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The San Miguel Basin Extension office provides assistance and programs for citizens in five main areas: 4-H/Youth Development, Ag/Local Food, Gardening, Natural Resources and Home, Family & Health.

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Choosing a Preservation Method

Factors to consider when determining which method of food preservation is best for YOU include:

1. Are there safe preservation guidelines/tested recipes available for the type of food you want to preserve and for the elevation at which you live?

  • Check with your State Extension service and/or the National Center for Home Food Preservation before preserving any food for the first time!
  • Know your elevation and make the required processing adjustments needed. Remember, most recipes are developed at sea level, unless otherwise noted!

2. Do you have the necessary equipment for the preservation method?

  • Always read through the entire recipe before preserving a food product to make sure you have what is required to safely prepare, process and store the food. 

3. How will you store the finished product?

  • Canned foods require sturdy shelving in a cool, dry space that is out of direct sunlight. Home canned foods should also be protected from freezing which can cause jars to become unsealed. 
  • Frozen foods require freezer space that is maintained at 0º F or lower and with a dependable energy source.
  • Dried foods arebest stored in a cool, dry, dark place that is moisture- and rodent-proof. 

4. How much will it cost to preserve the food and will you and/or your family like and use the finished product?

  • What is the cost to purchase the unprocessed product and other ingredients? 
  • How much time and energy are involved in preserving the food?
  • What will it cost to store the food?
  • Can a comparable product be purchased for less? 
  • Do you and your family enjoy/benefit from eating or sharing the product?