A definitive cookbook makes an excellent wedding gift - it's something that the bride and groom will likely keep and consult for years, and there's something special about knowing your gift will be the source for a lifetime of wonderful meals to enjoy together. Here are some of the best cookbooks to give as wedding gifts. While many of these books are available in paperback, I recommend buying the hardcover editions. Yes, they're slightly more expensive, but they make a nicer presentation and will better stand up to the rigors of being used in a kitchen.
01 of 05
Best for Beginners: Betty Crocker's Cookbook (Bridal Edition)
For generations, many a young housewife learned to cook from the pages of Betty Crocker's Cookbook, and this book, now in its 11th Edition, is still relevant for today's cooks. The Betty Crocker's Cookbook: Bridal Edition has a special section for first-time homemakers that includes tips on organizing, menu planning, and entertaining, and even ideas for making events and special occasions more romantic. There are also pages to record special meals and milestones. There are around 1,500 recipes and three times as many photos as the previous editions. New chapters include Breakfast and Brunch, Do It Yourself (canning and preserving), and Entertaining.
02 of 05
Best Classic: Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer
This 75th Anniversary edition of the classic is as indispensable in the kitchen as the original version was when it debuted in 1931. In its ninth revision, this book is an essential teaching tool for anyone who wants to become a better cook. The Know Your Ingredients chapter is like a culinary encyclopedia, while the Cooking Methods chapter offers instructions on the various cooking techniques, and a Nutrition chapter gives common-sense advice on healthy eating. With more than 1,000 pages, this hefty tome offers detailed and easy-to-understand instructions for nearly every recipe you might need. This updated version even includes modern additions, such as enchiladas, sushi, corn dogs and slow cooker recipes.
03 of 05
Best Reference: Julia's Kitchen Wisdom by Julia Child
Julia Child is best known for her first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but this book is far more useful and versatile. Culled from Child's own notes about techniques and tricks that worked and didn't, this book is an excellent reference to take a decent cook to the next level. It's organized by category, with a master recipe for each section, followed by variations that will help cooks become comfortable with trying their own riffs on basic classics ranging from roast chicken to scrambled eggs to basic vinaigrette.
04 of 05
Best for Versatility: Recipe How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
This exhaustive, modern-day cooking bible really does seem to have instructions on how to cook just about everything. Nearly every one of its 2,000-some recipes includes variations, so cooks can take a mix-and-match approach and customize recipes according to their preferences and what ingredients they have available. Techniques are simple and straightforward. Numerous sidebars include explanations and illustrations of techniques, information on caring for and using cooking equipment, charts outlining cooking times, and tips on choosing ingredients. Be sure to choose the revised edition; half of the content is new.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
Best for Busy Couples: The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook by America's Test Kitchen
Newly married couples, who don't yet have children, will appreciate this book, which is full of recipes that make just enough food for the two of them, without having to waste extras or worry about leftovers. The editors at America's Test Kitchen, known for their scientific approach to making the best possible version of a dish, have scaled down 650 of their best recipes to two servings, adjusting ingredients, cooking methods, and cooking times to ensure perfect results. Included are recipes that can be on the table in 30 minutes or less, healthy recipes that include nutritional information, and even chapters on slow cooking for two, baking, and grilling. The book also includes a brief section on cooking-for-two strategies for smart shopping and storing and reducing waste.