Several have asked questions about canning so, even though this post will be long, I will try to give you enough information to get you started. I can for several reasons:
- Putting food up for safer, better tasting storage than putting it in the freezer. Foods last much longer in a jar that has been properly canned and there’s never a concern about losing it during a power outage.
- Having foods ready to heat and eat either in the event of a crisis or when I’m just too tired to cook.
Canning is not scary! There are procedures that must be followed, not only for your own safety but for the safety of the food being canned. I do believe it’s one of those things that, for those of you who are scared of canning, once you read through the instructions, you’ll be asking yourself “What was I so afraid of?”
If you have never canned before and are starting from scratch, you will need the following:
- Pressure canner – The Presto canners are not bad. I used those for years and years. The All American canners are the cream of the crop as far as I’m concerned. There are various sizes. I highly recommend these but don’t feel like you cannot get started if you can’t afford the AA. In fact, if you’re just starting out, I would recommend starting with the less expensive Presto just to be sure this is something you enjoy doing.
- Canning kit – There are several kits available. I find that this little Ball kit has everything I need. You’ll need the jar lifter to get the hot jars out of the hot water; the little magnet to get the lids out of boiling water; the funnel to get the contents into the jar; and the stick thing to get the bubbles out of the jar.
- Jars – You need canning jars. You should not re-use mayonnaise type jars for pressure canning! Jars come in lots of sizes, quarts and pints are the most popular. You can get wide mouth or regular. My preference is definitely wide mouth. For years I canned most everything in quart jars but now that it’s just the two of us, I’m mostly using pint jars. I will still can juice, fruit, tomatoes and broth in quarts but most everything else is going into pints simply so I don’t have leftovers for a week.
As with most everything, there’s a wealth of information on the internet. I’m very careful with the recipes I can. You do not want to can anything that has flour or most thickeners. You also need to be careful with things that will turn to mush — potatoes, pasta, etc.
I mentioned “I’m Still Workin‘” yesterday but it’s a youtube channel that has lots of canning ideas. Unless she has a specific video, and I haven’t seen them all, most of what I’ve seen is recipes and I didn’t see a basic start to finish “how to get started” video.
These are some posts I’ve done previously that you might find interesting:
- Canning Info
- Canning 101 (It’s interesting that in 2009, quart wide mouth jars were $10.99 at Ace Hardware and today they’re $13.99 — having a good stock of jars is like money in the bank!)
- More Questions Answered
Nothing beats having a mentor so if you can find someone near you who would be willing to help you get started, or just let you come over and watch them can and ask questions, that would be wonderful.
If you truly are interested in canning, don’t be scared . . don’t wait . . get started!