Gone are the days when the only cooking a man had to do was over an open flame as he drank neat whiskey and spoke in hearty tone of The Big Game. These days a guy has to be able to whip up a roux, braise a leg of lamb, and then get perfect peaks in his meringue. If you can’t do any of those things, then you’re missing out on one of the finest, sexiest, and most satisfying hobbies of all time: Cooking. To begin, all you need is a cookbook and a kitchen.
Cooking is about more than making food, it’s about crafting art that you can eat, treating your body to whole foods, spiced just the way you like them. It’s about taking your very life into your hands and enhancing your body by not putting processed garbage with unpronounceable ingredients into it. Whether you’ve been doing it for years, are new to the way of the spatula, or just need a few pointers to up your game, one of the 20 best cookbooks for men is going to turn you into a maestro of meat, king of cuisine, and pharaoh of food.
Eat Like a Man
Life, Food: More than just a series of 75 recipes, this is also a treatise on how food defines a man’s life. It talks about kitchen culture and tricks for use with any food, not just the items presented for preparation. Covering everything from midnight meals to hungover brunches, it’s a culinary mirror of manhood.
The Whole Beast
Use Every Part: Both frugal and wise, The Whole Beast lives up to its title by giving you ways to use every part of an animal so that you waste less and learn to appreciate the animal sacrifice of food. The recipes can run a little wild, but they’re always sure to be a unique potluck offering.
Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey
Southern Fried: More than another cookbook from the land of Dixie, this comes from John Currence, winner of the James Beard Award. Split up according to how you cook the items, you’ll get a tale along with cooking instructions for making some of the sauciest, spiciest fare ever to land on your table.
Feed Zone Portables
Gym Snacks: A load of 75 recipes for food that will go in your gym bag, this is made with the athlete or workout fanatic in mind. Never again be stuck eating processed foods that claim to be protein bars. Here you get all the natural fuel your body needs to get cut on the go.
In the Kitchen with the Pike Place Fish Guys
Better Wetter: Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market is the home to the freshest seafood in the world, and the cooks around that culture know how to make it really pop. Even if you’re not a fish fan, In the Kitchen can make a salmon and sturgeon lover out of anyone.
Man Made: Meals created with men in mind is the backbone of the Guy Gourmet. It’s made to help you stay lean while satisfying the biggest, baddest, boldest of appetites with loaded portions and plenty of seasoning while keeping one eye on your waistline.
Man Meets Stove
Beginner’s Basting: Built for bachelors both newly away from home or knocking at the door of middle age, it will make a chef out of the most hopeless take-out and Hungry Man addict by teaching you to use all the appliances in your kitchen; not just the microwave.
The Truck Food Cookbook
Roach Coach Heroes: Collected from the world’s finest rolling restaurants, you’re going to find more than a few surprises in the 150 recipes this book collects. Compiled from food truck cooks, you’ll find lots of pocket-sized meals that can be dressed up or down for eating anywhere.
Thug Kitchen Cookbook
No Spin Zone: You just want some damn good food and you want it without a lot of nonsense. The Thug Kitchen doesn’t disappoint, using real recipes for real people who want to eat healthy without lifting their pinkies or sticking their nose in the air.
The Food Lab
Brain Food: With way more information than you knew you wanted about cooking, this gives you the ability to not only cook the delicious recipes provided, but explains how to make all of your meats juicier, your veggies crisper, and turn every dish into a glorious experiment.
Michael Symon’s Carnivore
Flesh and Bone: Made for meat-eaters, Carnivore will help you make the best decisions when it comes to making meat dishes. From the butcher’s block all the way to your gullet, chef Michael Symon will give you the best ways to buy, prepare, present, and consume meats of all kinds and cuts.
The American Craft Beer Cookbook
Drunk Dining: Compiled by beer journalist John Holl, this takes a look at foods from the best pubs and brewhouses. It takes a look at recipes that will go great with your favorite growler of craft beer and will give you rich meals to perfectly complement your yeast and hops habit.
Duck, Duck, Goose
Better Birds: Cooks around the world are discovering that duck and goose can be even more flavorful than chicken and turkey when prepared properly. From the gamey wild flavors of freshly killed fowl to those that are home-raised, if you’re looking to open up a whole new world of culinary delights, this will help.
Get Pumped: The yoked host of Restaurant: Impossible brings his love of globetrotting food, exercise, and healthy living to your home. Chef Robert Irvine will help you build the body you want from the inside out with recipes that delight without clogging the arteries or packing on the pounds.
Buns of Steel: The hot dog is an easily forgettable and sometimes disgusting food, but it doesn’t need to be. Haute Dogs shows how to turn your average meat tube into a palette-pleasing delight with the right condiments, meat combinations, buns, and more.
The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse
Iron Chef Z: With a tongue-in-cheek vibe, this tells you how to make incredible meals even after the world has ended. Ideal for camping or making simple, fun food as much as dining during the apocalypse, this is great for bugging out or an evening in.
High Praise: Marijuana is a notoriously difficult plant to cook, but when it’s done right, both the unique flavor and the intoxicating effects can add exponentially to a meal. If you’re a friend of the bud, or looking to branch out into a psychedelic new world of flavor, Baked will take you there.
The Star Wars Cookbook
Death Star Approved: Overthrowing an evil empire is hungry work, so with dozens of tasty recipes, a quirky sense of humor, and plenty of healthy snacks for your personal Kessel Run, The Star Wars Cookbook is everything the fanboy chef needs.
The Hungover Cookbook
Comfort Food: Made to be as medicinal as it is delectable, this has plenty of gentle recipes that you can make while propping your head up with one hand. Each one is designed to make the night before feel a little better and get you back to human status STAT.
The Sriracha Cookbook
Hot Enough for Ya: Leveraging the flavor of the world’s new favorite hot sauce, The Sriracha Cookbook is built to entice the mild and the spicy personalities with ample samplings of food for every occasion that will tantalize your tongue and spice up any meal.