Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by melbo, Aug 23, 2005.
I have all the supplies to can, just never have done it.
ANyone have a quick step by step?
One of my favorite things to can is something with no name - at the end of the growing season, everything is ripe at the same time, frost is one the way, no way to eat everything fast enough so I make my special 'stuff with no name'. In a giant vessel, I add hot water dipped, pealed, and quartered tomatoes. Little heat for a while. Add whatever else come from the garden - chunks of eggplant, shreaded cabbage, peppers, onions, carrots, parsley, potatoes. You get the idea. Cook on a low heat for a few hours, season to your taste then can.
Step 1 - prepare food to can - or see above. If fruits or veggies, wash thoroughly, parboil, remove any skin you don't want. Make sure they are neither blemished not have bad spots. Big thing is to make sure everything is super clean
Step 2 - sterilize jars, lid rings, band tops, rings, funnel, everything that will touch the food or the jar.
Step 3 - carefully fill the HOT jar with prepared food leaving headspace recommended by jar mfg.
Step 4 - tap sides of jar with a knife to remove any air bubbles and clean jar rim with dam cloth to assure a good seal. Screw band top over lid for don't try to air seal it. Turn band until you meet firm resistance.
Step 5 - I use a the boiling water method instead of the pressure method. Load jars into jar holder and immerse in water. Boil for 10 to 20 minutes - check you jar mfg for times as altitude affect boiling time.
Step 6 - remove from water bath, set on counter to cool - leave alone for 24 hours
Step 5 - when cool, lid should appear slightly concave. You can check by gently pressing you finger onto the center of the lid. If you have downward movement of the lid, refrigerate the jar and use promptly.
Step 6 - you can remove the bands for use next year. Make sure the outside of the jar iand the lid is clean.
Step 7 - Store in dark, cook place.
It's really a simple process. The most important things are fresh quality ingredients, sterile jars, lids, etc. , adequate water bath, proper cooling, and good storage site.
Caveat - always follow the directions provided by the jar and lid manufacturer rather than guessing or winging it. and when using the canned goods, if you have reason to question the safety of the food, don't eat it.
IMPORTANT!!! Dont try to can meats or low acid foods with a water bath. It works great for tomatos and a lot of stuff but dont try it with meats or anything low in acid as they have to be preasure canned.
That said, one of my favorite things to can is salsa. You cna flex it to taste but heres my normal batch.
10 large tomatoes peeled and deseeded
4 bell peppers roasted over flame then scrubbed
10-20 hot peppers of whatever varieties sound good and are around
2-3 large onions
1 1/2-2 cups vinigar
1 1/2 cups sugar
extra seasonings to taste such as salt, pepper, tequila etc.
Chop everything into a pot and simmer for 20-30 min. Boil jars and lids (flats) to sterilize. Fill jars to 1/2 in below top set lid in place and put on ring to barely any resistance. Put these in a pot of boiling water for 10-15 min of full boil remove jars to set on a towl on the counter. You should hear the lids pop down (just like when you open a sealed jar) in a few minutes, if not as you transfer them out of the pot.
This comes out real good and will keep as long as sealed but will start to go bad only a few days after opening it, so put it in jars that will be used up in a day or 2 after opening for best results.
THis is gonna be a good thread!
Good point monkeyman. Since I don't can meats, I don't think about that too much. I did try canning whole frying peppers one year and they ended up looking like giant green hemorroids. I never did eat them cause I couldn't get the image out of my head.
Your salsa sounds just like my kind of treat. Thanks
I have lots of jelly/jam/butter recipes which I'll dig out and share. A little sweet treat on fresh made bread is heaven itself. I also have a great recipe for pepper jelly which is great with all types of meats, particularly gamey meat.
It can also be a problem to can the low acid tomatos in a water bath as its to low in acid as well as a few other things I think. One thing a lot of folks may not think of is milk is realy easy to can, the lactic acid lets it do fine. Its not great for drinking once canned but still real good for cooking and such. Just fill the jars to 1/4-1/2 inch of the top then put on the lid and put it in a water bath at a rolling boil for 10-12 min, remove and cool.
Ok, I don't mean to get off thread, but as this picture comes to my mind I am beginning to feel a little "woozy"
Imagine how I felt knowing I was the creator of these atocities
Mm, I like a lot less vinegar then that, we use the Ball canning recipe and cut that amount of vinegar in half. If you use tomatoes out of your garden, put the ripe ones you can't eat in the freezer. At the end on the year, drop them in boiling water and the skin will slip.
Yeah, you can skip the vinigar all together as long as its not the low acid varieties of tomatoe and can cut it way down even with low acid ones, thats just the recipe we use. Girl friend makes up a lot of spageti sauce to can also. As to skining the tomatoes we just cut a shallow X on the bottom and dip them in boiling water for a few seconds then in ice water and the skins come right off. Oh I also flame roast the hot peppers and scrub them, adds a cool roasted pepper flavor.
Processing meats is a snap. It's a bit time consuming, but quite satisfying. I've canned chicken, ground round, round steak, sausage, weiners, shrimp, and fish, plus veggies and fruit.
I boil the chicken with 4-5 bouillion cubes in a bit over a gallon of water to de-bone it, put it in jars with the broth, and process it in a pressure canner at 11# pressure for 90 minutes. Let the canner cool to where there is no pressure left, take out the jars and let them cool in draft-free place. Store in a cool, dark place. Will keep for years.
Here is everything you need to know: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_home.html
They won't tell you how to can dairy products or anything with grains (soup with rice, for example), as those are considered no-no's for home canning.
I regularly can soups and stews and chili and meats and vegetables and fruits and jam and syrup (when the jam doesn't set). Love it!
As much as I like canning, mostly vegatables, the achelies heel is that you need the seals for the old fashined jars or seal caps for the modern jars and they are relatively expensive, have a given shelf life, and will dissapear in a flash if TSHTF as only a few are in any store during canning season and none after that. That said, there are a lot of "low tech" ways to store food. Jerky, bacon and ham, corned beef, for meats, sourkraut and the various pickleing methods for the cabbage family, and drying for most fruits. When I was a kid, mom had big open earthware crocks in the basement with different things in them. Sourkraut, pickled meats and fish, apple butter, pickled vegatables and brandied fruits called tuttifruitti for some strange reason. Extra milk was made into butter or a cheese that was like cottage cheese that was pressed and called farmers cheese, and the small eggs the pullets laid were made into pickled eggs as they didn't pay much for them and I still love them and buy them at a horrible price. Thus canning is not limited to sealed canning with heat and seals. Before that there were hunderds of years of open canning with either natural fermentation of cabbage, salt and heat or drying with meat and open pickleing with vinigar and spices. I admit I usually chicken out and keep it in the refrig, but they used to keep it in the basement. There have been some discussion of these on the board and I look for the large glass jars and crocks, 5 to 10 gal fairly tall ones are best, and buy them when the price is right at yard sales. They were one of the things that the old timers never threw away and that the kids and grandkids can not see any use and often get rid of them for a couple dollars.
58 quarts of green beans I put up yesterday. Takes about 1 bushel of beans per 15-18 quarts...... have about another 8 bushels still in the garden to pick.
American brand canner......20 quarts at a time.
I was wondering sir, with the pressure canner you have, how much propane you spend? I mean, I have no idea foe how strong or how long does the stove must be on, so I was wondering if you have any idea of the propane consommation versus the ammount of quarts you cann?
No...I really don't have much idea the Exact amount it uses, although it isn't a lot....I can do a HECK of a lot of canning on one 20lb bottle.
That single burner unit the canner is sitting on is what I use for something like beans, where I'm cleaning and snapping the next run while this one is cooking.
Green beans, I simply raw pack with no prior cooking....clean them, dump in the jars, and put in the canner. Takes about 2-2 1/2 hrs to do a run between heat up time, processing time, and cool down time....but that's fine, because I can't clean the next run any faster than that anyway.
I also have a two burner version so I can run another canner, and do some cooking IF I'm canning something that needs some prior cooking, like beef stew, chili, etc. Say I make up a BIG industrial size pot of chili....then I run two, or sometimes 3 canners at one time to run it ALL at the same time. I've got two "normal" sized canners that will run 9 quarts each + that double stack American canner that will run 20 quarts, so that let's me do 38 quarts at the same time if I want to do so.
And if that runs out, I have 6 more 20lb + 12--100lb bottles + a 500gal underground tank I can tap......and a wood cook stove when that's all gone. Propane is going to be the least of my worries
The point mentioned by duanet about canning lids is a valid concern....however, I've found that you can store lids at LEAST 10 years and have almost no seal failure ( you check the lid after the cool a bit....if you can still push it down with your thumb, it didn't seal.....reprocess with a new lid, or eat shortly....properly sealed jars with have a lid that is concaved inward to the jar and no movement when you push on it. )
AND I've never done it before.....BUT if the SHTF, I suspect one could actually clean and re-use the lids at least one time IF you were careful not to bend it when you open the jar.....as I said, I've never tried it, BUT in a pinch, I'm suspecting you could recover 50% or more of you lids for a second round.
Another thing I ran up on a few years back was a two piece plastic lid with a separate rubber sealing ring that is supposed to be washable and re-useable.
Though I'm SURE they will dryrot after a while and with the heat of processing a few times, I have run some of these type seals and have a large box of them.....but my main plan is to simply keep a BOAT LOAD of regular canning lids around.
You can get 36 dozen lids from Ace Hardware online or Goodmans canning supply for about 70 bucks...so for 140 bucks, I have lids for ALL the 70-80 cases of jars I have...not bad insurance......and a DANDY trade item, because as duanet points out....they'd be gone in a heart beat off store shelves if you live in an area where people actually home can.
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