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Aug 12, 2010 03:28 PM

Canning bible?

Looking to start preserving some of summer's goodness. Looking to purchase something authoritative. Thanks in advance...

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  1. I like the Ball book. To me the instructions (for a newbie) are easy to understand and the recipes are pretty good (I just started canning last year). But you should also search here for canning because a lot of more experienced people have books that they like and that they've recommended here.

    1. The two I have relied on for more than 20 years are Putting Food By and The Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving.

      1. The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving by Judi Kingry is the best canning book out there, IMHO. It has wonderful recipes and techniques for newbies and canning veterans. You will use it for years to come. I have been canning for almost 20 years, and I am still finding new things to try in this book! Also, if you are interested in pickling, I'd suggest Linda Ziedrich's Joy of Pickling for all things pickled. Good stuff! Happy canning!

        3 Replies
        1. re: momskitchen

          I plan on purchasing the Blue Ball Book of Canning and Preserves based on all the recommendations from this thread and noticed that there are a few editions out. The newest one being July 2010. Do you know if there is much difference between this one and Blue Ball Book of Preserving (June 2004)? If so, do you have a preference? I ask because the only place I can get the books are online (being in Canada) so I am not able to flip through them to compare. Of note the 2004 edition is about $10 cheaper so if there isn't much difference I'll probably opt for the 2004 one.

          1. re: 02putt

            You'll always want the newest edition available, so that it incorporates the newest research and recommendations on safety. If you're looking at the Ball Blue Book, the current version has peaches on the cover and should be available for less than $10 online. The Ball Complete Guide to Home Preserving (I'm running from memory, but the title is very similar to that) is available on Amazon for less than $15. Also, Google the National Center for Home Food Preservation - some of the recipes are less creative than Ball, but the site has a lot of recipes and links to the USDA's Complete Guide to Home Canning, both of which are safe and reliable sources for recipes.

          2. re: momskitchen

            This is the only book I've used in my four year canning adventure. I like all the recipes I've tried so far but, even more, appreciate the full explanations of all the steps of water bath and pressure canning. I copied the relevant pages and high-lighted the copies for easy reading. When I first started I always had the pages taped to the kitchen wall in the appropriate order so I didn't miss a step.

          3. Preserving Summer's Bounty by Marylin Kluger (NOT the Rodale book with Susan McClure by the same title) has been my personal bible

            Plus Putting Food By and The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

            And for root cellaring and other non-canning/freezing/drying methods:
            Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits and Vegetables by Mike and Nancy Bubel;

            1 Reply
            1. re: morwen

              Blue Ribbon PReserves by Linda J. Amendt is my go-to source -- great technical background and innovative recipes.

              I just ordered Preserving Summer's Bounty from Amazon and was greatly disappointed, Now I know why - I got the Rodale book, not the one by Marylin Kluger. Back to amazon for another order . . .

            2. Thanks, all. We picked up the Ball book today as it seemed like the best "starter" guide. Will probably look into some of the others mentioned here once we get up and going. Thanks again!