What Not to Can! (BBB)


You can find recipes all over the internet for just about anything, but it’s never a good idea to proceed without checking a known, reliable source. There are some foods that can be safely canned commercially using additives, preservatives and processing controls that aren’t available for home recipes. (To avoid the additives and preservatives in those foods, it’s best to either make them at home for fresh, immediate use, or in other cases, freeze to store.) Things you shouldn’t can at home include:

1. Bread or cake in a jar.
2. Herbs or vegetables in oil or oil infusions.
3. Chocolate/fudge sauces.
4. Pumpkin butter.

For more information about safe canning, check out the FAQs at the National Center for Home Preservation. Another handy source of reliable information is the BBB!


Ball Blue BookIt’s a Ball Blue Book Project day! Today’s Ball Blue Book is sponsored by Billie from No Crack Cream. Visit her here.

For a chance to win: Leave a comment on this post and let me know you want it. You can just put (BBB) at the end of your comment or otherwise note that you want to be in the draw. One winner will be drawn by random comment number to receive a Ball Blue Book. Eligible entry cut-off is midnight Eastern (U.S.) time tonight (February 10). This post will be updated with the winner by 9 a.m. Eastern (U.S.) time tomorrow (February 11). Return to this post to claim your book if your name is drawn (or check the BBB Winners List).

Find out more about the Ball Blue Book Project and become a sponsor.

UPDATE 02/11/11: The winning comment number, drawn by random.org, is #91, sal. Email me at CITRgiveaways(at)yahoo.com with your full name and address for shipping!



  1. Richelle says:

    Yes, BBB please!

  2. Kathy in FL says:

    BBB, please.

  3. Jean - MN says:

    BBB please – Thank you

  4. Mary Hall says:

    Good mornin’ all…Well I am waiting for spring still (hope that groundhog was right) anyhoo, please enter me in the BBB :heart:
    Mary :shocked:

  5. lavenderblue says:

    I’m amazed at the list above. I have questions. Lots of questions. Why not pumpkin butter? Why can you can apple butter? So I’ll still have to pay gazillions of $$$ for fancy little jars of sun-dried tomatoes in oil? Was one of my husbands co-workers secretly trying to kill us when she gave us homemade fudge sauce for Christmas? Did she can it or did she just put in jars without processing? She did say to refrigerate it; we ate it, we’re still alive. Who’d want to can bread? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Guess I’d better have a BBB so I can find the answers. Thanks.

  6. Debbie says:

    would love to win a BBB!

  7. Peggy says:

    I don’t need to worry about canning any of the items on the list. I would not use enough of any of those items to can them. Some items, like tomatoes I used to can by the hot water bath, but now I pressure can then. Why? The acid content in tomatoes is lower then it was when I first started canning. I wonder if anything else has changed? Maybe I need a new BBB………please.

  8. Gem says:

    I NEEEEED one of these BBB’s!!! (please)

  9. Sandy says:

    But I thought you COULD can pumpkin butter! Hmmmmmm BBB

  10. justdeborah2002 says:

    I thought you could BWB pumpkin butter as well….guess I really am desperate for a BBB.

  11. Melissa (N4M) says:

    BBB pretty plz

  12. Betsy says:

    Would love the BBB!

  13. annabel52 says:

    Today is my lucky day, maybe.
    I need a BBB…

  14. Valerie says:

    I read where lemon curd can’t be canned, yet I did see a recipe online that it can be. Anyone know? No BBB for me, DH bought one for me and it’s wonderful.

  15. Brittany P. says:

    I would love to win the ball blue book! Please enter me in. I have heard that you can’t can apple butter but I saw someone do it recently….I forget where it was. HMMMM.


  16. Brittany P. says:

    I meant pumpkin butter!

  17. lilac wolf says:

    Oh I’m glad you posted this one. I had thought about doing the oil infusions for x-mas gifts. Hmmmm, maybe I’ll try my hand at jelly this year if I ever win this book! πŸ˜‰

    BBB please. :fairy:

  18. dalewestfallsgranddaughter says:

    I have a recipe out of a Walton WV cookbook for apple cake in a jar that I make regularly and haven’t died yet. Maybe because it gets eaten before it stays in the jar very long?

  19. Glenie says:

    I would love BBB!

  20. Bonnie says:

    What, no pumkin butter? How do you preserve it then? BBB, please!

  21. Renee says:

    This inquiring little mind wants to learn more with a BBB! :fairy:

  22. langela says:

    Sounds like you’re gonna have some “‘splainin'” to do, Suzanne. I also would love to know why these things shouldn’t be canned. BBB, please.

  23. Ladychef says:

    BBB Thanks Billie and Suzanne! Seems like I have a LOT to learn about canning.

  24. Amy I. says:

    BBB please! I’m ready to start.

  25. Brigitte says:

    I’d love the BBB!

  26. windspiritwhimsies says:

    See,I learn something new everyday here. That’s why I always come back! Would love to try canning. BBB,please! :happyfeet:

  27. Marjorie Wolson says:

    So, strawberry/peach butter is alright to can? Yay! I need a Blue Ball book. :hungry:

  28. brookdale says:

    BBB please! And thank you, Billie and Suzanne, for sponsoring this giveaway.

  29. Tina says:

    What?! Pumpkin butter can’t be canned? Oh dear, I’ve seen it for sale at the farmer’s market here….wonder what’s going on there! I’ve been canning for years without the benefit of a BBB. I think it’s High Time I got one!
    Pleeeeeeze! πŸ˜€

  30. Phyllis says:

    NO PUMPKIN BUTTER?????? If I had a BBB I probably would’ve known that, lol…BBB PLEASE :yes:

  31. Patricialynn says:

    BBB please! Could really use this book to help with the produce I plan to grow this summer!

  32. Bethany James says:

    Isn’t it amazing the amount of push back you get when you try to tell people not to can pureed pumpkin? Or those cakes in a jar? Or not to water bath green beans? Or turn jars over? Why to people insist on arguing about these things? πŸ™‚

  33. Diana says:

    My grad student daughter turned me on to your site. Bbb please!!

  34. Jill from Spencer says:

    we recently canned 100 lbs of sausage! it is great and relatively easy to do! also did venison this year!

  35. Lacey says:

    I’m with everybody else- lots of questions. But mostly I just want pumpkin butter now. BBB please.

  36. viggie says:

    Thank you! I see people suggesting canning crazy stuff all the time! BBB

  37. Rachel says:

    BBB Please!!! I was planning to expand my canning world this year, and it’d be nice to have on had the book that will be able tot ell me what I can-can and can’t-can πŸ™‚

  38. Deb Klenke says:

    I would be so grateful for BBB.

  39. Window On The Prairie says:

    BBB Please. I have an older one, but wouldn’t mind having a new book. Thanks Suzanne

  40. LeAnn says:

    I’ve never made pumpkin butter, but I too, was surprised to learn that you shouldn’t can it. Interesting…
    BBB please.

  41. Amanda aka Salamander says:

    BBB Please

  42. Rockyshore says:

    Let’s try this again, please.

  43. Angie says:

    The pumpkin butter recommendation was started after someone wrote a paper which made it suspect with no real proof as to what could potentially happen. https://homesteadgardenandpantry.com/canning/pumpkin-butter-2/

  44. Lynette says:

    I would love me a BBB ~ thanks for the chance to win! πŸ˜€

  45. Deb Colucci says:

    I would love a BBB! Big plans for the garden this year!! BBB me!

  46. prayingpup says:

    I didn’t know about the Pumpkin Butter . . . . good information. If I had a BBB, I would know these things! BBB please!

  47. Laura Newton says:

    BBB please, please!!!!!!!!!

  48. Kathleen says:

    Thank you, Billie, for your generosity! Please add my name to the drawing for the BBB.

  49. rileighsmom1 says:

    Please enter me! BBB

  50. Miss Becky says:

    thank you Billie for sponsoring this Ball Blue Book giveaway. It’s awfully generous of you! and thanks to you also Suzanne, for this giveaway and for simply being you. have I told you lately how much I love Chickens in The Road? well I do. it’s been a pleasure following you through the thick and thin times of Stringtown Rising Farm. have a beautiful day! :hug: BBB!

  51. Gerry says:

    Please pick me for the BBB!

  52. Mary from Baton Rouge says:

    consider me for the BBB!!!

  53. KristenA says:

    BBB me please!

  54. Abiga/Karen says:

    Thanks for the info about pumpkin butter! BBB for me!!!!

  55. Deb says:

    The pumpkin butter was a new one to me too; I’m definitely checking out the links to see why. This year I canned apple and pear butter. I also make lots of jams and jellies. Another thing you shouldn’t can is pickled eggs; those I just put in the refrigerator to keep safe.

  56. Nancy Stickler says:

    Just read the reasons why not to can pumpkin…another thing that makes you go hmmmm….BBB

  57. Jennifer S says:

    I would love to win a BBB, please!

  58. Juliana (Mrs. Obe) says:

    Billie — thank you very mush for sponsoring this BBB giveaway.

    Suzanne – Please enter me in the drawing. And Thank You for all teaching you do (I’m a grateful and learning B student!)

  59. Ramona says:

    Gosh, that’s the truth and also why waste the space trying to can some of the stuff that the internet says you can preserve…..

    BBB sounds good to me.

  60. Nadeanne says:

    I need a BBB, please!! πŸ˜€

  61. Mike says:

    What about sandwich in a can?

  62. marymac says:

    I need a new BBB

  63. farmershae says:

    BBB me please! :smilerabbit:

  64. kindigo27 says:

    pretty, pretty please, oh random number generator, pick me for a BBB!

  65. Lisa says:

    Absolutely BBB:)))

  66. sal says:

    BBB Pretty please? With sugar on it? I’d love to win this book, today, now. ;o)

  67. Diane says:

    I would like the BBB.

  68. Amanda says:

    Would love to win that BBB!

  69. Linda T. says:

    I would like to have the BBB please; otherwise I’m likely to can 4 gallons of chocolate sauce!

  70. Pam says:

    BBB, please :fairy:

  71. Terri Draeger says:

    Please put me down for the BBB drawing. Knowledge is Power!

  72. Mim says:

    include me please :pawprint:

  73. Sharon Dziekonski says:

    I want to win this book so I can learn why chocolate/fudge sauce and pumpkin butter shouldn’t be canned. Inquiring minds need to know!

  74. Sarah says:

    BBB please! I’ve got big plans.

  75. Michelle says:

    Yes, I’d like to win, please!

  76. Gidget says:

    I could use a BBB Please!

  77. 0rlasha says:

    :shimmy: :wave: :eating:

  78. BethAnn says:

    I learn so much here Suzanne…thank you! BBB please!

  79. rainss61 says:

    I feel lucky—-BBB please !!! πŸ™‚ :duck:

  80. Melanie says:

    BBB please and thanks. Sorry to hear about your little goat. :hug:

  81. Krista S. says:

    I’m new to canning and would love the BBB! Thanks!

  82. Jackie Georgiou says:

    I would like to enter to win the BBB!

  83. cricketjett says:

    BBB, please!!!!

  84. Tricia in Texas says:

    BBB just for ME!!!

  85. Patricia Herman says:

    I am just learning the basics…applesauce and orange marmalade.

    BBB please.

  86. Ruth C says:

    I never knew these! I’d love to have a BBB book to tell me more!

  87. mammaleigh says:

    BBB Please!! I am still learning all of this! I think I had heard that you could not can pumpkin, BUT I didn’t know why. Thankfully no one in the house likes pumpkin other than me so I really don’t have a problem there. Now the roasted seed we could eat all year long!

  88. Cheryl McCloskey says:

    Great comment about what not to can.
    BBB thanks Cheryl

  89. Gini says:

    Suzanne, I made my first foray into pressure canning this weekend! Beautiful jars of homemade chicken stock are mine all mine. πŸ™‚

  90. Kathleen H in Indiana says:

    Would love the BBB!

  91. Sarah Beth says:

    I’d love a BBB!

  92. Linda Goble says:

    I would love to win a BBB. Thanks

  93. Cindy says:

    I canned pumpkin butter and WON at the county fair! Thanks for the info…I won’t do it again. BBB please!
    Thanks again for all the great information every day!

  94. Martha in KS says:

    I want to learn what I CAN can. (tee-hee can can, can you do the can can?) BBB please!

  95. Miss Dana says:

    BBB. And truth be told…there are some things, that while ‘safe’ to can, really just shouldn’t be canned….depending on the cook. πŸ™‚

  96. LisaAJB says:

    BBB please! I wanna learn how to can beans this year!

  97. Clarissa says:

    Thank you Billie for sponsoring this week’s BBB. I would like to start canning this year and could really use a BBB.

  98. Hugh says:

    Suzanne, I’d love to have the BBB book. Last summer was a fun one canning great farm-stand stuff.

  99. ann/alba says:

    BBB Please. Wonders if cookie will help my ODDS

  100. Linda says:

    Yes, please enter me for BBB. Thank you.

  101. wvhomecanner says:

    Canning safely via BWB is about acidity. If we know the rules about pH/acidity and know the pH of what we want to can and how to acidify foods that are borderline pH the cloud of mystery lifts and what can be canned safely becomes clear in most cases. Naturally acidic foods can be canned without added acid. Borderline foods need acidified w/lemon juice, citric acid, etc. Low acid foods must be acidified by methods such as pickling and if it’s not appropriate for pickling, then water bath canning is likely out of the picture. Learning the rules of acidity really isn’t complicated and is the baseline we all need for canning safely by BWB. And while I don’t always agree with/like everything the NCHFP/USDA says in their guidelines, I also do not ignore the results of their lab tests on specific foods and/or recipes.

  102. Leah's Mom says:

    Thanks for another chance to win. Count me in!

  103. Carol Howell says:

    So much to learn! BBB please!

  104. Tammy F says:

    Trying again, hope I get lucky this time! (crosses fingers!) BBB

  105. Chris Bredenkamp says:

    BBB please. Thanks for offering it!

  106. Janice Jewett says:

    enter me for a BBB.
    Thanks Janice

  107. marie in Amite says:

    I agree the Blue Book is the Bible of canning!!! I have one from the 70’s. I sure would love to win the newest addition. :wave:

  108. Mary Fran says:

    BBB please. Why would anyone try to can bread?????

  109. Tammy says:

    I would love to have the BBB! I have recently begun making jelly and would love to know how to can more: pickles, preserves, etc. Thanks!

  110. Lindsay says:

    That pumpkin business made me kinda sad lol. Pickyourown said you could freeze it though, so that’s good. BBB please!

  111. Shar says:

    Thank you, Suzanne & the sponsor! I’d love to enter the BBB.

  112. David says:

    Some of the recommendations are more opinion than anything else. Problems with canning pureed pumpkin or pumpkin butter don’t fit in that group. There is actual information regarding the potential issues with those.

  113. Andrea Mueller says:

    I would love to win the BBB. I can weekly in the summer and at least twice a month in the winter.

  114. Daria Walton says:

    Thanks for posting the list of what not to can – it’s scary to read about what people will attempt to can, and tough to be a voice of reason. πŸ™‚

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