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Canning cheese sauce

John__ShowMe__USA
14 years ago

I made a cheese sauce not long ago that I want to can. It was just a basic white sauce with a LOT of cheese added.

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black or white pepper

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup grated sharp Cheddar

Melt butter; remove from heat. Stir in flour and seasonings. Gradually add milk, stirring until well mixed. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Cook for 5 minutes longer; add cheese.

I used 3 cups cheese.

Can this be pressure canned or BWB? Does the recipe need to be altered? If it can be done, will it separate during storage?

jt

Comments (30)

  • ksrogers
    14 years ago

    Not sure, but freezing might work well. Because of all the fat/dairy, as well as flour, it might be unsafe in any home processing method. As a thickener, substitute Clear Jel for the flour, or add enough cheese so that it will be naturally thick to begin with.

  • John__ShowMe__USA
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    Ken,

    Thanks for the reply! Freezing is not an option. Am wanting to enter a hot sauce contest & the processing must be to USDA standards.

    Extra cheese is no problem & I think cheese is acidic?

    jt

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  • readinglady
    14 years ago

    AFIK there are no USDA standards for home-processing of dairy products. The density of the product and the high level of fat makes it unacceptable for canning.

    My guess is if canning were possible, the processing time would be so long that the quality of the sauce would suffer.

    Carol

    Here is a link that might be useful: USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning

  • Linda_Lou
    14 years ago

    Sorry,
    No butter, flour, or milk are things that are safe to can at home. Cheese is a very low acid food, not acidic. Ph is approx. 7.
    From Elizabeth Andress :
    > question -> Is it safe to add butter or flour as a thickener to foods when canning them ?
    > Is it safe to can butter or milk at home ?


    Thickening
    It is only safe to use scientifically tested procedures for home canning; processes should not be made up for recipes and foods created at home if they follow the published tested procedures.
    No food should be thickened for canning if you do not have an appropriate published process and procedure. We have no foods in the USDA recommended processes that are truly thickened with butter or flour. (There is a little flour in a relish recipe or two, but those foods were tested in a laboratory by a thermal processing specialist.)
    So, do not add butter or flour on your own to a food you are preparing for canning. These ingredients change the way heat is distributed throughout the jar during the canning process by slowing it down, and that causes under-processed foods. Fats can also surround bacteria and protect them from the effects of the heat.
    Canning butter and milk
    There are no established safe procedures to recommend for canning these products at home. The various procedures for "canning" butter at home on the Internet on personal sites are not always even canning, and they contain several safety concerns. They also have not been thoroughly challenged in microbiology studies to know you will always get a safe product.
    Milk is not a good candidate for canning at home. The amount of heat that would have to be applied to kill harmful bacteria that would grown in this product in a sealed jar at room temperature would be extremely detrimental to quality. Therefore, no one has scientifically developed a canning process for milk to be used at home.
    Milk is a finely balanced emulsion of proteins and fats in water. If the proteins are overheated, they drop out of suspension and the milk separates. Industry has special equipment and superheating as well as other methods available that protect quality and chemistry of the product which cannot be duplicated at home.
    For further information, here is our notation on canning soups about thickening:
    http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_04/soups.html
    Here is a page on insuring safe canned foods:
    http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/general/ensuring_safe_canned_foods.html
    Elizabeth Andress
    --------------------------------------
    Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D.
    Project Director, National Center for HFP
    Professor and Extension Food Safety Specialist
    Department of Foods and Nutrition
    The University of Georgia
    208 Hoke Smith Annex
    Athens, GA 30602-4356
    Phone: (706) 542-3773
    FAX: (706) 542-1979

  • flora_uk
    14 years ago

    Cheese sauce is so quick and easy to make that I wouldn't have thought it worth the time taken to can it or the space to store it. Also it is in no way seasonal so what's the point? It does freeze and will not separate if you stir it well when reheating, but it takes almost as long to thaw as to make from scratch. I have occasionally frozen leeks in cheese sauce when I've made a big batch but it is never as good as fresh and does separate a bit on thawing as water comes out of the vegetables. I probably make cheese sauce at least once every ten days as it is the basis for so many quick supper dishes eg leeks in cheese sauce, cauliflower cheese, macaroni cheese, lasagne, spinach florentine. I live just a few miles from Cheddar and buy either Gould's or Keen's produced there - if only the producers had got their act together and protected the name, like the French would have, there would not be hundreds of "Cheddar" cheeses around the world.

  • John__ShowMe__USA
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    Thanks for the replies!

    Well... looks like another brilliant idea shot all to heck. It's a contest. You send the properly prepared sauce to the sponsor and it gets judged. My fermented sauces are turning out very well and with pH levels in the low to mid threes are probably quite safe, but not up to USDA standards so are out of the question too. I suppose could BWB them, but I don't like how the taste changes. So far I haven't shared them with anyone & have been dehydrating for hot powder.

    I googled for 'canning cheese' and there are people that do it. I won't be one of them.

    Here is what gets me... I can buy cheese sauces at the grocery store so why can't I do them?

    Thanks again & back to the drawing board.

    JohnT

  • ksrogers
    14 years ago

    Commercially processed cheese is made with very special equipment as well as preservatives that are not available to the home canner. A good example is mayonnaise. When made commercially its injected with nitrogen gas to kill off any spores of any food toxins. Once opened, the mayo can break down unless its refrigerated. Many people have gotten very sick with mayo thats been left out for several hours on a warm day. It obviously contains oil, and eggs, as well as vinegar, but that isn't enough to prevent it from going bad.

  • readinglady
    14 years ago

    For the reasons Ken mentioned, commercial mayonnaise is actually pretty low-risk. It's fairly high-acid. But it's often used in foods like potato salads; the eggs are the problem. And I remember when DH got very sick after a buffet where he ate cream puffs stuffed with shrimp salad. I suspect it was the shrimp, not the mayonnaise that was the culprit. Good thing I didn't eat any and one of us was well enough to nurse the other.

    So at that low a pH for your pepper sauce and low-density, I wonder if a short processing time in small containers would be sufficient? There's been some discussion of this on RFP (rec.food.preserving) and pepperfool.com might have some ideas also.

    I wonder if you could move in a different direction and try some sort of hot tomato-pepper-cheese sauce (kind of like a chili-cheese sauce) using dehydrated cheese? I'm not speculating about canning, but it might be an intriguing experiment.

    Good luck. It's really interesting and neat that you're exploring these alternatives.

    Carol

  • John__ShowMe__USA
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    > I wonder if you could move in a different direction and try some sort of hot tomato-pepper-cheese sauce (kind of like a chili-cheese sauce) using dehydrated cheese? I'm not speculating about canning, but it might be an intriguing experiment.

    Carol,

    I pretty much do that all the time when I make burrito mixes. Cheese, peppers and tomatoes are in quite a few I them.

    Dehydrated cheese. I got dehydrating cheese down pat a couple of months ago & have been making pepper powders with them. The flour and milk I can do without. Is there any way to safely put cheese powder in a pepper/tomato mix to be canned. I guess you've already said no, but just want to be sure.

    Thanks
    jt

  • readinglady
    14 years ago

    I don't know of any safe-tested recipe that contains cheese powder. I suppose it's partly because few home cooks use this kind of product and the Extension services' resources are too limited to test any but the highest-demand recipes. I just wish they'd come up with a time for pressure-canning tomato paste.

    I think your best bet, if you came up with a recipe containing cheese in some form and thought you might want to pursue competition entries or even small-scale marketing, would be to get it tested at a private lab. Part of the challenge is commercial products are developed by companies with extensive testing facilities and they can resolve issues like density and additional acidification required (if any) in-house.

    Or if there's a university near you with a good food science program, maybe you could talk some grad student into analyzing some of these things as a class project.

    Good luck. I've enjoyed following your other experiments.

    Carol

  • ksrogers
    14 years ago

    With deydrated cheeses, the only part thats removed is the water. The fat becomes more solid and will still be a fat, just fat without water in it.

  • flora_uk
    14 years ago

    Dehydrated cheese is something I have never seen or heard of over here apart from on the ingredients labels of commercial processed products. What is the rational behind wanting to dry out cheese at home when it is one of the most delicious 'convenience' foods already? Many hard cheeses will keep for a very long time under the correct conditions without any artificial input. In fact that's why cheese was invented in the first place, so what's the point? Please enlightn me.

  • John__ShowMe__USA
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    >...so what's the point? Please enlightn me.

    LOL! Let's just say that I'm a bit different.

    Dehydrated and powdered Parmigiano Reggiano when added to other powders such as habanero, manzano or perhaps fermented pepper, onion, carrot mash is rather good.

  • Linda_Lou
    14 years ago

    The dehydrated cheese still would not be safe to add.
    Flora,
    We use dehydrated cheese as a convenience for storage. It is just one of the commercial products here. Many people use it for sprinkling on spaghetti or pizza. I mix it with butter and garlic powder and put on bread and then grill it to make it all toasty.

  • readinglady
    14 years ago

    Some people like to add it to breads also. It distributes nicely through the dough without altering the crumb.

    Flora, I have to say I am very fond of cheese and one of the things I remember best about the UK is the wonderful cheeses. I'd love to find a really great Stilton like the one I had in England. And I was really impressed by the Scottish artisinal cheeses.

    Carol

  • John__ShowMe__USA
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    Good cheese is something I am very new to. Didn't have enough sense to try some while visiting England. Did discover Indian curries though and the joy of hot foods. Always stayed with local students on a budget so nothing fancy as to cheese. Henderson's Relish! I keep checking the local stores & it's never there. :( I sure miss Two Fat Ladies.

  • mellyofthesouth
    14 years ago

    We made a pilgrimage to Neal's Yard Dairy when we were in London. It's a fabulous cheese shop in the Covent Garden area. The artisanal cheddars we bought were really yummy and a change from all the Gouda where we are.

  • readinglady
    14 years ago

    Two Fat Ladies! Did you ever see their TV show? They were tremendously funny (plus the great recipes).

    Carol

  • flora_uk
    14 years ago

    Thanks for all your info..... Still not getting the point though! Sounds as if the uses for dried cheese are basically uses for grated cheese. If I want to cook with grated cheese, I grate some cheese and cook with it! Parmiggiano is much nicer freshly grated or shaved than those tubs of pre-grated stuff. I use a mouli rotary grater, not a knuckle grater. Recipe for toasted cheese: Cut a slice of fresh bread. Toast one side. Turn over. Place good thick slices of cheddar on it. Toast. Eat. Variations. Bits of bacon, herbs, pieces of pepper.

    OK, so now you have to explain pepper powder to me... and fermented pepper, onion, carrot mash ;)

  • melva02
    14 years ago

    John, can you send the dehydrated cheese in a separate small container with directions on how to mix it into the sauce? Include a letter about food safety and why you left the cheese out of the jar, they should give you extra points for that. Good luck with whatever you enter...I really think the flavor you develop by fermenting will outshine any other sauce and make cheese moot.

    Melissa

  • John__ShowMe__USA
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    Carol,

    I saw all their tv shows at least once. Sure wish would come out on DVD. There is a VHS cassette version, but I don't have or intend to get another player. If the Food Channel ever reruns the series I'll record on my computer and make a disc. Alton Brown is another favorite and I have the Julia Child DVDs. Can't cook worth a darn and never will, but for some reason some of the foodie shows are so interesting to me. Always liked The Galloping Gourmet too.

    Flora,

    It's kinda hard to explain why we chileheads are so into powders and sauces. It's a way we can share with one another. We are just as passionate about sharing as heirloom seed savers for example. I've sent powders and pepper seeds to I think 14 countries. Every Sept chileheads meet at a secret field in Indiana to fellowship. Powders and fermentations are just another way of preserving our harvest. We labor so hard to get just the right combinations and then label our efforts with the funkiest labels possible.


    Melissa,

    I was thinking along the same lines. Except that I was going to dehydrate everything! Rehydrate in whatever you want. Vodka, water, vinegar etc. The people in this contest are my friends and would let me bend the rules in a heartbeat, but I don't intend to. The entry fees are all going to a particular charity. Several of the people that will enter sell commercially and trust me that their powders and sauces are fantastic.

    Didn't mean to write a book here....

    jt

  • Delicia Ambrosino
    6 years ago

    I realize this is getting a bit off the beaten track here but I thought it important enough to mention. Powdered cheese comes in real handy when canning isn't an option or for those of you who live off the grid and there are some sources where you can get the real deal without fillers like anti-caking agents. I know there are those who tout the USDA regs on canning dairy products. However, I have known personally several people who do. They do butter, hard cheeses, and soft cheeses like cream cheese and have had great success with no ill effects. Their method was NOT to use a pressure canner. In fact, they use a bath canner with the lid off. However, they make sure that the cans/contents are as hot as the water or close to it just before the tiny bubbles start in the water. Also, they make sure that the bands are snug enough as to allow no moisture to enter the jar. The cans are thoroughly sterilized in a dry hot oven. And last but not least the jars are NOT covered by the water. Concerning the butter, the butter is cooked until all liquid has been removed and nothing is left but the oils and solids. It is then skimmed till no white foam remains. Hard cheeses have a tendency to be a bit rubbery but flavorful. Cream cheese comes out beautifully. Years ago when my gram was a young housewife they would make farm cheese and their own butter and these were kept like the milk was in a cold well or in the ice house where the ice was packed with clean straw YEAR ROUND. Somehow they did it where spoilage was not an issue....and lived to tell the tale as well as raise up five sons and one daughter- my mom. But one must remember that milk was milk back then. Processing milk today over 200 degrees kills all the milk's enzymes. Why did pasteurization come about? It just so happened that a brewery was next to where the milk was delivered { I believe in Chicago way back when} for town/city consumption. Brewery's back then had major rat populations which over-flowed into the dairy "plant". Contamination ensued and because a few people died from that contamination pasteurization became a standard practice. Today we now drink "empty" milk with added vitamin D but the enzymes which allowed stomachs to digest the milk properly are all killed off....hence a lot of lactose intolerant people that the pharmaceutical companies and the government including the USDA take to the bank. It is the same with acid reflux. What AR isn't is an overabundance of acid. It is because the person isn't producing enough acid. Braggs cider vinegar with the mother handles that as well as Nexium but the USDA and pharm companies don't want you knowing that either. So do some heavy research [read Mark Trudeau's books} and use common sense and you may find answers you weren't expecting to find because there are those that don't want you to.

  • digdirt2
    6 years ago

    "I know there are those who tout the USDA regs on canning dairy products. However, I have known personally several people who do."

    So knowing some people who do this and apparently have been lucky enough to not have any problems (that you know of) is somehow more valid than all the scientific research?

    Sure. Anyone can do whatever they wish. That in no way makes it safe to do. I survived a trip to the store yesterday without wearing my seat belt but advocating doing that to others would be irresponsible.

    " Contamination ensued and because a few people died from that
    contamination pasteurization became a standard practice. Today we now
    drink "empty" milk with added vitamin D but the enzymes which allowed
    stomachs to digest the milk properly are all killed off....hence a lot
    of lactose intolerant people that the pharmaceutical companies and the
    government including the USDA take to the bank."

    Seriously? A few people, in Chicago, died and that led to pasteurization? I'd suggest some more research.

    Dave

  • theforgottenone1013 (SE MI zone 5b/6a)
    6 years ago

    Canned cheese (pic taken from the internet). Even if it was safe, I cannot understand why anyone would want to when the result looks as unappetizing as this.

    Rodney

  • Delicia Ambrosino
    6 years ago

    Think as you wish, do as you wish. As for research perhaps your the one who should take their own advice. I am only writing from what research I did do...in University as a culinary arts student. I don't remember the total amount of people who died but I don't recall it being over 10. And what has "luck" got to do with it? Did I not say that I knew these people? If in fact, all precautions were taken to make sure everything was sterilized and all moisture removed then what more can anyone do? You forget there were no pressure canners over 125 years ago and people did, in fact, can dairy products who didn't have temperature controlled rooms to keep cheeses and butter viable. No one died en mass because of it either. I was not promoting this way as you seemed inclined to think I was. I merely wrote what I KNOW. Scientific research backed by whom....the USDA? Perhaps you might try looking into how the USDA handles our food these days and in years past. Such as passing beef with Ecoli, chickens so unhealthy it makes me cringe, fish grown in tanks where they can barely breathe and live in constant excrement just to mention a few situations concerning big farms. And no. I'm not vegan. Heck, why not go all out and see whether they care about you concerning the drugs on the market while you're at it. If you haven't learned by now that they too can say what they want for whatever reason, money being one of them, then I don't know what to tell you. But I will say this. Being snide doesn't say much for you and I don't appreciate it. Oh, and by the way, I did write that I believed it was Chicago.I wasn't speaking of France or L. Pasteur where the same situation happened but on a larger scale. I was speaking about our own country. I KNOW where pasteurization started for heaven's sake. Pasteur's idea of boiling the milk was adopted here when the same situation happened. If you're going to come at me then, at least, digest what I wrote before doing so. I promise. It's safer than going without a seat belt.

  • farm8654
    6 years ago

    Grocery store/commercially produced stuff also has the benefit of hugely high temps in very little time and irradiation, which is a WHOLE 'nother can of worms. Our state research universities maintain that irradiation of foods is completely safe, and it certainly has been going on for a really long time, although the medical community has another slant on it. I think that's basically why we garden, isn't it? Producing our own food supply gives us control and the choice. I'm grateful to have that choice.

  • Delicia Ambrosino
    6 years ago

    I couldn't agree more about raising and producing our own. I have been asked and hope to soon start planning for a huge community garden which I hope eventually expands into meat, dairy, eggs, and aquaculture. With the latter the USDA would have to become involved of course and they are notoriously NOT for the small farmers. Despite growing our own food, there still need to be methods for storing by. I am still to this day waiting for the USDA to extend further research into how to can cheeses and butter according to THEIR standards. However, I doubt we will ever see that for various reasons one of which ISN'T that it can't be done. I am also perplexed as to how they allow produce to be brought in from countries that fertilize this produce with human excrement. It boggles my mind. Growing our own is by far the way to go.

  • matthias_lang
    6 years ago

    Delicia Ambrosina, please press our federal legislators to fund the USDA to expand upon the research for safe home food preservation. You are correct that there is more research to be done, but it takes money to do it. You may have good state universities that would do more such research without federal funding if you could persuade your state legislatures to specifically fund it.

  • Heidi Gottloeb
    13 days ago

    The fda has NEVER tested canning dairy so its dont do it cause i said so. ha! i been canning dairy for years and years. what do you think they did in the 1800’s? they sure didnt have pressure canners.