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Canning & Preserving 101

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Post  boffer 5/30/2011, 3:02 pm

Our first year of canning, we lost chunks of enamel on the electric stove top, where the big pots overhung the burners. So I made a propane burner canning station that lives in the garage/shop. As you can see, the burner top is 8 inches lower than the standard height (36 in) countertop. The lower height is wonderful for both my wife and I. At 5'3", handling those tall pots was precarious and dangerous when they were at her face level. I'm taller, but it was heck on my rotator cuffs at countertop height. We both feel safer with the lower height.

What loving hubby could say no to SAFETY FIRST?

Canning & Preserving 101 - Page 3 Dscn0313

Not to mention
*heat stays outside
*the mess stays outside
*being able to leave things out, without being in the way, makes it easier to do a little here and a little there, at one's convenience
*outdoor kitchens are in, it's your first step towards getting one!
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 5/30/2011, 8:19 pm

Oh, Boffer, you d'man! Personally, I whined and sniffled until I got a kitchen set up FOR canning. Pull-out shelf to set incoming produce on; full length counter for prepping fruit/veggies (with sink at right), stove with canning burner, second sink for cooling blanched vegetables, etc. etc. My husband appreciates me as a "very fine whine." Aside: he eats well, too!
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Post  FarmerValerie 5/31/2011, 8:09 am

Boffer, yet another brilliant idea!
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Post  camprn 6/4/2011, 8:27 am

Boff, I really, really like that outdoor setup!!
Another crafty link
Canning with kids Very Happy
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Post  westie42 6/4/2011, 7:38 pm

The only complaint on outdoor canning is that if done completely outdoors air flow makes temperature control very difficult. When doing water bath it is quite important to keep a steady temperature and any draft or gush of wind disrupts the process and it's timing. I have the same problem with ceiling fans in my kitchen if set very high. In the garage could be a better place unless draft is an issue. I have built temporary plywood or paneling surrounds to help cook beets etc outside. But a full day of canning by myself would be 20-30 pints of beets, beans or tomatoes and that leaves little time to make a three ring circus out of trying to constantly monitor everything going on. Usually my kitchen will handle all the congestion and mess but it would be nice to get the heat outside. There was a time when our ancestors commonly had summer kitchens, outside.
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Post  FarmerValerie 6/5/2011, 9:20 am

Seems to me that a cool breeze would be better than the air conditioner kicking on. We have to keep our house cool, my husband has athsma and works outside, so when he comes home he wants the house cold. We have a spot in our back yard that never sees sun, it's always shady, and that is the spot we are looking for. I even plan to install a shop fan for a man made breeze. True, a breeze can crack your jars, but only having it on during prep time would help quite a bit down here, where the temps outside the pan are not much better than inside the pan.
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Post  Miss M 6/7/2011, 2:13 am

My glasstop came in, and it wasn't what I thought I was ordering (long story). So I took it back and ordered a Whirlpool Ceran ceramic glass cooktop. I looked through the manual, and, lo and behold, for the large dual element the recommended uses are:

cooking large amounts of food
cooking with large diameter pots
home canning

cheers Yay, I can CAN on this thing! And my canner fits very well on that big eye. Now I need to deal with the large numbers of cucumbers my ONE SINGLE PLANT has been producing!!! What a Face And make tomato sauce with the Romas I've been harvesting.
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Post  shannon1 6/7/2011, 2:27 am

Canning & Preserving 101 - Page 3 834944 yea!!!! Some times things just work out like that.
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Post  Furbalsmom 6/7/2011, 2:12 pm

Miss M, how wonderful that someone who cans, is able to get a glasstop that is recommended for canning cheers .

So happy for you, now, get to work on those cucumbers and romas. Canning & Preserving 101 - Page 3 456464 Canning & Preserving 101 - Page 3 304405
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Post  Smartchick 6/8/2011, 5:43 pm

I did some water bath canning on the glass cooktop last year and didn't even think about it. Of course I was only doing a few pints at a time so not as much weight. I have heard of people using the "side burner" on their grill to do canning. We have one and I was thinking of trying that this year. Anyone here tried that?
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Post  walshevak 6/8/2011, 5:47 pm

@Miss M wrote:My glasstop came in, and it wasn't what I thought I was ordering (long story). So I took it back and ordered a Whirlpool Ceran ceramic glass cooktop. I looked through the manual, and, lo and behold, for the large dual element the recommended uses are:

cooking large amounts of food
cooking with large diameter pots
home canning

cheers Yay, I can CAN on this thing! And my canner fits very well on that big eye. Now I need to deal with the large numbers of cucumbers my ONE SINGLE PLANT has been producing!!! What a Face And make tomato sauce with the Romas I've been harvesting.

I don't can, but that's the stove I have. Hope you enjoy it.

KAY

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Post  Miss M 6/8/2011, 10:43 pm

@walshevak wrote:I don't can, but that's the stove I have. Hope you enjoy it.

KAY
Do you like it? I do, so far. It's easier to clean than I expected, but I haven't spilled sugary stuff on it yet, either. What a Face I like how responsive it is.
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Post  camprn 8/8/2011, 8:26 am

Time to make pickles! Very Happy What are you going to can this year? affraid
Boffer, you have said you like the brined pickle, do you ferment them in glass jars or a crock?

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Post  FarmerValerie 8/8/2011, 8:41 am

I made my pickles (bread and butter) earlier, don't know if I l'll get more, I cannot find any ingredients locally and hubby does not like to order stuff like that.



For my southern peas, I'm drying them this year, I bring them in, leave them in the pod, set them out to dry, shell and place in a jar. I'm trying to not depend on the freezer this year, and I'm not to sure my pressure canner is working right, I lost a lot of water in the corn I canned.... I still have beans out there some where, lima, butter, and 2 green bean plants, along with some red beand, those I will be canning when they come in. I hope to get some more green beans in the ground.



I put up some broccoli earlier, but it just did not look good when we pulled it out of the freezer, I'm not sure what happened. I do plan on planting more broccoli and cabbage (to make sourkraut).



The reasons for my not wanting to depend on the freezer are #1 we live in the country so if power goes out it may take a while to restore it, and running the freezer costs money, so if I can can, dehydrate, or dry I will.
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Post  squaredeal 8/8/2011, 12:39 pm

I just made some hot pepper jam and BB pickles. The jam is especially wonderful. I traded watering my community garden companion's plot for the week for her jalapeno peppers. Is it just me, or does hot pepper jam taste a lot like honey? (with the occasionally bite of heat - I did remove the seeds and the pepper pith, so it was rather cool for hot pepper jam) Oh, and it is a very pretty jam.
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Post  camprn 8/8/2011, 1:59 pm

@squaredeal wrote:I just made some hot pepper jam and BB pickles. The jam is especially wonderful. I traded watering my community garden companion's plot for the week for her jalapeno peppers. Is it just me, or does hot pepper jam taste a lot like honey? (with the occasionally bite of heat - I did remove the seeds and the pepper pith, so it was rather cool for hot pepper jam) Oh, and it is a very pretty jam.
Save a jar to enter into your local fair! Entering stuff in the fair is fun and so is seeing what others in the area are putting up! The last time I made hot pepper jelly we made the mistake, being rookies, of using thai peppers. OMG!!!
H O T Canning & Preserving 101 - Page 3 On_Fire

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Post  Mamachibi 8/8/2011, 2:04 pm

‎25 pounds of peaches. 7 quart jars. Five dehydrator trays. It's gonna be a busy day.
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Post  camprn 8/8/2011, 2:11 pm

@Mamachibi wrote:‎25 pounds of peaches. 7 quart jars. Five dehydrator trays. It's gonna be a busy day.
Oh Boy!!!! I love peaches!
I just got back from a foraging mission with about 5 lbs of elderberries. After that picking session, went on over to the liquor store and picked up some vodka to make an infused cordial! Very Happy

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Post  Goosegirl 8/8/2011, 2:43 pm

I have a quart of blueberries in vanilla vodka and 1/2 gallon of peaches in brandy sitting in a dark cupboard for making fruit liqueurs. Only 1 more week to wait before finishing the blueberry.....

GG
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Post  camprn 8/12/2011, 9:22 pm

A nifty little blog Canning Granny What a Face

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Post  Denese 8/12/2011, 11:23 pm

camprn wrote:

A nifty little blog Canning Granny What a Face
Thanks, camprn!! That's a fabulous site! All kinds of great ideas!!
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Post  FamilyGardening 8/13/2011, 5:36 am

we made our first ever jam....blue berry.....Very Happy
man it turned out really, really sweet......
since im new to the canning stuff....can i add less sugar? and it still process ok in the hot water bath?.....using reg pectin?......i have the low sugar or no sugar pectin but havent tried that yet....im curious if you can add less sugar to regular pectin and have it turn out ok and store well....

did that even make since Shocked



hug

rose
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Post  camprn 8/13/2011, 6:50 am

@FamilyGardening wrote:we made our first ever jam....blue berry.....Very Happy
man it turned out really, really sweet......
since im new to the canning stuff....can i add less sugar? and it still process ok in the hot water bath?.....using reg pectin?......i have the low sugar or no sugar pectin but havent tried that yet....im curious if you can add less sugar to regular pectin and have it turn out ok and store well....
did that even make since Shocked
hug
rose
In my experience, if you add less sugar that the recipe calls for whilst using regular pectin you get syrup not jelly affraid (but fruit syrup is good too). If you are a beginning canner, I strongly suggest following the recipe if you would like your final product to turn out the way it should. Also make single batches, resist doubling recipes when using pectin for the same reason. Good luck and have fun! Very Happy

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Post  Goosegirl 8/13/2011, 8:25 am

@camprn wrote:
@FamilyGardening wrote:we made our first ever jam....blue berry.....Very Happy
man it turned out really, really sweet......
since im new to the canning stuff....can i add less sugar? and it still process ok in the hot water bath?.....using reg pectin?......i have the low sugar or no sugar pectin but havent tried that yet....im curious if you can add less sugar to regular pectin and have it turn out ok and store well....
did that even make since Shocked
hug
rose
In my experience, if you add less sugar that the recipe calls for whilst using regular pectin you get syrup not jelly affraid (but fruit syrup is good too). If you are a beginning canner, I strongly suggest following the recipe if you would like your final product to turn out the way it should. Also make single batches, resist doubling recipes when using pectin for the same reason. Good luck and have fun! Very Happy
I have also found that when the pectin package tells you to measure the ingredients EXACTLY it is because changes cause differences in the set. That is what GOT me to experiment with them! I puree my fruit instead of chopping it for jam (we don't like chunky), which means I get more fruit to the amount of sugar (so a bit less sweet), but I double the batch and use only 1 box of pectin instead of two, because we purposely are trying for more of a fruit spread than a stiff jam or jelly - Hubby uses all my jam to spread on his pancakes but doesn't like a messy syrup or a jam so stiff it tears his pancakes while spreading! Ah, the things you do for the ones you love!

GG



PS - I also add lemon or lime (love my lime!) juice to all of my jams, even if the recipe does not call for it, just because I like the zip it adds and it cuts a bit of sweetness.



PSS - as I was typing this, Hubby was using a new jar of jam and was commenting (I use that term loosely) on how odd it is that jams from the same batch can have such different consistencies - this jar is causing him to tear his pancake a little. I had to remind him that I made TWO batches, one strawberry, and one strawberry-peach. "Oh, THAT explains it!" he says.........


Last edited by Goosegirl on 8/13/2011, 8:32 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : post script)
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Post  westie42 8/13/2011, 11:03 am

So is what you are saying that jam and jelly making is like baking where following the recipe is very important to the outcome and is not like cooking where experimenting is how to improve a recipe.
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