23 Best Books on Preserving Food at Home (2024)

Explore 23 best books on preserving food at home. From traditional methods to modern techniques, discover the art of saving flavors all year round.

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Homesteading is not just a way of life; it’s a journey toward sustainability, self-reliance, and a connection to our food. As part of this journey, understanding the art of preserving our own food is fundamental. This not only gives homesteaders the power to enjoy their produce throughout the year but also ensures that their hard work doesn’t go to waste. To aid this endeavor, we’ve curated a list of 23 of the best books on preserving food that provide insights and practical knowledge on this age-old craft.

Table of Contents

The Art of Preserving Food at Home: Curated Collection of the Finest Guides

Navigating the path of home food preservation, especially for today’s home cooks, requires a blend of traditional methods and advanced techniques. The best books on preserving food serve as a beacon, guiding beginners and seasoned home canners alike. With step-by-step instructions complemented by vibrant color photographs and handy charts, these treasured tomes offer insights into different methods of preservation, from water-bath canning to the intricate process of fermentation.

For those with a penchant for pickling, the joy of crafting butter pickles, dill pickles, and other delicious foods is unmatched. And if you’re looking for a good book that boasts simple recipes, especially for fresh fruits or low-sugar sweet food preparations, this list is a great place to start. Each title, whether presenting the most recent edition of favorite canning books or introducing new recipes, comes replete with beautiful photography, capturing the essence of fresh food preservation. These are more than just instructional guides; they’re the legacy of a new generation of home cooks.

23 Best Books on Preserving Food at Home in 2024

1. Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving


Undoubtedly among the best books on preserving food, The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is an updated, comprehensive guide for modern home-preserving enthusiasts, supported by the esteemed Ball Home Canning Products.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • 400 Recipes: A range from classic jellies to inventive salsas and sauces.
  • Recent Changes: Reflects the past 15 years, emphasizing modern practices and low-sugar options.
  • Safety Protocols: Detailed directions ensuring safe and high-quality results.
  • Essential Equipment: A rundown of all tools needed to begin or refine your preserving journey.
  • Expertise Benefits: Tailored advice for both novices and experienced preservers.

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2. The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving

The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving

The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving offers a vast collection of over 350 preservation recipes, blending time-honored traditions and modern innovations.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Extensive Recipe Collection: From classic jams to innovative delights like Asian Pear Kimchi.
  • Expertise & Assurance: Guidance backed by Jarden Home Brands’ trusted reputation.
  • Diverse Methods: Techniques covering pickling, fermenting, and freezing.
  • Safety Checks: Each recipe is vetted by the Fresh Preserving Quality Assurance Lab.
  • Inspirational Ideas: Ways to incorporate your preserves into dishes.
  • Seasonal Tips & Tools: Insights on maximizing seasonal produce and effective processing.

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3. Ball Blue Book: 100th Anniversary Edition

Ball Blue Book: 100th Anniversary Edition

Ball Blue Book: 100th Anniversary Edition celebrates a century of merging culinary and preservation arts, transforming fruits, jams, and pickles into jarred treasures. A trusted guide, the ball books encapsulate a century’s wisdom for novices and experts alike.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Century-Old Legacy: Delve into 100 years of preserving traditions.
  • From Cooking to Preserving: The seamless blend of cooking and preservation.
  • Broad Spectrum: Techniques for a variety of foods.
  • Health in Focus: Flavorful yet low-sugar and low-salt recipes.
  • Gourmet Pantry: Unique condiments and spreads.
  • Advanced Insights: From fruit leathers to a full journey from harvest to jar.

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4. Putting Food By

Putting Food By Book

Putting Food By by Ruth Hertzberg, Janet Greene, and Beatrice Vaughan is a trusted reference in food preservation, blending decades of wisdom with modern techniques and insights.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Comprehensive Techniques: A broad range of preservation methods from canning to root cellaring.
  • Modern Updates: The latest on tools, safety, and ingredients.
  • Delicious Recipes: A variety of jams, pickles, relishes, and more.
  • Economic and Culinary Benefits: Enjoy cost savings and peak flavors.
  • Legacy of Expertise: Tap into the knowledge of three seasoned authors.

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5. Complete Dehydrator Cookbook: How to Dehydrate Fruit, Vegetables, Meat & More

Preserving Food Book: Complete Dehydrator Cookbook

Complete Dehydrator Cookbook: How to Dehydrate Fruit, Vegetables, Meat & More is your ultimate guide to home drying, blending age-old techniques with modern tastes.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Dehydration Essentials: Tools, tips, and how-tos for drying various foods.
  • Diverse Recipes: From herbal teas and breads to stews and curries.
  • Quick Meals & Snacks: Ready-to-eat delights like fruit leathers and jerky.
  • Raw Treats: Special recipes for raw food lovers, including unique breads and biscotti.

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6. The Art of Fermentation

Preserving Food Book: The Art of Fermentation

The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz is an award-winning guide that delves into the transformative world of fermentation.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Versatile Recipes: Covering everything from kraut to kefir.
  • Guidance for All Levels: Tailored insights for both novices and experts.
  • Practical Tips: Techniques, safety, and troubleshooting.
  • Expansive Insights: Fermentation’s impact on health, culture, and more.
  • Beyond Food: Broader considerations in the world of fermentation.

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7. Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round

Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round Book

Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round by Marisa McClellan offers a modern take on preserving, combining the nostalgia of classic recipes with fresh innovations.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Versatile Recipes: Over 100 seasonal creations.
  • Seasonal Delights: Highlights like Apricot Jam and Cranberry Ketchup.
  • Expert Guidance: Marisa’s insights to ensure successful canning.
  • A Trip Down Memory Lane: Stories of jams and marmalades from Marisa’s past.
  • More Than Just Recipes: A heartfelt culinary experience.

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8. The Complete Guide to Pressure Canning: Everything You Need to Know

Preserving Food Book: The Complete Guide to Pressure Canning

The Complete Guide to Pressure Canning: Everything You Need to Know by Diane Devereaux, The Canning Diva®, demystifies the realm of pressure canning, ensuring low-acid foods retain their utmost quality and taste.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Canning Essentials: Basics, tips for selecting a pressure canner, and core techniques.
  • Creative Recipes: 80+ recipes, including stocks, meats, and meals-in-a-jar.
  • Safety First: Comprehensive canning charts detailing processing times and settings.
  • Jumpstart Your Journey: Beginner-centric recipes to initiate your canning adventure.

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9. Everything Worth Preserving: The Complete Guide for Food Preservation at Home

Everything Worth Preserving: The Complete Guide for Food Preservation at Home Book

Everything Worth Preserving: The Complete Guide for Food Preservation at Home by Melissa K. Norris offers a comprehensive exploration into the diverse methods of food preservation, from cold storage to the age-old practice of salting and curing.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Cold Storage: Maximize your freezer’s potential.
  • Water Bath/Steam Canning: Fundamental techniques for sealing freshness.
  • Pressure Canning: The nuances of preserving under pressure.
  • Dehydrating: Flavorful food with reduced moisture.
  • Fermenting: The world of natural fermentation.
  • Freeze-Drying: Modern methods for superior preservation.
  • Root Cellar: Nature’s ideal storage solution.
  • Infusion: Aromatic preservation through immersion.
  • Salting & Curing Meat: The tradition of savory preservation.

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10. Freeze Fresh: The Ultimate Guide to Preserving 55 Fruits and Vegetables for Maximum Flavor and Versatility

Preserving Food Book: Freeze Fresh

Freeze Fresh: The Ultimate Guide to Preserving 55 Fruits and Vegetables for Maximum Flavor and Versatility by Crystal Schmidt offers a comprehensive journey into preserving the vibrant taste and texture of over 55 fruits and vegetables through freezing.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Preparation Techniques: Tailored methods for optimal preservation.
  • Unique Freezing Insights: Including unlikely freeze-friendly produce.
  • 100+ Freezable Recipes: Dishes crafted for their freeze-friendly qualities.
  • Post-Thaw Cooking Ideas: Transform thawed produce into delectable dishes.
  • Smoothie Sensations: Flavor-packed combinations for the perfect blend

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11. A Guide to Canning, Freezing, Curing & Smoking Meat, Fish & Game

Preserving Food Book: A Guide to Canning, Freezing, Curing & Smoking Meat, Fish & Game Book

A Guide to Canning, Freezing, Curing & Smoking Meat, Fish & Game by Wilbur F. Eastman Jr. offers a definitive guide to naturally preserving meats.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Traditional Techniques: Master methods like curing, smoking, canning, and freezing.
  • Chemical-Free Approaches: Retain flavors without the use of harsh chemicals.
  • Variety of Meats: Preserve everything from beef and turkey to fish and game.
  • Delicious Recipes: Craft homemade bacon, jerky, and more.
  • Safety First: Ensure your foods are flavorful and safe to eat.

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12. The Complete Guide to Smoking and Salt Curing

Preserving Food Book: The Complete Guide to Smoking and Salt Curing Book

The Complete Guide to Smoking and Salt Curing by Monte Burchan award-winning outdoor writer with over forty years of experience, serves as a practical handbook for mastering the art of preserving meats.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Master the Basics: Grasp smoking and curing through detailed instructions and photographs.
  • Safe Processing: Choose the right meats and tools while ensuring contamination-free methods.
  • Delicious Recipes: Craft rubs, marinades, and classics like ham, sausage, and bacon.
  • Preserve Game & Fish: Enhance and extend the freshness of your catch or hunt.
  • Economize & Savor: Enjoy homemade flavors while saving on grocery expenses.

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13. The Beginner’s Guide to Dehydrating Food: How to Preserve All Your Favorite Vegetables, Fruits, Meats, and Herbs

Preserving Food Book: The Beginner's Guide to Dehydrating Food

The Beginner’s Guide to Dehydrating Food: How to Preserve All Your Favorite Vegetables, Fruits, Meats, and Herbs by Teresa Marrone offers comprehensive techniques for drying a vast array of foods, ensuring an economical and flavorful pantry year-round.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Fruits & Veggies: Dehydrate staples from apple rings to tomatoes.
  • Meat: Craft rich meat jerky.
  • Herbs: Retain the essence of various herbs.
  • Specialty Items: Create fruit leathers, spice blends, and trail-ready meals.
  • Baby Food: Make nutritious dried foods for infants.
  • Storage Tips: Maximize freshness and flavor in storage.

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14. Foolproof Preserving and Canning: A Guide to Small Batch Jams, Jellies, Pickles, and Condiments

Preserving Food Book: Foolproof Preserving and Canning

America’s Test Kitchen’s Foolproof Preserving and Canning: A Guide to Small Batch Jams, Jellies, Pickles, and Condiments delivers a comprehensive guide to canning, capturing the essence of each season in jars.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Jams: From classic raspberry and strawberry to unique Blueberry Earl Grey.
  • Pickles & Chutneys: Master the crispness and explore flavors like Apple Shallot.
  • Fruits & Tomatoes: Preserve fruits in syrups and intensify tomato tastes.
  • Guidance: Detailed instructions for a seamless process.
  • Timelines: Clear preparation and completion insights.
  • Batch Flexibility: Emphasis on small batches with scalability options.

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15. The Farmhouse Culture Guide to Fermenting

Preserving Food Book: The Farmhouse Culture Guide to Fermenting

The Farmhouse Culture Guide to Fermenting by Kathryn Lukas and Shane Peterson is an award-winning cookbook that brings the art and science of fermentation to your kitchen.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Historical Context: Delve into fermentation’s storied past and its enduring relevance.
  • Health Insights: Uncover the myriad health benefits, from gut wellness to immunity enhancement.
  • Safety First: Equip yourself with best practices to ferment with confidence.
  • Diverse Recipes: Explore 100 meticulously curated recipes, from zesty krauts to effervescent kombuchas.
  • Expertise: Lean on the trusted experience of fermentation mavens Kathryn Lukas and Shane Peterson.

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16. The Homestead Canning Cookbook: Simple, Safe Instructions from a Certified Master Food Preserver

Preserving Food Book: The Homestead Canning Cookbook

The Homestead Canning Cookbook: Simple, Safe Instructions from a Certified Master Food Preserver by Georgia Varozza is your comprehensive guide to mastering preserving.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Foundational Knowledge: Grasp canning essentials designed for the modern, busy homesteader.
  • Equipment Insights: Demystify the tools crucial for both water bath and pressure canning.
  • Diverse Recipes: Explore 150+ recipes, from fruits and vegetables to meats and soups.
  • Wholesome Benefits: Embrace cost-saving methods while ensuring top-notch food quality and safety.

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17. Ball Canning Back to Basics: A Foolproof Guide to Canning Jams, Jellies, Pickles, and More

Preserving Food Book: Ball Canning Back to Basics

Ball Canning Back to Basics: A Foolproof Guide to Canning Jams, Jellies, Pickles, and More is your definitive guide to savoring and preserving nature’s bounty throughout the year.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Master Fundamental Techniques: Dive deep into water bath canning, essential gear, and the importance of food safety.
  • Follow Easy Tutorials: Navigate through each preserving method with clear instructions and detailed images.
  • Explore 100 Recipes: Capture the essence of seasonal fruits and veggies in versatile, delectable recipes.
  • Customize Your Canning: Tweak low-sugar recipes or introduce new flavor profiles tailored to your taste.

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18. WECK Small-Batch Preserving: Year-Round Recipes for Canning, Fermenting, Pickling, and More

Preserving Food Book: WECK Small-Batch Preserving

Weck Small-Batch Preserving: Year-Round Recipes for Canning, Fermenting, Pickling, and More by Stephanie Thurow provides a detailed guide on utilizing WECK jars, renowned for a century, with 100 unique recipes designed specifically for these elegant glass containers.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Iconic Jars: An insight into the aesthetics and functionality of WECK jars.
  • Diverse Recipes: From Bloody Mary mix and tropical jams to infused spirits like cinnamon whiskey.
  • Fermented Favorites: Dive into sauerkrauts, kvass, kimchi, and more.
  • Stunning Visuals: Recipes paired with vibrant and captivating photographs.
  • Approachable Format: Written to suit both newcomers and experienced preservers.

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19. The Amish Canning Cookbook: Plain and Simple Living at Its Homemade Best

Preserving Food Book: The Amish Canning Cookbook

The Amish Canning Cookbook: Plain and Simple Living at Its Homemade Best offers a treasure trove of recipes and insights, epitomizing the simplicity and richness of Amish culinary traditions, penned by the renowned author Georgia Varozza.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Canning Heritage: A glimpse into the history of canning.
  • Getting Started: Comprehensive lists of essential tools and supplies.
  • Safe Practices: Foundational instructions ensuring safe canning.
  • Diverse Recipes: From fruits and vegetables to meats, soups, and sauces.
  • Personal Touch: Guidelines for tailoring recipes to individual tastes.
  • Amish Flair: Embrace the frugality, tradition, and flavors of authentic Amish cooking.

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20. How to Cure & Preserve Beef, Pork, Poultry, Fish & Wild Game

Preserving Food Book: How to Cure & Preserve Beef, Pork, Poultry, Fish & Wild Game

How to Cure & Preserve Beef, Pork, Poultry, Fish & Wild Game by Nick Romano offers a deep dive into traditional and contemporary meat preservation methods, drawing from both historical practices and the author’s rich family heritage in the meat business.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Freezing & Freeze Drying: Methods for long-term storage.
  • Vacuum Packing & Canning: Essentials for food safety.
  • Pickling, Curing, & Smoking: Traditional preservation techniques.
  • Dehydrating: Maximizing shelf life.
  • Do’s and Don’ts: Key guidelines for meat preservation.
  • Family Legacy: Drawing on wisdom from his seasoned grandfather, “Nonno,” Romano provides insights into enhancing the longevity and flavor of meats.

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21. Fermented Vegetables

Preserving Food Book: Fermented Vegetables

Fermented Vegetables by Kirsten Shockey and Christopher Shockey presents probiotic-rich recipes, teaching techniques for fermenting a diverse range of vegetables and herbs, from classic sauerkraut and kimchi to innovative dishes like curried golden beets and carrot kraut.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Core Techniques: Foundations for making sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, and more.
  • Wide Variety: Over 120 recipes for fermenting 64 different vegetables and herbs.
  • Specialty Dishes: Unique ferments like curried golden beets and pickled green coriander.
  • Small Batches: Options for preparations as intimate as one pint.
  • Healthy & Creative: Exciting ways to enjoy and preserve your vegetables in a nutritious manner.

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22. Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods

Wild Fermentation Book

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, Sandor Ellix Katz, a James Beard Award winner and fermentation expert, offers a comprehensive guide on fermenting foods, with iconic recipes ranging from kimchi to sourdough, while showcasing the transformative power and health benefits of fermented dishes.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • Foundational Recipes: Dive into kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha, sourdough, and more.
  • New Additions: Explore fresh recipes like Strawberry Kvass, African Sorghum Beer, and Infinite Buckwheat Bread.
  • Updated Insights: Benefit from refined techniques based on the author’s ever-expanding knowledge of global food customs.
  • Acclaim & Influence: Learn from the “Johnny Appleseed of Fermentation,” a James Beard Award winner and New York Times bestselling author.
  • A Movement Beyond the Kitchen: Discover Katz’s influence in sparking a nutrition-based food revolution and fostering community through shared recipes and fermentation knowledge.

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23. Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin

Preserving with Pomona's Pectin Book

Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin by Allison Carroll Duffy is your guide to creating low-sugar, intensely flavored jams and jellies, leveraging the unique sugar-independent jelling properties of Pomona’s citrus pectin.

Inside, you’ll discover:

  • The Pomona’s Difference: A game-changing pectin that requires little to no sugar, ensuring healthier preserves.
  • Quick & Fresh Flavors: Reduced cooking times that capture the essence of fresh ingredients.
  • Versatile Recipes: Ranging from Classic Strawberry jam to the adventurous Savory Blueberry-Ginger Conserve.
  • New Delights: Fresh additions like Pear Cardamom Pie Filling and Vanilla-Plum Preserves.
  • Canning Mastery: Essential guidance for newcomers and veterans of Pomona’s Pectin.

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The Benefits of Preserving Food

Having explored the 23 best books on preserving food, it’s clear that this practice is more than just a culinary endeavor. Engaging in home food preservation offers a wealth of advantages, from health dividends and cost savings to the reduction of food waste. To delve deeper into these invaluable benefits, we invite you to read our in-depth article: The Amazing Benefits of Preserving Food.

Wrapping Up: Best Books on Preserving Food at Home

Be it a beginner canner with a sprawling garden or someone who has cherished the art for a long time, these best canning cookbooks ensure every culinary endeavor is rewarding. From high-acid foods to the nuances of various types of foods suitable for preservation, this curated collection is a great resource.

In essence, whether it’s the bountiful summer or the reflective winter months, let these books on preserving food guide your homestead kitchen experiences. Dive into the pages of these great books on preserving food, and soon your pantry will brim with good food, reducing frequent trips to the grocery store and amplifying the joy of self-reliance.

Happy preserving!

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