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Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  6,822 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving contains over 400 delicious and creative recipes. Home canning puts the pleasures of eating natural, delicious produce at your fingertips year round. Preserving food is as modern and practical as the latest food trend, and its really quite simple. Easy-to-understand detailed instructions provide all the information you need before you ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published April 14th 2006 by Robert Rose
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Sameera77 Most of the book is about home canning, there is also a big chapter (with many subchapters with a variety of recipes) about pressure canning. As far…moreMost of the book is about home canning, there is also a big chapter (with many subchapters with a variety of recipes) about pressure canning. As far as other methods of preservation are concerned, the book deals only with freezing and refrigeration. There is a subchapter about freezer jams (most are no-cook freeze spreads) with 11 recipes and 4 additional variations. The chapter about pickles includes refrigerator pickles (require e.g. refrigerating for at least 2 weeks before eating and need to be used within 3 months) with 5 recipes. There is no information about preservation by salting or any other method apart from those I've mentioned.(less)

Community Reviews

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Aug 20, 2008 Susie rated it really liked it
This weekend a group of friends and I tried canning together and used a salsa recipe from this book. We had a crapload of stuff and altogether it was really successful. This book definitely has more recipes I'd like to try.

My one complaint is that it sometimes skips past more common recipes and leans toward unexpected ones. I'm sure I'll appreciate that eventually but for now I'm a beginner and would like to learn some basics.
Ellen Bell
Sep 27, 2013 Ellen Bell rated it it was amazing
I checked this book out through the library, but it's one that I definitely need to own a copy of. This book is a lot like Ball's classic Blue Book, but with a LOT more information and additional recipes. It also features a one or two sentence blurb with each recipe, indicating how you might use it (which can be helpful for some of the more obscure chutneys, relishes, etc). The book also contains some helpful reference sections at the end, including a produce buying guide (to help you figure out ...more
Jun 07, 2009 Elisa rated it it was amazing
This book has it all. Every recipe you might possibly desire from ketchup to chutney to relish to jam, including freezer, sugar, and pectin options. Lots of recipes and pictures and thorough explanations.

What I liked: versatility. plus the recipes sound delicious. If I own a book for canning, this will be the one I purchase. I might check out another from the library for one or two exotic recipes to try, but this will be the staple for canning. I can't wait to try the salsa, pickles, ketchup, e
Aug 12, 2014 Melanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
This book is amazing. I check it out from the library every fall and I am amazed at the variety of recipes. As an educated canner, I try to stick to name-brand, tested recipes and products because I'm afraid of producing unsafe food. This book inspires me to try new concoctions. I will probably end up just purchasing the book at some point.
Feb 22, 2008 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommended
It's marmalade season, and I have a bag of grapefruit from home in my kitchen. This book has replaced the Ball Blue Book of Preserving as my standard reference. Can't wait to try some of the red wine and herb jellies.
Dec 28, 2011 Danette rated it it was amazing
Shelves: how-to
Every step is spelled out and easy to follow. They explain the 'why' in why it is done this way or that. And so far any recipe I have tried has been great. Grape Jelly, spicy salsa, applesauce, and tomatoes. But, I can't wait to try some of the others!
Karen Hood
Jul 12, 2014 Karen Hood rated it it was amazing
I have tried many of these recipes and they are were all excellent. This is a standard classic and great reference book for home preservers. Karen Jean Matsko Hood
Jan 14, 2010 AJ rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2010, own, cookbook
4.5 stars

This book really makes me pine for summer. The first few chapters are all about jams, preserves and fruit spreads. I love nothing more than a good jam on my morning biscuits. Hopefully I will have plenty of opportunity to try them out come summer when fresh fruit is in season. The only thing is that the recipes mostly all call for pectin, and I would like to try the slow boil method to get more flavor from the fruit. At the very least I think the recipes make for good guidelines, how mu
Jul 24, 2016 PoligirlReads rated it really liked it
This is a really useful guide. If you're new to canning, I'd recommend the Ball Blue Book to begin with, as it's more beginner-friendly. Then head immediately over to this book. I knocked a star off due to the layout. I think it's more useful to have the "art and science" part of canning at the beginning, not banished all the way back to page 409. It's probably better to get a refresher on how to can safely before getting all starry-eyed over the recipes.

There's a nice selection of canning reci
Nov 09, 2012 Sameera77 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking
I love this book! It offers a great many delicious recipes that you simply desire to try making them yourself. The recipes are written and presented in a very clear way with many useful tips on the left margin, exact amounts of particular ingredients and easy to follow preparation stages. There's an amazing variety and quantity of recipes: jams, jellies, butters, chutneys, salsas,relishes etc making use of varied fruit and vegetables. Sweet apple cider butter is on my list of most wanted preserv ...more
Michelle Denna
Aug 03, 2011 Michelle Denna rated it liked it
Although this wasn't as in depth in terms of pressure canning as I had hoped, it was very thorough in reviewing water bath canning (absolutely nothing on steam canners, but I think they just don't recommend them compared to a water bath).

It contains 400 recipes, most of which are things I would never make, but I did walk away with a handful of things I am really wanting to try. All in all, it is a good book to have on the shelves for novice or experienced canners. It answers a lot of questions,
Oct 16, 2016 LitaVore rated it really liked it
Whether you’re a beginner, pro or just interested in home canning then you need this book!

Ball has a reason for such a good reputation and their recipes are a huge part of it. This book will take you step by step through the actual canning and preserving processes as well as the recipes themselves. There’s a wonderful mix of classics as well as new tastes included here, especially in the jam and jelly sections. While it’s not the hipster avant garde trendy style ( no acai wheatgrass smoothie bas
Shari Henry
Jun 01, 2013 Shari Henry rated it it was amazing
If you're looking for good, old-fashioned, tried-and-true canning recipes, you'll find plenty between this book's covers - jams, jellies, tomatoes, salsa, pickles, veggies, and so much more. Most of the recipes call for water bath canning though there is a section devoted to those items that require pressure canning. A nice chapter on fermentation piqued my interest as well. You'll also get plenty of how-to's, tips, and problem solvers that will help boost your confidence. Consider this the Bett ...more
Jul 04, 2009 Princess rated it liked it
This is a comprehensive book of canning recipes. I saw it at the library and thought I would try it out. I've done a small amount of canning/preserving in the past few years. This book is large and has too many recipes that I just don't see myself ever actually preparing. I prefer basic recipes and instructions and this is a bit too "exotic" for me. For more adventurous souls, however, it would be a great fit. And who knows, maybe down the line, with a bit more experience under my belt, I might ...more
Sep 20, 2011 Anne rated it really liked it
I purchased this book a few years ago fulling intending to start canning by the end of that summer. Over the next several years I procrastinated about canning. Until this year! This book helped me get started by laying out the basics for me. Over the past several weeks I have canned Stewed Tomatoes, Salsa, Spaghetti Sauce & Beans. All the veggies came from a garden I am co-oping with a good friend. We also sell extra veggies on a table in front of her home. This income has paid for our canni ...more
Jun 28, 2013 Jenni rated it liked it
This is the gold standard in preserving “how-to” covering all manner of foods from jams to pickles, to meats, and it provides explicit details on both the water bath and pressure cooker methods. A bit pedestrian in nature (you won’t find any rose petal jam or honey thyme rhubarb here), this cookbook nevertheless is an indispensable asset in home canning. And I’ll admit that sometimes even I just want plain old-fashioned ordinary jam instead of something highbrow and fru-fru.
May 31, 2012 Jenn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
If you only own one book about canning and home preserving, this should be it. A complete overview of canning basics plus tons of great recipes that are tested and safe to use. This book is my go-to book and I use it all summer long while trying to determine how I will preserve the season's bounty.
Sep 05, 2010 Saille rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
One of the better books out there. Chalked full of recipes and variety. Includes a nice final chapter on the science of food preservation. Appendix includes a very useful list of fruit/veggies and the raw amounts (weight, numbers) to purchase in order to prep for processing (by the cup, generally). Troubleshooting guides embedded throughout.
May 12, 2009 Christi rated it really liked it
canned for the first time two days ago using a boiling water canner. made strawberry rhubarb jam from the garden. tasted the leftovers that didn't fit in the jars on toast. YUM. I'm excited to try the other recipes.

i haven't read all the recipes all the way through, but i have read the basic canning instructions twice.
Jul 20, 2014 Michael rated it it was amazing
So easy to use and understand. At first I wanted pictures to look at to see if I was doing it correctly, but realized I did not need them. Most of the recipes I cut in half, as I did not need as much, and they all worked wonderfully. This is so much better than store-bought food, and easy to make. I have not tried the pressure cooker methods, but that is my goal for this fall.
Aug 20, 2010 jess rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010, growing, food
I mean, basically, this is the definitive book for food preserving. You could buy lots of other ones, but they are all supplementary. Just get this one. Plus the dilly carrot pickle recipe is the BOMB if you add a few birdseye chilis.

this book will help you not poison your family with botulism.
Aug 19, 2011 Katherine rated it it was amazing
I looked through this book when I got it, and it is a perfect book for those who are just starting out in home preserving, and for those who have done so for years. It is simple to read, has easy as well as more complicated recipes and they look really scrumptious! There are a few recipes with wine, but that is usual for a cookbook. Almost all of them don't contain wine.
Aug 21, 2011 Kathryn rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
I've always used the Ball Blue Book: Guide to Home Canning, Freezing & Dehydration. This newer version is much more comprehensive with beautiful pictures and so many more recipes.
Sandra Greenman
Sep 04, 2012 Sandra Greenman rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking
This book is written simple enough for the new person and offers plenty of recipes and variations for the more experienced cook. I am looking forward to trying out some of the many recipes in this book. The section on what is needed for each canning project helped me to get started. I followed the steps as outlined in the book and completed my first canning project with success.

Erik Mallinson
Feb 26, 2009 Erik Mallinson rated it liked it
Shelves: food-and-drink
Looks to be a great reference manual for canning. I’m a little bummed that they mention how dire it is to make your own recipes and to stick to these. I haven’t tried them (as I do not own a canner yet) but ingredient–wise I would prefer my recipes for sauce to theirs. The book is adamant that it is fatal to deviate.
Robbie Bashore
I think I've only used this book once. It was helpful for knowing what kinds of tools to use and techniques that are different from some of the other resources like the ball jar insert and the Sure-Gel insert. I'm hoping to have more opportunities to make use of it.
This book of canning recipes has some real keepers, but it loses points for the excess of sugar in nearly all recipes, especially without adequate discussion of the safety or consequences of reducing the sugar content.
Feb 14, 2011 Erin marked it as to-read
Recommended to Erin by: Library
Though I haven't gone through this book page by page, I did discover that it had so much information that I had to purchase it. Over 400 recipes, conversion tables, and helpful hints make this book a must have for anyone who is interested in canning and preserving.
Jul 05, 2011 Margaret rated it really liked it
I have already prepared four recipies from this book and can't wait until next weekend to prepare several more. I will begin with red onion marmalade and thumb through the pages and pick something new. These are flavors you can't find in a bottle at the market.
Jun 19, 2010 Andrea rated it really liked it
Tried and true recipes that are hard to really screw up. Fantastic beginner book and all around great resource for canning 101. I would have liked more pictures and maybe a flashier format, but i read a lot : )
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