The 2018 Class of Canning, Preserving, and Culinary DIY Books

December 18, 2018

It is time for my annual round-up of all the canning, pickling, preserving, and DIY books. Not all of these are traditional canning books, but all have a high enough number of jams, pickles, infusions, decoctions, and condiments that they deserve placement on the list.

Please forgive me if I missed a book! I do my best to keep track of the category, but occasionally a preserving book or two slips by me. If you feel like something was overlooked, please do let me know!

The Pesto Cookbook – This compact volume by Olwen Woodier features more than 110 recipes for pestos, pistous, infused oils, and good ways to use them. While pestos can’t be canned, they freeze beautifully. Amazon | Powell’s

Cured Meat, Smoked Fish & Pickles Eggs – The latest from Karen Solomon, this book is devoted to preserving proteins. The book covers the full spectrum of preservation possibilities, including pressure canning, curing, drying, freezing, smoking, and more. Amazon | Powell’s

The Fat Kitchen – One might not immediately think that this book belongs in this stack, but for folks who are interested in rendering, preserving, and using animal fats, this most recent book by seasoned author Andrea Chesman is a must-have. Amazon | Powell’s

Canning in the Modern Kitchen – Written by North Carolina-based chef and author Jamie Dement, this book features approachable recipes that move easily between freezing, pressure canning, and water bath processing. Amazon | Powell’s

Weck Small-Batch Preserving – Written by seasoned preserver Stephanie Thurow, this book is filled to bursting with recipes scaled for Weck jars (though they’ll also work just fine in classic mason jars). You’ll find sweet preserves, pickles, ferments, boozy infusions, and more. Amazon | Powell’s

Jam Session – This beautiful book is by chef, restaurateur, and author Joyce Goldstein. The photography lets the texture and quality of the produce be the star. The recipes are organized in a way that is usable and readable. And the recipes are appealing, varied, and run a range that includes both classics and wonderfully unique inventions. Amazon | Powell’s

Modern Pressure Canning – Written by Amelia Jeanroy, this book does a number of things well. It demystifies the process of pressure canning and makes it accessible to canners of all stripes. It offers up a full range of pressure canning possibilities. And it includes a recipe for bacon jam that can be processed. Amazon | Powell’s

The Fruit Forager’s Companion – Part memoir, part cookbook, and part journey through the edible landscape in which we live, this book by Sara Bir is a wonder. There are recipes, meditations on foraging, and tips and tricks for gathering wild growing edibles safely. If you walk through life with your eyes on the trees and shrubs, you should own this book. Amazon | Powell’s

The Noma Guide to Fermentation – This much-heralded book by Rene Redzepi and David Zilber is comprehensive guide to fermentation. Just know that if you’re looking for beautiful writing and gracious story telling, this is not the book for you. Amazon | Powell’s 

Southern from Scratch – Ashley English’s most personal book to date, it synthesizing her own food experiences with the Southern kitchen know-how taught to her by her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. There are lots of preserves, condiments, and recipes to help you make the most of them. Amazon | Powell’s 

Forage, Harvest, Feast – Written by seasoned forager Marie Viljoen, this lovely book is organized by ingredient, offering a comprehensive look at finding and cooking wild foods. Because foraged items are intensely seasonal, there are plenty of options here to help you preserve and extend their utility. Amazon | Powell’s 

Fermentation Revolution – This nicely-designed book by Sebastien Bureau and David Cote rounds up the greatest hits of fermentation. It’s a good book for beginners and those who want a survey course in fermentation.  Amazon | Powell’s 

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