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Discover the skills of mastering home canning effortlessly with these highly-rated canning books for beginners. These canning resource cookbooks offer comprehensive step-by-step guides, expert tips, and delicious recipes to enable you to save money while filling your pantry with easy-to-prepare meals. Let this year be the year to embark on your culinary journey of homemade preservation! 

pictures of canned jars and cookbooks

​This is a collection of the best canning books to help you learn the easy way to home can your own food.

What Is Home Canning? 

Did you know that you can preserve and store food in glass jars or cans through the process of home canning? By using heat to create a vacuum seal, canning helps extend the shelf life of perishable foods, like fruits, vegetables, meats, and soups, by eliminating bacteria, yeasts, and molds that cause spoilage. If done correctly, canned foods can be safely stored for up to two years or longer, depending on the type of food and canning method used.

After you browse through this beginner’s guide for how-to canning books be sure to look through my Canning Guides and Canning Recipes. Canning Salsa Without A Pressure CookerCowboy Candy,  and Canning Mustard are all great beginner’s recipes to make. 

Great Reason To Learn How To Can

There are so many blessings when learning how to properly can your own food. For me, the reasons have evolved and changed. As a newlywed, it was all about saving money but 40-plus years later, it is now about having a stock pile produce, fruits, and meat in my pantry for busy days.

  • Quality: Having food that is preservative and chemical free
  • Cost Savings: you to take advantage of sales, bulk purchases, or homegrown produce.
  • Preparedness: We have all learned a hard lesson from Covid, we can always run to the store and get what we want. It was very helpful to be able to open my pantry and have enough food for 6 to 10 months if need be. Of course, we might have to eat a lot of green beans for each meal, but that’s ok. Note to self, be more diversified in my canning recipes. 
  • Tradition:  I spent countless hours by my grandma’s side helping her “put up the garden” We sliced, washed, soaked, and packed every summer and fall to fill her basement shelves with some of my favorite foods. Canning as a family created some of my fondest memories from my childhood. 

Why It Is Important to Learn Proper Safe Canning Techniques  

Learning proper canning techniques is crucial for ensuring the safety of eating preserved foods. If canning is done incorrectly, it can lead to bacterial growth, foodborne illnesses, and spoilage. To avoid these risks, it is essential to follow tested recipes, use appropriate canning methods (such as water bath or pressure canning), and adhere to recommended processing times, temperatures, and sterilization procedures to prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms.

Can I use my grandma’s canning recipes?

Using your grandma’s canning recipes can be a wonderful way to preserve family traditions and enjoy the flavors that have been passed down through generations. However, it’s important to exercise caution when using old canning recipes, as safety standards and guidelines have evolved over the years. Always check with the National Center for Home Food Preservation to be sure a recipe follows their safe practices guidelines. 

What is the best way to start learning to can?

I am going to break this section up into two techniques for canning. If you have never home-canned, I suggest starting with water bath canning cookbooks. Here is why:

  • Easier To Learn: Canning using a water bath is a relatively uncomplicated approach in comparison to pressure canning. Essentially, it entails immersing jars containing high-acid foods, like most fruits, perfect pickles, and jams, into a sizeable pot of boiling water. This straightforward technique is ideal for novices since it is easy to comprehend and execute accurately.
  • Lower Start-Up Cost: Water bath canning does not require a pressure canner, which can be a more expensive investment. As a beginner, starting with water bath canning allows you to learn the basics without the need for additional equipment costs.
  • Gradual Learning Process: Learning the basics of water bath canning can be a great way for beginners to gain confidence and gradually expand their canning skills and knowledge. It can also serve as a stepping stone towards more advanced canning methods, such as pressure canning.

​How To Pick The Best Canning Books

There are a few tips that first-time canners need to keep in mind when purchasing home-canning cookbooks. I have over a dozen canning cookbooks that are all great resources for canning. I like that I can make notes in a hard copy of a cookbook, especially when I am making such large batches of a recipe.

  • Be sure that you buy the most recent edition of a canning cookbook. 
  • Read reviews before you purchase a canning book. Check if other readers find the recipes easy to follow. Clear instructions are very important for the science of home canning. 
  • It will be easier to learn how to can if a book has a step-by-step style to preserve fresh food. 
  • Be sure the author is credible. Anyone can write a cookbook and sell it these days. However, learning food preservation skills is not just about the best recipes. It’s about the science and safety of the canning process. 

Best Water Bath Canning Books For Beginners

Water Bath Canning & Preserving Bible: The Simplified Beginner’s Guide to Having a Full Pantry All Year Round

 The author shares that this is a practical guide to the secrets that her family has been passing down for no less than two generations, and now they can be yours too. I put this cookbook at the top because it has a bonus for YouTube canning videos.

Reasons To Buy This Book

  • The cookbook has a step-by-step method for safe storage without fearing bacterial growth.
  • Easy-to-follow recipes, divided into 5 categories with valuable tips, suggestions, and directions.
  • BONUS: User-friendly YouTube videos with practical examples of Water Bath Canning.

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The Beginners Water Bath Canning Recipe Book; Part 1: Easy Homemade, To-The-Point Recipes for Canning and Preserving Pickles, Salsa, Jams, Jellies, Butters and More

This book focuses on self-sufficiency, preserving our harvest. It equips the reader with the necessary knowledge and tools to excel using a water bath canner. It is also an excellent resource for simple recipes for pie filling.

Good Reasons To Buy This Book

  • Detailed equipment needs
  • There are pie-filling recipes for water bath canning! 
  • There is a 30-page blank recipe journal for your own note, ideas, and recipes. 

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The Water Bath Canning & Preserving Bible: 2000 Days of Tested & Delicious Water Bath Canning Recipes to Stock Your Pantry for The Next 7 Years (2023)

Disclaimer, I have not read this new book yet. However, it is the top-selling book on Amazon for water bath canning, and it was just published in April 2023! If you have a copy, I would really enjoy having you leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

Good Reasons To Buy This Book

  • Teaches you must-know rules to be followed to make safe water bath canning
  • Step-by-step techniques for implementing pickling and fermenting 
  • It has a section that teaches you tests you can perform to make sure your canned goods are still fresh and consumable

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WATER BATH CANNING & PRESERVING COOKBOOK FOR BEGINNERS: A Complete Guide to Water Bathing, Pressure Canning, Fermenting, Dehydrating, Freezing, Salting Harvesting, and Smoking

If you are a beginner canner, this is a great cookbook that explains the science of home canning. The book covers in detail processing time, equipment to buy for best results, along with flavorful canning recipes that you will want to make again and again. 

Good Reasons To Buy This Book 

  • How to calculate the Ph and the right storage temperature of any dish
  • How to adapt food storage to the altitude you are at
  • How to recognize the best canning supplies while spending very little budget

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Beginners Pressure Canning Hot-To Cookbooks

Pressure Canning for Beginners and Beyond: Safe, Easy Recipes for Preserving Tomatoes, Vegetables, Beans and Meat

Start with Pressure Canning 101, where Angi shares all of her best tips and tricks from 25+ years of experience. You’ll learn the ins and outs of your canner, as well as how to avoid botulism to ensure that your canned goods are safe to eat. Angi then shares in-depth guides and tons of creative, safe recipes for the most popular foods for canning―tomatoes, veggies, legumes (including beans), meats, and soups. Everything you need to know is presented in Angi’s ultra-practical, easy-to-follow style.

Good Reasons To Buy This Book

  • The author has an easy-to-follow style of teaching.
  • You will learn how to create your very own self-sufficient pantry
  • This cookbook focuses on the most popular foods for canning.

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Pressure Canning Cookbook for Beginners: 1200 Days of Easy Homemade Recipes to Keep Your Pantry Always Stocked. Meat, Fish, Beans, Soups, Vegetables, and Fruits Ready to Taste All Year Round

This field-tested book will take you by the hand and lead you through every single step of the Pressure Canning method. Inside, you will also find 1200 days of affordable and easy-to-prepare recipes to have your pantry stocked for over 3 years. 

Good Reasons To Buy This Book

  • There are 50 recipes that are good for gift giving
  • Detailed Guides
  • How to avoid common beginner mistakes section

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Canning Meat Cookbook for Beginners: Stock your Pantry for 1500 Days with Easy Quick & Safe Recipes

This book is a detailed canning guide with a lot of tips and tricks to safely can and preserve meat. This cookbook is becoming one of my favorite canning books. It’s the essential guide to saving money because it makes it possible to buy large amounts of meat on sale and then preserve it for up to a year without the use of a freezer. 

Good Reasons To Buy This Book

  • Canning meat is a big grocery budget saver.
  • If you want to learn how to can wild game meat or the meat you found on sale at your local grocery, then this is a great book for you. 

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Beginners Water Bath and Pressure Canning Combination Cookbooks

Water Bath + Pressure Canning and Preserving Cookbook for Beginners: Discover Ancestral and Prepper Secrets to Achieve Self-Sufficiency

This book caught my attention because it has a mobile app, a video course, and bonus recipes, including scanning a QR code for more information. 

Good Reasons To Buy This Book

  • Focus on safety tips for worry-free canning 
  • Hot Water Bath and Pressure can step-by-step instructions
  • Guide for canning techniques and the necessary (budget-friendly) equipment you will need to buy

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Water Bath Canning And Preserving: A Step-By-Step Guide for Beginners On How To Can Fruits, Meats, Vegetables, Jams with Safe Usda Methods

This book covers all the basics of home canning with over 1001 recipes for you to choose from. 

Good Reasons To Buy This Book

  • There are some unique Italian recipes like Pinuccia Olives, Funghi Porcini in oil, Cozze alla Marinara, and much more.
  • This book covers water bath, fermenting, marinades, dehydrating, and pressure canning. 

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WATER BATH CANNING AND PRESERVING COOKBOOK FOR BEGINNERS: Learn The Secrets Of Water Bath Canning, Pressure Canning And Pickling

Preserving is one of the most cost-effective ways for saving money, and in this book, you’ll learn everything you need to know about water bath canning and pressure canning, along with pickling, which are the top 3 preserving methods available.

Good Reasons To Buy This Book

  • This is a complete guide that will make you able to preserve your foods with water bath canning.
  •  The book covers essential safety tips.

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Favorite Ball Books For Canning

Ball is the gold standard in the canning world for generations. You can confidently purchase any canning book they have published.

Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving

If I had to pick one cookbook that taught me the most about safe canning practices, a Ball Canning Guide to Preserving would be on the top of my list. The recipes are simple step-by-step and turn out perfect every time.

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Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

The hugely bestselling Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving has been broadly updated to reflect changes over the last 15 years with new recipes and larger sections on low sugar and fermentation Ball Home Canning Products are the gold standard in home preserving supplies, the trademark jars on display in stores every summer from coast to coast This companion to their products is this bible of home preserving from the experts on the practice which has sold more than a million copies The book includes 400 innovative recipes for salsas, savory sauces, pickles, chutneys, relishes and of course, jams, jellies, and fruit spreads The book includes comprehensive directions on safe canning and preserving methods plus lists of required equipment and utensils Specific instructions for first-timers and handy tips for the experienced make this book a valuable addition to any kitchen library.

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The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes

This New Ball Book Of Canning is a great addition to being an advanced home canners collection of canning books. From the experts at Jarden Home Brands, makers of Ball canning products, comes the first truly comprehensive canning guide created for today’s home cooks. This modern handbook boasts more than 350 of the best recipes ranging from jams and jellies to jerkies, pickles, salsas, and more-including extender recipes to create brand new dishes using your freshly preserved farmer’s market finds or vegetable garden bounty.

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