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About the Author
Ethan Becker is the son of Marion Rombauer Becker and the grandson of Irma S. Rombauer, the original author of The Joy of Cooking. He attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, but learned how to cook from his mom. An outdoors-man, he is a master of the grill and at cooking game. His outdoor gear and survival and combat knives are sold internationally under the brand Becker Knife and Tool. Ethan and his wife, Susan, a writer, editor, and artist, live in East Tennessee at their home, Half Moon Ridge. His website is TheJoyKitchen.com.
Irma Rombauer self-published the first Joy of Cooking in 1931. In 1936, the first commercial edition was published by Bobbs-Merrill. Marion Rombauer Becker, Irma’s daughter, helped revise and update each subsequent edition until 1951. The 1963 edition was the first after Irma’s death and was completely Marion’s. Her son, Ethan Becker, helped Marion revise the 1975 edition, and then oversaw the 1997 and 75th Anniversary editions. Ethan’s son, John Becker and his wife, Megan Scott are the first of the family to be solely responsible for testing, revising, and updating the book since 1975, ensuring the latest edition is given the same love and attention to detail that made this culinary resource an American classic.
Read an Excerpt
Roasted Brined Turkey
10 to 25 servings; 1 pound turkey per person
Brining -- that is, soaking the turkey in a solution of water and salt -- helps the bird retain moisture and seasons the meat throughout. This recipe calls for a 4-to 6-hour soak. If it better suits your schedule, you can decrease the salt by half (in proportion to the water) and soak the turkey for 12 to 18 hours. Do not brine self-basting turkeys or kosher turkeys, both of which already have been treated with salt. Before beginning, please read About Turkey, 611, and About Roasted Turkey, 612. For information on removing the wishbone, trussing, testing for doneness, and carving, see Roasting Whole Poultry, 572.
Remove the giblets and neck from, then rinse:
1 turkey (15 to 25 pounds)
In a clean bucket or other container large enough to hold the turkey, mix until the salt dissolves:
2 pounds salt (2 cups table salt or 4 cups kosher salt)
2 gallons water
Submerge the turkey in the solution. If the turkey is not completely covered, prepare additional brine using a ratio of 1 pound salt to 1 gallon water. Set the turkey in a very cool spot for 4 to 6 hours.
Position a rack at the lowest level of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Remove the turkey from the brine. Thoroughly rinse inside and out, then pat the skin and both cavities dry. To facilitate carving, you may wish to remove the leg tendons and wishbone. Place in the large cavity:
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 small celery stalk, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon dried thyme, or 8 sprigs fresh (optional)
See Turned Roasted Chicken, 580. Perform a simple truss, 572; there is no need to close the cavities. Brush the turkey skin all over with:
4 to 6 tablespoons melted butter, depending on the size of the turkey
Place a V-rack or sturdy wire rack in a roasting pan and arrange the turkey breast side down on the rack. If you are using a flat rack and the turkey topples over, prop it up with balls of aluminum foil. Pour into the roasting pan:
3/4 cup water
Roast the turkey breast side down for 2 hours if it weighs 18 pounds or less, 2 1/2 hours if it weighs between 18 and 21 pounds, and 3 hours if it weighs more than 21 pounds. Baste the back and legs once or twice with:
2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter
Remove the turkey from the oven. Protecting your hands with paper towels, grasp the turkey at both ends and turn breast side up. Return the turkey to the oven and roast, basting once or twice with pan drippings, until an instant-read thermometer plunged into the thickest part of the thigh registers 175° to 180°F, 30 to 90 minutes more, depending on the turkey's size. (If the turkey approaches doneness before the breast has browned, increase the oven temperature to 400°F for the last 5 to 10 minutes of roasting.) Remove the turkey to a platter and let stand for 20 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, if you wish, make:
Quick Turkey Gravy, 615, Giblet Gravy, 615, or Reduced-Fat Giblet Gravy, above
High-Heat Roasted Turkey
12 to 15 servings
This high-heat roast delivers a beautifully browned, intensely flavorful bird, and it only requires attention to a few details. Because the turkey must be flipped from side to side every 30 minutes, only a relatively small bird is feasible. And because the turkey is cooked directly on the pan, not on a rack, the pan must be nonstick, preferably heavy. Before beginning, please read About Turkey, 611, and About Roasted Turkey, 613. For information on removing the wishbone, stuffing, trussing, testing for doneness, and carving, see Roasting Whole Poultry, 572.
Position a rack at the lowest level of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Remove the giblets and neck from, then rinse inside and out and pat dry:
1 turkey (12 to 15 pounds)
To facilitate carving, you may wish to remove the wishbone. Generously rub the body and neck cavities and sprinkle the skin with:
If you wish to stuff the bird, prepare and have hot:
Bread Stuffing or Dressing or a variation, 482 to 483, or Corn Bread Stuffing or a variation, 484
Loosely pack the body and neck cavities with stuffing and close the vents. Perform a simple truss, 572. Place the turkey in a heavy nonstick roasting pan and brush all over with:
4 to 5 tablespoons melted butter
Arrange the turkey so that it rests on one of its sides, that is, with a drumstick pointing up. If the turkey topples over, prop it up with balls of aluminum foil. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven. Protecting your hands with paper towels, grasp the turkey at both ends and turn it onto its other side, again propping it up with foil if necessary. Baste all exposed skin with pan drippings, then roast for 30 minutes. Turn and baste twice more so that the turkey roasts twice on each side, for a total of 2 hours. Turn the turkey breast side up, baste, and roast until an instant-read thermometer plunged into the thickest part of the thigh registers 175°F, 10 to 30 minutes more. (To be safe to eat, the stuffing must register at least 160°F. If the bird is done but the stuffing is not, remove the stuffing from the bird and bake it in a buttered casserole while the bird stands.) Remove the turkey to a platter and let stand for at least 20 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, if you wish, make:
Quick Turkey Gravy, 615, Giblet Gravy, 615, or Reduced-Fat Giblet Gravy, 616
Copyright © 1997 by Simon & Schuster Inc., The Joy of Cooking Trust and The MRB Revocable Trust
Table of ContentsDiet, Lifestyle & Health ..... 1
Entertaining ..... 8
Menus ..... 17
Coffee, Tea & Hot Chocolate ..... 24
Stocks & Sauces ..... 35
Condiments, Marinades & Dry Rubs ..... 60
Soups ..... 91
Eggs ..... 121
Hors D'oeuvre ..... 143
Little Dishes ..... 158
Sandwiches, Burritos & Pizzas ..... 181
Salads ..... 200
Salad Dressings ..... 234
Grains ..... 243
Beans & Tofu ..... 270
Pasta, Dumplings & Noodles ..... 295
Vegetables ..... 332
Fruits ..... 439
Stuffing ..... 481
Shellfish ..... 488
Fish ..... 527
Poultry ..... 567
Game ..... 625
Meat ..... 637
Yeast Breads ..... 735
Quick Breads ..... 771
Pancakes, Waffles, French Toast & Doughnuts ..... 793
Cookies ..... 812
Candy ..... 845
Pies & Tarts ..... 856
American Fruit Desserts ..... 894
Puff Pastry, Strudel & Danish Pastries ..... 906
Cakes, Tortes & Cupcakes ..... 923
Frostings, Fillings & Glazes ..... 987
Custards, Puddings, Mousses & Dessert Souffles ..... 1013
Dessert Sauces ..... 1040
Cooking Methods ..... 1050
Know Your Ingredients ..... 1058
Index ..... 1088
On November 24, 1997, Ethan Becker joined barnesandnoble.com on AOL to discuss the revised, all-purpose Joy of Cooking. Along with a team of internationally praised chefs, Becker updated this American classic for the '90s, adding timesaving tips and diverse new recipes.
VogelBN: Hello, and welcome, Mr. Becker! We are pleased to have you tonight!
Irma S Rombauer: Good evening! Great to be here!
VogelBN: The audience is brimming with questions, so if you're ready, we'll dive right into them.
Irma S Rombauer: Sounds good!
Question: Most kids aren't allowed to hold a knife until they're 13, but I bet you were integrated into the kitchen pretty quickly. What is your first kitchen memory?
Irma S Rombauer: When mother was baking cookies and I got to lick the spoon.
Question: What motivated you to remove the "Canning and Preserves" chapter from Joy?
Irma S Rombauer: Space. We either had to enlarge it or drop it, and we felt the pasta and vegetable chapters were more necessary.
Question: A friend recently gave me an automatic bread maker as a shower gift. What does it do, and is the bread still as good?
Irma S Rombauer: The automatic bread maker is not as good as breads made by hand, but waking up to the smell of fresh bread is worth the price of admission. We use it for fresh cinnamon raisin toast mmmmmmm!
Question: I am intrigued by the design of the recipes in Joy of Cooking. Who decided to list the ingredients throughout the recipe as opposed to all at the beginning? And why?
Irma S Rombauer: This format was invented by my grandmother as a space saver, and I think it is the most logical and easiest-to-use method.
Question: At the end of the introduction, I noticed a section crediting "Testers." That must be the best job in the world! How can I become a tester for the next edition?
Irma S Rombauer: It is harder work than you might think. But just to let you know,testers are chosen through friends who vouch for their taste buds. And actually, in this day and time, with the food world so expanded, there are many professionals who do just that for a living.
Question: Please help me make a good chicken-fried steak! Every time I try, the coating either falls off or gets greasy and oil-saturated. How hot should the oil be, what type, and what should the breading be made of, and how long should it fry? Thanks!
Irma S Rombauer: The oil should be very hot. The breading should be made using the batter you'll find in the new Joy for Chicken Fried Steak, page 663. Fry two to three minutes each side. Turn only once.
Question: I use your pecan pie recipe every Thanksgiving, but I had to adjust it a little because the crust kept burning. What can I do to prevent this?
Irma S Rombauer: Try checking the temperature of oven. You can find a hanging thermometer at most housewares departments. Inaccurate oven temperatures are a chronic problem.
Question: I love the new chapter "Little Dishes." I recently made samosas for a cocktail party; they were very successful. What inspired you to devote a chapter to meze, tapas, and the like?
Irma S Rombauer: They can be a creative core for a fun meal or party!
Question: I'm 86 and I've had a copy of Joy since I was married. I'm worried that the new version won't have my favorite recipes, like Beef Wellington or Tuna, Noodle and Mushroom Soup Casserole. What should I expect?
Irma S Rombauer: Beef Wellington is still there, but you will find most canned soups removed from recipes. But that doesn't mean you can't use them if you prefer.
Question: With one of the biggest culinary holidays approaching, I would like to know what Thanksgiving was like for the Rombauer-Becker family. Thanks!
Irma S Rombauer: That's a big question! It could take all night, but by and large, it was very similar most years to Thanksgiving dinners in homes across the country. The big difference was probably in dessert, as we generally had hazelnut torte instead of pumpkin pie.
Question: I tried making the cheese sauce for your cheese french toast and the top of the sauce was oily and runny, and the bottom was thick and not too appetizing. How can I improve?
Irma S Rombauer: What kind of cheese did you use? It sounds to me as if you're using too much heat when making the sauce. Try reducing the heat when cooking the sauce and increase the heat when you cook the toast.
Question: Is the main idea of the new edition to bring the cookbook up-to-date nutritionally or to take advantage of the many new ingredients now available year-round?
Irma S Rombauer: Definitely both. The new JOY was needed for a number of reasons. Recent developments in nutrition and new ingredients were two of the major reasons for the revision. One of the other big reasons was America's new lovefor big flavors. Yay!
Question: I have a question about sifting flour. I follow the Joy pancake recipe every Sunday morning. When I sift the flour and remeasure, I always end up putting back a significant amount of "overflow." Has the presift idea been eliminated?
Irma S Rombauer: Yes, we have eliminated the need to sift in the basic pancake recipe.
Question: Your cousins Brian and Charlotte Furness of Washington, D.C., wish you success with the new Joy and would appreciate more on how your mother and grandmother inspired you to continue the Rombauer-Becker tradition.
Irma S Rombauer: Hi, Brian and Charlotte! Carrying on the tradition seemed like the logical thing to do. Besides...who else?
Question: Is it okay to freeze the mince pie (your recipe) and cook it a few days later?
Irma S Rombauer: I would recommend refrigerating rather than freezing but only or a few days.
Question: Do you hope your son will help out with the next edition?
Irma S Rombauer: A parent always has hopes, but he is young and still has many other things to do first.
Question: You worked with numerous internationally renowned chefs on the new edition. Your friend Stephen Schmidt contributed to five sections. He must be a very good friend. Could you comment on his involvement?
Irma S Rombauer: Stephen was invaluable. He has earned the nickname "Fix-it" for a very good reason. His experiences as a cooking instructor in classes all over America keep him very in-touch with what is being cooked, as well as what people want to cook.
Question: What is the biggest difference between the new Joy and old Joy?
Irma S Rombauer: You'll find the major emphasis is on freshness and flavor. The new veggie chapter is over 100 pages long; there is a chapter for pasta, a chapter on beans and grains.... The biggest difference is that it is written for today rather than 20 years ago.
VogelBN: Thank you so much for joining us tonight, Mr. Becker.
Irma S Rombauer: It has been a pleasure. And to all who joined us, I wish you Happy Thanksgiving and lots of joyful cooking!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
After much use of both, I have to admit I don't like Ethan Becker's recently revised edition as well as the elder Rombauer generation's old standby. The new _Joy_ has more international cuisine and fancy stuff, and I'm glad for a few of the healthier/updated recipes, but there are just as many new or updated recipes that don't work as well, and there are too many missing classics. I find the new edition just isn't a kitchen bible the way the old _Joy_ has always been. The new _Joy_ is a very good cookbook, but if I could only have one, I'd choose the earlier edition in a heartbeat.
I have a lot of cookbooks but this is the one I use everyday. This is "how to cook."
This is my fail-safe, go-to guide for cooking. My husband is a chef, and he can be a little picky, but these recipes never fail to meet his approval.
The king (or perhaps queen) of them all. A must have if you want to know how to make all the basics with little fuss.
This book and Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" are my two standard references, and the most-creased books on my cookbook shelves. When you need to know all about an ingredient, or about a cooking technique, or if you need a standard, well-tested recipe from the repertoire of American cuisine, this book should be your first stop. Highly recommended for anyone who needs a comprehensive guide to cooking.
The Joy is a classic that I turn to when I need basic cooking information (e.g. How long do I cook an egg to hard-boil it?) or inspiration (e.g. What vegetables should I roast?). I also tend to use the Joy for baking, since I don't do a ton of it and their recipes are tried and true. I can't comment on how this edition compares to others, but mine is well-loved.
Good all-around cookbook. I use it as a reference when I need a recipe for something basic since I know it will be in this book and I know it will be good!
This cookbook is a masterpiece. You must get this book! There are so many legendary recipes in thick book. This is definitely the first book to grab when you're baking.That said, I have often found myself turning to less legendary cookbooks for regular cooking nights. But when you have company coming over this is the one to check first.
The 'bible' of anything to do with cooking. If you own one cookbook, it should be this one.
The classic must have cookbook. It's got *everything* in it. And it explains how to do basic, building block techniques, includes diagrams and pictures, useful nutritional information, food storage and safety information, and zillions of useful recipes. For example, we never buy Bisquick any more because the pancake recipe in here only contains common ingredients, is easy to make, and is pretty robust turning out great each time. I have given copies to family members, and encourage everyone to get a copy.
Overall, this is a good American-style cooking resource. It covers the basics and is sectioned in an easy-to-navigate layout. I find it somewhat lacking, however, in a few areas: proper cooking of grains, ethnic cookery, and vegetarian cookery.
I have only been teaching myself to cook for about five years. This revised version of the classic is my encyclopedia of all things kitchen. I can't live without it.
I have always had a Joy of Cooking cookbook in my library. One of my go-to reference books. The recipes are sometimes a bit dated, and many of them are too complex (but very good) for a quick after dinner meal. But there are charts for substitutions, descriptions of ingredients, and basic cooking knowledge that is very helpful to both novice and expert cooks.
This book replaces my 1964 edition (which is held together with strapping tape and food spills). It acts as a dictionary (ratatouille is eggplant) as well as a comprehensive cookbook. The new edition omits the recipe for possum, but goes into more detail on how to prepare sauces. Most of the recipes are very basic and can be altered as needed for individual taste.
This is a must have for every Kitchen in America. This is a Great reference cook book for everything from making the everyday dinner to entertaining your first or 100th house party. A definite must have reference book for every household.
my roommates bought me the joy of cooking for my 23 birthday. i do not know how i lived before owning this comprehesive and indispensable book. i love to cook, but did not realize how much more my skills can grow by learning the basics of food preparation and staple recipes. i now have notes in the margins, comments, and additional recipes stuck inbetween the pages of my new favorite book.
Bar none, the title says it all. This book has everything but the kitchen sink in it. The oven temperature coversion guide is a must for foreign transplants moving to the United States. The instructions are incredibly detailed.
I don't know why some people are saying that this book is not as good as the old Joy of Cooking. I have both, and I disagree. I think there are a lot more recipes in the new one that you're likely to make, plus it still has the same great quality as the old one: every step is clear, precise and explained in great detail. It might lack the humor of the original, but who cares? It's a cookbook!!
This is a great cookbook that includes some but not all of the basics. I, like a reviewer above, had always wondered where the basic chocolate cake and scalloped potatoes recipe were. Even though another reviewer kind of answers the question I don't totally agree with them. If you are a beginning cook you may not link the instructions about bechamel sauce on 46 to making scalloped potatoes and you also would not know how long to cook them for, what size dish to use, etc. Also you would not think of the Chocolate Sheet Cake as being a basic chocolate cake (really it isn't). I was also suprised that there were no ice-cream recipes. Still, this is one of my favorite cookbooks and I think the recipes I have tried taste wonderful. I would reccommend it but it just leaves out some important recipes that beginning cooks need to know. If you can buy the old edition of Joy, it is much more complete.
I love the history and information that is provided with the recipes which makes very good reading. But, since I am the type of cook that has to go strictly by the recipe, I've found the book has many errors and/or incomplete directions. I would still buy it for my grown children as a source of good information, but not to go by the recipes.
The Joy of Cooking is more than your average cookbook. The Joy of Cooking is a must have cookbook for those that cook on their own. It provides the most basic as well as the more advanced recipes for those who love food that taste great! The recipes are outlined in an easy to follow and step by step method to make cooking a joy! Along with the great recipes, the Joy of Cooking cookbook also has sections that teach the reader about technique, how to cook, prepare, and serve foods. It also incorporates an extensive glossary of cooking words to explain even the most difficult jargon. One example of a great recipe is the recipe for hot cinnamon rolls and icing. This recipe takes about a half hour to prepare and a little over a ten minutes to bake using common ingredients. The rolls come out of the oven hot and fresh and taste great. This book also includes great recipes for foods that can be made for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities where high-energy snacks like trail mixes are needed. It also gives instructions from cooking over a campfire, broiling, Dutch oven cooking, to frozen foods and deserts. The Joy of Cooking is a great source of reference to have around the kitchen.
I have been in the Foodservice profession for 33 years. The Joy of Cooking is a must for every kitchen, fancy and plain.
This book is great for all kitchens as a guide to make almost anything.