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Home Food Preservation

There is nothing quite like tasting of fruits of your labor. Do you want to enjoy that taste all year long? Let WVU Extension’s Food and Nutrition experts guide you through various food preservation methods.

Browse the Home Food Preservation Guide

Preserve your food along with the flavor and nutrients. WVU Extension Service has long been recognized as a credible source for science-based recommendations.

Home Food Preservation Guide

Canning canning

Canning, the process of placing foods in jars or cans and heating properly to a specified temperature, is a way to preserve many different foods. The high heat destroys microorganisms and inactivates enzymes to preserve the safety and quality of the food.

The Canning Process

Freezing freezing

Freezing has many advantages. It requires less time than drying or canning, and it retains foods’ natural color, flavor, and nutritive value. Amounts can be adapted to suit individual or family needs.

The Freezing Process

Drying drying

Drying foods – one of the oldest preservation methods – is safe, simple, and inexpensive. Dried fruits retain nutritional quality. They are especially popular now when people are wanting more antioxidants in their diet.

The Drying Process

Home Food Preservation Featured Topics


Home Food Preservation Webinar Series

cherry tomatoes at farmers market.

Gardening season is in full swing across the Mountain State. And, as gardens begin to ripen, some home gardeners might look to food preservation to extend the life of their harvest. Our team of food preservation experts will provide you with food preservation knowledge you  need, right to your home.

Beginning on Monday, June 22, food preservationists of all experience levels can participate in a seven-part webinar series that will cover everything from the equipment needed to safely preserve to the various methods that can be used to preserve your garden’s bounty and more.

Below is an overview of each course. Registration must be completed ahead of time by completing the online registration form.

Register for the Food Preservation Webinar Series

What You Need to Know About Food Preservation 101*

June 22, 2020 – 11 a.m. to Noon

Food preservation methods have been updated numerous times since “grandma’s day.”  Novice and experienced food preservationists, alike, will learn the science behind food preservation as well as equipment needed to safely preserve.  This session will set the stage for all subsequent sessions in the food preservation series and give the learner a good foundation for safely preserving the garden’s bounty. Join Hannah Fincham, WVU Extension Service Families and Health agent in Randolph County, for this intro series to food preservation.

*Please note: This course is required before taking any of the other food preservation courses. The session will be recorded and available for viewing for those who cannot attend the live session.

Hot Water Baths and Canning Peaches  

June 29, 2020 – 11 a.m. to Noon

We can peaches in a boiling-water bath canner. Join Hannah Fincham, WVU Extension Service Families and Health agent in Randolph County, again this week to learn the canning process for acid foods such as fruits, jams, jellies, pickled and fermented products.

Pressure Canning and Hot Water Baths to Preserve Tomatoes and More

July 6, 2020 – 11 a.m. to Noon

Join Cheryl Kaczor, WVU Extension Service Families and Health agent in Marshall County, to learn everything you need to know about acidifying and canning tomatoes.

Pressure Canning Green Beans 

July 13, 2020 – 11 a.m. to Noon

The time is approaching when green beans will be in abundance in the garden. Pressure canning is the only approved food preservation method for these vegetables. Join Don Dransfield, WVU Extension Service 4-H and Families and Health agent in Monroe County, to learn the process of pressure canning your green beans to keep them through the winter safely. A quick review of pressure canning fundamentals will also be presented. Get ready, the beans are coming!

The Art of Canning Meats

July 20, 2020 – 11 a.m. to Noon

Canning is a great way to preserve meats without taking up precious room in your freezer. Pressure canning is the only approved method for canning meats. Before you know it, deer season will be upon us. Why not can your venison this year? Join Gina Taylor, WVU Extension Service agent in Jackson County, to learn the process of pressure canning meat. A quick review of pressure canning fundamentals will also be presented.

Beyond Canning: Freezing and Drying Fruits and Vegetables

July 27, 2020 – 11 a.m. to Noon

Canning is not the only way to extend the life of your homegrown fruits and vegetables. Join Dave Roberts, WVU Extension Service Families and Health agent in Boone and Lincoln counties, to learn more about freezing and drying fruits and vegetables.

Beyond Canning: Freezing and Drying Meats

August 3, 2020 – 11 a.m. to Noon

To understand meat, it’s important to understand the muscle’s function to select cuts that match their end use. Join Josh Peplowski, WVU Extension Service Agriculture and Natural Resources agent in Greenbrier County, to learn how to properly cut meat for the type of jerky desired, as well as cuts of meat best for freezing and drying. This session will cover the proper methods for safely freezing and drying meat.