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Canning food

I have never canned food before and I want to start doing it. I would like to do tomatoes and icicle pickles. I don't have a canner, but have read that the pressure canner is better than the water bath one. I just noticed the price of a pressure canner. Scary, I don't have $100 to buy a pressure canner. Since I'm not sure how I will do with it, would it be okay to just buy a cheap water bath canner? I need all advice. Websites that would help me out would be great. Recipes would also be great. Thanks!!!

Answer Question

Asked by DAH02 at 12:07 AM on Jun. 23, 2009 in Food & Drink

Level 3 (23 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • I am a little afraid of a pressure canner. I open kettle or water bath can. You do have to spend money for the initial investment. You need: canner (make sure it has the metal part for the jars to sit on) mason jars, rings & lids. You can reuse everything but the lids each year as long as the jars aren't chipped or cracked. If you have a glass top stove, you should open kettle or can outside on a camp stove because the weight/heat/length of time can crack your glass. Are you growing your own tomatos & cucumbers? To buy enough to can would be pricey as opposed to having them in your garden. Do you want large halves of tomatos or smaller chunks to use in recipes like chili? After washing the rings & jars, start a low simmer of water to warm the lids. I blanch the tomatos, peel the skin, squish & funnel into jars, add the ring & lid quickly! and then put into the canner.

    Answer by RugersMommy06 at 8:43 AM on Jun. 23, 2009

  • Time of boil depends on what type of squish/cut you want. (oops, your water should be nice & hot in you canner by now & put all jars into the holder, then lower into the canner--not add one at a time!) You have to leave headspace in each jar so don't go all the way up to the top. You can also add a small amount of salt to some things you can-like green beans & tomatos before canning if you prefer. Tighten each lid & quickly set unto a towel to dry & cool. I invert my jars after about 3 hours. Make sure each lid sealed by pressing down on it, if it doesn't pop back-store them. If it does, use it for dinner. You can also open kettle, by putting ingrediants in a large stock pot, boiling to kill any bacteria then funneling into warmed jars, add hot lids & rings. I open kettle salsa & peaches. You might want to wear rubber gloves while doing tomatos, the acid bothers my skin! Good luck, feel free to PM me if you need more info.

    Answer by RugersMommy06 at 8:49 AM on Jun. 23, 2009

  • One of the best books I've found was, The Blue Book of Preserving by Ball...which makes mason jars. It has start up material lists, recipes, times, tips.

    Answer by RugersMommy06 at 8:51 AM on Jun. 23, 2009

  • Plain tomatoes and pickles are fine for water bath canning but if you ever intend to branch out to things like spaghetti sauce, beans, carrots, meats, soups, etc you'll NEED a pressure canner. There's NOTHING to be afraid of if you follow the directions. I've canned for 30 years with a pressure canner and I've never had a canner explode, I've NEVER been injured. I found my latest canner on eBay for $85 but a good canner will last for YEARS. I can also use it as a water bath canner by not sealing the lid so I didn't have to buy both a pressure canner AND a water bath canner.

    Pick Your Own is a great site to answer more questions.  C'mon over and join Home-Canning Mommies for more tips and recipes!


    Answer by michiganmom116 at 8:57 AM on Jun. 23, 2009

  • you can can ( ha!) with a water bath boil, a pressure cooker would be better and safer. check out your thrift stores for a newer model or yard sales. tell your family members in casual conversation over and over and maybe you'll get one for christmas or birthday. the new pressure cookers are not like the old ones that used to explode.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 9:31 AM on Jun. 23, 2009

  • I was reading the canning book I have & forgot to mention things like removing air bubbles & wiping the jars after filling. Your best bet would be to get a book & find a friend who's canned before to show you the ropes.

    Answer by RugersMommy06 at 12:25 PM on Jun. 23, 2009

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