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"

  • hard apple cider! my neighbor has a braeburn tree and i still have half of the applesauce i canned last year sitting around. more butter will be made (of course!), but i’m excited for my cider.

  • I have been meaning to make tomato sauce out of my tomatoes but I just haven’t had the time. I’ve been sticking them in the freezer until school quiets down and I can try my hand at making sauce.

  • The project I’m trying to get to is canning beef stock. We raise our own beef and I have many, many soup bones in the freezer. Would free up space in the freezer and it would be nice to have homemade stock at the ready. Soon will be doing all thing tomato so the stock will probably have to wait.

  • I am going to try making apple butter this fall. I’m excited to give it a try, plus my neighbor has an apple tree and is letting me take all of the fruits!

  • Well we have been working hard this year for the first time in awhile, so thinking apple butter will be our next big project and tomato sauce too.

  • I’m hoping I can still find some sour cherries in my area this week to make some pickled cherries. If not, I’m going raspberry picking to make some raspberry cordial!

  • This book is on my list, I would loooove this!!

    I’ve been wanting to tackle homemade bread and butter pickles. And pickled beets. And really any kind of pickled veggie, I love them!!

  • I am inspired by charcutepalooza – I can’t eat pork, I want to try making duck Prosciutto this fall once it cools down a bit. More immediately, I have hot peppers coming out of my ears. I think it is time to make some pickled peppers.

  • I’m new to canning, but the next thing I’d like to do is blackberry jam! (gotta get all these tomatoes out of the way first though!)

  • I’ve been wanting to try some peach jalapeno jam! A friend of mine gave me some last year, and it was really good!

  • Just made my first blueberry shrub syrup (a fruit and vinegar drink) and looking forward to trying other flavors.

  • I’m waiting on my tomato plants to put away sauce this year. Last year I did my first canning – some pickled peppers and a hot sauce. This year I’d like to can a lot more.

  • My big project, besides putting up as much as possible from our garden, the local farm stand, and foraging, is to find some Gluten free baking recipes I really like, and that don’t scream Gluten free.

  • I’m currently trying to put up 5 bushel baskets of plums my hubby picked from the neighbors tree, which they don’t eat but we hate to see going to waste. Then, we’re onto apricots. 🙂

  • everything, everything is on my list. I honestly can’t pick one to choose first! I finally installed a new range after using only a hot plate and toaster oven for the last four years… True story. Ps. I LOVE your blog. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • I want to make pickles. I started this weekend with dilly beans, but I’m sure I did something wrong because they went wrinkly on me.

  • Pickled green tomatoes. I have so many thriving plants this year I can bear to think about sacrificing some before they ripen.

  • About half my kitchen is taken up with tubs and boxes left over from last year’s move from a 3 room house in KS to a tiny 1 room Portland shoebox. I would LOVE to finally tackle it once and for all! Just pare down to the essentials. It’s hard to be creative amidst all that STUFF!

  • I really want to do some pickled beets! I know it’s basic, but we just haven’t gotten around to doing it yet. Looks like a lovely book!

  • Cheese!!! I’m hankering to try cheesemaking! Oh, and canning tomato sauce. Which is more intimidating? Not sure…

  • I would love to preserve some sort of jam with lavender. I have been leary to try because lavender can be so overwhelming. What a great giveaway! I’d love to have a copy of this book.

  • I just started canning this week! I am beyond HOOKED! Basically, I have been canning everything in sight. I’d really like to do a blood orange marmalade this winter!
    LOVE this site!

  • I’m still hoping to get comfortable enough with canning to actually eat the stuff I can without fear of self-poisoning. I’m getting there, a little at a time.

  • I’ve become quite adept at canning over the years but have never tried pressure canning. It scares me a bit.

  • I love, love, love Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it. I just saw the new book at the bookstore and got really excited to buy it and give some of the recipes a whirl. I’m getting ready to start making mead, which I’m pretty excited about. And also, this will be my first year of having enough tomatoes in my garden to do some canning of them. I’m slightly nervous about it, but I had success with canning applesauce last year, so I’m hopeful!

  • I am always looking for interesting condiments or sauces. Making Worchestershire or miso is really appealing. Looks like a book full of good ideas.

  • Blueberry jam! With such berry abundance as exists at the moment, I just need to find some free time…which may accurately be my next kitchen project!

  • If we eliminate the kitchen repair/improvement projects from the list (that one’s quite long, sadly), then I’d have to say that first on my list is salsa. Lots and lots of burn your eyebrows off salsa.

  • My current kitchen project is to reorganize my pantry so I can stock it full of the jams and jelly and butters I’m making. Pressure canner is next for making my own canned tuna…Yum!

  • There are a million and one food projects I’d like to do in the kitchen, but the one project that is eluding me is re-organizing my cupboards. I’m going to get a concussion from the extract bottles that fall out of my baking cupboard every time I open the door!

  • Hahaha, this is so awesome. I am interested in doing my first round of canning this year. My Mother and Grandmother used to do a lot of canning every year, but I never learned how. I am looking forward to getting this book and her other one. Thank you for having such an awesome giveaway!

  • Oooh, the number one project I’ve been wanting to tackle is to stop just reading jamming/jarring blogs and start doing it myself!!

  • Does renovating my kitchen so my cabinets and counters are more functional count as a kitchen project? I’d also really love to try making cheese. I’m hoping to get into that project once the deluge of canning projects decreases.

  • This book sounds so interesting and definetly has sparked my interest. Homemade Hot Dogs? um… heck yes! Cornflakes? Absolutely! This is going in my Amazon Wishlist now.

    As to a kitchen project I’ve been wanting to tackle, a really good pizza dough is still high on the list. As for preserving, I have wanted to learn to make my own sausages and other preserved meat for a while, but it’s always seemed a little intimidating.

  • Thanks for hosting this giveaway! A kitchen project I am hoping to tackle soon is making my own bread that we will be able to use on a regular basis. I have made bread a few times, but have not yet found the right recipe yet.

  • I have never made my own stocks. It seems that I use them in everything, and would really like to try my hand at making my own. I’d also like to try making pumpkin butter this fall.

  • The spot on my book shelve is just the right size for this book! lol I have been working on organizing my canning shelves to make sure I am “putting by” enough for the winter. I have been needing more recipes!! 🙂

  • I’m wanting to make real pickles in a crock. And, fruit leathers. And, pressure canning. And, too many things to list! I guess I’m a little obsessed with preserving food!

  • Right now I’m gearing up to start canning peaches and tomatoes (yes, I’m so late this year). I was intrigued by your tomato butter post and want to try that along with my usual basic tomato run this time! The book posted here seems really inventive and fresh, can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!!!!

  • Latest: I’ve been wanting to learn how to make kefir. My sister-in-law just gave me two “grains” and so I’m trying to figure out what to do with them.

  • I’ve been wanting to try Char Siu – Chinese roast pork. I don’t normally like pork but I’ve had some really good char siu and want to try and recreate it at home.

  • The list gets longer every day for kitchen projects, but seeing that my father in-law’s birthday is this weekend I have a good excuse to tackle the following: Guinness Cake with Irish Cream frosting. I know, it’s a popular one, but I’ve had my eye on it forever and can’t wait to make it this weekend!

  • I would love to make blueberry jam! I know it’s probably basic, but I have no experience with canning!

  • Would love to get another batch of kimchi started but first need to wrap up crock #1 of 2011 sauerkraut.

  • Looks like a great read! In addition to all the other preserving I do, I’m looking to try making kefir, hot dogs and bacon.

  • I have been following your post always inspired , never seeming to find the time to actually do it, I mean can anything. Although, all inspired by your posts. But, I think actually now with the “smoke it” part I can encourage my husband to do that part (he loves to smoke things on his smoker) we can do it as a couple. And, if you have been married as long as we have (26 years) you find as a wife if your husband becomes interested in the things you are interested in they are much easier to get done and a lot more fun to accomplish together. And, you share in the deliciousness of your culinary accomplishment!!!!

  • I want to try making yogurt again. My last batch didn’t turn out very well. I also have 2 bushels of peaches that I need to get canned this week. We love our peaches.

  • I have been wanting to make salsa this summer–haven’t had time for it yet!
    I would love this book! Thank you for the generous giveaway!

  • I’m intrigued by cheese-making. Homemade mozzarella is supposed to be easy, but I haven’t found the time for that project yet!

  • I have a long list in the kitchen… but am looking forward to making hot sauces once the hot peppers in my garden ripen. First thing is first though… i need to turn my box of apricots into jam this afternoon.

  • I desperately want to make homemade jam of some kind for Christmas gifts this year, along with homemade vanilla. This is virgin territory for me and I have a lot of trepidation, but I just think they would be the coolest gifts!

  • I had been wanting to learn how to make jam and can it- today I made my first batch of blueberry jam with my mom!

  • The big kitchen project I want to tackle this year is decluttering/downsizing. It is a HUGE project. 🙂

  • I love to can, and have been up to my eyeballs all week with tomatoes, beans, okra and corn. I would love to win this book to learn the preserve more items.

  • My goal is to use my pressure canner more and can meals in a jar like beans and weenies, pinto beans and baked beans. I also want to do potatoes as well.

  • Chile season begins any day now!!! I will be canning and freezing chiles and will be making salsa to can as well. Still perfecting my peppered strawberry jam for the fair as well. And it’s 100+ degrees every day which can make the kitchen battle rough some days. But I persist! 🙂

  • I bought a pressure canner at an auction about a week ago and BOXES of jars. I’m anxious to try out pretty much anything with it. But on my short list right now are tomato sauce and barbeque sauce.

  • I have been reading your blog for a little while now, mainly through Facebook. It is getting me ever closer to actually canning something for the first time. I know that once I do it I will be hooked and will can everything in sight but alas, the task has been daunting having never done it before. That being said, I have a huge amount of boysenberries, basil and cashews waiting for me to do boysenberry jam and basil, cashew pesto. It’s like being poised on the edge of a huge cliff, once I jump off there is no turning back….

  • I’m finally tackling canning, Tonight! I have a rhubarb strawberry jam to try out and plenty of cucumbers about to be ready from the garden for pickling this weekend. My garden and the preserving are a first me so am super excited.

  • There are so many! I am going back to work for the first time in 8 years, so my kitchen time will be less than I’ve had but I really want to make some jam and bake madelines. I missed making pickles this summer since I was getting things ready to go back to work in the classroom, so no pickles for us over the winter. :o(

  • I need to tackle going through all the cupboards in my kitchen and downsizing / organizing all of the contents. I also want to try my hand at canning….

  • Next up on my preserving list: mustards. We usually have a half dozen jars of various sorts in our fridge, but I’ve yet to make my own. As my husband’s on a low-sodium diet, I’m hunting for salt-free recipes.

  • Maybe not “technically” a kitchen project, but what Im hoping to tackle next is making a cover for my kitchenaid in a really cute fabric I bought specifically for this project! (hey my kitchenaid is IN my kitchen!!)

  • I am going to build a really cute book rack, out of a pallet, for all of my cookbooks to rest on an be displayed. I can’t wait, I have the perfect spot on the wall just waiting for it.

  • I want to try to make some homemade wine. I realize it’s highly possible it could be TERRIBLE, however, I want to try. My partner’s dad has an abundant grape vine, and I think I can get him to donate some to my cause, heh.

  • My biggest kitchen project that may never get done: tiling the back splash. Otherwise, I would like to try making yogurt. I know it’s easy, but I haven’t been forced to do so since finding really good local yogurt. I’m so intrigued by the homemade cereal recipes in this book.

  • This books looks like it covers everything and them some. Which would be good for me since I am a newbie to canning! 🙂

  • I want to preserve whole figs this year, unfortunately it is so dreadfully hot in the valley right now I’ve been eating them right off the tree. Also I plan to make loufa soaps from home grown gourds and pomegranate jelly in the fall.

  • The kitchen project I want to complete this year is THE KITCHEN. This has been the bane of my existence since we moved into this ramshackle traditional (i.e. no central heating/cooling, not plumbed for gas, ancient electric service) farmhouse three years ago.

    Right now, we’re in the throes of reinforcing the load bearing wall. This is after we knocked out most of the wall, tore up some abysmal flooring (things did not improve with its removal), and re-routing the water pipes (which were run OUTSIDE the walls).

    I can’t find a lot of things right now. Today’s search was for my Ball Blue Book circa 1991. That’s the one I prefer, and it’s here…. somewhere….

  • I think I am addicted to canning…every time I see a recipe I have to try it. My newly renovated pantry is already pretty full for a family of 4; and it isn’t even time for tomatoes (sauce, salsa and crushed for chili) or apples. I am super excited that I now have the pantry. I look forward to continuing to experiment with many more recipes, especially with pumpkin and butternut squash.

  • My biggest kitchen project right now is cleaning out the cabinets. Been way too long! Not near as fun as canning!

  • I would like to start making my own homemade yogurt and sour kraut. I don’t have enough space for large crocks of sour kraut though. I started small with a quart jar and just used up a bunch of my kale from the garden.

  • I have a really good bottle of balsamic vinegar that my goal is to use it up by the end of the year. I don’t use this much when cooking so this will make me try something new. It’s funny because the other thing I wanted to do was organize my spices…which I just got done doing a few minutes ago! Well, they are as organized as the are going to get. Is there a perfect system out there? The book looks marvelous. Thanks!

  • Each summer I like to try my hand at a few new recipes. This summer so far I’ve made strawberry margarita jam & baked pies in my jars. My farmer husband loves loves loves the personal pies he gets in his lunch box. A happy farmer = a happy wife!

  • I want to learn to Can Sauerkraut this year.A friend of mine grows Kraut Cabbage.So my Daughters and I want to Can up a bunch of Sauerkraut for the whole Family.It looks like fun.And a little bit scientific. lol

  • I’ve been wanting to try to make my own mustard and ketchup! I know it’s simple but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Before this year I didn’t even know you could easily make your own.

  • My kitchen projects are vast, I used to make all our bread and somehow have slid on that some, I have been reading a book about artisan breads and that will be my next project 🙂

  • I need this book I’m a newbie:) and I hope to tackle starwberry jam …It’s super hard for me. Can’t get it to set?

  • The kitchen project that I need to tackle is finding, building, or reconfiguring shelves to hold the results of my canning projects, as well as other non-cupboard sundries. The ones that I have now are ugly and beginning to tilt like the tower of pisa.