I’m excited to share two pieces I worked on earlier this year that have made it live on The Spruce Eats: one on stackable cookware and one on canning books. The topics may seem to have little in common, but both articles feature favorites in my personal kitchen and will hopefully help you in choosing tools and resources.
Best in Cookware
When I first started researching and testing stackable cookware last spring, I had an ulterior motive: I was long overdue to replace the cookware in my tiny cabin kitchen and hoped to find some pieces that fit neatly into my kitchen box aboard The Blue Mule. I found several promising options, which I shared in The 6 Best Stackable Cookware Sets in 2021.
When the cookware arrived for testing, I tried it at home and on the road, making everything from berry curd to pot stickers to dosas. I ended up keeping two sets for personal use:
- Best Overall: Tramontina Nesting 11-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set
- Best Nonstick: Anolon SmartStack 11-Piece Cookware Set
My review of the Tramontina cookware went live just this week; I hope you find it a fun and insightful read.
Still My Favorites
I’d known from the beginning that I was likely to keep the Anolon set; the pan sizes fit my cooking style yet stacked neatly into my 24-inch cabinet, and the stainless-steel base works on all types of cooktops. The surprise was that I couldn’t let go of the Tramontina set. The pots feel so nice in my hand and perform so well on every stove I set them on that I couldn’t give them up.
Five months on, I’m still happy that I kept both sets. The Anolon pieces have become our go-to cookware: I fire up a burner under one or more of the pots or pans every day. At home, the Tramontina pieces work well for two-person fresh meals and leftovers. They also fit well on our camp stove when cruising; I take just the pots and lids I think I’ll need for short voyages, and they nest cozily in my kitchen box.
Both sets continue to hold up well, inside and out. They’ve replaced all of my worn-out cookware plus a few other pieces I tended to use only as a last resort. I still reserve space for my grandmother’s cast-iron skillets, but otherwise the Anolon and Tramontina cookware sets now dominate my kitchen.
Best in Canning
I’ve written many canning articles for The Spruce Eats this year, from pressure canner reviews to canning supply suggestions. I was particularly excited to share my favorite canning cookbooks. Canning recipes and resources can be challenging: Options abound online and in print, but some adhere to a higher standard of safety than others. Since safety is key in canning, I wanted to share trustworthy resources for novice and experienced canners that covered everything from water-bath or pressure-canning basics to flavorful jams and pickles.
I’ve shared some of these books here on the blog. For the roundup published this week on The Spruce Eats, I delved even deeper into my canning cookbook collection.
Still My Favorites
Even though I wasn’t officially testing canning cookbooks for The Spruce Eats roundup, I’ve used every book in the article and currently own most of them. The lab-tested recipes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Georgia Cooperative Extension, and Ball are my go-to resources whenever I want to develop a canning recipe or check the safety of one from another source. The other books in the article give me plenty of inspiration and fun recipes to try, and every recipe I’ve made from them has proven safe and trustworthy.
If you’re debating which of these books to add to your shelves, you can start by sampling some recipes online:
- So Easy To Preserve and Complete Guide to Home Canning: Many recipes in these books appear on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website, along with loads of information about canning safely.
- Ball’s Blue Book Guide to Preserving, Back to Basics, and All New Book of Canning and Preserving: Some of the recipes in each of these books can be found on the Fresh Preserving website.
- Preserving With Pomona’s Pectin: The Pomona’s Pectin website offers many recipes from and in addition to this book, as well as tips on using the company’s low-sugar pectin.
- Joy of Pickling and Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving: Linda Ziedrich and Ellie Topp are doing little to promote their books online these days. Ziedrich writes about gardening and food at A Gardener’s Table. You’re most likely to see Topp’s name on a report or study related to her work as a home economist and researcher.
- Batch: Joel MacCharles shares his food knowledge on the Well Preserved website but is more active these days on Instagram.
Twice as Tasty
If you want to read my work on other websites, check out my Muck Rack page. In particular, keep your eye on The Spruce Eats for fresh reviews of stackable cookware, pressure canners, gadgets, and more in coming weeks. I’ll share pieces here once they go live.
I also have more recipes to share from The Complete Guide to Pickling and The Pickled Picnic. Hopefully you’re already trying out curtido and sambal oelek; I’ll soon be sharing one of my recipes for pickled onions, plus a tasty way to use the brine.
Get the books—and check out my newly redesigned book page! Click here to order a personally signed, packaged, and shipped copy of The Complete Guide to Pickling directly from me. I share more tasty ways to use pickles in The Pickled Picnic, a digital collection in an easy-to-read PDF format. It’s available exclusively through Twice as Tasty.
One thought on “Kitchen Favorites: Cookware and Canning Cookbooks”
My Ball jars are used for everything from storing rice to measuring, shaking up, serving, and storing my salad dressings!
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