12 Cookbooks Everyone Needs in Their Kitchen

The most essential, instructive, inspirational, seminal, delicious titles—according to us.

Do you have a cookbook that's dog-earned and covered in flouryour go-to for any cooking questions? This week on "Things Cooks Know," hosts and Real Simple editors Sarah Humphreys and Sarah Karnasiewicz discuss their favorite classic cookbooks—the ones that have shaped the way they cook, and never fail to answer their kitchen questions. Their picks are: Joy of CookingDinner: A Love Story, any Barefoot Contessa cookbookThe Kitchen DiariesGood ThingsThe Silver Palate CookbookAmerican Cookery, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, and Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (which has an "insanely easy" tomato sauce recipe, according to Karnasiewicz). 

For recent grads who haven't yet mastered any cooking skills and struggle to cook for themselves, Karnasiewicz suggests three beginner books that will (eventually) become favorites. She recommends Love Soup ("a lifesaver")Twelve Recipes (written with college students in mind), and Food52's Genius Recipes

This episode also debuts a new segment where Humphreys and Karnasiewicz answer the most basic cooking questions. This week: "Is it really important to gradually add ingredients when mixing if the recipe says to do it that way? What would happen if you add dry to wet, or vice versa?" For the answer to that question, listen to the full episode below. Don't forget to subscribe and review on iTunes! Plus, check out seven spring cookbooks that all home cooks should own.