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Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving (Second Revised Edition) Paperback – May 13, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This practical, easy-to-follow-guide—newly revised and updated—offers food shoppers an attractive, high-quality alternative to high-priced, overprocessed, and undernourishing foods. Virtually everything you need to know about home canning is here: how to select, prepare, and can fruits, vegetables, poultry, red meats, and seafoods; how to preserve fruit spreads, fermented foods, and pickled vegetables; how to test jar seals, identify and handle spoiled canned foods, prepare foods for special diets, and much more.
Also included are scores of simply written recipes that enable even beginners to prepare such taste-tempting dishes as smoked fish, turkey-tamale pie, chicken croquettes, Mexican tomato sauce, strawberry-rhubarb pie, chile con carne, apple butter, pickled sweet green tomatoes, and a peach-pineapple spread.
Easy-to-follow directions make canning simple even for those who have never tried it. Nothing is assumed! Every step, every detail is carefully explained and has been thoroughly tested by government experts.
Unabridged Dover (1999) republication of Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, Complete Guide to Home Canning, published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1994.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Second Edition, Revised edition (May 13, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486409317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486409313
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

221 of 226 people found the following review helpful By Ofu L. on January 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
A few years ago I came across the first edition of USDA's "Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving" in a second-hand bookshop. At the time I had zero experience with canning or preserving -- both of which seemed, to me, to be akin to alchemy. The USDA's guide contained all the information I need to get started, and answered many of my questions about the process, the 'science' and my options (such as added pectin vs. no added pectin in jams) I recently acquired this edition of the USDA's guide. It has all the strengths of the first guide, with a few changes to better suit most modern kitchens. Most notably is the listing of measurements using cups and spoons; as opposed to the weight measurements used in the first book. The USDA's guide also provides objective, practical information about selecting jars, canners, storage, ingredients etc. I now have a few books with fancy, tasty canning recipes, but I always use the USDA's Guide as reference . . .especially when purchasing equipment or creating my own recipes.
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167 of 172 people found the following review helpful By edunn on January 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the definitive guide for County/State fair entries in my area (Idaho) but frankly, the receipes in the Ball Blue Book (also available from Amazon.com) are much more palatable. If you're canning to win at the fair, use this book. If you're canning to EAT, use the Ball Blue Book! However, the canning TIMES should be followed in this guide for safety (they are usually the same as in the BBB). If Amazon doesn't have either of these titles, check with your county/state extension service. They will probably carry them.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Ofu L. on January 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
A few years ago I came across the first edition of USDA's "Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving" in a second-hand bookshop. At the time I had zero experience with canning or preserving -- both of which seemed, to me, to be akin to alchemy. The USDA's guide contained all the information I need to get started, and answered many of my questions about the process, the 'science' and my options (such as added pectin vs. no added pectin in jams).
I recently acquired this edition of the USDA's guide. It has all the strengths of the first guide, with a few changes to better suit most modern kitchens. Most notably is the listing of measurements using cups and spoons; as opposed to the weight measurements used in the first book. The USDA's guide also provides objective, practical information about selecting jars, canners, storage, ingredients etc. I now have a few books with fancy, tasty canning recipes, but I always use the USDA's Guide as reference . . .especially when purchasing equipment or creating my own recipes.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
Simply type USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning in any search engine and you will be taken to several pages offering .pdf vesions of the 1st edition. I can't imagine too many things are different. It even has cups and tsp/tbs measurements to make one quart jar at a time. Worth checking out before you spend money on the book.
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63 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Neil Simolke on December 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
There are numerous books and literature that provide more information in a more in-depth format available to the home canner. Virtually all of the most recent processing time information (ie not 3-4 years old) can be found at your local county extension. Skip this book and spend your $ on the Ball Blue Book or Putting Food By (but make sure to use the most recent processing times).
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Diana Duran on October 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am thoroughly impressed with the layout, "how-to" canning guide and all the additional information provided to both the beginner and learned home canner. A real necessity to your kitchen and 'natural' food preparation process.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Gutierrez on September 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
I received a copy (make that two copies) as a gift, since my family knows how much I put up canned veggies and pickles. While the directions are simple and concise, the organization of this book is the exact opposite. The book is little more than a collection of guides published by the USDA with an index in the back. The small print did not help in the throes of a bushel's worth of veggies either. The lack of more complex recipes was disappointing. All in all, I'd rather have a copy of the Ball Blue Book than this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tamara T. Pitts on September 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book along with the Ball Big Book of Home Preserving. If you want to pressure can, this book is much better than the Ball book, which deals mostly with processing food in a boiling water bath. I do agree with those who have said that the format is a bit confusing, but this is a government publication, so what would you expect.

The main problem I have with both of these publications is that the yield for the recipes is so far off it was ridiculous. I did the meatless spaghetti sauce from this publication - I can't believe that 30 pounds of tomatoes only yields 5 pints of sauce. I think the book said 9. Learn from my mistake and save yourself lots and lots of time - can your tomatoes whole and then use them later on down the line to make your own sauce. That way you won't feel like you've wasted your whole day.
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Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving (Second Revised Edition)
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