Home Food Preservation Headquarters

Stretching the shelf life of food can be as low-tech and hands-off (set trays in the sun to dry) or as elaborate and large-scale (a day devoted to pressure-canning summer’s bounty) as you’d like. No matter where you fall on that spectrum or whether you have surplus fruit from an ample orchard or a profusion of basil from a petite, potted herb garden, the information you need to safely and deliciously put by fresh food awaits here in our online Home Food Preservation Headquarters.

Home Food Preservation Headquarters

This hub stocks more than 40 years of reliable, comprehensive know-how on pressure canning, water bath canning, drying, fermenting, freezing, pickling, root cellaring and more. We boil down the details on required equipment and which preservation method best suits which crops, plus furnish a packed-pantry’s worth of recipes. You’ll also find plans for building a solar dehydrator several styles of root cellars, plus everything else you need to go from harvest basket to cupboard with confidence. Dive into the world of preserving for better eating, significant money savings and greater food security. 

Water Bath and Pressure Canning

Pressure Canning Basics: Fearless Food Preservation
Learn how to use a pressure canner to safely preserve food, and you’ll save money on groceries all year long. (It’s not as scary as you may think.)

Learn to Can for Homegrown Flavor
Learn to can and save money while enjoying delicious “convenience” foods all winter.

Water Bath Canning and Pressure Canning: Explained
Don't let a little steam and boiling water scare you. Pressure canning and water bath canning are safe methods to preserve your food.

How to Home Can: Raw-Packing vs. Hot-Packing
Not all food packing methods are created equal. The USDA explains why when it comes to canning, most foods like it hot.

Home Meat Preservation with a Pressure Canner
Ease pressure on your lofty self-reliance goals by mastering the ins and outs of meat preservation at home.


Reap the Garden and Market Bounty: How to Dry Food
Learn the secrets of easy food drying, including how to dry which foods and time-saving tips. Also includes information about your electric and solar food dehydrator options.

Drying Herbs: Easier Than You Think
You'll never buy dried herbs again after you try one or more of these six methods for drying herbs at home.

Save Money by Drying Fruits and Vegetables at Home
When it comes to preserving fresh edibles economically and conveniently, it's hard to beat the centuries-old technique of drying fruits and vegetables at home!

How to Preserve Food Using Sun Drying and Other Natural Methods
Pat Kenoyer provides a guide to home organic dehydrating, drying and preservation methods.

Dry Food in Your Gas Oven
Try using your gas oven to dry a variety of foods for storage.

How to Dry and Freeze Tomatoes
Learn how to dry and freeze tomatoes and preserve fresh garden tomato flavor using these two simple methods.

Homemade Jerky Drying Methods
These four methods of drying meat will turn your tastefully marinated beef, poultry, venison, or fish into tasty, homemade jerky.

Choosing a Food Dehydrator
David Cavagnaro provides a guide to choosing a food dehydrator, including test results for four dehydrator models, the differences between stackable dehydrators and box-and-shelf dehydrators and dehydrator buying tips.

DIY Dehydrators:

Build a Solar Food Dehydrator
With a solar food dehydrator, you can use free energy from the sun to preserve your harvest.

How to Build a Food Dehydrator
How to construct a food dryer powered by the sun, a stove or electricity; including materials, diagrams and assembly.

A Solar Food Dryer From Cardboard Boxes
Putting together a solar food dryer is a simple winter project (for you or your kids) that can help you preserve next summer's produce.

Preserving Food Using a Homemade Dehydrator
How to build your own food dehydrator and use it to preserve all of your homegrown goodies.


Choose Fermented Foods for Health and Flavor
Humans have used fermentation for centuries as a means of preserving food, and fermented fare — wine, cheese and cured sausage, to name but a few — is quite literally alive with both flavor and nutrition.

Spur a Cultural Revival With Food Fermentation
With traditional fermentation, one of the oldest processes of preserving food, we can drive a cultural revival that reclaims our food and revitalizes our communities.

How to Make Sauerkraut (Video)
Learn how to make sauerkraut for an easy, nutritious way to preserve cabbage. You can use the same process to ferment numerous other vegetables, too.

Got Cabbage? Make Sauerkraut!
Homemade sauerkraut is a fun fermented food that's easy to prepare and good for you.

Make Your Own Fermented Dairy Products
Tap the benefits of delicious fermented dairy products.

Amount of Salt to Use for Fermentation
How much salt should I use to make sure my fermented vegetables are safe to eat? And what’s the best container to use for fermentation projects?

Love Your Gut: Ferment Your Beets Making Fermented-Beet Kraut
Beets are a wonderful tonic in the spring. Increase the potency of this marvelous ruby root with fermentation.?


Freezing Vegetables From Your Garden
Round out your food preservation regimen! Use these tips for freezing produce to turn your garden harvests into delicious off-seasons meals.

Freezing and Cooking Your Garden Vegetables
Use the vegetables from your garden harvest, with recipes for caponata, baba ghanoush, Greek vegetables, freezer vegetable soup.

Freezing Vegetables: 2 Great Methods
Skip the blanching, cooling, drying, and packing. Learn the best methods for freezing vegetables quickly and easily. These techniques will make your frozen vegetables taste more like they were picked fresh from the garden that day.

How to Dry and Freeze Tomatoes
Learn how to dry and freeze tomatoes and preserve fresh garden tomato flavor using these two simple methods.

How to Freeze Eggs
Learning how to freeze eggs is a snap with this simple bagging plan.

How to Freeze Peppers
Do you have an abundance of fresh peppers? If so, this simple freezer preservation method may be for you.

Freezing Broccoli and Beans
Broccoli and beans are two vegetables that keep on giving and are simple to freeze.


Food Preservation Techniques: Learn How to Pickle
Pickling can capture the tremendous flavors of crops when they’re at their seasonal peak — which is also when they’re least expensive! — so you can relish them year-round.

How to Make Pickles
Perfect pickling is within the grasp of every home preserver using these easy instructions on how to make pickles. You can vary the spices and vegetables or fruit to give your own homemade pickles a unique twist. Just pick a pickle recipe to get started!

Pickling Recipes:

You Can Pickle That: The Universal Pickle Recipe
A fast, simple, USDA-approved technique to make delicious pickles from almost any vegetable.

Ginger Pickled Carrots
This Ginger Pickled Carrots Recipe adds a little zing to your carrots.

Making Pickles: Dill Spears, Bread and Butters and Dilly Beans Recipes
Small-batch canning has become a popular trend. What better way to preserve summer harvests than by making pickles?

Watermelon Rinds
Ways to reuse those watermelon rinds, including recipes for original watermelon rind pickles, Ozark lime pickles, sweet icicle pickles.

Pickled Ramps
Preserve an abundance of spring herbs with this pickled ramps recipe.

Pickled Beets Recipe (Video)
Follow this step-by-step process to can pickled beets at home.

Root Cellaring

Root Cellar Plans
These unique root cellar plans show you how to build a root cellar for food storage by adapting a new concrete septic tank.

Build a Basement Root Cellar
Storing crops in a passively cooled basement root cellar is one of the most efficient ways to preserve food.

Outdoor Root Cellars
Five easy ways to store fresh food for winter right in your garden — it’s as easy as tossing a bagful of leaves over a patch of carrots!

Steam Canning

Is Steam Canning Safe?
New research shows that steam canning can be just as safe as water bath canning if performed properly to preserve acidic foods. Here are guidelines for operating a steam canner.

Photo by Fotolia

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