30+ Cookbooks and Manuals You Should Have on Your Reference Shelf for Your Homestead and Your Preps

30+ Cookbooks and Manuals You Should Have on Your Reference Shelf for Your Homestead and Your Preps

Cookbooks are invaluable. They teach us so much about cooking, baking, canning, butchering, and more. They give specific instructions on how to do anything with cooking and the kitchen. They can really help the experiences and the novice alike.

While nothing really replaces the experience you get by doing and learning, having resources like cookbooks and cooking manuals is very important. You should have a good variety of cookbooks and manuals. Whether you are a canner, a preserver, a carnivore, a vegetarian, a hunter, or a gardener, you need to be well-rounded about what you keep on your shelf.

In a crisis or a disaster, you may like to eat meat but meat may be scarce. Having some vegetarian recipes may mean you can have a filling meal with what you have on hand. You may not be a hunter, but you may need to know how to butcher your own meat. You may have a lot of produce from the garden or from gleaning and need to preserve it in a variety of ways.

You will notice that not all of these are cookbooks or directly related to cooking. You would be right. Some of these will address preserving foods in all manners and should have a place in your reference library too. Although they will not be listed here, you might also want to consider having ethnic cookbooks too for variety and new ideas for preparing food.

If you need to consider a special diet or have someone with special needs (like a diabetic), you may also want to consider having some special cookbooks for them. Having cookbooks for low-carb, low-sugar recipes may be beneficial to everyone and especially if you are short on sugar.


Ball Complete Book of Home Preservation

The Complete Guide to Pressure Canning: Everything You Need To Know to Can Meats, Vegetables, Meals in a Jar, and More

The Prepper’s Canning Guide: Affordably Stockpile a Lifesaving of Nutritious, Delicious, Shelf-Stable Foods

Preserving The Harvest

Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits and Vegetables

Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation

The Forager’s Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants

Prepper’s Dehydrator Handbook: Long-Term Food Storage Techniques for Nutritious, Delicious, Lifesaving Meals

The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion: The Ultimate Guide to Growing, Preserving, and Using Herbs

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods (not available on Amazon)

Meat: Butchering and Preserving

A Guide To Canning, Freezing, Curing, & Smoking Meat, Fish, and Game

Basic Butchering of Livestock & Game: Beef, Veal, Pork, Lamb, Poultry, Rabbit, Venison

Vegetables and Vegetarian

Mushrooming without Fear: The Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Safe and Delicious Mushrooms

The Simply Vegetarian Cookbook: Fuss-Free Recipes Everyone Will Love

How To Cook Everything Vegetarian

Cookbooks and Manuals

The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes To Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Lifesaving Meals

A Year Without the Grocery Store: A Step-by-Step Guide to Acquiring, Organizing, and Cooking Food Storage

The Prarie Homestead Cookbook: Simple Recipes for Heritage Cooking in Any Kitchen 

The Flat Broke Cookbook: Thrifty Meals & Shopping Tips For Tough Times

Clara’s Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes From The Great Depression

Fannie Farmer 1896 Cook Book

Cooking with Beans and Legumes: Simple Recipes for Cooking Delicious, Healthy Meals with Beans and Legumes

Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, 17th Edition (I have 3-4 of these in different editions. They are invaluable for tips and techniques.)

The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy: The Revolutionary 1805 Classic

Joy of Cooking

Forgotten Skills of Cooking

Nourishing Traditions

Never Buy Bread Again: 20+ Homemade Bread Recipes

A Cabin Full of Food: How to fill your pantry and use what you store

The Beginner’s Guide To Cheese Making: Easy Recipes and Lessons To Make Your Handcrafted Cheeses

The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook: A Treasury of Timeless, Delicious Recipes

Cooking with Fire: From Roasting on a Spit to Baking in a Tannur, Rediscovered Techniques and Recipes That Capture the Flavors of Wood-Fired Cooking

This is a lot of cookbooks. You may discover that some of these are not for you and that is fine. These cookbooks and manuals are meant to cover a wide variety of subjects and cooking techniques as well as the preservation and harvesting of food too.

You can print this list out also and try to find them in thrift stores, but speaking from experience, some of these books are hard to find.

What cookbooks and manuals could you not live without?

Thanks for reading

(There are a ton of affiliate links in this post, especially from Amazon. I have no shame because I want you all to have easy access to these books. My family and this blog appreciate your support and want you to know that we receive a little commission from these sales, but they do not cost you anything more. Thanks!)

Related posts:
Prepper’s Dehydrator Handbook Book Review
The Prepper’s Canning Guide Book Review

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