The Canning Thread

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  • pbharvey

    Habitual Testifier
    MDS Supporter
    Dec 27, 2012
    26,994
    My mom used to can some things out of the garden and orchard when I was a kid. She made some remarkably good bread and butter pickles and applesauce. I never paid that much attention to the process so I don't know much about canning. Unfortunately any wisdom she had on the topic is now gone for eternity.

    I started this thread because I went to order some ball mason jars to start the process and realized I didn't know the difference between regular and wide mouth and which is better.

    Post up your best tips, supplies, techniques, and recipes for preserving food via canning.
     

    Jed195

    Active Member
    Oct 19, 2011
    3,896
    MD.
    I'm paying attention to this thread...been thinking about canning the extras from the garden instead of giving most to neighbors.
     

    MattTheGunslinger

    Active Member
    Jul 26, 2010
    1,354
    Baltimore county
    Ill be watching this thread too. I don't can but my wife does. Maybe I can get some info from her to post on here. Canning is a great skill to have. Especially in the times we are living in now. The only useful knowledge I have of canning is you have to know what foods need hot water bath or pressure canning to be safe for long term storage.
     

    Matlack

    Scribe
    Dec 15, 2008
    7,846
    Wide mouth is easier to remove and insert things. Many can be done with simple salt, water, ambient temperature and time.
     

    44man

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Feb 19, 2013
    8,578
    southern md
    Get as big a pressure canner as you can. I have the largest American pressure canner and it does 32 pints or 19 quarts per run and it doesn’t have a gasket so that doesn’t ever need replacing. It’s pricy but I think it’s worth it

    Get a few books, the ball book is great but there are a lot of good books

    The wife and I used to can well over 500 jars a year and we are going to can what we get out of the garden and from the Amish this year again

    Peaches are great canned in wide mouth jars

    You can never have to many canned tomatoes

    I love spicy stewed tomatoes so I usually do a lotta them

    Bread and butter pickles

    Green beans

    Corn

    Relishes of all types

    Chutneys

    Apple butter

    Apple sauce

    Meat, hot dogs, bread

    There’s a lot you can can but can what you like to eat
     

    namrelio

    Active Member
    Aug 14, 2013
    4,372
    Frederick Co. Virginia
    I have no tips to give, just that my daughter is canning and dehydrating like crazy since this covid stuff started. Mainly from me telling her about members here doing it. Especially the dehydrating part.
     

    marko

    Banned
    BANNED!!!
    Jan 28, 2009
    7,048
    We had a huge garden as a kid and canned tomatoes - alot. Wild blackberries we canned as well but put the paraffin wax on top of those for some reason.
    We blanched and froze string beans by the bushel basket - that was alot of work.
    You don't absolutely have to have a pressure cooker, but everything absolutely has to be sterilized.
     

    Antarctica

    YEEEEEHAWWW!!!!
    MDS Supporter
    Sep 29, 2012
    1,335
    Southern Anne Arundel
    I got into canning a few years ago, but I only do four things - peaches, applesauce, chili and blueberry jelly. I use widemouth quart jars for everything except the jelly.

    Peaches are a lot of work, but I'm getting better at being efficient at them. I usually do about 40 quarts a year (probably two bushels). Peaches are awesome canned.

    Applesauce is easy if you have a kitchenmaid mixer with the applesauce attachment. Again, about two bushel, or 40 quarts per year.

    Chili I do in smaller batches. I'll make up about 25-30 pounds of chili, get one family of four meal out of it and can about 12-14 jars. I love having chili on hand. Its our standby for " I'm too damned tired to start cooking a dinner now" and keeps me from ordering pizza. I make a helluva good chili.

    Jellies are usually blueberries. I'll buy them in the summer at costco when they are cheap and make about 15-20 pints.

    I invested in an American canner also and love it. I agree with the 'get the biggest you can', but bear in mind that the biggest may be too tall for your stove. Mine hold 7 quarts and honestly, unless I was stepping up the the amount of canning that 44man is doing, its just about the right size.

    I wish I had a bigger garden to can more of it.
     

    tallen702

    Active Member
    Sep 3, 2012
    3,789
    In the boonies of MoCo
    Get a pressure canner, get a book from a reputable company (Ball or Atlas) or use the FDA guidelines you can get through most Ag extensions. You can can more with pressure than simple water-bath canning.

    Water bath canning is only suitable for high acid items, jellies, jams, tomatoes, applesauce, pickles. If the PH is too high, you'll get botulism.

    Pressure canning uses a locking lid and the increase pressure from steam to allow for higher temperatures to be reached than you'd get from boiling water at a single atmosphere of pressure. These higher temperatures combined with pre-set lengths of time allow you to ensure that all bacteria, mold, and fungal spores are rendered inactive which prevents you from accidentally killing anyone.

    Dairy does not can well and is advised against. If canning a soup or stew that calls for dairy, can it without and add it back in when you go to reheat the product to eat.
    Starches like rice, noodles/pasta, flour, cornstarch, cornmeal, arrowroot, and other common thickeners don't can well as the varying water activity and density prevents you from being sure that things are safe. The high heat also breaks down the starch where things like cornstarch and arrowroot are concerned. If canning soups, thicken or add rice/noodles when you re-heat the canned product before eating. Campbell's can do it because their industrial equipment heats so rapidly that the starch doesn't have time to break down.

    Start out with simple stuff. Gazpacho, tomatoes, pasta sauce, salsa, apple sauce, jams, jellies, pickles, etc.

    For pickles, make sure to use Ball "Pickle Crisp" when canning. It'll prevent them from getting soggy. It's just potassium chloride, but man it works GREAT

    Follow directions for head-space. Much like C&R rifles, bad head-space will ruin your day. In this case, it causes product to gush out of the jar when it heats up, preventing a proper seal.

    Wide-mouth is easier to load, but the bands and lids are less common in grocery stores.

    Label and date everything after it cools. 18 months is the manufacturer's max time for most lids. USDA says 2 years. Most are still edible after that, but tend to degrade in terms of texture and color.

    And because I can't say it enough, follow reputable books (Ball or Atlas) or USDA guidelines to stay safe.

    I personally do dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, butternut squash soup, vegetable soup, pheasant soup (to add noodles to later), duck and vegetable soup (to add wild rice to later) pasta sauce, gazpacho, salsa, and half-runner beans (soooooo good once they've been pressure canned with chicken stock and bacon).


    Edit:

    I run a National Pressure Canning Company pressure canner from '46/'47. She's a temperamental little bitch, but she works good if you know how to treat her. Controlled completely by the amount of heat you put under it. Came to me from my grandmother along with jars. I have some of the depression glass blue Ball quart and pint jars that helped my ancestors survive the great depression on their farm in Roane County, WV.
     

    tallen702

    Active Member
    Sep 3, 2012
    3,789
    In the boonies of MoCo
    Last night's work:

    1.5G Dill Spears
    1.5Qt Bread and Butter Chips
    1Qt Szechuan-Garlic Spears (trial run)

    yStnbRJ.jpg
     

    FrankOceanXray

    Active Member
    Oct 29, 2008
    11,831
    Electric canner is nice, able to keep heat out of the kitchen.

    Just picked and jellied fresh plums, strawberries (50#).... and did bananas... an incredible treat!
     

    newmuzzleloader

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Apr 14, 2009
    4,300
    joppa
    Get as big a pressure canner as you can. I have the largest American pressure canner and it does 32 pints or 19 quarts per run and it doesn’t have a gasket so that doesn’t ever need replacing. It’s pricy but I think it’s worth it

    Get a few books, the ball book is great but there are a lot of good books

    The wife and I used to can well over 500 jars a year and we are going to can what we get out of the garden and from the Amish this year again

    Peaches are great canned in wide mouth jars

    You can never have to many canned tomatoes

    I love spicy stewed tomatoes so I usually do a lotta them

    Bread and butter pickles

    Green beans

    Corn

    Relishes of all types

    Chutneys

    Apple butter

    Apple sauce

    Meat, hot dogs, bread

    There’s a lot you can can but can what you like to eat

    19 quarts?! Where do find a stove with a burner big enough to fit that monster? When we were canning heavy a few years ago I was running 2 canners on opposite burners and thought I was doing something.
     

    adit

    ReMember
    Feb 20, 2013
    12,878
    DE
    I'd like to see T45 sign an EO encouraging food packagers that use glass jars to make them in a Mason Jar format so that they can be reused.

    The jar itself would have a monetary value (sell or give away) for those who didn't want to keep it, rather than just chucking it in the trash.

    Costco sells jarred peaches this way.
     

    44man

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Feb 19, 2013
    8,578
    southern md
    19 quarts?! Where do find a stove with a burner big enough to fit that monster? When we were canning heavy a few years ago I was running 2 canners on opposite burners and thought I was doing something.

    I use a banjo burner that we also use to cook crabs and to cook hams and stuffed hams and to run my recipe machine lol

    It does take a while to get heated up but once hot it cans at the same speed as a small canner
     

    Antarctica

    YEEEEEHAWWW!!!!
    MDS Supporter
    Sep 29, 2012
    1,335
    Southern Anne Arundel
    I'd like to see T45 sign an EO encouraging food packagers that use glass jars to make them in a Mason Jar format so that they can be reused.

    The jar itself would have a monetary value (sell or give away) for those who didn't want to keep it, rather than just chucking it in the trash.

    Costco sells jarred peaches this way.

    I saved (the one time I bought them to compare to my own canned peaches) those jars but standard tops don't fit them.

    BTW - my own peaches are much better....
     
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