Cookbook Collecting and Reviews
A Cookbook Village blog written for cookbook collectors and curious cooks. Find out all about collecting cookbooks: used and vintage; reviews and values; recipes and best books to buy for investment.
Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book Review - Collectibility
Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook is a classic cookbook. Of the many Betty Crocker cookbooks published over time, there are actually three with some real collectibility or investment value.
Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook (first published in 1950) with the red background cover and white illustrations.
Betty Crocker Cook Book often referred to as "the Betty Crocker Red Pie Cookbook" because of its red cover showing a pie shaped montage of photos (first published in 1969).
Betty Crocker's New Picture Cookbook (first published in 1961) with a Mondrian style pink, yellow, white and blue cover). This is the most valuable and sought after of the three.
I have been lucky enough to have owned all of these books since my wife and I began collecting. The below ratings are for the first one above--Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook. It is now available in a reproduction version just like the original so take care if you are collecting to purchase a first edition from 1950, a first printing is best. Make sure you look for it with the spelling Cook Book and also Cookbook as one word even though incorrect. People tend to use both spellings for this book.
Though this book is more valuable than the Betty Crocker's "Red Pie" Cookbook, the "Red Pie" is my favorite of the bunch. It has decent color photos of all the recipes, whereas the ones with "Picture" in the title have either just illustrations with a few photos or lousy quality photos. Personally, I love photos in my cookbooks--mainly because my wife and I collect more than we actually cook. I'd love to get some feedback on recipes that people enjoy from this book. Please feel free to post comments.
Cookbook Title: Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book
Publisher: General Mills
Copyright: 1950, First Edition
Format: Hardcover with red background and white illustrations
Specialization Categories: Classic Cookbooks, Vintage Cookbooks
Average Price: $25 ($40 for a First edition, First printing)
Noted Recipes: Vanilla Souffle, Curried Pork Chops with Apricots, Southern Chicken Upside-Down Dinner, Boston Baked Beans, Butterscotch Pie
COOKBOOK COLLECTIBILITY RATINGS RATINGS EXPLAINED
Investment Outlook: 6.0
Final Collectibility Factor: 6.17
Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book Availability Rating - 4.5
This cookbook is quite easy to find on book seller and auction sites--usually 25+ copies at any given time available. It tends to be much more difficult to find in a retail outlet or garage sale. Auctions usually show in excess of a handful of bidders, many times more. Still, it is continually available online so don't rush to get a copy that is in poor condition if you are truly purchasing for a collection vs. a nice recipe book.
Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book Popularity Rating - 8.0
Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book is certainly one of the top vintage cookbooks in terms of popularity. The book remains a constant top seller online--even the reproductions. The most popular book of the three I mention is actually Betty Crocker's New Picture Cook Book which was published eleven years later.
Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book Investment Outlook - 6.0
The price for this book fluctuates and a lot is dependent upon condition. It does not seem to go up in value over a short-term time period but the book today is exponentially worth a lot more than when originally published. It continually sells at a higher price than the majority of used cookbooks and sometimes reaches up over the $50 range if a first printing in pristine condition. The book is a good investment in terms of owning something that won't depreciate but it will likely be a decade before the book sees any real gain in value.
Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book Final Collectibility Factor Rating - 6.17
After over 50 years, this cookbook remains a top book for collectors. It is not particularly rare or hard-to-find, but after a long time period, may see an increase in value. The book is a really nice cookbook, loaded with great recipes. You can't really lose, unless you pay a premium for a poor condition or late printing or reproduction of the book. If you can get this book in the $25-$30 range in nice shape--grab it.