interesting in my opinion.

  • Spirit glaze for ham

    • MidwesternerTT on April 17, 2017

      Perfectly balanced flavors with baked ham. Simple stir-together glaze for the final half-hour of heating. I poured over the entire ham about 40 minutes before done baking, then basted every 10 minutes. I wanted a no-mustard change from my usual mustard-maple glaze and this was great on a small boneless ham. Leftover ham got frozen in half-pound packets and included some of the glaze/pan drippings in each.

  • Vanilla cream caramels

    • FromScratch on December 18, 2022

      You can always add vanilla at the end if you want it in there. The real point is that these are phenomenally good. Makes a 13x9 pan full, about 1/2 inch thick.

  • Leaf wafers 1: black walnut leaves

    • Piebaker on July 19, 2016

      These black walnut cookies are very good. I did not use the stencils, just formed and baked small cookies. Nor did I ice them. Lovely flavor.

  • Chocolate-chip drop cookies

    • averythingcooks on October 01, 2022

      Not surprisingly, these are the classic (and delicious) chocolate chip cookies of my childhood......thin with crispy edges but still some chew in the middle. One thing: they suggest scooping the dough with a teaspoon to get around 45 cookies. I used my cookie scoop & digital scale to make 20 g cookies (and got 34) BUT they were done before 10 minutes which is the suggested time for the smaller ones. It might be my oven (grrr) but I would suggest watching the time carefully.

  • Boston steamed brown bread

    • mjes on September 24, 2019

      Okay, Mother made this from the second edition of the Joy of Cooking, but this is the only Boston steamed brown bread I knew growing up so of course it is perfect!

  • Baked or cup custard

    • mjes on February 23, 2019

      I first made this recipe from a previous edition in approximately 1954. I was feeling nostalgic and also wanted to try a new brand of vanilla paste. This is still a "perfect" basic recipes ... comes out just as my Mother taught me.

  • Chili sauce

    • mjes on January 13, 2019

      Yes, I know this is not the season for making relishes, but I'd been thinking of when my Mother made this is quantities to can and using a meat grinder on the vegetables (my job at about 10). The ingredients were not fresh from the garden and I made only 1 quart but, yes, it is as special as I remembered on hamburgers. Much better than mayonnaise-based special sauces. Next time I'll remember to cook it down a bit more.

  • Cookie-press or spritz cookies

    • Skamper on December 30, 2020

      This is my go-to cookie press recipe. For my (inexpensive) cookie press, it works best at room temperature.

  • Sautéed or browned hash

    • angrygreycat on August 26, 2022

      Had left over london broil to make this. Served with a fried runny egg and a mixed greens salad. Good use of leftover beef and very easy. Next time I'd make in my cast iron or non stick pan as it stuck a bit to my frying pan.

  • Curried barbecue chicken

    • mcmanuscooks on August 03, 2020

      Really good! Made a huge amount. Dialed back the yogurt and increased the spices / changed the ratios. The cayenne was noticeable in the marinade, but not so much in the finished product. Would definitely make this again. Chicken was juicy and flavorful after only an hour or two in the marinade. Served as kabobs with red pepper and onion.

  • Cassoulet

    • ellemef on August 14, 2019

      Double the amount of breadcrumbs.

  • Pork roast

    • Beebopalulu on December 08, 2019

      Very basic recipe. Overcooks pork for modern tastes

  • Fluffy or souffléed omelet

    • Beebopalulu on December 02, 2019

      Just like the ones at the sugar shack!

  • Sweet potato and applesauce soufflé

  • Lemonade or limeade

    • racheljmorgan on April 08, 2022

      The salt was very noticeable. I wish I had omitted it. In my opinion, the recipe would have been better with more lemon juice and less sugar.

  • Avocado salad cups 3: with crab, chicken, or fruit salad

    • racheljmorgan on January 18, 2022

      Honestly cute, delicious, and extremely easy. With cut fruit, lime, and sour cream it could be either a dessert or a side salad. I used mango.

  • Chicken or turkey Divan

    • racheljmorgan on January 04, 2021

      Well liked. Next time would make the turkey slices bite sized and add more pepper.

  • Apple and onion dressing

    • cpandrew on November 20, 2021

      Leave out raisins. Add dried sage and cooked giblets for Thanksgiving.

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Publishers Text

Joy is the all-purpose cookbook. There are other basic cookbooks on the market, and there are fine specialty cookbooks, but no other cookbook includes such a complete range of recipes in every category: everyday, classic, foreign and de luxe. Joy is the one indispensable cookbook, a boon to the beginner, treasure for the experienced cook, the foundation of many a happy kitchen and many a happy home.

Privately printed in 1931, Joy has always been family affair, and like a family it has grown. Written by Irma Starkloff Rombauer, a St. Louisan, it was first tested and illustrated by her daughter, Marion Rombauer Becker, and subsequently it was revised and enlarged through Marion's efforts and those of her architect husband, John W. Becker. Their sons -- Ethan, with his Cordon Bleu and camping experiences, and Mark, with his interest in natural foods-have reinforced Joy in many ways.

Now over forty, Joy continues to be a family affair, demonstrating more than ever the awareness we all share in the growing preciousness of food. Special features in this edition are the chapter on Heat, which gives you many hints on maintaining the nutrients in the food you are cooking, and Know Your Ingredients, which reveals vital characteristics of the materials you commonly combine, telling how and why they react as they do; how to measure them; when feasible, how to substitute one for another; as well as amounts to buy. Wherever possible, information also appears at the point of use.

Divided into three parts, Foods We Eat, Foods We Heat and Foods We Keep, Joy now contains more than 4500 recipes, many hundreds of them new to this edition -- the first full revision in twelve years. All the enduring favorites will still be found. In the chapter on Brunch, Lunch and Supper Dishes there are also interesting suggestions for using convenience and leftover foods. Through its more than 1000 practical, delightful drawings by Ginnie Hofmann and Ikki Matsumoto, Joy shows how to present food correctly and charmingly, from the simplest to the most formal service; how to prepare ingredients with classic tools and techniques; and how to preserve safely the results of your canning and freezing.

Joy grows with the times; it has a full roster of American and foreign dishes: Strudel, Zabaglione, Rijsttafel, Couscous, among many others. All the classic terms you find on menus, such as Provencale, bonne femme, meunière and Florentine, are not merely defined but fully explained so you yourself can confect the dish they characterize. Throughout the book the whys and wherefores of the directions are given, with special emphasis on that vital cooking factor -- heat. Did you know that even the temperature of an ingredient can make or mar your best-laid plans? Learn exactly what the results of simmering, blanching, roasting and braising have on your efforts. Read the enlarged discussion on herbs, spices and seasonings, and note that their use is included in suitable amounts in the recipes. No detail necessary to your success in cooking has been omitted.

Joy, we hope, will always remain essentially a family affair, as well as an enterprise in which its authors owe no obligation to anyone but to themselves and to you. Choose from our offerings what suits your person, your way of life, your pleasure -- and join us in the Joy of cooking.

Because of the infinite patience that has gone into the preparation of Joy of Cooking, the publishers offer it on a money-back guarantee. Without question there is no finer all-purpose cookbook.

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