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Old 06-07-2008, 10:52 AM
 
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With the price of fresh fruits and veggies lately, I want to hit the farmer's market heavily this year and can those things I use a lot. I have some questions about canning though, as I've never done it. Tomatoes are candy to me and I want to can my own and make tomato juice and sauce! Bless the soul who has the patience to answer these questions!

1. Is it difficult to learn?
2. Does canning change the flavor of the fruits and veggies?
3. What else, other than water and salt, is added to canned items?
4. Which fruits and veggies are BEST to can?
5. Which fruits and veggies should NOT be canned?
6. I imagine you can can soups, too. Is this difficult?
7. How long does canned produce/soups last?
8. Can you freeze canned produce and soups?
9. From start to finish, how long does one batch of produce (one canner full of jars) take to complete?
10. Which websites can you recommend to make this process easier and provide good, step by step instructions for reliably good canned products that last a long time?
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Old 06-07-2008, 11:41 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,034,397 times
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My commendations to you for wanting to learn how to can!

I was taught as a teenager and made sure I had a garden for many years, as long as I was living in a place w/ enuff room for one. Sadly, I no longer have a garden space and so never get the volume of veggies to allow me to can.

Here is a great website to get you started:

! Canning Recipes for Preserving Food

Canning is not hard; just follow the directions and you will be fine. I used the water bath method, wh/ is great for canning tomatoes.

Good luck and enjoy learning about this wonderful skill!!!!
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Old 06-07-2008, 12:54 PM
 
Location: The Woods
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Get a good canning book, the Ball Blue Book is my favorite but there are others. Different things require different processing times and methods, to be safe. You don't want to can low acid foods wrong, as you could get botulism. High acid stuff like jams, pickles, are easy and not prone to botulism because of the acid. Tomatoes are borderline in acidity and you should add acid (lemon juice or vinegar) as a canning recipe calls for it to be safe, and they can be either pressure canned or water bathed (I always water bath can tomatoes myself). Canning involves a lot of work, but it's not particularly hard to learn, just follow all the guidelines for safe canning and with practice you'll have no trouble at it. Good luck!
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Old 06-08-2008, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Pocono Mts.
9,483 posts, read 10,929,648 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple Living View Post
With the price of fresh fruits and veggies lately, I want to hit the farmer's market heavily this year and can those things I use a lot. I have some questions about canning though, as I've never done it. Tomatoes are candy to me and I want to can my own and make tomato juice and sauce! Bless the soul who has the patience to answer these questions!

1. Is it difficult to learn? no, but lots of work
2. Does canning change the flavor of the fruits and veggies? enhances flavor, imo.
3. What else, other than water and salt, is added to canned items? it depends on the item, and the recipe.
4. Which fruits and veggies are BEST to can? fruits: peaches & pears hold up really well. Almost any fruit for jams & jellies. Veggies: tomatos are most common, are you considering pickling?
5. Which fruits and veggies should NOT be canned? just stick to tomatos.
6. I imagine you can can soups, too. Is this difficult? I think you'd need a pressure cooker.
7. How long does canned produce/soups last? My canned fruits and veggies are enough to last a year, and as long as the seal is good, the product is good.
8. Can you freeze canned produce and soups? I haven't, all has gone in the pantry until opening. I imagine you can, though, for longer preservation.
9. From start to finish, how long does one batch of produce (one canner full of jars) take to complete? We (my parents do the canning, but I've pitched in picking fruits, skinning them) give ourselves a nice relaxing day to complete a case of sliced peaches and a case of peach jelly. From the beginning of preparing the fruit to actually having the finished product is a few hours.
10. Which websites can you recommend to make this process easier and provide good, step by step instructions for reliably good canned products that last a long time?
Presto®: Pressure Canning: Soups and Stocks

SURE-JELL Recipes (broken link)

National Center for Home Food Preservation | How Do I? Can Fruits
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Old 06-08-2008, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Penobscot Bay, the best place in Maine!
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You can also get lots of information about canning and preserving from your local Cooperative Extension (google "your state+cooperative extension"), much of it available on line.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Jax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deerislesmile View Post
You can also get lots of information about canning and preserving from your local Cooperative Extension (google "your state+cooperative extension"), much of it available on line.
Great idea Deerisle .

Ours offers free workshops, we have a canning center....I bet a lot of other cities do too.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Denver
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A pressure canner can seem scary at first, but with one of those and a small group of friends, canning is a blast. You want to read the directions carefully and follow them, but it really speeds up the processing time. You can talk and chat through the slicing, peeling and all, and then batch process the fruits, vegetables, pickles and jam. It helps to have sort of a checklist or someone in charge the first time. The Ball company and the pressure cooker manufacturers have phone numbers and websites to clarify things.

One piece of advice: never ever pick up a canner full of jars. Besides being hot, you can really damage your shoulders, arms, etc from the weight. Instead, invest in one of those round ended and rubber edged tongs to grip the jars and lift them out one at a time.

Have fun. My husband and I used to do it with another couple and it was good times.
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:26 PM
 
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You can also freeze tomatoes and many veggies if canning seems to difficult or time consuming.
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
18,261 posts, read 20,556,241 times
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There is also a canning thread under food then recipes here on CD too.

Canning is a good way to help control food expenses if you garden as well. Even buying from a local farmer's market you will have better control of what is on or in your foods as opposed to buying at grocery stores.

I think easiest veggie to can is green beans and so much better than store bought flavor wise. I use water bath for my canned tomatoes too but put in lemon juice in each jar. I pressure can my juice and sauce.

I can meats too it is so easy to make a meal when half the stuff is right on your shelf just to pop open a jar & heat up. Less eating out that way too when you know you can have great meals in about 30 minutes or less. I made chicken & noodles, mashed potatoes and green beans 2 nights ago in the time it took to boil the potatoes. Had the chicken, chicken broth and green beans already canned. I make my own egg noodles so they were in the freezer. Could of had beef & noodles just as well.

Be sure you read and learn the difference between a pressure cooker and a pressure canner. The equipment can be high getting started but it will last your lifetime most likely. If money is an issue just go for a pressure canner because it can also be used for a water bath canner. Also post on your local Freecycle or Craigslist for canning jars or equipment you might get lucky. Never use chipped jars other than storing dry ingredients (chipped rims) in. If they are cracked don't even use them for dry storage. Ball Blue Book will be your best friend.

Another plus is all the metal cans and paper not going into a landfill because of re-using the canning jars!

Lots of good ideas and links for you to try good luck and let us know how you do!
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
18,261 posts, read 20,556,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miborn View Post
You can also freeze tomatoes and many veggies if canning seems to difficult or time consuming.
Yes but!!!!!! If you have a power outage you don't have to worry about your food going bad. Several years ago we had a major ice storm~~no power for 15 days and lost a whole freezer full of beef+. That is when I decided to get back to my roots of gardening and canning that I grew up doing.

OP you asked if you could freeze canned foods there would be no need to once they are processed correctly. But there are freezer jams and such you use freezer jars for.
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