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Some thoughts on home canning

Merlin

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#1
Don't let your skills get rusty. I recently canned some stew meat (both as solely meat and broth in pints and ultimately in several quarts of actual stew with veggies.) Not an overly ambitious project really, with only 6 pounds of store-bought genuine Angus beef cubes. But I made several mistakes I probably would not have made were I well-practiced.
1.) I forgot to vent the steamer for 10 minutes without the weight. The purpose of venting is to remove air from the system, which would cause lower than the desired 240 degree internal temp when the 10-pound pressure has been achieved. So, I cooled the system down to 0 pounds pressure so I could remove the weight. I've made the mistake of pulling the weight while the system is under pressure. The sudden decompression without the accompanying cooling creates a mess inside the canner. So, AFTER VENTING FOR 10 MINUTES with steam clearly whistling through the tube, I put the weight on, brought the system up to pressure and cooked everything a second time for another hour and fifteen minutes.
2.) All was not well within the canner though. When everything had cooled down to zero again, I pulled the lid. 4 of my 7 pints were just fine; but 3 had puked the top inch of their contents out into the canning water and I was not comfortable putting those 3 pints on the pantry shelf. Did I fail to get rid of all the air bubbles, or did I violate the 1-inch of head space called for by the canning book? Don't know -- maybe a combination of the two. So, I added a quart and one-half of chopped onions, quartered and peeled small potatoes, and cleaned and chopped carrots. And away through the canning process for the third time went the beef! Hope it's tender :)

Cooking beef stew from scratch is time consuming. The beef must be cooked for a much longer time than the veggies, else it won't be tender. To have canned stew meat chunks ready to go would really speed up the stew making process.
 

SilverCity

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#2
My wife likes to can just about everything from our garden and plans to go full tilt boogie when she retires this summer. She plans to can beef stew, store-bought veggies, and stuff from the local growers market come May. That woman can think of more projects for herself. I try and stay out of her way most of the time.

SC
 

Jarrod32

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#3
I do a lot of hot water bath canning. Tomato sauce, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, salsa, pickles, jam. I haven't gotten into the pressure canning, though I am thinking I probably should. The foods that would need to be pressure canned like beans, peas, and corn I just vacuum seal and freeze. But I have been pondering getting into pressure canning...though I do have to say the original post didn't help...:oops:;)
 

Merlin

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I do a lot of hot water bath canning. Tomato sauce, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, salsa, pickles, jam. I haven't gotten into the pressure canning, though I am thinking I probably should. The foods that would need to be pressure canned like beans, peas, and corn I just vacuum seal and freeze. But I have been pondering getting into pressure canning...though I do have to say the original post didn't help...:oops:;)
Come on in and enjoy the canning scene. Get yourself a food dehydrator too. Dehydrated foods take up a lot less space than the fresh originals. And with the help of oxygen absorbers dehydrated foods will keep for many years. And, ta dah! No risk of burning yourself.
 

Jarrod32

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#5
Yeah, I have a dehydrator. And a jar sealer attachment for my vacuum sealer to store dehydrated foods. I should use the dehydrator more than I do. I might have to get a pressure canner and expand my food preservation repertoire.
 

FFA

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#6
I bought a 20lb bag of organic carrots at Kroger last weekend for $12.95. I thought it was a awesome buy. It made 28 quarts total. The carrots were for juicing but the tasted really good. I might try to grab a second.

20190220_215629-756x1008.jpg
 

AgAuGal

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#7
I've been canning for years but you are right you can get rusty on the proper procedures....
 

AgAuGal

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I bought a 20lb bag of organic carrots at Kroger last weekend for $12.95. I thought it was a awesome buy. It made 28 quarts total. The carrots were for juicing but the tasted really good. I might try to grab a second.

View attachment 124610
One thing ice never canned is carrots but I want too. Just bought some rice that I need to can first. Congrats on the carrots.
 

coopersmith

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#9
We can alot of food every summer and fall. Tomatoes, salsa rojo, verde, pickles, garlic, okra, beets, peppers,etc. I have gone to freezing more lately, because it takes less time. We use 3-4 qts of tomatoes a week cooking meals, that is the big one. I can peel a box of tomatoes faster than your grandma (maybe not merlins). We pressure can everything, just cuz we can. Waterbath canning might be ok, but I like 15 psi steam. I have ate stuff that was 10-15 years old, and its been just fine. We have some 15 yo apricots I wouldnt be afraid to eat, the seal is good and they look ok.

I dry carrots we dont eat fresh or out of the cellar, to add to stews and casseroles.

That is a heck of a yeild for 20 lb carrots. I have heard it said that carrots are the highest yeilding vegetable per acre, more than potatoes, if grown peoperly. I dunno if its true or not.
 

Merlin

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I can peel a box of tomatoes faster than your grandma (maybe not merlins).
My Grandma worked for awhile at a canning factory just outside of Dallas City, Illinois, on the Mississippi River. Peeling tomatoes, LOL. She was fast. How did you know CS?
 

FFA

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#11
We can alot of food every summer and fall. Tomatoes, salsa rojo, verde, pickles, garlic, okra, beets, peppers,etc. I have gone to freezing more lately, because it takes less time. We use 3-4 qts of tomatoes a week cooking meals, that is the big one. I can peel a box of tomatoes faster than your grandma (maybe not merlins). We pressure can everything, just cuz we can. Waterbath canning might be ok, but I like 15 psi steam. I have ate stuff that was 10-15 years old, and its been just fine. We have some 15 yo apricots I wouldnt be afraid to eat, the seal is good and they look ok.

I dry carrots we dont eat fresh or out of the cellar, to add to stews and casseroles.

That is a heck of a yeild for 20 lb carrots. I have heard it said that carrots are the highest yeilding vegetable per acre, more than potatoes, if grown peoperly. I dunno if its true or not.
That is a lot of tomatoes to go through in a week.
There are seven of us in my household so we go through some food too.

I might grab another bag. It just seemed like a lot of carrots for 13 bucks.
 

coopersmith

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My Grandma worked for awhile at a canning factory just outside of Dallas City, Illinois, on the Mississippi River. Peeling tomatoes, LOL. She was fast. How did you know CS?
Because you told me she worked at a cannery, when we used to hangout in sovereign economist chat and listen to ralph and bob.
 

MrLucky

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#13
I'd like to get into canning one day but will probably have to wait until I retire to find the time. Yet, thanks for these observations they are quite informative for me.