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Canning vs. Freezing?

I have a share at an organic farm. I have apples, tomatoes, jalapenos and other hot peppers, sweet red peppers and tomatillos coming out my ears!!! I do think that's a good thing but I don't want it to go to waste. I've never canned anything before. My freezer is starting to fill up. What are everyone's thoughts on canning? Money to get going? Safety of the finished product? I have tons of ideas of things to make that will can and freeze equally well (I think!!)
Just looking for opinions and thoughts from those who do can things...thanks so much!!

 
romanojm

Asked by romanojm at 11:06 AM on Sep. 10, 2010 in Food & Drink

Level 10 (437 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • Its really not that hard to can... and I've never bought any of the fancy equipment to do it. I have my pasta pot, its deep enough to cover the jars to boil them and a regular pair of tongs that my husband rigged up with rubber bands to grip the jars when I pull them out of the pot. As long as you follow all the steps (sterilize the jars, fill them to the right level, boil them til they seal, etc...) then they will be shelf stable for a LONG time! here's a website that lists classes to learn how to can, but there are tons of videos and articles on the web too. http://www.freshpreserving.com/pages/learn_to_can/328.php

    elizabiza

    Answer by elizabiza at 11:14 AM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • i pickled some jalapenos and cucumbers this year. i used way too much sugar and not enough salt for the pickles :(
    i will be freezing tomatoes just because i don't have the canning equipment this year. I don't know what canning will cost to start, jars are just under $1 each here. I was thinking about looking at garage sales for a big pot and a jar insert and tongs. My step mom recommends the ball canning book.
    i am also going to try applesauce this year too.
    for the red peppers, can you roast them and keep them in olive oil?
    i have frozen peppers before, they can be used in a sautee or sauce after they have been frozen. with frozen jalapenos i use a grater and grate them right into the chili pot.
    happy2bmom25

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 11:15 AM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • Some things do not freeze well and others do not can well. Jalapenos and tomatoes do not freeze well in my experience. They are better off canned. Apples can go either way, it's just a matter of doing certain things to them in order to get them to keep properly.
    I just started canning this year and I love it. If you do it properly it is very safe. Just make sure you smell test everything after it's opened to make sure it smells right.I would say initial startup if you were to purchase everything can be as little as $60. bare minimum, you would need a water bath canner (giant stockpot with cover), jars with lids and rings, and a canning set (it comes with a jar lifter, magnetic lid lifter, funnel and one or two other things depending on the set). You can get a ton of advice from www.pickyourown.org it can teach you how to preserve anything. Now is the time to buy things as it's harvest season. Also try craigslist.
    zoeysmom331

    Answer by zoeysmom331 at 11:17 AM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • I love canning. You must follow certain cooking times esp with veggies. I also love freezing. There are some good ole fashioned books at the library you can check out or plenty of books to purchase. Google canning or freezing veggies. You will find a whole slue of information and recipes. That is what I do. I am still very much a novice but I still love it!! It comes in handy too during those times you need food and saves $$ The biggest expense is purchasing the jars and lids but the jars can be used over and over. You feel good knowing what is in your food and that you made it. :) Have fun
    Momforhealth

    Answer by Momforhealth at 11:18 AM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • My grandma always dried then froze apple slices for pies, etc. later. I froze whole tomatoes (never canned myself), and I've frozen lots of peppers for soups,etc. (Freezing peppers whole works great and saved me a bunch of time.) I wish I was older when my family canned so I could be more help. I remember building a fire outside and having a big metal washtub of boiling water that they'd put the jars in. Those times were so much fun when I was little. :) My parents also canned cabbage and made their own sourkraut. (spelling) It seems like they made everything and stuck it in a jar. My mom says my grandmother used to even can chickens and other meat. I don't know about that but I guess if you know how to do it go for it. Sorry my answer wasn't much help. It turned out to be more for fun.
    RentaMom

    Answer by RentaMom at 11:19 AM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • In response to the PP's.. some things cannot be canned without a pressure canner. Certain vegetables and meats especially need a higher temperature than a water bath canner can provide to kill the bacteria.
    zoeysmom331

    Answer by zoeysmom331 at 11:21 AM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • I have been canning for a while now. I got in my head to learn how to make pickles and jam years ago. I picked up a canning pot at a garage sale about 10 years ago. To me the canning is really easy and I now use an alternate method of turning the jars over after putting the lid on them. It works more than 9 times out of 10. I look for jars at garage/tag/estate sales. I also reuse pasta sauce and purchased salsa 7 jam jars. Our garden has been so prolific this summer that I am running out of jars and rims for the jars.
    balagan_imma

    Answer by balagan_imma at 11:23 AM on Sep. 10, 2010