Next time you prepare a meal, you may find yourself cooking up a little cash too.

By Southern Living Editors
April 15, 2019

For those who need a bit more guidance in the kitchen, a stack of cookbooks is a useful necessity to keep on hand. But their worth may far surpass the recipes they hold. Let’s explore the value of a cookbook collection.

We all love our celebrity chefs, like Gordon Ramsay and Guy Fieri, but collectors aren’t necessarily interested in the latest publications from the biggest names. To discover true monetary value, you may have to dust off something from another time.

Collectors love what’s long been forgotten. So be sure to hold on to that autographed, first edition Julia Child cookbook or one of those recipe pamphlets that came with your old microwave. Remember that 1920s cake decorating book passed on by your great grams? That’s sure to turn a profit, too.

And while food preparation can get messy, don’t worry too much about books covered in stains. Unlike average novels, depreciated by poor condition, a cookbook’s value is actually increased by these blemishes! To collectors, kitchen stains add to the overall aesthetic.

But what ultimately determines the value of these collectibles is its place in history. They serve as time capsules depicting the culture and food of that particular period. And that kind of insight comes with a considerable price tag.

According to Ken Gloss, an appraiser from Antique Roadshow, early American cookbooks dating back to the late 18th century can sell for as much as $1,000. But, if you manage to dig up something from the 14 or 15 hundreds, you could potentially earn thousands of dollars for your find.

Next time you prepare a meal with the help of an old read from the attic, you may find yourself cooking up a little cash too!