03/11/2014 07:40 am ET Updated Mar 11, 2014

The Best, Most Useful Cookbooks Of All Time (PHOTOS)

Flickr: timsackton

If there's one thing we really know at HuffPost Taste, it's cookbooks. Everyday publishers send us the latest cookbooks, and by the end of the month we're lost in piles upon piles of them. Some boast gorgeous food photography, others are densely informative, and the rest are perfectly forgettable. But all of them are still great, because well, they're cookbooks -- the best kind of book to print, in our opinion.

As a result of our cookbook supply, and a completely unhealthy obsession with these books in general, all of us Taste editors own an obscene amount of cookbooks. More than we care to admit. And definitely enough to fill a small library. But when it comes time to cook, only a few of our cookbooks are given the chance to earn oil-stained pages and multiple ear marks. The rest sit on our shelves looking pretty. Surprisingly, the cookbooks we use the most aren't the prettiest ones. Nor the trendiest. They're just solid books with 100-percent reliable recipes.

We know each year brings lists of the all-time best new cookbooks. But we're going to ignore those yearly trends, and share with you today the cookbooks that win another prize: the most used. Here are truly the best cookbooks you can buy, according to our readers and fellow editors -- not to fill your shelf with, but to help you fill your belly. Let us know in the comments below what is your most-used and most-loved cookbook.

  • 1 Baking: From My Home To Yours
    Senior Editor Kristen Aiken says, "The only baking cookbook I've ever used that never fails me. The recipes are impeccably tested."$23.20, Amazon
  • 2 The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
    Reader Ana Bowens ‏(@anabowens) says, "The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is my go-to for new inspiration or to whip up a bowl of cozy -- like SK's aspar, goat cheese+lemon pasta."$19.65, Amazon
  • 3 How To Bake
    Reader Courtney Mattocks Vrablik says "My most used cookbook is the collection of my grandmother and great grandmother's recipes given to me for my wedding from a thoughtful cousin... 2nd to that is Nick Malgieri's How To Bake." $14.64, Amazon
  • 4 The Flavour Thesaurus
    Reader Rukmini Iyer ‏(@missminifer) says, "Brilliant for inspiration and recipes."

    $19.57, Amazon
  • 5 Super Natural Cooking
    Associate Editor Julie Thomson says "Sometimes you need to put something healthy in your body, and when that happens Heidi Swanson is the person to turn to for exciting AND healthy recipes."$11.60, Amazon
  • 6 Joy of Cooking
    This one wins for the most votes. ReaderNell Burrows says, "[Mine's] 37 years old!" Reader Julie Thigpen says, "I've been a Chef for 23 years. It is still my favorite and most used." Reader Luke Baker says, "My Joy of Cooking is 15 years old now, stained and falling apart." $19.77, Amazon
  • 7 Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook
    Senior Editor Kristen Aiken says, "If you're ever throwing a party, this has every classic appetizer recipe you could ever imagine needing."$7.66, Amazon
  • 8 Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol. 1
    Julia never lets you down. $22.60, Amazon
  • 9 Plenty
    Associate Editor Alison Spiegel says, "Plenty celebrates vegetables in a way that will make you forget you're not eating meat." $19.65, Amazon
  • 10 Jane Grigson's English Food
    Reader Tracey-Jane ‏(@AllThingsFoodUK) says, "Great read, great recipes!"$20.39, Amazon
  • 11 Ready For Dessert
    Associate Editor Julie Thomson says, "David Lebovitz is like a thesaurus of desserts. And Ready for Desert is the answer any time you need to make something sweet. They really are his best recipes. And he's been making desserts for a long time." $16.82, Amazon
  • 12 How to Cook Everything
    Of course.
    $19.77, Amazon
  • 13 A Year In My Kitchen
    Senior Editor Kristen Aiken says, "I first ate Gyngell's food in London's Petersham Nurseries, and soon gobbled up every cookbook she's ever written. This one's pages are now water-soaked and stained, because I use it every weekend. This book is particularly special because it relies on a 'toolbox' of basic recipes that you use to build other, more complicated recipes. It's the essential guide for learning how to build flavor."$18.12, Amazon
  • 14 Better Homes and Gardens
    Sometimes the classics cover-everything cookbook is the one with just the recipes you're looking for.$16.86, Amazon
  • 15 King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking
    King Arthur Flour
    Associate Editor Julie Thomson says, "The whole grain bread recipes in this book will make you never want to buy another loaf again. The recipes are easy to make, and so much better than what you can find at the store. Especially the English muffins." $25.25, Amazon

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Top Cookbooks of 2012
Top Cookbooks of 2012