Oct262011

22 Comments

Easy guides to canning your own foods

image by Chiot's Run

More and more Americans are returning in record numbers to the days of canning to preserve food.  Canning jars and supplies have been disappearing from store shelves and families across the country are rediscovering the satisfaction of preserving their own healthy foods.

However, just as many people are standing on the sidelines, wanting to jump in but confused about where to start.  Sharon over at Simply Canning has an easy-to-navigate website with dozens of helpful articles related to canning.  She also has an inexpensive e-book you can download in seconds to begin your own venture into the world of canning.  Here are some articles you may want to check out:

Canning equipment

Canning chicken or poultry

Canning homemade soups

Kendra, over at New Life on a Homestead, is also into canning and gave her permission for me to post this video explaining the use of a pressure canner.

 

You can also find directions from Kendra for canning summer squash and zucchini and chicken broth.

Finally, my friend Lori in Oregon recently decided to begin blogging about her own canning adventures.  You can check out her colorful blog, Lori’s Latest – and other tales from the homestead.  I can’t wait to try her recipe for Indian Relish.

One item you will definitely want to have on hand is the book known as the canning Bible, Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.  It will almost certainly be in your library but you’ll soon be wanting a copy of your own.  Barbara, a family friend who has been canning for decades, still pulls out her worn copy from twenty years ago.

Look for canning jars and other equipment at garage and estate sales, second-hand stores, eBay, Craigslist, Backpage, and even placing requests for free supplies at Freecycle.  With the weather definitely hitting autumn and, in some places, winter temperatures, a cozy, warm kitchen is just the place to be spending some time…over a water bath filled with jars of tomato preserves!

 

There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

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I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 5 years. Come join me on my journey to becoming more prepared to handle everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios.

(22) Readers Comments

  1. Thanks so much for this post! I have been interested in learning to can and feel a lot more confident in my ability to learn after seeing the video! The preasure cooker has been de-mystified a bit.

  2. Here at the 50 Dollar Stockpile, we are canning fools. Turkeys are cheap from now through Thanksgiving. Give Kendra's pressure canning video linked above a look-see, and consider canning up those cheap turkeys for quick and easy meals in the year to come.

  3. Lori's blog link needs to be corrected. The html is messed up.
    http://lorislatesttalesfromthehomestead.blogspot….

  4. Remember to heat canned food up (on a stove not a microwave) approriately before consuming. You can get sick if you do not.

    Canning is great and versatile, but don't forget that dehydrating is also a good preservation method for many things.

    • Doesn't make sense to me. Do you have some data to back this up?

      • theory is that to prevent botulism, boiling for 10" kills any of it…..and I do this….but I also only can high acid foods like tomatoes, and I even add lemon juice to each jar…..

  5. I've heard of this suggestion to heat home canned food before eating, but I've never done it. I've eaten thousands of jars of fruit cold from the jar and simply warmed perhaps millions of jars of vegetables. Meats, of course, get heated by making them into whatever dish they become part of, but this "Bring to full boil for 10 minutes" I've seen just doesn't make sense. It's properly pressure processed, and the seal is good. The color is good, the smell is good. The food is good.

  6. If you have a garden, canning is a great way to add more VARIETY to your food storage. The initial investment can be a little costly, since all those jars and seals cost money, but even if the food isn't less expensive than what you can buy in the store, it tastes better. And after you have the jars, well. you HAVE them, so the subsequent cost per jar goes waaaay down. Some things like the peahull jelly and cantaloupe and fig preserves I canned this summer can't be found in stores. Same way with certain types of relishes and my grandma's old recipe for "vinegar beans". So even if it doesn't seem to be a cheap way to store food, please DO try home canning. You'll be ever so glad you did! It will be a great way to stretch your food storage and provide more nutrition.

  7. Here's a link to another site that is great for canning instructions. http://pickyourown.org/allaboutcanning.htm. It has links for almost everything that can be canned, with lots of pictures and detailed explanations for everything. I do hope everyone interested in preserving food, and those concerned with what additives their families are eating in processed foods, will give canning a try. It's a little intimidating at first, but jump on in and give it a chance! You'll be so proud of those filled jars on your shelves! (And I enjoy remembering my grandmas every time I use my canner. I feel like a part of them is living on in me.)

    • I love the pick your own site! I get frustrated with the Ball website as most of their recipes begin with one of their spice mixes/sauce mixes/pickle mixes. PYO has some very interesting recipes, from scratch.

  8. If you've been thinking about it, jump in and learn to can NOW. Canning is not difficult, but it's a skill that should be learned ahead of time. You don't want to try to learn how to do this during a crisis. Not to mention it's wise to have a stockpile of canned food ready to go.

    Cold front is due in today….time to get the canning equipment out! Love to can when it's cold outside. :)

  9. Great links! I do alot of canning and dehydrating, so its nice to get some inspiration!

  10. I like to can outside. I use a Camp Chef stove. I don't like making a giant canning mess in the kitchen, so I go right out to a shady spot near the garden. I set up shop and go to it. Compost pile is right there for pits or scraps or whatever.

  11. Has anyone here used the Tattler lids? I have considered investing in them. I would appreciate hearing from someone who has tried them. Thank you.

    • I have some of the Tattler lids, and tried a few this year. They seem to seal only half the time; not sure if I'm doing something wrong. But when they do seal, they work/look just like a properly sealed standard metal canning lid – sucked down into the jar in the middle. Will get some more of the metal, but will keep the Tattlers to experiment a little more with them later.

      • Thanks. I had heard that the seal rate was not as high as the metal lids. I also wonder how long the seal would last. I have had jars of food for a couple of years with no problems. I am curious to how the tattler lids work for the long term.

        • I have a very high success rate with my tattler's sealing… it is VERY important to follow the directions about losening the lid before cannin and tightening when they come out. Also, it you are canning anything "exotic" (beyond the traditional fruits and vegi's) contact tattler and ask them about the head space they suggest. I learned that when canning beans you need to leave more headspace than you think… the folks at tattler are really nice and know a lot about their product if you need help.

  12. I have had great success with the Tattler lids, and so far (two years) they have worked just as well (and as long) as the non-reusable lids. I am also scrupulous about wiping the top edge of the glass jar with a cloth soaked in vinegar directly before putting on the lid. As for canning books, while the Ball book is ok, I always thought the "bible" of canning was Putting Food By (by Janet Greene) – it is by far the most comprehensive home canning guide I have read.

  13. Well, SOMEBODY must be canning!! We can't find mason or ball jars anywhere here on this island! Both of our big Target stores are sold out as well as ROSS and all of our local drugstores! Prepping is big business!!

  14. Just be careful if you are NEW to canning and I say this because some people on you tube can things that are deemed unsafe to can like butter, bacon and dairy products. Please do your research and look into these practices before you attempt something like this. Happy canning, it's really awesome!

  15. I can butter, bacon, and all kinds of meats regularly. It is not inherently more difficult than canning anything else. Just as with veggies, you have to keep the operation clean, can at the proper pounds pressure and for the proper length of time. There isn't anything about meats that make it somehow more dangerous. Botchulism is deadly no matter where it happens, and it can happen with green beans too. For some reason people have got it into their heads that meat is somehow "dirtier" than other foods. It isn't.

  16. I was cleaning out the basement of the old farm house (my mother passed away some time ago) and there were a bunch of the older style ball mason jars with food in them.. some VERY old (12 years?) however, there were several jars of pickled beats dated 9/04. They still looked good! So i opened a jar (still had a good seal) and tried some. They were fine! 7 year old pickled beats! Yum! and I haven't vomited yet! I did toss the contents if they were regular vegetables, but even with those, almost all still had good seals (we're talking about 60-80 jars of stuff).. it was too bad to toss them, but they were very old… just goes to show that those older mason jars worked great….

    ALSO, something else came to mind… all those jars on shelving and a few broken ones on the old floor (this is a VERY old house)…. make sure your jars are SECURE on your shelving and can't be shaken off (earthquake or who knows what God has intended for us)!! That would really ROT to have your canned goods smashed all over the floor… I've never heard anyone mention this before…. well, i've got a LOT of jars to wash!!

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