Saturday, March 8, 2014

Consulting Compendia and Codecies - Corning Ware Cook Books

A reader brought to my attention, that I have not covered any of the illustrious Cookbooks that were published regarding Corning Ware Pyroceram and it's awesomeness in the kitchen.  So I thought I would touch on the ones that I know of, which are the ones that I have.... There may be more, I am sure there are, but these are the ones that I have found over the years.  Actually, one of these just arrived in the mail the other day.  It's strictly for research purposes, because it's a microwave cookbook...  Hmmmmm.

Let's start with what I consider the utmost in praise for Vintage Corning Ware.  There is no one, other than maybe Julia Child herself, that could elevate Pyroceram to such a degree as this man.   Yes, it's James Beard... As in THE James Beard...  He produced a small paperback cookbook pamphlet of selected recipes utilizing Cookmates and "The Counter that Cooks" that was titled  "James Beard Cooks with Corning" (1973).  Straight forward and to the point, just like the man himself.  No mincing words, just mince the  onions.

This brings me to the next pamphlet...   The Counter That Cooks, and it's Cookmates.  My copy is from 1971, but the counter that cooks had already been around for several years.

It has all the information on how to operate "The Counter That Cooks" ......

along with a list of the sizes in which the flat ground bottomed  "Cookmates" were available.

Luckily, there are also recipes... and while the cooking settings may be a little different, they seem to work fairly well as long as you remember that "High" heat in the book means Medium-High at the most on a modern range top.

Don't have a Corning "Counter that Cooks?  That's OK, you can come close to the same effect with one of the Electromatic Skillets and the small instruction manual/cookbook that came with it (1963).  These are often available on eBay.

For the most part, it contains instructions for the use of the Immersible Warming Tray.

The Percolator...

And the Skillet...

But there are recipes within as well...

There are older copies of this booklet.... One with the Black Trefoil pattern on the front (1960) that is devoid of any information on the Immersible Warming Tray. (Evidently it was released a little later)

And a "Blue Washed" cover (1961) ...   Also lacking any mention of the Immersible Warming Tray.  Each one of these booklets has different recipes in it, though they ALL have a recipe for cooking bacon (cause EVERYONE loves Bacon) and the Coffee related beverages are all the same. 

There is also a special version of this booklet that leaves out both the Percolator and the Immersible platter in lieu of the Dutch Oven.  For a short time, the Electromatic Heater Base was available with both a the Skillet AND a specially flat ground bottomed Dutch Oven. As a result, there is a special Instruction/Cookbook for this "set"... This is why some of the Electromatic Skillet Heater Bases have the chrome "guard", to keep the Dutch oven (which has a slightly smaller foot print) from sliding off the heater base.

The recipes are divided by color for the dish to be used.

as you can see here.

The next Pamphlet is all about the Corningware Roasters... It's called "Does it pay to cook from Scratch" (1976?)...

 It was produced at some point during the A-series roasters (A-18, A-21, & A-76) as it even mentions the new sizes.

Strange title, but it has a couple of tasty recipes....  (Though honestly, I have a better recipe for Moussaka)
Corning really got into the act of Microwave cookery (1981?)... This 44 page booklet, which is the one I just ordered on eBay, covers the proper usage of Microwave Plus cookware and contains several recipes.  I thought it would be great for research purposes.

The forward was written by Cornelius O'Donnell, who I am about to introduce you too in the next book.

There are instruction for converting standard recipes to Microwave recipes, but I plan on doing the opposite and convert these microwave recipes to conventional ones.  LOL

Pamphlets, brochures and booklets are all well and good, but lets get into some actual Cookbooks.

First we have Cornelius O'Donnell, who wrote the forward for the Microwave cookery booklet as well as publishing a myriad of recipes in the newspaper over the years.  Eventually he published a cookbook of his favorites...  Cooking with Cornelius The Corning Cookbook (1982) is a must have.

I got an added bonus when I purchased my copy of "Cooking with Cornelius".  Tucked inside the flap, was a brochure containing 8 Fritatta recipes to be executed with the Corning Ware Rangetoppers.  Score!

Then there is this one... The Cook Choice Cookbook (1979).  It covers both Corning Ware and Pyrex, but it's still a great one.  The three ring binder style allows for you to add your own recipes to this great cookbook.

It also includes a forward by Cornelius O'Donnell... (this guy was BIG into Corningware and I can TOTALLY relate)

What I like about it is that it includes Use and Care instructions for both Pyrex and Corningware.  But the BEST part, is that it contains both Conventional and Microwave instructions.  Rock on!

Later, Corning produced the "All Seasons" cookbook quadfecta (2000).

It was a boxed set that consisted of 4 cookbooks that were geared towards seasonal eating.

The set includes...

"Fresh Flavors of Spring"

"A Bouquet of Summer Tastes"

"An Autumn Harvest of Goodness"

"Hearty Choices For Winter" 

These have some GREAT recipes in them.  They are a little more "up to date" with the way Americans cook today, as opposed to being more retro selections like some of the others.  However, this cookbook actually covers the many products Corning was affiliated with after the Borden, Inc purchase.

So there you have it... These are the book I am aware of that cover cooking with Corningware.  Most were produced at some point in the 1970s, other than the Electromatic Pamphlet of course, so the recipes are slightly "older" in style and flavors with the exception of The James Beard one has more "classics" in it.

Where is your Corning Cookbook??


  1. I saw the M225 you mentioned in a thrift store today. But I came home with a W-10-B and matching lid, in almost mint condition for 4 dollars. I am learning so much from you.

  2. Could you give the years in which each of these booklets and books was produced (at least for the ones that have that information in the front matter)? Thanks very much. I've gotten a lot out of your site, as well.

  3. Excellent find on the W-10-B!!!

    Nell, I added dates where I could. Hope that helps.

  4. Thanks very much for adding those dates. The art direction on the 1973 Beard cover is a scream -- all those black & white patterns make your eye want to rest on the smooooth white Corningware cooking surface (which is the point, after all)...

  5. Thank God a place to finally ask this question,
    I picked up a cornflower 6 or 9 cup perculator from Goodwill. It has all the parts and works but I noitced the cover is made of wood. It fits but I do not see one made of wood anywhere in pictures.
    Do you know if they made one with a wooden cover.

  6. Michelle, At this point in time, I am unaware of any lids being made from wood. The Percolators usually have Black Plastic lids with a glass or plastic knob to allow for watching the percolation. There is one exception that I am aware of, and that is the Centura Percolator which has a metal top with a glass insert (for watching the perking) that then has a metal knob screwed to said glass insert.

  7. Thank You for your help.
    I loved the information about James Beard. My husband is a great long time lover of food.
    He is an amazing baker at a well known restaurant in our town. Our favorite restaurant is a 2 time award winning James Beard restaurant. We are Very rarely able to afford it but Fore St in Portland Maine is great when we can.

  8. Hello!

    I purchased a home built in 1970 with the original counter that cooks installed and still trucking along! I'm guessing based on my numerous searches that not many other kitchens out there still have this stovetop? Also, my starbursts no longer turn yellow to indicate they are on, but the cooktop still cooks. We have had to purchase CW to be able to cook with it bc it wouldn't even boil water on our non-CW pots and pans.


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