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Yeah, I can. Not pressure canning but the good old fashion hot bath.
OK Billxam, you've convinced me I'm buying canning equipment !!!!!!
I grew up on a farm. Who wants to discuss canning? Summer is just about here and so are the farm and garden products. I, of course, buy bushels of tomatoes, potatoes, carrots and whatnot. This year I'm canning peppers too. We also can chicken soup, stew and my very first effort for 2011, split pea soup (yum). With proper processing, I still use my canning from 3 years ago or more. These are the photos I took last year while writing about canning for my alternative energy site.Updated with important canning step: When placing the product in the jars, we need to be very careful to two items. First the jars should be close the the temperature of the product and always use a damp towel to wipe the top edge of the jar to remove any small bits of food. This will destroy the final product if not done. No matter how careful you are, there will always be some food on the jars.At this point, I should also point out something about canning and dehydrated foods. A lot of us purchase pre made dehydrated survival foods that last for 20 or more years, which if we subscribe to what we're preaching is pretty much useless to us since we'll need it a lot sooner than that. So let's also talk about dry packing dehydrated foods. This information comes from an external source. http://www.whenshtf.com/showthread.php?23201-Dry-Pack-Canning-in-JarsNote: Also, use items #1, 2, 2A and 3 for all canning!Dry-Pack Canning in Glass Canning JarsFood that is dry (less than 10% moisture) and low fat can be dry packed in glass canning jars using oxygen absorbers. It is best to use quart or half gallon jars rather than pint jars or smaller.1. Check canning jars for a smooth mouth rim. Do not use jars with nicks or cracks in the rim.2. Wash jars and thoroughly dry before using.2A. I find pre heating the jars aids in the sealing process.3. Heat canning jar lids in water according to package directions.4. Fill jars with food leaving 1/2 to 1/4-inch headspace. A canning funnel helps.5. Remove oxygen absorbers from their container – one for each jar – and reseal the container.6. Put one oxygen absorber in each jar of food, poking it down into the food or along the side of the jar.7. Wipe the jar rim with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel to make sure no food or food dust is on the rim.8. One at a time, remove a jar lid from the hot water and dry thoroughly. Place on a jar and screw down firmly with a canning jar ring.9. When the lid sucks in and “pings” or “clicks” the jar is sealed. This could take a few minutes or hours depending on the density of the food and how full the jar is.10. Label and date jars.11. Store in a fairly cool and dark place.Do not dry pack home dried food unless it is crisp dry and snaps when bent. Moisture and lack of oxygen can provide growth opportunities for botulism producing bacteria.Do not dry pack sugar. Sugar will harden when packed with oxygen absorbers, but can be dry canned without the absorbers.Foods that can be dry packed in canning jars include white rice, wheat and other whole grains, oatmeal, dry beans, powdered milk, white flour, pasta without egg, freeze dried foods, dehydrated foods that are crisp enough to snap, TVP, cheese powder, gelatin, unsweetened ready-to-eat cereals, and low fat or fat free pretzels.Some foods may keep longer when dry packed but will probably not have the shelf life of unprocessed, low moisture, low fat foods. These include cornmeal, pearl barley, nuts and seeds. These foods should be used regularly to avoid rancidity. Some of the 400 pints from last year, Carrots, Tomatoes, Potato salad, Potato soup, Chicken Noodle, Creme of Chicken and some unidentified stuff that I forget what it is.I do 35 pints a day during canning season. Here are Tomatoes, Potato soup. Note I put canning dates on the lid.Canning jars under preheat in oven. Don't go over 175 degrees or you'll risk the jars cracking when putting the food in them (which should be at boiling!)Pressure cooker at pressure, favorite Presto model 7-B. This was a batch of Chili. Meats need higher processing pressures than veggies. Note the great pack rat survival supplies in the backgroundThe big batch 24 quart pot with Chicken Noodle soup. Usually takes a full day to properly prepare a batch so we have several of these going at a time. This requires beer.The canner I use is from my grandmother who canned my baby food. So my Presto has a lot of history behind it. This is what I can during the summer: * Tomatoes (simple method for skinning - boil and shuck skin) * Corn (takes lots of ears of corn to make canned corn) * Green Beans (add a little butter to the batch for flavor) * Chili (gotta be careful - beans can out gas after canning and ruin the batch) * Potatoes (I do up to 50 lbs at a time) * Soups (Potato, Chicken/rice/noodle, NO sodium)Once you get your canning jones on, you will amaze your family. And it's great for a parent/child activity!Repeat after me: clean, clean, clean your jars, canner, cooking pots and lids. One speck of contamination can ruin everything. Clean, clean, clean.As with all canning, wash all jars even if new, preheat them to 175 degrees (oven on warm), use only new lids, inspect the pressure cooker; take it to your local extension service to have it tested. Head space: When you are canning, what happens is that all the air is forced out of the jars leaving a vacuum in there so things don't rot. What you need is called "head space", usually about 1/2 inch. This allows the fluid to rise, push out the air and go back down as the jar cools. Now, this is important - too little head space (too much fluid) and the fluid and bits of food will contaminate the rubber seal. Sometimes, this prevents good seals, sometimes not but it's best to be conservative. Keep a ruler handy to measure the head space. Once you get used to it you can do it by eye.Food funnel: I took a regular funnel, cut the end off it so it's a big opening and use that for my food funnel since they can be hard to find. Now, here's your tip for this. When you cut the end off, cut a little bit at a time and put it in a jar. You want the funnel to extend 1/2 inch into the jar so you won't need to measure your head space. Just fill to the bottom of the funnel and you are golden.Washing: I've found that putting the jars in the lower rack of the dishwasher and running a full cycle with dry heat on does the best job for cleaning and sterilizing the jars. Most of the jars I use are pints with some quarts mixed in.Preheating jars: If you time it right and get the dishwasher to end just as your food is ready to can, you are golden. But, if the jars cool to room temps., then put them in an oven for a half hour or so on the "Warm/reheat" setting. You want them around 175 degrees. Any hotter and the boiling food may cause the jars to crack.More tips: You can't over process too much. I always over process. If the product calls for 20 minutes at 5 pounds of pressure, I can for 40 minutes at 10 pounds. It never fails. Meats always require longer processing times and higher pressure. Any bean product should be cooked, simmered, put in the fridge overnight and then reheated and canned. The reason is out gassing of the beans. Always assume that they will out gas.When the food is in the jars, use a chop stick to get the air bubbles out of the product.[/size]
Quote from: augonit on June 04, 2011, 01:46:43 PMYeah, I can. Not pressure canning but the good old fashion hot bath.All meats and low acid vegetables must be pressure canned (these canners have been around for 200 years, invented by the French in 1810.) The only things that can safely be water-bath canned are fruits and tomatoes (high acid.) 212 Fahrenheit (boiling) is not hot enough to kill all the microbes in low-acid foods.Read the manual cover to cover and keep it handy every time you can. If you buy a used canner with no manual, you can download one from the net (that's how I got the manual for my bread machine.)
Cloudiness of canning jars is simply a buildup of minerals from whatever contents were inside, like the calcium scum that builds up inside a china toilet bowl, that requires a cleaner with hydroflouric (sp?) acid. I clean my cloudy jars with a product called "Whink Rust Stain Remover," (available at hardware stores) applied with heavy rubber gloves and cotton balls or small pieces of paper towel. Then run the jars through the dishswasher and sterilize by baking in the oven for twenty minutes at 300 degrees. Jars cost $1 each now, and going up. I hate wasting anything. A bigger problem, especially with jars canned in a pressure canner, would be small chips in the rim (mostly on jars that were used multiple times.) They keep the jar/lid from sealing safely. The chips usually occur from using a metal utensil to pry off the lid. Wet your finger and carefully circle the rim, feeling for chips that are hard to see.
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