Online Cookbooks

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Online Cookbooks

While there are plenty of websites and apps like Allrecipes, Epicurious, and New York Times Cooking that a consumer can log on to, digital cookbooks are finding a niche audience as well. With millions of people self quarantining at home because of COVID-19, and as a result cooking more at home, there’s a growing need for the "narrative arc and inherent authority found in well-produced cookbooks." In fact, according to a new study by food and beverage communications firm HUNTER, as Americans have adjusted to home confinement, their confidence in the kitchen has soared with many saying they will carry on with their cooking habits even after the world returns to a new normal. Convenience appears to be the driver for the popularity of digital cookbooks. While e-cookbooks are not a major trend, according to Taste, (mainly because the market is dominated by apps and social feeds), they assert that "there is an interesting group of people for whom e-cookbooks seem to hold the most appeal: the expansive, urban-residing Millennials interested in meal-making who treat cooking as another life skill to master. They’re as likely to download a few of the best-reviewed books as they are to look up a recipe in the New York Times cooking app."

We have curated eight online or digital downloadable cookbooks that got high ratings on review sites, or those that were recommended by popular chefs, popular food channels, and other authorities in the food industry. For each cookbook identified, we explained why the cookbook stands out, (using direct quotes to ensure context was maintained in certain instances), the awards won, and we included a visual of the downloadable cookbook.

Family Meal

Serving New York

South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations

  • "Among the more than 125 recipes, a chapter of snacks includes deviled crab from the Low Country, fried bologna with pickled peach mustard from Appalachia, and two versions of shrimp and grits. Recipes can be mixed and matched to make a meal or eaten on their own. Taken together, they make up the essential elements of Southern cuisine, from fried green tomatoes to smoked baby back ribs and from tomato okra stew to biscuits. Regional differences are highlighted in recipes for shrimp and grits, corn bread, fried chicken, and more. Includes key Southern knowledge too: how to fry, how to care for cast iron, how to cook over a hearth, and more."

The Four Hour Chef

  • "In The 4-Hour Chef, #1 New York Times best-selling author (and lifelong non-cook) Tim Ferriss unearths the secrets of the world’s fastest learners and greatest chefs. Ferriss uses cooking to teach “meta-learning,” a step-by-step process that can be used to master anything, whether searing steak, speaking Spanish, or shooting 3-pointers in basketball."
  • Here is the PDF of the table of contents. The recipes start on page 134.
  • It has a 74% five star positive rating on Amazon. As one reviewer noted: "This is not a perfect book, for a lot of reasons. It is however an amazing book, for a lot of other reasons." The Art of Charm declared: "Does the world really need another cookbook? How many different ways are there to boil an egg or crumple a souffle? The answer, upon reading a few snippets of The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life by Timothy Ferriss, is an immediate, Yes! The world really does need another cookbook. This one.”
  • This cookbook teaches the most flexible techniques of culinary school using 14 strategically chosen meals, all with four or fewer ingredients, and all taking 5-20 minutes to prepare.

How to Take Care


Amá: A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen

Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes to Make You a Great Cook

Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over

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