The Best Canning Resources for Safe Canning

The Best Canning Books

This post may contain affiliate links.
As an Amazon Associate, and at no cost to you, I earn from qualifying purchases made through some links. Please see FCC disclosure for full information. Thank you for supporting this site!  

Interest in canning has exploded over the past couple years. This is a great thing! But unfortunately, with the explosion in popularity in canning, questionable resources have also increased. Much more so than with cooking or baking, when canning you HAVE to follow some basic scientific rules in order to produce food that's safe to eat. (Never fear; it's not hard to do so!) When you're just starting out, though, it can be really confusing to know which resources are providing good information and which are not. So let me guide you.

The resource I turn to first is always The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. It has a wide range of both water bath and pressure canning recipes, and does a great job of explaining the science behind canning in an easy to understand way. The recipes are really practical, too, so I find myself using them continually. If I had to choose just one canning book to keep on hand, it would be this one.

Similarly, the current Ball Blue Book is a trusted guide. This is the canning book you'll find at hardware stores and wherever canning supplies are sold. Ball has been publishing this book of water bath and pressure canning recipes and how-tos since the 1920s, and it is still considered a trusted and useful resource.

The National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP) website is the gold standard by which all other canning resources are compared. It maintains up-to-date information about canning in tested-safe ways...and it's entirely free! You'll find information about the science behind canning, how-tos for both water bath and pressure canning, and lots of recipes. I always like to compare whatever recipe I'm considering canning with what is on this website, just to make sure it is using safe methods and to see if the NCHFP has any variations I might like better. If you prefer to have a printed copy of what's available at the website, I recommend The Complete Guide to Home Canning.

As you can see, I generally only recommend the two authorities in canning (Ball and NCHFP), but I make an exception for Pressure Canning for Beginners by Angi Schneider. That's because Schneider understands the science behind canning and fills her books either with lesser-known tested-safe recipes, or tested-safe recipes she's tweaked in ways that are safe. (For example, we know it's perfectly safe to change dry seasonings in any canning recipe - but there can be trial and error in doing so, because some seasonings will turn bitter, or the flavor may over- or under-whelm. Schneider has taken all the guess-work out for you by safely adjusting the seasonings in a way that improves the outcome.) Schneider also does a good job of explaining the process of pressure canning - but this book is great for more advanced canners, as well as beginners. (Schneider's book The Ultimate Guide to Preserving Vegetables is also a good resource; it has some water bath and pressure canning recipes, but also addresses other methods of preserving food, including dehydrating, fermenting, and freezing.)

Related Posts:

No comments