If I can see it, then I can do it
May 27, 2008 6:04 PM   Subscribe

CookingFilter: I need cookbooks or websites that have step by step visuals of recipes.

After my AskMe about cooking last week, I've determined that I need cookbooks or websites that have visuals. I seem to do a lot better when I can see the steps I need to be taking, or at least some photos of how the prep should go.

I've already seen VisualRecipes.com, and am looking for more cookbooks or websites in a similar vein.

Thanks, everyone!
posted by reenum to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Have you seen Cooking for Engineers?
posted by nnk at 6:07 PM on May 27, 2008

Two blogs that might be helpful: The Pioneer Woman Cooks and Mahanandi.
posted by sulaine at 6:16 PM on May 27, 2008

Cooks Illustrated is a fantastic magazine with a good companion website. Each recipe includes illustrations detailing the steps of the recipe.
posted by HotPatatta at 6:20 PM on May 27, 2008

I like StartCooking.com.
posted by ldenneau at 6:47 PM on May 27, 2008

I like AmateurGourmet.com
posted by rmless at 7:14 PM on May 27, 2008

One detail to add about Cook's Illustrated, because it's a little pricey for a magazine: You can sometimes find Cook's Illustrated at public libraries, especially in city libraries. Also, if you're near a big bookstore (borders, barnes & noble) stop by the magazine section to browse an issue and then buy it if you see something you'd want to try cooking. I definitely agree with HotPatatta that it has both excellent step-by-step illustrations and great recipes.

I can also recommend the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, which has more illustrations than most cookbooks (although not completely step-by-step). I should say that the 3-ring binding is awfully annoying and mine is falling apart, but the recipes are super. I made a chicken recipe from this book recently and the photos were really helpful.

And, it's not a book, but one of the best ways to learn how to cook, step-by-step, is to find a friend who has some cooking experience and then cook something together. You could ask your friends, or even your friends' parents, if you can cook together. I've done this before by bringing over the groceries we'd need for a recipe, and then we all cook dinner and eat together. That probably sounds weird, but I think anyone learning more about cooking could get a lot from something like that. Another alternative is to take a cooking class, which is basically the same idea.
posted by belau at 7:40 PM on May 27, 2008

Definitely fxcuisine. Their layout/pictures always blow me away.
posted by jmnugent at 7:41 PM on May 27, 2008

Not only a cook book but instructables has step by step pictures. I learned how to make 1up cupcakes and the cake from portal off that site. Turns out the cake isn't a lie.
posted by magikker at 7:42 PM on May 27, 2008

Williams-Sonoma has a Mastering series that breaks down techniques and recipes with step-by-step pictures. It's meant to be "a cooking class in a book". It can get a little frustrating when a simple chocolate chip cookie recipe goes on for a few pages, but the idea is there.

They also combined the techniques images into a how-to tome.

You should be able to find these at places other than Williams-Sonoma (and for less $).

full disclosure: I worked on these books.
posted by juliplease at 8:35 PM on May 27, 2008

There's this series of cook books by HP Books where all titles are The Book of "Blank" Cooking. They're tall and skinny and have one recipe per page. At the top is a pic of the finished dish (and not an artsy shallow depth of field photo, just a view right down on the plate) and then 3 photos of making the dish. Because the of the lack of space the recipes are terse, they feel like they're made for people who have some cooking experience.

Here's a search for "HP book of cooking" on amazon that lists some of them, then you can do the old "search inside".
posted by JulianDay at 9:08 PM on May 27, 2008

Foodtube.net lets you search for a dish and then watch it being prepared. Kinda like the food network shows, but you get to choose the particular dish to learn about.
posted by DB Cooper at 9:49 PM on May 27, 2008

Simply Recipes often has step-by-step photographic accompaniments to recipes. For example, How to Make Butterscotch.
posted by pluckemin at 10:15 PM on May 27, 2008

You could try Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques.
posted by bunnycakes at 12:15 AM on May 28, 2008

The BBC Food website has plenty of video tutorials.
posted by ceri richard at 3:39 AM on May 28, 2008

There are some excellent general cooking books above, however, I think I know exactly the book you're looking for.

James Peterson's book The Essentials of Cooking details the basic techniques and master recipes for vegetables, meats, fish, and more. What's unique about this book is that rather than have just a text description, each step has an accompanying photograph. Every cooking step is illustrated. A single recipe or procedure may have a dozen or more photographs. The pictures are usually very clear and give a good idea of what the text says. This book really helped me be a better cook.
posted by bonehead at 12:15 PM on May 28, 2008

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