Giveaway: Foolproof Preserving from America’s Test Kitchen

May 4, 2016

Foolproof Preserving cover - Food in Jars

Over the years, America’s Test Kitchen has become known and respected for their tireless pursuit of the very best recipes and techniques for home cooks. In their newest cookbook, Foolproof Preserving: A Guide to Small Batch Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Condiments, and More, they’ve turned their attention to the art of putting up.

Foolproof Preserving peach jam - Food in Jars

Like the other America’s Test Kitchen books that have come before, this volume is thoughtfully constructed, clearly written, beautifully photographed, and features a number of recipes that will have both new canners and seasoned preservers leaping up to gather produce and pull out their cookware.

Foolproof Preserving pickled red onions - Food in Jars

The introduction to this book is particularly useful, because it answers so many of the questions that people typically have about canning. They clearly go into the issues around acid content, achieving set, adjusting for altitude, and, in the case of fermentation, the relationship between salt and temperature.

Foolproof Preserving figs - Food in Jars

As I see it, there exists a fairly large flaw with this book. To my imperfect count, of the 111 recipes included, 42 of them cannot be processed and made shelf stable. To be fair, there are 16 recipes for quick and fermented pickles, which are things that never go into a boiling water bath in the first place. But that still leaves us with a goodly number of recipes that will require space in the freezer or fridge.

I can see why the authors made the choices they did. They were developing recipes where the topmost priority was flavor, texture, and freshness. Those are all noble and worthy goals. However, as someone who preserves primarily to create good-tasting food that can live on the shelf until needed, I find myself frustrated to be confronted with a tomato jam recipe that can’t be processed (particularly since a small amount of citric acid would make it safe for the canner and would have very little impact on the finished flavor).

Foolproof Preserving back - Food in Jars

Reading the introduction, I have a sense of why this book came to be as it is. The authors confess from the start that they approached this project as canning novices and that the testing was a process of discovery for them. I can see how that shaped the book I hold in my hands, because they were not driven by the primary goal of having shelf stable preserves to last the year. However, it doesn’t stop me from wishing they’d better addressed the fact from the start that 38% of the book focuses on short-term, rather than long-term, preserving.

Foolproof Preserving giveaway pack - Food in Jars

With all of that off my chest, let me say that again that this is a beautiful, well-designed, useful book. If long-term shelf stability isn’t your primary goal, you will find much to love here. I plan on exploring this book throughout the summer and fall, just taking care not to fall in love with too many recipes that demand space from in my limited fridge and freezer.

Thanks to the kind folks at America’s Test Kitchen, I have one copy of this beautiful book to give away, along with a jar lifter and stainless steel wide mouth funnel. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post. Tell me about something you’ve preserved lately, or a preserve you opened and enjoyed in recent days.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Sunday, May 8, 2016. A winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Monday, May 9, 2016.
  3. Giveaway open to United States only (so sorry!). Void where prohibited.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: America’s Test Kitchen sent me the copy of the paperback you see here, along with a box of jars, two wide mouth funnels, and a jar lifter. I’ve included the jar lifter and one of the wide mouth funnels in the giveaway, they’re also providing the second copy of the book. All this has been done at no cost to me. No additional compensation has been provided. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

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328 thoughts on "Giveaway: Foolproof Preserving from America’s Test Kitchen"

  • I guess I’m novice to preserving, but love to read anything I can get my hands on!

  • Gearing up already for this year’s canning season–hoping to have enough strawberries from my own patch to make jam with. Always like to read preserving books–found a copy of a canning book from 1963–would never use the techniques or recipes now (zinc lids and the old jars with rubber rings and glass tops with the bail still were in use) but it makes for fascinating reading.

  • Just made a half-batch of the meyer lemon lavender jam you posted a recipe for a little while back. It’s amazing!

  • I’m finishing up last summer’s peach preserves. Tomatoes & cucumbers are ready in my garden now (I live in Texas), so I’ll be preserving these in the weeks to come.

  • I opened a lovely jar of tomatillo salsa I preserved last fall. It was great for Cinco de mayo!

  • I opened (and finished) my last jar of Strawberry Syrup this week, but it was perfect for the waffles I made and strawberries are onlh a month away 🙂

  • Just cracked open a jar of mulberry jam, the first jam I’ve ever made that set beautifully!!
    Strawberries soon…. Can’t wait!

  • Just used the last jar of blackberry jam from last year. A friend gifted me some great wild blackberries. It’s strawberry season here in Tennessee. I can’t wait to try your strawberry vanilla jam recipe.

  • I haven’t started yet on this year’s preserving, but I did open up a jar of strawberry rhubarb jam that was amazing baked into a simple cake. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  • I recently enjoyed some of my home canned peppers, blended into store-bought barbecue sauce for better flavor. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • I opened a jar of canned peaches for a torte I made for Mother’s Day dessert. Fresh peach flavor, wonderful!

  • I have been making the Apple sauce recipe on your site, due to needing to eat sift foods for the last few weeks. It’s been the highlight of my lunch!
    Sad to hear 100% of the recipes aren’t for shelf stable storage, I love ATK and put much faith into their process.

  • We are into our last jar of applesauce at the moment. It’s a staple with a toddler at the table. Am interested to check out test kitchen’s book. Thanks for your review, good to know about the recipes.

  • We opened the last of my green chili sauce. Glad I have some chili seedlings going for more this year.

  • The last thing we put up was your lemon concentrate, cause what else are you gonna do with all that lemon juice after making limoncello?