No matter what you think about meat eaters, animal protein is still an important source for getting essential amino acids and minerals into our diet. It helps us grow, repair, and maintain our bodies.
If you like eating meat, then you know that there are many ways by which it can be cooked. Meat cookbooks can make it easy to find the best cooking techniques for you. After all, some like their meat grilled. Others prefer it braised. There are also those who like it stewed. And along with these variety of cooking methods are thousands of recipes that showcase the meat’s flavor and texture in so many ways.
That’s why if you’re a meat-lover, your kitchen wouldn’t be complete without a meat cookbook. It’s an essential book to have especially if you want to know how to cook different cuts of meat. Because cooking meat is a skill.
Cooking meat well requires knowledge of the right temperatures to sear, grill, or cook a specific cut of meat. It requires an understanding of butchering techniques in order to leave nothing to waste. And finally, it requires a grasp of spice blends and condiments to bring out the flavor of meat.
Most good meat cookbooks have all of these things in their pages. But the best ones offer more by adding user-friendly features such as “how-to” color photos, convenient cooking temperature tables, and detailed illustrations of meat cuts. Others even include tips on how to deal with your local butcher. Some may even feature recipes for exotic meats.
Most importantly, a useful cookbook should also have reliable and exciting recipes. In this list, I’ve gathered the best ones that have a great selection of easy and delicious recipes while also providing excellent reference material for the technical aspects of cooking meat.
Here are my top 10 meat cookbooks on Amazon.
Best Meat Cookbooks
- Meat Illustrated: A Foolproof Guide to Understanding and Cooking with Cuts of All Kinds Hardcover –
- The River Cottage Meat Book: [A Cookbook] Hardcover – Illustrated
- Hardcore Carnivore: Cook Meat Like You Mean It Hardcover
- The Meat Eater Fish and Game Cookbook: Recipes and Techniques for Every Hunter and Angler Hardcover
- Cooking Meat: A Butcher's Guide to Choosing, Buying, Cutting, Cooking, and Eating Meat Hardcover
- Taste of Home Ultimate Beef, Chicken and Pork Cookbook: The Ultimate Meat-Lovers Guide to Mouthwatering Meals Paperback – Illustrated
- The Complete Meat Cookbook Hardcover
- The Ultimate Companion to Meat: On the Farm, At the Butcher, In the Kitchen Hardcover – Illustrated,
- The Meat Lover’s Slow Cooker Cookbook: Hearty, Easy Meals Cooked Low and Slow Paperback
- Meat: A Kitchen Education [A Cookbook] Hardcover
1. Meat Illustrated: A Foolproof Guide to Understanding and Cooking with Cuts of All Kinds Hardcover – Illustrated
More than just a cookbook, this is also a handbook that provides information and techniques for buying and cooking beef, lamb, pork, and veal. There are 300 recipes here that showcase all manner of meat cuts.
Each section begins with an illustrated primal cut info covering shopping, storage and prep pointers. Techniques are presented with clearly written essays and are accompanied by step-by-step photos and illustrations. Useful tips include learning how to tenderize ground meat using baking soda and how to pre-roast correctly to avoid oil splatters. There is also a section on DIY curing projects.
Recipes are written in the usual American Test Kitchen (ATK) user-friendly format and are easy to follow. Especially noteworthy are those that use lesser-known cuts like country-style ribs to produce delicious holiday recipes.
Readers love the practical and useful info in this book. One said that this book was helpful for making the most of the meat that he already has. Another liked the diversity and reliability of the recipes. Recommended for anyone looking to build their skills in prepping and cooking meat.
2. The River Cottage Meat Book: [A Cookbook] Hardcover – Illustrated
This is a classic meat cookbook that was published in the UK but has now been adapted for American home cooks. There are more than 100 recipes here with 200 full-color photographs.
This book promotes high-quality, local and sustainable meat production. Along with its guide to choosing and storing meat and fowl, it now contains technical information about assorted cuts, production standards and sources for buying meats in the US. Particularly noteworthy is its comprehensive section on offal meat.
Readers liked that the techniques and recipes are explained based on the anatomy of the animal because this provides a clear understanding of why different cuts must be cooked differently. Another found the recipes to be very appealing for a casual cook. Recommended for anyone looking for a textbook reference on preparing and cooking meat and fowl.
3. Hardcore Carnivore: Cook Meat Like You Mean It Hardcover
This is a barbecue cookbook that showcases over 100 recipes for chicken, game, pork, lamb, and beef. From slow-smoked barbecue ribs to sizzling cowboy steaks, these recipes cover all the basics, finishes, and tricks to cooking meat.
The first part of the book teaches you how to choose, prepare and cook various kinds of meat. For example, there are tips here on how to cut, butterfly and truss a loin. It also includes a list of key condiments that will complement your meat dish. The second part highlights the author’s various recipes as well as delicious sides that will complement them. Samples include prosciutto-wrapped chicken with browned sage butter with fat-roasted potatoes; patty melt pretzel buns and char-sui skewers; and barbecued pulled pork sandwich with beer-battered onion rings.
Recipe directions are easy to follow and use ingredients that are easy to source in local stores or online. There is just enough science explanation to justify the cooking techniques,and the rest of the instructions are simple. FYI, half of the recipes in this selection will require a grill.
Readers liked variety of the recipes presented. One liked it that majority of them use spice blends and sauces that are also provided in the book. Recommended for anyone interested in learning to barbecue meat the American way.
4. The MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook: Recipes and Techniques for Every Hunter and Angler Hardcover
This is a cookbook for wild game enthusiasts which features more than 100 recipes on how to cook every type of game meat, including fish and fowl.
But more than just a recipe book, it’s also a comprehensive guide to butchering and cooking small and big game animals, waterfowl and upland birds, and freshwater and saltwater fish. It’ll even show you how to prep the meat, including unusual options like snapping turtles, bullfrogs, and even sea cucumbers and alligators.
Recipes are easy to follow and include enough useful information for processing game in the field or in the kitchen. There are recipes for making a meal out of the shank and tongue of big game animals. Another set of recipes show you how to prepare appetizers and main courses using squirrels, rabbits, and even muskrat and beaver. There are color photos all throughout to illustrate techniques and dishes.
Readers liked the variety of recipes. One said that the ones he tried were delicious. Another found the book very useful with a good level of basic and advanced information. Recommended for game cooks of all skill levels.
5. Cooking Meat: A Butcher's Guide to Choosing, Buying, Cutting, Cooking, and Eating Meat Hardcover
Written by a butcher-chef, this book is an insider’s look at the meat market, from choosing the cuts, to buying them and cooking them into delicious meat dishes. There are more than 120 recipes presented here, ranging from childhood-inspired favorites to classic and gourmet cuisines.
The book includes a step-by-step guide to butchery techniques and detailed sections on how to prep meat dishes, like stuffing sausages or carving poultry. It also gives you the best cooking methods for each common cut of meat, from braising to sous viding to pressure cooking.
Recipes are categorized by animal type with special sections on game meat, offal, sausages, charcuterie, and side dishes. The directions are easy to follow and include beautiful illustrations.
One reader liked how the book helps newbies understand the different labels and grades of meat. Another found its advice on how to interact with a butcher very useful. Recommended for newbie and skilled home cooks.
6. Taste of Home Ultimate Beef, Chicken and Pork Cookbook: The Ultimate Meat-Lovers Guide to Mouthwatering Meals Paperback – Illustrated
This is a selection of over 300 beef, chicken, and pork recipes for the grill, stovetop, and oven which have been compiled by the editors of Taste of Home Test Kitchen.
Samples of the recipes include grilled steaks, bacon-wrapped chicken breasts, slow cooked stews, and fast stovetop fillets. This book also includes three at-a-glance icons to help you figure out the perfect meat.
Recipes are clear and easy to follow. They also use ingredients that are easy to get from any local store.
Overall, the book offers a diverse compilation of delicious recipes. Recommended for any home cook who’s just looking for easy meat recipes and none of the prepping or cutting techniques.
7. The Complete Meat Cookbook Hardcover
This is another comprehensive meat cookbook that shows you how to choose, prep, and cook your meat cuts. There are more than 100 beef, veal, pork, and lamb recipes here, ranging from Whole Beef Fillet Stuffed with Prosciutto and Parmigiano-Reggiano to Thai Pork Salad, and American classics like Steak House Grilled Rib Eye.
This book includes at-a-glance guides to all the major cuts which are accompanied with a full-color photos. There are also handy labels like “Fit for Company,” “In a Hurry,” and “Great Leftovers” so that you can easily choose a recipe for any occasion.
Recipes are easy to follow and include variations for different flavors by using dry rub options or marinades. They range from good to excellent and use ingredients that easy to obtain.
Readers found this a practical guide for improving their skills in cooking meat. One mentioned the book’s temperature doneness chart as very useful. Recommended for newbie or experienced cooks.
8. The Ultimate Companion to Meat: On the Farm, At the Butcher, In the Kitchen Hardcover – Illustrated
This is a thick cookbook that features more than 100 meat recipes using beef, lamb, chicken, pork, and wild game like venison and rabbit. Written by a fifth-generation butcher, this book includes extensive information on breeds, their history, and what they eat and how it affects the taste.
Chapters include one on technique, and another on cooking methods and basic butchery. There are also hundreds of diagrams, illustrations and color photos to guide the reader.
Recipes are grouped by type of meat. The directions are easy to follow and there is a ton of information on how to utilize every kind, cut and style of meat.
Readers liked the book’s focus on sustainably raised meat but those who just want to know about meat cuts and how to use them might find some of the sections of the book which deal on farm production too tedious to read. Recommended for those looking for a holistic view on meat production and cooking.
9. The Meat Lover’s Slow Cooker Cookbook: Hearty, Easy Meals Cooked Low and Slow Paperback
For those with slow cookers, this cookbook collects favorite family meat recipes that can be easily completed in a slow cooker on a busy weeknight.
There are more than 100 recipes here that make use of cheap cuts of meat and are flexible enough to adjust for picky eaters. There are even vegetable recipes included in the selection.
Recipes have detailed instructions and use ingredients that are easily found in an American kitchen. Included with each recipe are suggestions and tips to make the dish adaptable for all kinds of dietary needs. Recommended for anyone with a slow cooker.
10. Meat: A Kitchen Education [A Cookbook] Hardcover
This cookbook features more than 175 recipes and 550 photographs that offer a full range of meat and poultry cuts and preparation techniques. Samples of recipes include Roast Chicken with Ricotta and Sage; Coq au Vin; Duck Confit and Warm Lentil Salad; Long-Braised Rabbit Stew; Baby Back Ribs with Hoisin and Brown Sugar and Sauerbraten.
It also includes an informative overview of different meat cooking methods. There are step-by-step photos that show one how to work with the musculature of different types of meat and how to prep them for cooking.
Recipes are easy to follow and focus more on using basic techniques to expertly bring out the natural flavor of the meat dish. Readers recommend this book for a very good kitchen education on meat.
Meat Illustrated: A Foolproof Guide to Understanding and Cooking with Cuts of All Kinds Hardcover – Illustrated edited by the American Test Kitchen( ATK)
This book is more than just a large compilation of fool-proof meat recipes. It’s also an excellent handbook on the technical aspects of butchering meat, choosing the ideal cuts and prepping them for cooking.
It also has the best methods in assembling dishes like center-of-the-plate meats while also providing useful information to help you to explore your options at a butcher shop.
And because these recipes have already been kitchen-tested, you can never go wrong with any of them.