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Author Topic: Canning Vegetables - suggestions? tips? how not to make jars explode?  (Read 4906 times)

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hobish

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I looked and found a few old threads.

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=81135.0

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=76910.0


Gish is so gung ho about his garden. The garden itself has just started to be fenced and tilled but we've got plants starting and just about ready to be planted. So far we've got tomato, pepper, cucumber, squash, watermelon, string beans, and i forget what else. He's been checking out canning supplies and instructions; but really neither one of us has more than a small idea of how to go about it. Both of our moms can be called in for assistance in not poisoning anyone or making shards of glass fly around the kitchen. I am pretty sure we (ha ha - he, really  :)) can do this without killing anyone; but can anyone offer recipe suggestions?

He definitely wants to make tomato sauce and salsa. Does pepperoni grease really work well in those? That is what his web forum suggested and that just sounds odd.

What about peppers? He's got 5 or 7 different kinds started (not all of them look like they're going to make it yet). I know there are a few sweet kinds and a whole mess of habanero. Does anyone have a good jelly-ing recipe? I've had Amish pepper jelly and it was awesome but i don't remember what kind of pepper it was and i couldn't begin to know how to make it.

I told Gish i would ask here. Y'all have already had good suggestions for chicken and pork and crock pot stuff that i have used - i trust your canning ideas more than i might other places.

 :) Thank you in advance.


Gardening tips also welcome.



« Last Edit: April 12, 2011, 03:39:24 AM by hobish »
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~Gaslight Anthem

portiafimbriata

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Hi Hobish:
I fell in love with canning last year. I've canned practically everything but the cat  ;)

There are only two resources I trust on the internet to find good and safe canning recipes:

http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_home.html

and

http://www.freshpreserving.com/pages/new_recipe_pages/215.php

My favorites have been herbed seasoned tomatoes both mexican style and italian style (see above link).

Fresh tomato sauce is wonderful, but it uses one heck of a lot of tomato. I think a full bushel will yield you between 9 and 12 pints (not much in my opinion).

Also, there is absolutely no substitute for home-canned sweet corn. Del Monte and Green Giant will have nothing on you.

However, I personally think that home-canned salsa is not a great product - it has that "cooked" taste to it, like commercially prepared salsas.

I am the scarediest scaredy cat that ever scared, too, but have gotten comfortable with canning enough that I know the jars won't explode  :) - as long as you follow the directions and make sure the jars are solid, true and intact (no cracks or chips) and that they are approved for home canning. Just stick with Ball Jars and you can't go wrong.

Good luck and have fun!
The old man had all his own teeth, but only because no-one else could possibly have wanted them.
-Good Omens

mandycorn

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I don't have practical advice (I'm the daughter of a canner, but not brave enough to try it myself) but I have to say that pepperoni grease in salsa sounds dreadful...

Good luck though, and start with small jars and batches so if you hit on a recipe that isn't as good, hopefully you won't have used all your produce at once.

Oh, and from experience, don't burn the grape juice. It smells horrendous!
"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are genuine" - Abraham Lincoln 

rashea

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First, get a pressure canner. You'll need it for anything low acid. If you get one that is deep enough to cover the quart jars by at least an inch you'll be able to do water bath canning in it and only need one pot.

Be careful with recipes off the internet. For food to be safe there are several factors that must be balanced. Acid, sodium, and sugar are the most common to watch.

As a general rule, you can't safely can dairy. Anything with meat or meat product (like salami juice) will need to be pressure canned as if it has meat.

The USDA site has a nice list of recipes that should get you started, and the Ball book is well respected. You can also check with your local agricultural extension. Sometimes they have good recipes that have been tested.

That said, I do alter recipes a bit sometimes. It's a risk, but it's a calculated one that I make based on my experiments in canning over the years. I also tend to over process my experiments, so that helps me feel safer. One example is eggs. The USDA doesn't encourage pickled eggs. My fiance loves them. I pickle them, but I did a lot of research first.

My favorite recipes for veggies are chili, salsa, pickles, dilly beans, and anything just straight canned in water. My fiance loves pickled anything (sweet pickled), and sloppy joes. All sorts of things can be used once canned. And I can recombine them in new dishes. A quick jar of shredded squash in a casserole makes for an easy and healthy addition.

Oh, and it can be addictive. If only because it means you can do BIG batches of things like soup and eat it all year round (I'm sitting at work with 8 jars of chicken soup on the shelf next to me).

Portiafimbriata, in my house come summer/fall, if it doesn't move it's either going to get canned or fermented (I do wine too)
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hobish

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Whoa! I knew you'd need a lot of tomatos for sauce; but that is A LOT LOT. Lot.

I am passing all of this on - thank you!

I don't even know what a pressure canner is, but i am gussing you want the pressure with low acid because acid will help keep things from spoiling. I'll have to read up on it.

Thanks much!


:) If anyone is going to burn the grape juice it would be me.  :P :)
It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
~Gaslight Anthem

supernova

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How to keep the jars from exploding:

Don't can on a cold day.

If you are canning on a cold day, don't be the dumb bunny who opens up the back door to "cool off the hot kitchen" right after Mom takes the hot jars out of the boiling water bath.  Not that I would know from personal experience, or anything...   :-[   ;D

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Ms_Shell

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Posting for updates: the garden is going to have to wait until next year,but we're going to have everything you mentioned, Hobish.  I hope someone suggests a good pepper jelly recipe!
"I've never been a millionaire, but I just know I'd be darling at it." - Dorothy Parker

still in va

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Whoa! I knew you'd need a lot of tomatos for sauce; but that is A LOT LOT. Lot.

I am passing all of this on - thank you!

I don't even know what a pressure canner is, but i am gussing you want the pressure with low acid because acid will help keep things from spoiling. I'll have to read up on it.

Thanks much!


:) If anyone is going to burn the grape juice it would be me.  :P :)

hobish, i did some canning last fall.  one of the recipes i tried was a Tomato Jam recipe from FoodNetwork mag.  it called for 5.5 pounds of tomatoes, with a lot of other ingredients.  the yield from all of those tomatoes?  5 pint jars of jam.  though it WAS quite delish!   ;)

sparksals

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I have tried my hat at canning a few times - pickles, salsa and pickled beets.  I use the oven method to seal the jars. ... After the jars and lids have been sterilized, when I'm ready to 'process', I put the jars in the oven in a pan with water.    IIRC, the temp is around 300 degrees and the combo of the water boiling in the pan will help the jars seal.  You will hear them *ping* Ping* ping. 


rashea

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Tomatoes are really high in water. Some types are better though. Roma tomatoes tend to have at least some better return.

I also grab good deals from the store. Peaches in season mean jam and canned peaches.

Really, you don't need much to get started.
Jars (don't try to use jars that weren't intended for home canning),
lids,
canning pot:I do suggest getting the pressure canner because if you want to do much beyond jellies and jams you'll need it.
Recipes: The web has some good recipes, and the local library has a lot of great stuff too.
I use a magnet to grab lids out of hot water (a good one off the fridge is fine).
A funnel helps, because it makes it easier to fill jars.
The jar picker-upper is helpful, but not essential.

You can pick most of that up at a decent price. The exception is a pressure canner. Keep an eye out for one, but make sure the seals are good and the weights match the model. Follow directions. Pressure canners used to be a bit dangerous. Now, if you follow the directions you're fine.

I've never had a jar explode. Probably not best to put them right in an freezing blast. And probably best to only use canning jars (someone I know will re-use mayo jars and things).
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portiafimbriata

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A wonderful fall canning recipe I tried out last year: Cinnamon apple rings - deeee-licious! They're made with cinnamon imperials.
The old man had all his own teeth, but only because no-one else could possibly have wanted them.
-Good Omens

smroy724

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Posting to keep up on the replies...

I started canning last year (mainly pickles) and had a problem with Bell jars cracking in the boiling water.  Not sure why - I made sure that they were warm before starting...

Still investigating that one.
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portiafimbriata

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Posting to keep up on the replies...

I started canning last year (mainly pickles) and had a problem with Bell jars cracking in the boiling water.  Not sure why - I made sure that they were warm before starting...

Still investigating that one.

I can only think of a couple things:
(1)Old jars?
(2)The jars were hot but the brine wasn't?
(3)No rack on the bottom of the canner? (They'll jitter and bump about on the bottom of the canner if there's no rack.)
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 10:04:47 AM by portiafimbriata »
The old man had all his own teeth, but only because no-one else could possibly have wanted them.
-Good Omens

rashea

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If the jars were new and not directly on the bottom (the heat can get to them) I'd think you got a bad batch and should send it back. They really aren't supposed to explode.

When I can in the pressure canner, sometimes I pull things out that are still boiling (watching sloppy joes still boil in a jar is kind of funny). If a jar broke it could hurt a lot!
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

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blarg314

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Definitely do pressure canning.

For high acid/high sugar canning (pickles and jams, for example) the acid inhibits the growth of botulism, an organism that unlike most sources of food born illness thrives in low oxygen (anaerobic)  environments.  Low acid canning, like most vegetables, does not have this protection.

You can kill botulism with heat, but water bath canning (immersing the jars in boiling water for a period of time) is *not* hot enough to kill botulism. In order to be safe, you have to process in a pressure cooker, which give a much higher temperature. If you get this wrong, you can kill people.

So I would suggest only getting recipes from a reputable source, and following them exactly.

You might try home-made hot sauce with the hot peppers. I do this in small batches myself, and you can get some very nice results. ONe of my favourites is green chili/vodka/lime hot sauce.