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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Preserving Food (Idiot's Guides) Paperback – July 7, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Karen K. Brees, Ph.D., has been preserving food for nearly 40 years. During that time, she has won numerous ribbons at county fairs for her canned fruits, vegetables, preserves, pickles, and dried foods. She has a Ph.D. in Adult Education from the University of Idaho and is a Food Safety Advisor/Master Food Preserver for the University of Idaho Extension Service.
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Product Details

  • Series: Idiot's Guides
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: ALPHA; Original edition (July 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592579167
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592579167
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #800,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Karen K Brees has been writing almost as long as she's been reading - and that's a very long time. The Esposito Caper is her second novel (MuseItUp Publishing October 2013). As KK Brees, she's the author of Headwind: The Intrepid Adventures of OSS Agent Katrin Nissen. She's also the author and co-author of six published nonfiction titles in the health and general interest field. In her personal life, she gardens, quilts, sews, knits, raises Boer goats, and enjoys cruising with her husband, John, on their 42' Krogen trawler and touring on their Harley Davidson. She lives on a ranch in the west central mountains of Idaho.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
With the exponential growth of home and community gardens, farmer's markets, and the trend to eat locally and save money, this book could not have arrived at a better time. Reading Karen Brees' step by step instructions is like having your mother, grandmother, or aunt looking over your shoulder and guiding you to make the perfect pickls, jams, tomato sauce, or jerky. She even includes her email address in case you run into a problem! Safety in regard to preparation and storage is emphasized throughout the book. You can rest assured knowing where your food came from and how it was safely processed, with love and attention to detail. Techniques covered include freezing, canning, pickling and fermenting, drying, salting, and root cellaring. Procedures take advantage of modern tools and equipment. Recipes are included. Karen includes plenty of pointers and trouble shooting guides to build your confidence in the kitchen. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
I absolutely love many things about my "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Preserving Food". As a I have preserved fruits, vegetables, sauces, meat, and jams for over 15 years, I found the cover picture attractive and enticing. I then liked what I saw in the Contents at a Glance section. I found the headings and subjects underneath easy to follow. The humor of the cartoons added a smile to my work. I also found many answers to some of my canning procedure questions that I had hoped that I had figured out through the years. Such as head space and water to sugar ratio. There is so much more I could cover in my review, but I will let others' have their say. This is a number one beginner and expert Preserving Food book. Buy and enjoy. Ardis Rolland Boll
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Format: Paperback
I'm sure I am not a typical person when it comes to preserving foods. In fact, let me just say right off that I am a true novice in this area. However, I have read other books by the author, Karen Brees, and know her to be an excellent writer so decided I'd see if she could make a book on Preserving Food the least bit interesting.

I began by flipping through the pages, then found myself reading a paragraph or two, then finally, got so interested in the book I couldn't put it down. ME not being able to stop reading a book on this topic? Correct! I learned so much and so fast and the author just walks you through this most helpful guide. I'm a new convert and next on my list, preserving some foods I love!

Joyce Norman
Author (Birmingham, AL)
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Format: Paperback
Covers all of the basics. A few pictures, in black/white. Discusses freezing (chapters on fruits, veggie and herbs, meat/poultry/seafood/game, dairy/eggs/bakery products & meals), canning (includes a section on fruit, veggies and meat/poultry/seafood/game which is nice, pickles, relishes & fermenting foods (the last is only discussed for 10 pages in a 50 page section), fruit spreads (jam, jellies, marmalades, fruit butters, conserves & chutneys) and the last chapter covers all of the following (drying, salting, smoking and root cellaring - about 20 pages each except for root cellaring which is only given 10 pages). It is rich with "how to" and all of the small details and tips 'n tricks that beginners need and from which those with a bit of experience can still learn a thing or two. Easy for all to understand. Scant illustrations/pictures.

As a general "cover it all" for beginners it is a good overview with lots of tips and tricks. I especially liked what to do in emergency situations and how food preservation comes into that, including flood and earthquake tips.

There are some helpful charts in the back of the book. I especially like the listing of foods and their expected shelf time and another listing of various foods and the best preservation method specifically for that food.

Only a few recipes. The few recipes that are included are very simple, basic. This book is for "how to" not a recipe book, per se. It covers how to process the individual foods rather than interesting recipes based on these foods. Perhaps that is better as a good place to start is with basic preservation before branching out to more complex recipes for the various preservation methods.

I don't care for the series title. A more appealing title series might be "the newcomers guide" or a "beginners guide", etc., v. "complete idiot's guide"
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Format: Paperback
I have always enjoyed putting up food I've grown because I know where the food comes from, how fresh it is, and what is or isn't on it (pesticides, fertilizers, etc.). In the past I've used the directions from booklets that came with the canning jars I've purchased, but Karen's book is the most comprehensive book I have ever read/owned on the subject. It is fun and easy to read, and I especially like the recipes, the "safety check" notes, and the "preserving pointers" she includes in each section. Whether you are a beginner or you have done this for years, this book is for you!
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Format: Paperback
This is a clear, concise, well formatted book, especially for the beginner.
I found the preserving tips and safety checks very useful. It is convenient to have so much
information in one volume. I found the storage guide for frozen foods a real help.
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Format: Paperback
I learned the basics of food preservation many years ago but have not actively practiced preserving for many years. This book presented the basics in an easy format with great tips. I now have the time to do some fun things and found the book to provide recipes that are not time consuming. My friends are appreciating my efforts to give them some home preserved items from dried fruit to relishes.

The book is fun and easy to read. When I am looking for a diversion from everyday life, I find that the "Idiot"s Guide..." allows me to direct my attention to some new things to try. The book is a nice gift for consumers who want to increase their skills without a lot of technical detail.
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