BBC Good Food Cookery Book Set

The BookDepository


I love cooking so was very happy to receive unsolicited review copies of the new BBC Good Food cook books. Unfortunately they aren’t as good as the wonderful BBC Good Food website, but if you have limited access to the Internet they’re worth the investment.

There are 10 books in the series, with titles ranging from Low-fat Feasts to 101 Recipes for Kids. Each book is small (15cm square) with about 200 pages and each recipe is paired with a full colour photograph of the completed dish.


The recipes are simple and “triple tested” to ensure that they work. The books focus on quick, easy recipes which are ideal for everyday meals. As a good cook I found most of the recipes quite basic, but there were still a few original ideas to inspire me. They’re perfect for a new cook as there aren’t big ingredient lists and each meal can be prepared in a short amount of time, without any fancy equipment. I was surprised to learn that these are Britain’s best-selling cookbook series, with over 3 million copies sold. I was aware of the website and the monthly magazine, but somehow this set of books had passed me by.

The BBC Good Food Website allows people to comment and rate each of the recipes. I love this feature as it allows me to read extra tips on the dish and see which recipes are the most popular. For example, this recipe for lemon drizzle cake is one of the highest rated on the site, but the comments let me know that many people prefer it with more lemon zest and that others have successfully made it with oranges. None of this information can be found on the recipe for lemon drizzle cake in the Good Food: 101 Cakes & Bakes, which bizarrely includes this recipe for the less popular Lemon and Violet Drizzle Cake.

Overall this is a good basic cookery book set, but I’d head the website first every time.




Are you a fan of the BBC Good Food books/website?


For more cookery posts see the Weekend Cooking post at Beth Fish Reads


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  1. Rikki says:

    How fun! These are the small books that I mention in today’s post!!! We have several (the chicken one is the one that will be gotten rid of) and I already made a couple of meals from then. They are great little books.

    1. Jackie says:

      Rikki, I haven’t used the books enough to know which ones are the best and which ones lie unused. I haven’t got a chicken one so perhaps they’ve removed it from the set anyway? Glad you find them useful.

  2. Beth F says:

    I kind of like the idea of using the two media together. I’m more inclined to look for recipes in books than on line because it makes it easier to compare several at once so I can figure out which I like best. On the other hand, like you mention, I like seeing ratings from other cooks and tips and tricks based on their experiences in the kitchen.

    Now I’ll go check out that website.

    1. Jackie says:

      Beth, Interesting! I’d prefer to compare recipes online and tend to only look at cookbooks if I’m looking for inspiration or know a certain book is very good at a specific cuisine (eg my specialist Indian cook books.)

      I hope you like the website. :-)

  3. I tend to use cookbooks over websites because they’re so much easier (for me) to navigate, plus I can carry them around the kitchen while I see if I have the ingredients, but I can see why you’d prefer the website over these books. I have been to those kinds of websites – probably not that particular one – but to be honest, I don’t pay attention to the ratings and I tend to ignore the comments, which only serve to confuse me! They offer too much choice and not enough direction, for me, because everyone’s done their own thing – which is what I would be planning to do too!

    Also, and this must speak to my generation perhaps? or maybe just me! but I still subconsciously trust a book more than the internet!

    1. Jackie says:

      Shannon, I’m a big believer in the wisdom of crowds and so tend to trust multiple comments on a website over the opinion of a single author of a book. I din’t know this difference of opinion existed. I’d love to know how generational it is.

    2. Jackie says:

      Shannon, I’m a big believer in the wisdom of crowds and so tend to trust multiple comments on a website over the opinion of a single author of a book. I didn’t know this difference of opinion existed. I’d love to know how generational it is.

      1. On reflection I don’t think it’s generational at all, more of a personal thing. To each their own, isn’t that how it goes? ;)

        1. Jackie says:

          Shannon, I’m sure it is a personal thing, but I’d have thought younger people would be more comfortable with mobile devices and therefore more likely to use them over a book? I don’t really know – I’m just going on observations of my own family – don’t know if others follow a similar pattern?

          1. Can’t speak for anyone else Jackie, can only say that I prefer books and have never used the internet for forums etc. that much – they haven’t been useful in my limited experience. Also, I don’t have a mobile device. Even my laptop is confined to my desk, because I don’t have wireless. I’ll get a smart phone later this year but I haven’t had a mobile for over 8 years now!

            I love the look of cookbooks these days, they’re so beautifully published (a lot of the time), and I love the feeling of propping a cookbook open and making something from it, something new and exciting. I have a few recipes from the internet that I’ve printed out but, I’m just not enthusiastic.

  4. jama says:

    Hadn’t heard of these — thanks for sharing and for the website link!

    1. Jackie says:

      jama, Thanks for commenting on my blog for the first time. :-)

  5. Wouldn’t these make a wonderful bridal shower gift?

    1. Jackie says:

      Diane, We don’t have bridal showers in the UK, but these would be great for someone setting up home for the first time so I’m guessing that makes it a good bridal shower gift, not sure what sort of things are usually given?

  6. Teresa says:

    I subscribe to BBC Good Food Magazine and frequently consult their website so I won’t get any more cook books….but there is something special about flicking through cookbooks with beautiful pictures!

    1. Jackie says:

      Teresa, I used to subscribe to the magazine, but gave up when I had children and couldn’t find the time to read it all. I didn’t resubscribe as the website improved so much I didn’t need too. I agree about looking at good cookbooks though – it can be a wonderful experience!

  7. Carole says:

    I haven’t looked at the BBC Good Food site – I am going to check it out. Thanks

    1. Jackie says:

      Carole, I hope you like it :-)

  8. Ifi says:

    Jackie, What a nice thing to receive through your letter-box. I just LOVE the BBC Good Food mag, and like Teresa have a subscription. Their site is pretty good too, which find myself visiting for cake recipes . “Good basic cookery books” unfortunately no longer have a place in my kitchen. I have actually just cleared out a whole lot of basic books that have collected dust mingled with GREASE from my kitchen shelves. I too cook well and only use books for more elaborate dishes, and as you say, their site is the place to head for.

    1. Jackie says:

      Ifi, It sounds as though we are quite similar cooks. I much prefer learning complicated new techniques and so my favourite cook books are normally written by michelin star chefs. Anything basic I can normally invent, which might explain my lack of excitement for these books

  9. Peggy Ann says:

    I agree the website is wonderful even for gal in the US!

    1. Jackie says:

      Peggy Ann, It is great to know that the website is familiar to some people in the US. I hope the word spreads :-)

  10. Chinoiseries says:

    Hurray for free cookbooks ;) I had no idea that these were to be released. I completely agree with you that online recipes (and I use the BBC Good Food site regularly) can be so much more informative than their printed counterpart.

    Lemon drizzle cake sounds divine!

    1. Jackie says:

      Chinoiseries, I haven’t made a lemon drizzle cake in years. I agree it sounds lovely – I might have to make one this week now!

  11. Oh I love the Good Food website, I often use it for inspiration. I think I have seen these little books around but I never realised there were so many of them. I might check them out next time I’m in the bookstore.

    1. Jackie says:

      Maria, Enjoy your bookstore browsing :-)

  12. Charlie says:

    They look really nice, and I love that each recipe has a photo – it’s so tempting to just stick to recipes that have large photos rather than just the text of other books. I guess it’s easier to check the website when there’s feedback there.

    1. Jackie says:

      Charlie, I rarely use cookbooks without photos. I know I’m missing out on some great food, but I like to see what a dish should look like before I attempt it.

  13. Joanna says:

    I love their magazine and the website, cook from there all the time. I’ve bought a few of these books in the past, but don’t like them as much as the website, it’s fabulous!

    1. Jackie says:

      Joanna, Glad to know I’m not alone in favouring the website :-)

  14. Michelle says:

    This set is new to me as is the website. I will have to check it out. I guess i would prefer the website as I can get more up-to-date information.

    1. Jackie says:

      Michelle, I’m not sure recipes really need to be up-to-date, but I do like the way it is always expanding. Hope you like the site!

  15. stujallen says:

    I love the website ,i tend use them when I need a recipe now much easier than trawling cook books ,all the best stu

    1. Jackie says:

      Stu, Yes – I find an internet search far quicker too. :-)

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