The 25 Best Food Preservation Books

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Ever want to taste the freshness of homemade salsa in the middle of the winter. Or savor the sweetness of your homegrown strawberries in a jam spread over a warm croissant for breakfast?

Maybe you are drawn to creating fantastic foods and rich recipes in your kitchen and you’d like to savor those delectables throughout the year. Whomever you are, you can learn different ways to can, dry, ferment or even smoke your garden goodies, those store-bought bulk purchases, or even your farmstand finds.

These books will help you on your journey to self-discovery of creating foods tailored to your own desires. 

Once you master a few key processes the sky is the limit on your creations. 

You’ll soon find yourself digging in your pantry to discover your latest favorite foods instead of digging in the car seats to find a few bucks for a fast food meal. You’ll be eating good food, tailored to your desires and will feel good about creating something that’s all your own.

Enjoy the journey!

Table of Contents

1. Complete Guide to Food Preservation: Step-By-Step by Angela Williams Duea

Definitely a complete guide. The author goes into depth on the different preserving methods, equipment needed, guidelines and even how to harvest your own foods, or select the best foods at the store.

With the rising cost of foods, it’s no wonder why people are becoming more interested in preserving the foods they’ve grown, or purchased to extend their shelf-life. This book not only covers traditional methods, but covers areas of smoking meats, juicing for health, using a Root Cellar, and fermenting beverages (yum… home-brewed beer – cheers everyone!).

This book will surely get your tastebuds and thoughts going when it comes to preserving your foods at home!

And boy, this book really does cover everything! You can learn about creating cultures (think yogurts and cheese… yum!), fermenting, salting, smoking and even storing fresh for future use.

The book goes beyond the traditional “here’s what you do with your garden or orchard bounty” and explores different methods like salting, smoking, preserving in alcohol and other “old-time” methods like preserving in oils, butter, and fats. If you want a one-stop-shop kind of book, you should definitely consider this book. It’s like a Preservation Encyclopedia on steroids!

For those looking to get back to old-time basics, this book showcases methods used before the conveniences of freezers and canning.

You’ll journey back in time to read about old techniques and traditions people used to preserve their food, and yet eat well year-around without having to rely on a nearby grocery store. There is a nice guide in the appendix that shows the different methods that when applied correctly can safely preserve your foods.

As a recognized name in canning, a book on preserving from Ball is kind of a sure bet. And this book doesn’t disappoint.

You’ll get a nice pep talk at the onset to get you in the right frame of mind to tackle the job of canning; followed by a brief intro to the equipment needed. And then just like that…. You’re off to the races with page-after-page of mouth-watering, taste bud teasing, easy to follow recipes to get you going. The book has pretty much every concoction under the sun that can be canned.

It’s easy to read recipes, with helpful tips and tricks highlighted on the sides for easy reference, making canning a breeze and enjoyable too!

Looking for a book that takes you on a journey of food preservation? Tired of misinformation on how you should preserve your foods? If you answered “yes” to these two questions, this is the book for you.

The author takes you on a journey to correct the misinformation that exists online and from outdated materials. As a Master Food Preserver, the author Christina Ward, created a book that will clarify any questions surrounding food preservation and give you highly adaptable recipes for the different methods and techniques in food preservation.

This book is for the home cook that wants to make small batches of preserved foods. The author explains the differences between canning and fermenting, as well as the supplies needed for both methods.

A nice twist to this book is that it takes each fruit or vegetable and shows you how to water bath-can or turn it into a healthy, probiotic-rich ferment. For those individuals that are turned off by pressure canning, these water baths, or fermented, recipes will be your new best friend.

The recipes are easy to follow and create tasty treats. The strawberry-rhubarb jam and dandelion jelly are household breakfast favorites on toast!

As the title says, this book is the “Bible” of Home Preserving.

This book covers the basics, gives a good foundation on different types of preserving from canning, fermenting, drying, sealing, pickling, curing, cellaring and freezing and how to perform each technique, the pitfalls that could occur, what to look out for when preserving your foods and how to troubleshoot to correct problems.

Each is laid out in a way that helps you baby-step through a preservation method and end up with delicious food at the end. The hundreds of recipes included in the book are tried-and-true, which helps take the guesswork out of preserving. Definitely a “good-to-have” book that will cover all your home foods preserving needs!

If you’ve been listening to the news, or heard of the latest food crazes, you’ve probably heard the benefits of fermented vegetables.

Not only are fermented vegetables good for you, but they taste amazing and are so easy to make (and keep). This book takes you through the basics all the way up to mastering how to ferment just about every vegetable out there. You’ll receive great ideas and over 120 recipes for how to incorporate more fermented vegetables into your diet and tricks to make some new tasty snacks, meals, and drinks your family will love.

And I personally like the line “A pickle a day keeps the doctor away!”

This guide has it all. If you ever wondered how to do “something else” than just simply cut up your meats, wrap them and store them in the freezer… This is the book you want.

I’ve learned so much by reading and applying the techniques in this book. I’ve made mouth-watering beef and venison jerky that is great for long days in the sports field. And my ultimate favorite is canned chicken! This is the best for a quick tasty meal like chicken quesadillas, chicken caesar salad, and chicken macaroni salad. The techniques have helped “save my freezer” from being over packed, which allows better use of foods so nothing goes bad. Definitely a book to add to your library!

For the newly minted homesteader or the individual that just wants a simpler life; here’s a book to read.

There is an entire chapter dedicated to food preservation, but for those that want to go one step further and grow the food they want to preserve; this is the book for you. If the zombie apocalypse strikes, you’ll be well prepared to tackle any challenge from raising the food you eat, tackling challenges in growing feed, and preserving your bounty for future months.

This book is a great guide to not only canning but to making your busy life simpler. The section that will save you the most time is learning how to can chicken. I can’t believe I went as long as I did before learning how to can chicken.

It’s my “go-to” for everything from chicken tacos, chicken caesar salad, and chicken egg salad sandwiches. And I love the fact I can add spices like garlic, oregano, basil, and red pepper to give it an extra “kick” which you can taste in the meals. This book has great recipes for Meals-In-A-Jar, which means…no need to cook meat, or chop veggies… just pop the top of the jar, warm it up and serve it to the hungry hippos called my family.

This book is easy to read, fun to create tasty tidbits and has definitely decreased the number of “fast food” trips our family takes since now I can have a good, healthy home-cooked meal ready to go in 15 minutes. The Enchilada Chicken Soup and Homemade Spaghetti sauce are all-time favorites!

As the title says, this is a book for beginners. And it’s a good book if you’re looking to create a strong foundation of the basics in water bath and pressure canning.

I know the first time I made homemade fresh salsa in a water bath, and that first jar of pressure canned chicken, I held my breath as I opened the jars and hoped that no one got sick from my creations. By having a guide tailored specifically to beginners, it helps with taking out the fear and demystifying the whole process. You’ll even tackle low sugar and low sodium recipes that are beneficial for those watching their numbers.

And lastly, for those “on-the-go” individuals, instead of stopping off at a fast-food joint, you can swing home and heat up a big bowl of homemade canned chili, or top off your favorite pasta with a garden-fresh pasta sauce that will tantalize your taste buds and make you smile from ear-to-ear” knowing that it was all made by you!

Ever have the electricity go out in your refrigerator, or your freezer just decides to go on a permanent vacation? Ever lose your newly harvested carrots or cauliflower, only to have it go bad before you can eat it?

Well, there’s a way to keep all those tasty root vegetables, kale and cabbage from turning into mush before you get even a taste. And it doesn’t require canning, freezing or dehydrating. It’s a simple technique using the earth in the form of root cellars to keep your hard-earned garden vegetables from becoming a disappointment.

The authors lay out the best storage keepers to grow, how to harvest and get them ready for a long winter’s nap and even go into details on the types of, and how to create, root cellars to meet your needs. And if you think it can’t be done, they even share their experience in the section “Here’s What We Did.”

This is an old-time technique that was used in many homes before the invention of the refrigerator. And with all the uncertainty in the climate and weather patterns, there seems to be a resurgence in the need to understand this time-honored technique.

So, maybe you’ve got this canning thing down pat. Or you’ve made a few batches and now don’t know what to actually do with the food.

If that’s the case, this book is for you. This book is chock full of information. There’s great tips to help make your canning experience even more enjoyable. Recipes for making “funky fruits” and “saucy little things” that can be used in everyday meals. The best part is once you get through the canning section, you move onto “The Big Payoff!” Because now that you have all these delectable delicacies in your pantry, what you are going to make?!

Never fear, this book’s got you covered from Main Dishes and Appetizers to Breakfasts and Beverages. Soon you’ll find yourself wanting to can more foods just to try out some of the delicious recipes.

Drying is one of the easiest methods of food preservation. The cost of a high-quality home food dehydrator can easily pay for itself in a season, or two, especially for those that hunt and fish.

One of the biggest benefits of drying food, besides storage, is your wallet. Drying foods can save a family money by buying foods in season, drying them and using them long into the winter months. Kids will find that fruit rolls are more delicious than store-bought ones, and dried fruits are sweeter and can take the place of other sugary, chemical-laden fruit snacks.

The step-by-step instructions will have even a novice drying food and making tasty meat jerky and crunchy banana chips in no time!

This book really helps the beginner get started and be comfortable with the idea of canning. The author throws in anecdotes about her own canning experience and why she’s come to love it.

The step-by-step instructions and helpful pictures really show the “hows and whys” to canning your favorite jams and jellies. With these helpful instructions, a complete newbie can be off and running with their own raspberry jams and homemade pumpkin pie filling in no time.

Do you have a small kitchen or even a small garden that doesn’t produce the “tons of tomatoes” that other gardeners rave about, but you still want to savor some of your hard work later?

Then Preserving by the Pint is just what you need. This book goes over the basics of canning your precious preserves and helps to bring the quantity and size down to a more manageable amount, so you’re not eating Blueberry Maple Jam all year. You can mix it up with a Blueberry and Ginger Jam. By preserving in small batches, you can try new and different combinations all the while using up your harvested goods, or ones you’ve bought at the store.

Now this book might seem a little “out of sorts” for a list on preserving foods, but hear me out. First, the goes into ways of preserving your food. Everything from foodstuffs bought at the store, to homegrown in your backyard or in your pots.

The “twist” of this book is that it looks at preserving from the angle of ensuring you can put a meal on the table when “the lights go out” from a natural disaster to even a personal disaster like the loss of a job. In a way, this book is here to help you “preserve” yourself and your family’s way of eating and thriving through some of life’s toughest challenges.

With the art of fermenting and pickling making its way back into the mainstream news, here’s a book that will help you master the craft of pickling.

This book starts with the fundamental techniques and builds up to more rigorous recipes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. Not only does the book give you step-by-step instructions, ravishing recipes and troubleshooting tips; it also gives your sound advice to integrate pickles and fermented foods into your everyday cooking.

Have you ever experienced a job loss? Or maybe a disaster like a home fire, flood or a long power outage. Did you ever wonder where your next meal would come from? If so, this book can help you “preserve” you and your family’s food supply by getting you started with preparing for those emergencies.

Chapter two goes into detail on how to build a 3 day supply of food to help you and your family weather any type of short-term emergency. But what if your emergency would last 90 days? Well, they have a solution for that too in Chapter 4 with the “Rainy-Day Fund You Can Eat.”

This plan will help you not only survive, but thrive, during a hard time like a job loss. You won’t have to worry about what to eat so that you can focus on more urgent matters. And for those of you that got bitten by the “prepping bug” in the first couple of chapters, the authors move onto more long-term storage of foodstuffs to round out one’s repertoire.

If you’ve ever wanted to create your own dehydrated foods, this is the book you want. This book covers all the basics and even goes through picking the right dehydrator to meet your needs.

You’ll be drying fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers to use and make your own seasonings, teas, tinctures, jerkies, trail mix, fruit leather, crafts and more. This book will show you how versatile dehydrating foods can be and how much money it can save you over buying dehydrated foods in the store.

And the best part, this book even covers other unconventional means of dehydrating foods like solar ovens and using your own conventional oven. This book will have you up and creating your own dehydrated foods in no time!

A Certified Master Food Preserver gets you started off on the “right foot” with water and pressure canning methods and jumps you into the basics of butters, jams, and jellies.

Next, you’ll dive into pickles and savory sauerkraut to get those “good” fermented bacteria hanging out in your gut. And best of all, there’s an emphasis on canning meats, poultry, fish and creating delicious soups and stews to round out one’s meal planning playbook. And trust me, once you learn how to can chicken, it’s hard to go back to canned chicken from the store and there are so many ways to use it because it’s already cooked and ready to go at a moment’s notice for those nights where you need a meal fast.

Though this book as A LOT more information in it than just how to preserve foods, it gives a great overview of how to: harvest, store, preserve, can, freeze and pickle a vast array of foods.

You will learn how to make lip-smacking jams and jellies, delicious dill pickles, freeze foods without the awful “freezer burn” taste, and how to create scrumptious homemade sauerkraut! There’s even a section on brewing beer and crafting wines. This book contains so much insight into the lost art of homesteading, you might just pick up a new hobby!

If you want to “hear it from the horse’s mouth” you can’t go wrong with Ball’s Blue Book Guide to Preserving. The King of the Mason Jar world puts common sense into the art of canning foods, but they make it simple. “Just one step beyond cooking” is their motto for getting started with canning.

Ball lays out the steps to home canning in simple, easy instructions and gives recipes for 25 different categories. They even venture out into the world of jerky, rubs, freezing and dehydrating. And when you get a chance to make your own fruit leathers at home, with their tried and true recipe, you’ll never buy store-bought again!

For those of you that are more on the “wild side” and like to step outside the box of conventional canning… You need to read this book!

Put ‘Em Up covers conventional food preservation methods and dives into areas like Infusions and Fermentations. The author covers the best way to source the food, prepare it to ensure maximum freshness and taste, and then gives you guidance on what can go wrong, and right in your food preserving adventure.

This book contains recipes for over 30 different foods, and turns heads with recipes like Berry Bourbon, Cantaloupe Granita, Mardi Gras Doubloons, Herb-sicles, Spicy Peach Salsa and Pickled Watermelon Rind.

About the Author

Website: Contain It, Grow It

Contain It, Grow It Garden Girl (aka Valerie Linhoff) is a garden trowel wielding, horseback riding, sheep herding, chicken wrangler, mother of twin tornadoes that destroy everything in their path, who hails from the cold North of Minnesota.

She has a passion for growing great food year-round to feed the bellies of her family and sharing her knowledge and love of all things “garden” with the world.

Her hopes are that no matter who you are big, small, white, black, green, red or rainbow, we all start growing not only our gardens but in our hearts towards a peaceful community. And it’s food that can help bring people and communities together; so let’s get growing today!