Canning question

Kathsgrdn

So, I'm thinking of canning a few things this year. I have a canning book from the late 1980s, a Ball book. I'm assuming I can still use this as a guide? I don't think things could have changed in all the years that people have been canning but thought I'd ask. I've only ever canned pickled beets and that was years ago. I was planning to do much more when I lived in the country down south but then we moved because of my ex's new job.


I will have to buy a some jars and tongs for lifting the jars out of the hot water. I'm assuming I can use my big stock pot and don't need a special one. I need to read the book, which we found when cleaning out the garage last month.

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Lucille

Do not use that Ball book, there have been changes in policies about safety over the years, use something more up to date.. Ball is an excellent source, just get their latest book. I have a late edition Ball book, but mostly I use this site: https://nchfp.uga.edu, it is a trusted site and the national standard as far as safety goes, and has directions and plenty of recipes to get you started.

Go check out the Harvest forum right here , there are some amazing people with tons of experience: https://www.houzz.com/discussions/harvest.

Think about investing in a Presto 16 quart pressure canner, it is not too expensive and it is a good canner. Then you will be able to pressure can meats and soups and other recipes that require more than just a boiling water bath like your stock pot can provide. Canning is fun, I'm so excited for you!

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Kathsgrdn

Thanks Lucille. I would have gone to the harvest site but have problems getting to the garden side of Houzz these days. Thanks for the link!

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aziline

If you do anything that only requires a water bath I couldn't recommend an aluminum steam canner strong enough. They were put on the no-no list years ago but the University of Wisconsin did a study on them and they are now officially OK to use. This has made such a difference and small batches are really easy to do.

https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/safefood/2017/10/24/safe-preserving-using-a-steam-canner/?ss_redir=1

-- Hmm I just looked them up on Amazon and look to be sold out. I saw some for $80+ on ebay but I only paid $46 for my Victorio last December. I assume there has a been a popularity surge due to covid.

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Kathsgrdn

After reading some on the website Lucille provided, I may just freeze my extra vegetables.

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Mystical Manns

Thrift stores are a great source for canners and jars, altho you can never predict just when they'll be in stock. Once our stores opened up again, anything related to "survival" has sold quickly. Often, within moments of it being put out on a shelf.

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Sherry

Kathsgrdn, I put almost all my stuff in the freezer instead of canning. There are a few things I like canned, figs preserves, bread and butter pickles, and different peppers. However, I do not like the new recipes. For example the fig preserves want you to put lemon in them and I don't like the taste change. We never put anything except figs and sugar in ours. What I do is make a small batch, put in the canning jars, hot, let cool on counter,and store in our garage frig. They, for me are good for a year.

We never canned soups or meats. The soups were always made when we wanted to eat them from fresh or frozen vegetables and fresh meat.


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Lucille

I think everyone has different needs. It certainly is helpful to me to can up turkeys at Thanksgiving when they are very cheap and have turkey and rich broth throughout the year. I have an assortment of meats and soups- beef, turkey,chicken, and they are wonderful for winter days and making pot pies and casseroles. I no longer do water bath canning, I used to make pickles though and they were wonderful. I pressure can veggies and tomatoes and everything else.

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Sherry

I like mine in the freezer (turkeys and broth). Also, the beef stuff. I have much, much, much, more freezer room than pantry and it is SO much easier.

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maifleur03

Last time I read something about canning tomatoes the type that is now grown is not acid enough to be safely processed in a water bath unless you add acid. You can purchase citric acid for this purpose.

I went to the garden center and brought home the rest of their Red Duce tomatoes. I rinsed and placed in the freezer on a baking sheet. I found out what they were called because of a label that was on the box that I was allowed to take home. If you can find them they taste like I remember tomatoes tasting. They have a longer storage time than what I remember if I place them so that they are upside down.

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Judy Good

Our daughter still uses the Ball book and we are just fine LOL Of course they do not last long with our family.


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Kathsgrdn

Maifleur, my favorite tomatoes are old heirloom type. The flavor is so much better to me. Unfortunately none of my old seed sprouted for me this year so I bought two hybrids from Tractor Supply after my originally bought ones froze in a late frost. I did buy an old heirloom cherry tomato seed I used to grow and the two plants are loaded with tomatoes. One was almost ripe so I picked it this afternoon, it wasn't quite ripe and pretty sour. It's a pale yellow, called Dr. Carolyn.


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Elmer J Fudd

"Our daughter still uses the Ball book and we are just fine LOL Of course they do not last long with our family."

Are you saying the experts are wrong and your daughter knows better?

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Lucille

Our daughter still uses the Ball book

Ball is an excellent source of information. I would not use a 40 year old Ball book, because of changes over the years in safety information. I have a recent Ball book. When in doubt, go to the online site I linked first as it is updated as soon as new knowledge/policies come in, it is a trusted national source..

There are various home making sites that still have recipes and instructions for outdated procedure such as oven canning. If you can't find those instructions on the nchfp, don't use them. Merely because someone tried them and lived is not a guarantee of safety.

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morz8

You'll want to update your Ball book, some changes have taken place in the last 40 years ;0) Lemon juice added to tomatoes, 10 minutes added to canning tuna....if you want to be current on guidelines, a new book - or you can always refer to the nchfp site Lucille linked for you.

If you plan on preserving things appropriate for boiling water bath not pressure canning, your stock pot will work fine. Do you have a canning rack or can you fashion one so jars are not sitting directly on the pan bottom?

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dallasannie

What is it that you are going to can? tomatoes?

If you are going to can only a couple of dozen jars of tomatoes you will need a large enough covered pot that you can put in at least 4 jars at a time and have the water come at least an inch above the tops.

Then a simple pair of jar tongs to use.

I bought a canner with an insert where you can lift all the jars at once. It is amazingly heavy when filled with tomatoes!! And those jars are very hot when you take them out! I decided that I like doing only a limited number at at time and taking them out with tongs.

I buy a couple of bushels from a farm and probably can somewhere around 30 jars a summer, but not all at once. Just a few at a time.

Taste for acidity. Tomatoes vary by selection. I made the mistake of adding too much citric acid to my jars one year and they were too tart.

That is when I got the brilliant idea to add a pinch of baking soda to the tomatoes when I went to use them to cook with. What a difference it makes! At first it foams up a bit like that volcano science project. It gets all pink and froth looking, but goes back to being deep red tomatoes in a minute, but much sweeter tasting.

Go to this website below and watch the old Italian grandmother can her tomatoes. It is on Youtube. What a treasure!

.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn_Yx3NmaNY


I got rid of my freezer many years ago. Now I just prefer to can a select few things each year and try to keep it simple and good. I, personally, think that many things don't really freeze all that well and your food is so dependent on having a working freezer. Tomatoes freeze easily and they are fine, but I still prefer canning.

So, it is basically tomatoes that you want to can? Each vegetable is going to be a bit different. And, it depends on how many tomatoes you plan to process.

If it's only a few jars, you don't need much equipment to do it.

Tomatoes have been being canned for a long time. Those old basic instructions are just fine as long as you are using old fashioned water bath canning. If you have a pressure canner, read the book that came with it.

The internet is also a valuable resource of information. The science behind preserving a jar of tomatoes by sealing them in a sterile jar has not changed.

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maifleur03

Kathsgarden I am not certain that I would call Dr Carolyn an heirloom since it was named after Dr. Carolyn Male who lived from 1939 to 2019 and is considered an F2. But it does have an interesting back story. http://plantswithstories.com/tomatoes/dr-carolyn

That said it needs acid if you are planning on canning.

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beesneeds

Go ahead and use your old Ball book- but I do strongly recommend you also double check the recipes against the current standards. And use the modern versions :)


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Kathsgrdn

I wasn't going to can a ton of stuff, my garden isn't that big. I think I'll just freeze it. Maifleur, that may be so, I haven't grown Dr. Carolyn tomatoes for a very long time and my memory probably isn't that great. ( :

Dallisannie, mostly tomatoes and not many as I don't have many tomato plants.

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OklaMoni

I just found your post, Kathleen. So many great replies. Thanks everyone. I don't have my canning book (Better Homes and Gardens) anymore, and regretted this. Now, I have those links, and will look or a canning book, if I get an overload of veggies and fruit after all.

I wanted to by a pressure canner, but found out, it is the new toilet paper, aka, none available.

However I found a water bath canner after several stores about a week ago. There were two on the shelf...

I canned beets. Pickled beets. For preserving them otherwise I found directions online to use a pressure cooker.

Guess, if I continue gardening, and maybe even on a bigger scale I will have to buy me a pressure canner again.

At any rate, I am glad you posted the question, and thus, I have those links.

Moni

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Judy Good

Elmer..... what the heck are you talking about? Forget it, I do not need a response.

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