View Full Version : Canning food

02-11-2007, 09:14 PM
I have always wanted to learn how to can food. I would imagine this would be a good way to have food you could eat in case of an emergency. Not only that but doesn't canning food make it last longer?

02-11-2007, 09:51 PM
Yes, canning food does make it last longer. I know some folks who are still eating canned food they prepared for Y2K. Of course the shelf life depends on the quality of the canning process and what food you just canned. Unfortunately I have no idea how to do it. But I agree I would like to know how.

02-12-2007, 02:07 PM
Canning is definitely a good idea for disaster survival. And some foods can last forever, really. The issue is that you need to be careful when opening it, if the seal is broken, it smells funny, etc, don't eat it.

As discussed in the other thread, if you needed to depend only on yourself for food for an extended period of time canning is a good idea. You can can fruits & vegetables in the summer and be able to still eat them in winter and get the vitamin C etc that you need.

On a related topic, apples can last a long time. You've heard the phrase "one bad apple spoils the bunch" well its true. Apples release a compound while ripening that speeds ripening in other fruit. So one overripe apple in a barrel can make them all go bad... however if they are all good they last for up to 6 months. Colonials used to sink barrels of apples into lakes & ponds for overwintering and they'd still be fine next spring.

02-13-2007, 01:39 PM
I never knew that about apples. It seems they go bad quickly around my house, and I end up throwing a few out.

You can probably find a local homemaker's club or home economist to teach you how to can, if you're really interested in learning. My mom and mother-in-law have both canned, so what I know I've learned from them. It's not difficult, really, just time consuming and precise. Above all, cleanliness is of the utmost importance. If your cans and lids aren't completely sterile, they'll contaminate your food and all your hard work will be for naught.

02-13-2007, 09:10 PM
Sunset magazines do a great line of canning books for everyone. They are very informative. A good place to start.

02-14-2007, 02:29 PM
There are a few items we can every year. Usually plum tomatoes in water because we make a lot of tomato sauce during the winter months, and they also are great in salads when the store tomatoes have no taste. We do some jams, jellies, plums, etc. I learned from my grandmother, and once you get the process down, it's just work and not that hard.

02-17-2007, 12:11 PM
Add me to the list of people who would like to learn canning. I could build a decent garden in my yard if only I had the skills to properly store the fruits of my labor.

02-17-2007, 04:54 PM
I will have to check out the books you were talking about. Thanks for all the information. I had no clue on the apples. Very interesting to know, thanks again.

02-18-2007, 10:09 AM
I think you can probably also find just about everything you need to know online and save on the books. It's a wonderful thing to learn how to do.

02-19-2007, 12:15 PM
I agree with you about canned food but there is one problem.Once you open the can and you dont eat all the food,then you might end up getting a disease out of a result of leaving food in an open can for more than one day.But otherwise,its a good method.

02-20-2007, 11:22 AM
That's why there are all sizes of canning jars! Other foods go bad as well ...it's all just common sense and awareness, isn't it?

02-20-2007, 12:07 PM
You likely have foods that spoil now, you just don't think about as much, since you didn't actually have to do the canning. We generally don't can anything larger than a quart, most likley in pints, though. That helps you to use the item up. You can always open another can, if you need to.

03-02-2007, 06:03 AM
Canning fruits and vegtables is really pretty easy and just about anyone can do it...even us four boys growing up got pretty good at it...we would help mom and grandma put up jams, jellies, pickles, tomatoes, squash, peas, beans, hot peppers, carrots, corn or whatever...etc.

If you ever wondered how people were ever able to eat everything from their gardents...when everything in them seemed to be coming in at the same time...it's because they "put up" their food for the winter and early spring.

Canning meat (potted meat), turkey, or chicken is considerably tricker...and should only be attempted after you are proficient at putting up the fruits and veggies with consistent success. Even then I would either get help from someone else who does it a lot...or find and take a good class to get properly trained.

The food we canned always tasted better than store bought...even back then...and we never used a lot of sugar or salt in it. It seems to help a lot if the canned goods are stored in a cool, dark place like a "root cellar" or unheated pantry in the house...as sunlight and heat seems to rob the food of its freshness, flavor, color and texture...hope this helps!

03-02-2007, 11:17 AM
Good post. Canning takes a bit of practice but it can be done! We freeze a lot of stuff too as some things, especially meats, are just better preserved that way.

04-03-2007, 11:00 PM
We can homemade apple jelly every year. :-D Mmmmm..... Oh, and about the apples. I remember hearing somewhere that they are often kept in a nitrogen rich atmosphere as the lack of oxygen also slows the ripening process. I don't know for sure if that is true, as I heard it second hand.

07-18-2007, 08:32 PM
I can some of my venison every year and usually do some chicken and beef too. I haven't tried it with bear yet, but I'm going to one of these days. Tomatos are another one of my favorites.

07-19-2007, 05:46 PM
Canning is a skill all would do well to learn.
We all know what it is, and can read all the instructionals in how to put the stuff together that you are going to can.
there is 2 major forms of canning here, water bath, and pressure canning, in the water bath canning you are depending on the heat of water at a boiling temperature to kill all the bad micro bugs in the food, and expand as much atmosphere from the jar, so when the jar cools, the lid will suck down on the rim of the jar, thusly making a seal. Water bath canning is good for acud foods.
Pressure canning is for non acid foods like meat, to kill the bad micro bugs in meat the canner needs to develop a much higher temperature than boiling water, this is easilly done with steam under pressure, and so the need for a pressure canner.
I use my pressure canner to can almost everything I want to can, my water bath canner works good for making giant batches of chili, and soup.
I get tired of dried food real fast, I can't chew jerky or pemican any more, I don't trust my freezer from one storm to the next, my canned good's are good for as long as it takes for me to get around to eating them!
I live alone, I usually take the leftovers from my meal, and pack it in a jar and can it up while I am doing the dishes, and evening clean up. By all rights, that meal was already paied for, the jar of food is a free meal in the future. It is easy to consider I free load off my pantry all winter long if I wish.

Tony uk
07-19-2007, 05:57 PM
I buy in lots of canned food from ASDA, Tesco and other supermarkets and store in in a cool cupboard for use anytime

If i want food to last a month or two i normaly pickle it, i like chiliepepers,eggs,onions,cabage,beetroot,carrot,me at and shell fish i pickle. i also dry some food to make pemican and seasoned jerky

Jared foods are also good Honey has large natural sugar contents and if in propper packageing it will NEVER go off it only goes hard like golden syrip and you only have to rewarm it :D

07-20-2007, 03:17 PM
Some have brought up some other subjects such as storing (root cellars,) fermentation (pickled) vegetables and saurcrout. Some mention was made of cureing and drying of meat too.
All are fine ways to cure food to extend the shelf life of food.
The easiest method of all is the fermentation of vegetables, as in krout, it is simply shredded cabbage and salt, packed down and allowed to do what it will naturally, it will take about 2 weeks to work, and then you will have saurcrout.
Vegetables can be pickled by par cooking the veggies, and soaking in a vinagar solution with sugar and spices, in a whle they will have that very special pickle taste.
Most everyone knows how to make jerky, but not many know if you was to pound that same jerky into a near powder, mix the powder with finely chopped nuts, dried berries, and mangel the loose mix into as much fat as it takes to allow it to hold it's shape after being pressed into a form. Doing this make something called Pemican.
All of these things will allow you to extend the shelf life of your food stocks, or in the case of camping, why not preserve your own food rather than pay highway robery for those fancy store bought camp foods.

07-20-2007, 03:31 PM
Along with canning, cureing, and fermenting your food to extend it's shelf life, one shouldn't forget about drying food too.
Most all fruits and vegetables lend themselves to drying rather nicely.
I guess the easiest way is to get your fruit or veggy, and slice it very thin, set on a cookie sheet and set in the oven set to about 200 f. leave the door of the oven open a few inches, and let all do what works best here. It will be anywhere from 2-6 hours to dry you food stuffs.
Store in air tight containers, or some place that will always remain dry.
It is not only the pride in making for yourself, but pretty tasty to chew away at your own banana, or maybe apple chips while walking down the trail.
Dried veggies are pretty nifty when putting a handfull of mixed veggies in a sandwich baggy , maybe with a bullion cube or two. In camp, once the water is hot dump the works in the water, and let cook done. Instant soup!
Maybe a mix of dried veggies, some dried noodles, finely chopped piece or two of jerky, and you got the making for a decent soup made from dehydrated goods!
The question here is why pay some outfit for camp food when it only cost you your time to make your own?
Besides come the holidays, you can make up a soup mix, put it in a jar, tie a patch of pretty colored cloth over the lid with a bright ribbon, Instant hand made gift.

LiL' bunny fufu
07-20-2007, 03:38 PM
trax, nice name
u new?

07-20-2007, 03:59 PM
Yep, just came in today and decided to join the conversation. Thanks.:)

About canning...the pemmican that rusty described lasts literally for years, it's the traditional travel food of natives. It was important enough in the early 1800's that wars were fought over it. There's plenty of good canning advice and books out there for the un-initiated, Reader's Digest actually put out a really good one a few years back. I learned how from my Mom, and I recommend it to everyone.

LiL' bunny fufu
07-20-2007, 04:34 PM
dood i like u
if i may ask how old are u

07-20-2007, 05:01 PM
Old, over the hill, archaic, ancient, artifactual, (alliterative) lol, 49. I creak when I move.

LiL' bunny fufu
07-20-2007, 05:04 PM
hahahahahahaha lol

07-28-2007, 01:36 PM
Fruit Butters

Fruit butter is made by cooking fruits until soft, pressing through a sieve, and adding sugar. This mixture is cooked until thick enough to spread when cold. Fruits may be blended fro flavour and colour. Some combinations used are apples with grape juice, plums or quince. White or granulated brown sugar may be used. Brown sugar gives a darker butter with light fruits and a more pronounced flavour with bland fruits. Spices usually added to fruit butters are a mixture of 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon each of ground allspice and cloves per gallon of butter. Ginger is good with pears --- 1 or 2 teaspoons ground ginger per gallon of butter. For a spicy flavour in light coloured butter, cook with whole spices tied loosely in a cheesecloth bag; remove after butter is cooked. Lemon juice may be added to bland fruits.

General Directions

Use sound, ripe fruit or firm portions of windfalls or culls. Wash fruits thoroughly and prepare as follows:

Apples: Peel and slice or quarter. Use apples alone, or equal parts apples and cider or cider and water.

Apricots: Remove pits and skins if desired. Crush fruit and cook in its own juice.

Grapes: Crush fruit and cook in own juice.

Guavas: Remove blossom and stem ends. Peel skin if rough. Slice and put through a sieve or food mill.

Mangoes: Use half-ripe mangoes. Peel and slice. Add 1 to 2 cups water for every 6 cups sliced fruit. Cook until soft enough to mash.

Peaches: Scald and remove skins if desired. Remove pits; crush and cook in own juice.

Pears: Remove stems, but not cores and skins. Quarter or slice. Add half as much water as fruit. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice per gallon of fruit pulp.

Plums: Halve or quarter. Remove pits. Crush and cook in its own juice.

Quince: Remove blossom end, but not cores and skins. Cut into small pieces. Use from one-half to equal quantities of water to fruit.

Specific Steps

1. Cook until the fruit is soft, stirring constantly.

2. Press through a colander or food mill, then through a fine sieve to remove all fibrous material so pulp is smooth.

3. Measure pulp; add sugar, about one-half as much sugar as fruit pulp.

4. Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt to each gallon of butter.

5. Boil rapidly, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. As butter becomes thick, reduce heat.

6. Add spices and lemon juice if used.

7. Continue cooking until butter is thick and almost flakes from a spoon. Or test for doneness by pouring a small quantity onto a cold dish. The butter is done when no rim of liquid separates around the edge of the butter.

8. Pour boiling butter into hot, clean, sterilized jars; seal at once.

Source: (Quick & Delicious) Canning, Pickling and Preserving by Johna Blinn