Canning questions

There were a couple of questions so I want to make sure everyone has all the info. Even those of you too shy to comment. At least I’m assuming there are a few more readers than those that comment.

Canning really is that easy. It takes a little bit of equipment, a bit of counter space, and a bunch of time. I’d say time is the biggest thing you’ll be giving to do canning. Oh, and if you’re buying your veggies and fruits, it’s a bit of an investment money wise but it will pay off over the winter months. You won’t be buying this stuff later on.

I did a couple of searches to find informational sites online for you
How to Can
and this one also has a listing of where you can get fresh produce in your state:
Pick your own – canning info
I also looked up a site that sells alot of the equipment.
Canning Equipment
Or you can simply get an all inclusive canning set. Not that you need a complete setup but sometimes it’s nice to have everything all in one set to get started.
Full Canning setup

I’m not recommending any specific site to buy your stuff from, and I’m also not saying you shouldn’t buy new online or wherever you can find it. I bought my boiling bath set at a yard sale. The Pressure canners are harder to find at a yard sale. The jars are usually on sale this time of year at places like True Value and Aubuchon Hardware stores. I checked the price in my area and Aubuchon was $2 per 12 pack cheaper than the grocery.

There are safety precautions, this is food after all. So read the sites I’ve listed or get a book from your library. THIS is a book that I have and I find it very helpful. I like the guide in the back the most. It runs through all the veggies and fruits and lists basic packing, canning methods, times and or pressures to can at. It’s the book that I have sitting out while I’m canning. Because I can never seem to remember this stuff year to year.

My job will be done if at least one of you out there gets into canning. I like to eat. I’m so not into domestic chores, but I love to eat. This is why I do all the cooking and canning like this. I like to know what’s in my food as opposed to buying it prepackaged. In any given grocery trip we buy very little if any pre-packaged foods. Sure it takes time up front to can but if you think about it, in the winter when I really get the bug to knit and spin, I don’t have as much prep cooking to do. I have cans of sauce or veggies for pasta, pickles for snacks, veggies for side dishes, fruits for smoothies or desserts, salsa for snacks or to go with a meal….

I’ll be back tomorrow with more knitting and fiber stuff.

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11 Responses to Canning questions

  1. Loopykd says:

    Yup I agree on the canning stuff! However, I love the kitchen and the prep. I love to cook and create in that way and I don’t buy the prepackaged stuff either. I also don’t have a basement to store stuff. If I had a place to stick everything, I would can all day and night.

  2. Amy says:

    I love the idea of having all the pasta sauces all ready to go in winter. I do minimal canning right now, but I might have to do a little more!

  3. wendy says:

    I’m with you on the pre-package stuff…who knows what that stuff has in it that they don’t tell ya about.
    I hope when we move into a house again (this winter) I’ll be able to can the following summer. I’ve been dreaming about canning: sauces, soup, juice concentrate, salsa, hot sauce, jelly, pie filling,and some veggies…yup, I think that’s about it.lol.
    Thanks again for the info.

  4. michelle says:

    Thanks for all the links, and the book info. That’s enough to keep me busy for a day or two :)

  5. LaBean says:

    I was just chatting about canning with someone the other day. My biggest issue would be the initial investment in produce. Other than that it would probably be fun and productive. Would it be a bad idea to just start with a jar or two?

  6. Annalea says:

    This is awesome info, Amy. Thanks so much. I’ve been wanting to can for a long time . . . my only attempts have been thwarted; and the one time I did can peaches with my MIL, my FIL at them all before I could! (They were a Y2K preparedness measure, and stored in my MIL’s cellar.)

    One note on pressure canners to those new to canning: BUY HIGH QUALITY! Have it calibrated each year, and be sure to inspect it regularly. They are subjected to such incredible stresses that you don’t want to have one blow up in your kitchen, or in your face. (That happened to my MIL’s friend. Man. Don’t go there.)

    Anyway, thanks for holding out the carrot of how great home-canned food really is. I’m wishing I had the energy to make salsa and spaghetti sauce and pickles. . .

  7. Miriam says:

    I’d also recommend the Ball Blue Book (http://www.amazon.com/Ball-Blue-Book-of-Preserving/dp/0972753702/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-0499606-1450251?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1189116129&sr=8-1) for anyone wanting to get into canning. It’s handy and usually pretty easy to find. And cheap. Definitely cheap.

  8. Maryellen says:

    Oh Canning Guru I have another question. DO you heat your salsa up before canning or is the boiling in the jars enough. I’m going with the boil meathod as I think the toamates and lemon juice will be acidic enough. I’m using my big stock pot so I won’t be able to boil to many cans al once. I think tomorrow may be the day to start this adbventure.

  9. rita says:

    Waaaay back when I lived on a farm (when my kids were little and I was married to the control freak dictator farmer, I used to have a big garden and canned lots and lots of green beans and tomatoes. One year I even made tomato sauce and ketchup and applesauce and grape juice. I loved it.

    Now I live in WV on a very rocky 46 acres with a herd of deer. Anything that manages to grow there is immediately eaten by the deer. But we enjoy watching them, so we live with it.

  10. rita says:

    Waaaay back when I lived on a farm (when my kids were little and I was married to the control freak dictator farmer, I used to have a big garden and canned lots and lots of green beans and tomatoes. One year I even made tomato sauce and ketchup and applesauce and grape juice. I loved it.

    Now I live in WV on a very rocky 46 acres with a herd of deer. Anything that manages to grow there is immediately eaten by the deer. But we enjoy watching them, so we live with it.

  11. Do you know, it’s taken me this long to realise that this mysterious American “canning” thing is just what we do over here under the name of preserving and bottling? Kilner jars and a pressure cooker stuff I’ve been doing for decades, but I thought “canning” meant exclusively cans, as in tins.
    Mind you, once I started growing my own produce ten years back I’ve mostly “canned” straight into the freezer. Not half so much fun as a pressure cooker hissing away!

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