Best DIY Food Books of 2016 | Punk Domestics

Best DIY Food Books of 2016

Year over year, the list of amazing DIY books grows. (See our roundups for 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011.) Over time, we've seen a trend toward books that focus not just on the DIY aspects, but how to apply the products into everyday life. In fact, if anything, we're seeing a trend toward general cookbooks that integrate some DIY elements. I've expanded the criteria of the list this year accordingly, including a couple exciting things that aren't even books. (Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for from which I may derive a nominal amount of revenue.)

Cured Magazine, found on PunkDomestics.comCured Magazine
This new magazine explores the global history of food preservation, with a strong focus on fermentation specifically. It's erudite, cerebral, and simply gorgeous. The debut issues delves into such arcana as the Mexican corn brew tejuino, the medieval cheese spread kāmakh rījāl, and the Polish fermented grain soup żur. It's hard to imagine how much deeper down the rabbit hole they can go, but I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Naturally Sweet Food in Jars, found on PunkDomestics.comBatch by Joel MacCharles and Dana Harrison
Longtime (as in OG) Punk Domestics contributors and authors of the blog Well Preserved, MacCharles and Harrison have produced a comprehensive and kaleidoscopic tome of recipes for the seven main techniques of preserving: Water bath canning, pressure canning, dehydrating, fermenting, cellaring, salting/smoking, and infusing.

Naturally Sweet Food in Jars, found on PunkDomestics.comNaturally Sweet Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan
In the third in her series of books, McClellan turned her eye to a particular niche in the preserving space, using natural sweeteners, including coconut, agave, maple, honey and more, in the place of the more common granulated sugar. She took some time out to talk to us.

Beyond , found on PunkDomestics.comBeyond Canning by Autumn Giles
Another longtime contributor, Giles serves up her unique sense of flavor combination, like preserved lemons with zesty Korean gochugaru pepper flakes and orange curd with a dash of rosewater.

The Backyard Homestead Book of Kitchen Know-How by Andrea Chesman, found on Not Your Mama's Canning Book by Rebecca Lindamood
Lindamood's book strives to arm the canner with a staple of foods that either turn into easy meals, or turn the humdrum into something special. Read our interview with her.

Preserving Italy by Domenica Marchetti, found on Preserving Italy by Domenica Marchetti
When I heard of this book, I squealed with glee. And also envy. In short, this is the book I wish I had written. She boldly leads with an entire chapter on foods preserved in oil (sott'olio).

Wild Feremntation b, found on PunkDomestics.comWild Fermentation, 2nd Edition by Sandor Ellix Katz
The preeminent bacteria farmer returns with an expanded and prettified version of his seminal work on the event of its 15th anniversary.

Can  It!, found on PunkDomestics.comCan It! by Gary Allen
Explore the rich history of food preservation in this scholarly work, peppered with vintage artwork and recipes.

Food Swap by Emily Past, found on PunkDomestics.comFood Swap by Emily Paster
Yet another longtime contributor, Paster outlines all the aspects of a successful food swap event, from scouting locations to getting the word out to the sometimes surprising problem of no-shows. Moreover, she helps you think about what makes your contribution a successful bargaining chip.

Eat It Up by Sherri Brooks Vi, found on PunkDomestics.comEat It Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton
Following up on her triad of Put 'Em Up! books, Vinton tackles food waste with a wealth of ideas on how to use all the bibs and bobs of excess food. Her preserver heart shines through with recipes for chutneys and more.

Forager's Feast by Leda Meredith, found on PunkDomestics.comForager's Feast by Leda Meredith
Intended as much for the cooking enthusiast as for the survivalist, this book includes recipes that will transform even the most common edible backyard weeds into guest-worthy fare.

The New Wildcrafted Cuisine by Pascal Baudar, found on PunkDomestics.comThe New Wildcrafted Cuisine by Pascal Baudar
Baudar explores the flavors of local terroir, combining the research and knowledge of plants and landscape that chefs often lack with the fascinating and innovative techniques of a master food preserver and self-described “culinary alchemist.”

Buck Buck Moose by Hank Shaw, found on PunkDomestics.comBuck, Buck, Moose by Hanks Shaw
Shaw's third book, which he crowdfunded and self-published, tackles antler-to-fluffy-tail cooking for deer, elk, moose, and the like.He includes recips for cured meats and sausages as well.

Olympia Provisions , found on PunkDomestics.comOlympia Provisions by Elias Cairo
This actually came out in 2015, but didn't cross my desk until this year. Portland's preeminent charcutier's book is not just a deep resource for craft meat, but also a delighful trip through Switzerland, where Cairo trained.

The Wurst of Lucky Peach, found on PunkDomesticsChris Ying.comThe Wurst of Lucky Peach by Chris Ying
The food-lit magazine takes a look into the great sausage trails of the world, from Bavaria to Texas Hill Country and beyond; and the ins and outs of making your own sausages, including fresh chorizo.

Sous Vide at Home by Fetter,, found on Sous Vide at Home by Fetterman, Halm and Peterson
No longer just a tool for high-end restaurants, sous vide is breaking into home kitchens thanks to devices like Nomiku. The team behind the tool spell out a myriad of ways to use sous vide, including infusions, confits, and pickles.

Smuggler's Cove by Ma, found on Smuggler's Cove by Martin and Rebecca Cate
A deep dive into Tiki culture, with cocktail recipes aplenty, including the housemade syrups and liqueus that elevate the San Francisco bar's mai tais and grogs.

The Modern Salad by Elizabeth H, found on The Modern Salad by Elizabeth Howes
Howes draws inspiration from the Burmese tea leaf salad, made with fermented leaves (recipe included), to create a wide array of crunchy, flavorful salads.

Marbled, Swirled, and Layered, found on Marbled, Swirled, and Layered by Irvin Lin
I don't cover baking on Punk Domestics, but am making an exception here for my friend's book because it's delightful. Each dessert in this book is a showstopper.

Spoiled to Perfection, found on PunkDomestics.comSpoiled to Perfection
Not a book! This web series focuses on how pickling, fermentation and other culinary alchemy enhance the flavor and the nutritional value of raw foods in amazing and unexpected ways.

Best DIY Food Books 2016, found on

Recipes - Techniques - Tools