Bake and Make Along with These 8 Online Cookbook Clubs
March 8, 2022
Cookbooks are my favorite genre of book, but it’s not always a favorite for most of my close friends and family. If you have ever been flipping through a shiny new cookbook and make an incredible discovery, you want to share it, discuss it, try it out, and tear it apart. When you join one of these online cookbook clubs, they are filled with people just like you, bursting to share their own cookbookly opinions.
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What’s an Online Cookbook Club?
It’s a corner of the internet for like-minded people: cookbook collectors, lovers, experimenters, and readers like you and me. Most utilize social media to connect people together, and have some limited rules for engagement and discussion.
Like a standard book club, these groups usually select a book or a few books for members to discuss during a set period of time. However, unlike a book club where you may meet to discuss at certain stopping points or after finishing, you can generally chat about any recipe, chapter, or section of a featured cookbook.
How Do I Join?
Facebook and Instagram are the main places that you will find cookbook clubs, so you will need to start with an account on those platforms. I’ll break down the details for each, such as specific groups or hashtags to use.
The best part is that cookbook clubs tend to be free (and all the ones I’ve listed here are), except for the cost of the cookbook! Since many clubs focus on newly released books, you may be able to find or request them through a local library. You can also usually save a bit with ebook versions if you don’t need a physical copy.
Why Join a Cookbook Club
- Explore and discover cookbooks, like new and highly anticipated releases from some of the most renowned chefs and authors around. You can join without buying the featured book, and see some results from others who have starting trying out the recipes.
- Actually use your cookbooks, instead of just letting them sit pretty on your shelf. In some cases, clubs only allow posts about featured books, which may make you more likely to cook a recipe from that book so you can share your own photos.
- Get new ideas for experimentation and alternatives. Members will tend to post their own riffs and takes on the recipes in some cases, which can be a fun way to get inspired yourself. They will also share tips from their own experiences that can help you be more successful when you make the same recipe.
The Cookbook Clubs
This is not an exhaustive list, but these are some of my favorite places to explore some of the best new cookbooks, and see what my fellow cookbook lovers are enjoying the most.
Food52 Baking Club
There are two separate clubs run by the ultimate foodie website and store, Food52, but the one where I spend a ton of time is all about baking. Both clubs include a monthly featured book, plus an annual bonus book that you can cook from all year. And the titles are selected by the community, so you can even vote on future options.
On Thursdays, you can also post about any of the past books the club has featured, and they have a list going back to 2017! You probably have a few of them on your shelf (or wish list!) already. There’s also a weekly “everything else” thread where you can share about other cookbook-related goings on.
How to Participate: Join the Food52 Baking Club group on Facebook. Be sure to read the pinned post which explains all of the rules. Then start reading along or baking and posting what you’ve made!
Here are the current books for this club, and their sister club, the Food52 Cookbook Club.
This one is a newer cookbook club, which just started at the beginning of 2022, and it’s a spinoff of the Hardcover Cook subscription box. This quarterly box has four different versions for Vegetarian, Omnivore, Essentials, and Baking. Each features a newly released cookbook along with a selection of ingredients that will help you cook through the book.
The cookbook club is a way to share recipes that you have made from one of that quarter’s books through Instagram or Facebook. Each month, there is also a featured ingredient, which usually relates back to one of the books. For March, you can try cooking with matcha in sweet dishes or chipotles in adobo in savory ones.
How to Participate: You don’t have to be a Hardcover Cook box subscriber, just post on Instagram using the #hardcovercookbookclub hashtag and tagging @hardcovercook. You can also join the Hardcover Cook group on Facebook.
Here are the upcoming books for the spring box in all four categories.
Cookbook lovers, I have found your people! Join an online cookbook club to discuss your favorite recipes, riffs, finds, and failures from featured books.
Eat Your Books
The founders of Eat Your Books are true cookbook lovers, so much so that they created the ultimate cookbook indexing site which allows you to search your own collection for the perfect recipe.
This cookbook club is super flexible, offering not only a monthly featured book, but also multiple yearly books and resources, an alternate, a baking option and even online recipe sources. In April, the club is featuring online recipes of some favorite authors. It’s a great time to get started without having to buy any books.
How to Participate: Join the Eat Your Books Cookbook Club group on Facebook. Be sure to read the group description, which explains all of the rules. Then you can join in to share your stuff.
Here are a couple of the March and yearly books for 2022.
This cookbook club is a little different than the others. Instead of focusing on a specific title, there’s a monthly theme. Also, the entire club and all the discussion takes place on Instagram. The goal of this club is to focus on recipes, authors, and books that may not get as much attention.
For March, the theme is Russian and Ukrainian cuisine, which means plenty of hearty and warm dishes like borscht and piroshki. It’s part of the #cookforukraine movement.
How to Participate: Post to Instagram using the hashtag #forgottenrecipescookbookclub and tagging the moderator @piastromexicankitchen.
Here are a few Eastern European cuisine cookbooks that members have posted about recently.
If none of these cookbook clubs are right for you, don’t worry. There are plenty more to try! I haven’t spent much time exploring these, but you may find your home here. Check out the March or Spring 2022 books from these clubs to get started.
It might feel like cookbook overload now with all these options, but if you stick to just a couple cookbook clubs, it can help you focus your own collection. Put that bookshelf to good use, and start cooking through your faves!