Cookbooks: Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It

August 6, 2011(updated on October 11, 2018)

Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It

It is stunning to me how much the world of information around canning, preserving and  DIY food arts has expanded in the last couple of years. When I first started this blog in early 2009, it was so easy to be familiar with the canon of books on the topic. I had them all and they took up about 18 inches of space on the bookshelf.

Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It

Then suddenly, a new wave of books started to flow onto the market. One of the best of this first round was Karen Solomon’s Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It. It offered instruction on canning, easy home dairy items and a variety of other projects that were universally welcomed by home cooks who wanted slightly more control over their food.

Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It

Karen recently published a follow-up volume called Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It that is just as delightful as her first book. It includes a handful traditional preserves, as well as instructions for homemade cereals (cornflakes! puffed rice!), miso, rice milk, smoked nuts  and so much more.

Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It

For those of you who were intrigued but overwhelmed by Charcutepalooza and its many meaty challenges, you’re going to want to take a peek at the Hunt It section of the book. Karen has included a series of accessible, easy to follow recipes for corned beef, pastrami and hot dogs (as well as instructions for how to transform those hot dogs into corn dogs.

Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It

Every time I sit down with this book for more than a few minutes, I start to itch for the kitchen. The urge to cook become irresistible. My apartment has seen her Sesame Rosemary Granola, the Basic Barbecue Sauce and the Pickled Grapes (so good).

Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It

Last fall when I was in San Francisco, I got to meet Karen. We were both judges at the Good Food Awards and during a break in the tasting, she bought me a cup of coffee and we shared tales of obsessive preserving and cookbook writing. Somehow, that led to a request that I write a blurb for the book’s back cover. Entirely flattered, I was thrilled to do it.

All that said, here’s the point I really want to make. Even if I’d never known the first book, never met Karen and never spent hours pouring over a xeroxed galley copy trying to concisely say why I thought it was so good, I would still like this book. The recipes are super solid. The head notes are full of personality. And the pictures are pretty. It’s definitely a buy it, use it, love it book.

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892 thoughts on "Cookbooks: Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It"

  • The book sounds wonderful…..and much more fun than re-organizing our kitchen which is my big project for the fall. Need to go thru each and every cupboard and throw out (or give away) anything that hasn’t been used in a year. Can’t wait;)

  • The next kitchen project I’d like to take on is homemade duck breast pastrami. I just need to wait for the weather to cool down a bit!

  • Every summer, I grow a garden full of tomatoes, squash and beans. I always make a huge batch of tomato sauce and at least two types of soup, which I freeze and keep in the apartment sized deep freeze. Last year I pickled a number of jars of beans, and cold packed jars of tomatoes, which I have been using all winter. What amazing flavour compared to commercially canned tomatoes! This year I have grown acorn squash, and I am going to try packing some in jars, as well.

  • “Kitchen” project I want to tackle? Build a micro-creamery!!!! Still looking for the perfect (and affordable) piece of land. In the meantime…. so many cheeses to make!

  • The one kitchen project I’ve been daydreaming about, though I have no recipe and it’s sure to turn into a science project, is making fig syrup. I finally found some mature fig trees in our area and was able to purchase and bring them home to my garden, so now it’s a matter of waiting to see if I can get enough fresh figs from my own trees in September to make a fig syrup for drinks. I can’t wait!

  • I’m in the midst of tackling 45 lbs of cherries! The dehydrator is cranking, jelly juice is straining, pie filling is in the freezer, and my hands are sore from pitting. I only have 20 lbs left.

  • I recently canned 13 quarts of tomatoes. I sort of over filled them so within 1 day they had exploded the seal and we ended up eating tomatoes all weekend. I am not the best or most creative, I shy away from way out there things, but I love to preserve. Thanks for this blog.

  • There are so many projects I have in mind. Today I bought some brown mustard seeds and will be making some mustard in the near future. I already have Karen Solomon’s first book and would love to have this one too!

  • My upcoming cooking projects include perfecting blackberry jam and attempting (hopefully successfully!) homemade croissants!

  • I need to go through all my cupboards and clean out the food that is out of code and the storage containers that have no lids and the lids that have no containers!

  • The book looks amazing! I have a huge kitchen project I want to tackle…a full remodel. My husband and I want to knock down a wall to open up the kitchen to make it more user-friendly, add a large cooking island and update our appliances…not quite to a commercial kitchen, but close! We both love cooking, baking, canning and preserving and we find ourselves bumping into each other too much, to the point that we’ve started yelling, “INCOMING!” when we have something hot in our hands…so far, no one has been burned! It’s a big project, but one we look forward to completing!

  • Semi-related: I have a big shelving project in the works…because I need more room to hold my Mason Jars!

  • I want to start working on a variety of different items to give as gifts for the holidays. I’m thinking my Vanilla Rum cordial, cranberry chutney, and some type of pickles as gifts to our friends.

  • This book sounds amazing! If I don’t win I suppose Ill have to go out and buy it…….My project that I need to tackle ASAP is canning pickles….I have tons of them and will be having tons more here in the next few days……but I have never canned and therefor I am hesitant……I suppose I should jump in with both feet before I lose the whole lot! BTW I love your blog!! 🙂

  • With this summer heat doing anything in the kitchen is painful. Hopefully we can purchase an ac unit so I can bake bread and continue canning!

  • My family has a business growing and selling organic produce. Seems the more our business has grown, the less I have been putting food up. This year the 4 kids are old enough to really help, so it is my goal to put up our stock for winter.

  • I’ve been wanting to make some pasta and ravioli, including making the ricotta cheese–all from Karen’s first book…

  • That book looks amazing!

    I want to learn to smoke stuff because it adds a lot of flavor to our vegetarian food.

  • I really need to empty out every cabinet and weed through all the stuff I don’t need or use and then reorganize. I have an amazing amount of cabinet space in my kitchen and it’s organized so poorly! I should have WAY more room to stash all the yummy stuff I’ve canned and all the canning supplies…

  • My kitchen project is to remodel my kitchen so it is more user friendly to put up as many jars of food to my pantry as I can. This book would be an absolute inspiration to help me complete the task ahead!!

  • I know it’s not a ‘cooking’ or ‘canning’ project per se, but it’s a huge kitchen project nonetheless!!! I’m knee deep in a kitch remodel project, which includes the installation of my dream 6 burner gas Capital range, which will allow my dreams of putting up enough for an entire winter for my familiy come true!!!

  • I have her other book…and would love to get my hands on this one too. I have been drooling over it for a few days now.

  • I got an electric food dehydrator for Christmas last year and tried to make beef jerky. I think I over-dried it. Anyway- I’ve wanted to try drying some of the 6 lbs of blueberries that we just picked along with some fruit leather. The recipes in this book look great.

  • I am working on increasing my canning skills and taking on new challenges like canning meat. Also to learn how to use what I can in my meal preparation. I am also wanting to look into canning my family health concerns, mainly for heart healthy with low sodium.

  • As the evenings get crisper here in Northern Wisconsin, I will start my campfires to smoke the squash that is ready to be harvested.

    When it’s caramelized, it goes into the steamer/juicer to finish cooking…then through the hand mill processor, skin and all and the paste is either dehydrated as leather or frozen in 1 cup measurements…love and peace

  • I want to have enough canned and dried goodies to make gift baskets for friends and family for Christmas.

  • I have a number of cucumbers from my garden that I wanted to can somehow. They are not pickling cucumbers so I thought that I would do a relish – a sweet relish and a relish with jalapenos. Wouldn’t it be safe to substitute jalapeno peppers for red or green bell peppers? I rely mostly on the ball canning guide, and I’m just not happy with any of my other canning books.

  • My kitchen project I cant wait to start is canning all the tomatoes as they come ripe off my 15 huge plants in the back yard. First year that I have grown my own produce 🙂

  • This is my first year making jam and canning in general. I really want to make a balsamic onion marmalade. My favorite bakery puts it on their ham sandwiches. Totally amazing. I would eat it all the time if i could make it and have it at home!

  • I am determined to fill my pantry with all sorts of things to get my family through winter. Im new to canning so Ive only gotten to do tomoatoes and greenbeans as far as veggies. Ive got my face in books and online getting recipes for my next venture. Im heading out to the loack Framers Market to stock up on fresh produce. I’m very excited.

  • tomato sauce and salsa, blueberry honey jam, and blackberry syrup are all on my list of projects in the next 2 months. PLUS my friend just offered up a bunch of free plums.

  • Well I’m from New Zealnd, and this canning resurgence has got me soo excited. Over here we just call it ‘preserving’, and is a little slow to get off the ground, but I’m totally addicted. It’s winter here, and am getting all sorted for summer, and plan on tackling heaps of canning to add to my stocks. Infusing cherries is something I keen to try.

  • Just tried sauerkraut last weekend – fingers crossed! Also want to try pickled watermelon rind and dilly beans! Book looks amazing!

  • I recently just made my second attempt at canning (apricot jam). I really want to make a few more jams to give as gifts at Christmas, but eventually I’d like to try my hand at pressure canning. 🙂

  • This morning we lightly smoked a box of fresh not fully ripe apricot halves. Then we made several different syrups to put them into. One with green peppercorns and bourbon, one with vanilla and cardamom seeds, and lastly one with tart cherry juice. Wacky sounding I know but really interesting ways to utilize fruit that wasn’t destined to fill jam jars.

  • I need to clean out the coat closet that I’ve converted into a pantry because I need more space!! Sigh…

  • My kitchen projects are finishing my quilted placemats and tablecloth (needs backing) then to make rhubarb dishes for an entire day!

  • I have been canning like a maniac. I even have salsa processing on the stove right now. Next project – blueberry infused Vodka!

  • As I am in the middle of a do-it-yourself kitchen remodel, the kitchen project that I’d love to tackle and complete is the kitchen itself!

  • We need to clean out our spare room/junk room to make more space for food storage. We are quickly running out of space as I have been on a canning rampage.

  • sweet pepper jam! had it slathered on sandwiches in cape town, south africa, and have found some similar jams here in markets. want to make my own, though.

  • I have a ton of kitchen projects on my list, from actual construction projects to cooking projects. I would have to say though that my next project is one that I have been working on all year. I am trying to preserve atleast 1 batch of some recipe from every chapter of Canning for a new Generation.

  • Canning, bottling, smoking (the healthy type) and sharing has become my new found passion. Can’t wait to check out this book. And I truly enjoy your blog too. Thanks!

  • This weekend I’m hosting a canning party for Can-It-Forward, but even before it happens, I have so much to do. I need to be sure the recipes are prepared and copied, jars are ready to go, labeling stuff, and then clean my home so that folks don’t think I’m an overwhelmed working mother of a two year old. Oh! and I want to provide some food while we’re canning, so I have to think of what to make!!

  • I’ve smoked bacon but I would like to try curing and smoking hog jowl. I also want to try making sauerkraut.

  • I have been spending the weekends in the kitchen lately having a blast canning and preserving. My “next” projects include: Fig, Lime & Thyme Confiture, Indian Pickles and Chile-Tomato Jam. I love to cook and find that canning and preserving is a great creative outlet!

  • I have a small patch of wild black raspberries growing on my hillside. I’ve been picking them as they ripen and freezing them until I have enough to make a few jars of jam. It had better be good because I took a surprising little tumble off that hillside this week! I’m fine, just scared the cat.

  • Last year I started canning…this year I want to get serious and can enough to last us at least through late fall for things like pasta sauce etc.

    Thanks for the opp. to win!

  • I can make jam, I’ve made various flavors and they have all been great. I just made bread and butter pickles for the first time and now just need to taste them to see if I was successful. They are the first veggies I’ve put up, so I would like to try more!

  • Cheese! I must tackle more cheese. Charcutepalooza took care of the meat thing. Maybe I need a Cheese-apalooza? Or this book. Whichever.

  • Well I wanted to tackle Pioneer Woman’s sweet roll recipe and I did last weekend.I am not a huge baker and definitely not during the summertime,just busy canning.But I made the cinnamon rolls from scratch and had enough leftover to give as “happys” to friends and family.So on to the next task to tackle…don’t know what that one is yet.

  • I would love a copy of the cookbook but just in case I am not the lucky winner I am going to put both of her books on my wishlist right now!
    The project that I am hopefully going to tackle this weekend is pickling some okra! Hopefully they turn out, really yummy.

  • I want to learn to can so that I can preserve the abundance of tomatoes I have growing in my backyard. I want to learn to can tomato sauce.

  • I am tackling my dilly bean project this week…. starting today if you do not count the garden piece. It has been at least 11 years since I last canned and 10 years since I have been able to really garden, I am so excited. I was equally excited when I found this blog thanks for taking the time to share all this greatness with us.

  • I really want to make pickled zucchini slices to have on sandwiches. I have peach butter on the stove right now!

  • It sounds silly to say with all the years I’ve been canning – but I’ve never made pickles! So far so good on our wee little pickling cukes in the garden, so I’ll be tackling dill pickles for the very first time on Sunday. Can’t wait!

  • Ooh, the book looks awesome, my project is simple – but time is slipping away, I need to can my tomatoes soon.

  • The kitchen project I need to tackle is learning how to make myself use the kitchen now that I’ve moved in with my husband and mother-in-law. It’s very weird, after living by myself for several years, being in an already established kitchen, using mostly their stuff along with a handful of mine, and having to coordinate dish-washing (no dishwasher here except the human kind), counter-cleaning, enough room in the fridge (for both storing ingredients till time to cook, and for storing finished products), and just plain use of the kitchen (being in the middle of three delicate & messy projects as someone decides they want a sandwich – bad idea). Never mind tripping over the assassin-ninja cat who continuously wants to “help” cook. On top of this, the pantry is not where I’d like it, and is organized far differently than I’d like, but at this point is not a… conversation I’m ready to have (much less push), and the only storage for my mason jars right now is down in far corner of the basement (the dehydrator is in the garage, and the only place I can use it is on the dining table). Not looking for sympathy… unless it’ll win me a book 😉 Mostly, I need to just suck it up and quit whining about it, and learn how to get comfortable with the new digs.

  • My kitchen project is to build a pantry and storage area that accommodates the jars and canning equipment I’ve collected. The Ikea cabinet just doesn’t cut it anymore.

  • Im willing to learn how to can anything, but i need to figure out something to do with alllllll of these tomatoes!

  • I want to learn to make ketchup. I probably can’t make enough to keep my family in ketchup but I’d like to try it!

  • One of the days, I’ll finally finsihing stripping the wallpaper, paint the walls, and then finish the curtains I started. But, if I keep finding more jam to make, it’s never going to happen.

  • My project…ohh boy. I’ve been waiting to learn how to make this fabulous apple pie filling that my mother cans every year. We eat the jars up as fast as we get them but lack of supplies and knowledge is a hold-back!

  • Recently I’ve started making my own yogurt in the crockpot. Now for my next project, I want to start making and canning my own flavored syrups to add to mocktails or even to my yogurt for sweetener and flavor.
    Really though before I start that, I need to finish my project of getting some kitchen cabinets installed so I can have some more space to store the lovelies that I make! :0)

  • My kitchen project for next year is to grow and dry my own herbal teas: especially chamomile, which is my mother-in-law’s favorite, and some of the older, “forgotten” medicinal herbs.

    And canning! I really want to be able to can produce from my own garden!