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Home Canning


nonblonde007
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I recently bought a large All-American pressure canner, mostly because I wanted to make large volumes of pressure-cooked stock and can the results for storage. But now that I have it, I've been canning various things as well. Since I live in NYC and don't have a large garden, I'm not positioned to take advantage of a fall bounty of inexpensive produce with canning. But I have been able to do a few things.

One thing I've done recently is can beans. It's convenient (and far less expensive!) to have access to home canned beans compared to opening a can or cooking from dry. In home-canning dry beans I've followed the USDA recommendations, but I admit that I find them a bit puzzling when it comes to dry beans.

The USDA instructions say that you should soak the beans several hours (I forget the recommended time, but it's sufficient to fully hydrate the beans), then simmer them 30 minutes, then hot-pack them into quart jars, then process at 10 PSI for 90 minutes. Why all the cooking? I guess that simmering them for 30 minutes is to ensure that they have absorbed all the liquid they will absorb and to ensure that they're no less than 90C when put into the canner. So that makes some sense. But then why process them for 90 minutes? This seems a lot longer than the time recommended to sterilize other conductive non-acidic foods. The guidelines for beets, for example, is only 35 minutes. Does anyone have any idea whether this recommendation is entirely safety-based, or whether there is some culinary aim of the 90 minute processing time for dry beans?

No proof, but I imagine it's quality-based, as in making sure they're fully cooked. I have canned beans using the soup method, which does not call for half an hour of cooking, and the beans have turned out just fine: tender and tasty. I have done this with the 50/50 ratio of solids to liquids, but I will be canning beans this weekend, and will be filling the jars, as I have determined that the recommendation for the "soup ratio" doesn't really make sense for beans, as both canning methods call for the same processing time.

Tracy

Lenexa, KS, USA

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When I was a kid, my mother, grandmother and I "put up" all kinds of fruit and vegetables, as well as freezing and/or curing meat (beef, pork, game). We had about an acre and a half garden, and a big orchard, and the summer was filled with canning and freezing. Some things were always canned -- green beans, tomatos, purple hulled peas, pickles, jams, jellies. Others were always frozen -- corn, squash, okra (cut and dusted with cornmeal, salt and pepper frozen in a single layer on cookie sheets, then bagged after it was frozen). About all we bought at the grocery were staples -- flour, meal, coffee, sugar, etc.

When I moved away to the "big city," Mama, convinced I would starve if left to the mercies of supermarkets and restaurants, kept me supplied with home-preserved and frozen food, until age caught up with her and my father and the family preserved food pace fell off.

So this summer, my co-worker had this fig tree. She hates figs. She hates the mess they make on her driveway, and the wasps they draw. And I went over and picked figs. And for the first time in almost 40 years -- and the first time EVER by myself -- I canned fig preserves.

Small figs, about ping-pong ball size.

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About three pounds' worth, draining in the colander after a good wash.

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Cooking, with sugar. They made plenty of their own liquid.

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Nicely cooked down, and pureed a bit with an immersion blender.

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I have no canner, so the stock-pot served for sterilizing jars and water-bath canning.

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The finished product. I was proud.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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No proof, but I imagine it's quality-based, as in making sure they're fully cooked. I have canned beans using the soup method, which does not call for half an hour of cooking, and the beans have turned out just fine: tender and tasty. I have done this with the 50/50 ratio of solids to liquids, but I will be canning beans this weekend, and will be filling the jars, as I have determined that the recommendation for the "soup ratio" doesn't really make sense for beans, as both canning methods call for the same processing time.

Ok, I canned 12 quart jars of beans, yesterday, using the quick soak method in the soup canning instructions. I actually ended up boiling them several times, as they were old beans, and kept soaking up water.

I filled the jars with beans to 1" head space, then added liquid to come to the same level. I processed at 10 lbs pressure for 90 minutes.

Seems to have worked well, but I think next time, I'll use less beans per jar (up to 1 1/2-2 inches head space), but still fill the liquid to 1" head space. It seems a lot of liquid siphoned out during processing so that not all the beans are in liquid in the jars. This is not a problem for safety, but could be a problem for drying out.

Today, I boned and canned a turkey. Talk about your basic pain in the butt. The breasts weren't a problem, but the legs and thighs were a huge PITA.

Tracy

Lenexa, KS, USA

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The only thing I preserve myself are Williams peaches from the garden which all ripen at the same time and don't store well save in jars with sugar solution. I am spoiled by my friends in France however, who supply me with home made terrine, rillettes and foie gras in huge quantities. Really practical as our house is small and we have very little freezer space.

The cost of jars in both England and France is considerable, in England we have Kilner and in France Le Parfait (I live between the two countries). What do you pay for the Mason jars?

While the meat based preserves Jacques makes are wonderful he tried doing flageolets last year and they were a disaster. I'll pass on the info on beans from this thread in the hope that perhaps he'll have more success with that. I do have his terrine recipe if anyone would be interested. I haven't made it in England as sadly the village Butcher retired without finding a buyer for his business and the butchers in town don't want to supply the low value cuts that are needed for the recipe.

Really enjoyed all the photos and descriptions of your colourful produce. Here we've given up on hoping for a summer 2011 so it's good to see so much ripe fruit and veg somewhere in the world!

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  • 1 month later...

I went on a canning spree yesterday and everything turned out great except one batch if habanero jelly. Its not setting up. I have been reading ways to fix it and am thinking i will open the jars and recook it with more pectin. But i cant figure out exactly how much more pectin i should use. My yeild (i shared with a friend) was 4 1 pint jars.

Edited by Goatjunky (log)
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The only thing I preserve myself are Williams peaches from the garden which all ripen at the same time and don't store well save in jars with sugar solution. I am spoiled by my friends in France however, who supply me with home made terrine, rillettes and foie gras in huge quantities. Really practical as our house is small and we have very little freezer space.

The cost of jars in both England and France is considerable, in England we have Kilner and in France Le Parfait (I live between the two countries). What do you pay for the Mason jars?

While the meat based preserves Jacques makes are wonderful he tried doing flageolets last year and they were a disaster. I'll pass on the info on beans from this thread in the hope that perhaps he'll have more success with that. I do have his terrine recipe if anyone would be interested. I haven't made it in England as sadly the village Butcher retired without finding a buyer for his business and the butchers in town don't want to supply the low value cuts that are needed for the recipe.

Really enjoyed all the photos and descriptions of your colourful produce. Here we've given up on hoping for a summer 2011 so it's good to see so much ripe fruit and veg somewhere in the world!

I'm not sure how I missed this. A dozen new jars will cost between $7 and $16, depending on where you get them. However, I look for used jars. I've been the lucky recipient of a couple dozen used quart jars, and have found, at one time or another, 5 dozen quart jars for roughly $5, umpity dozen half-pint jars for free, and most recently, several dozen mixed jars for free.

I'm guessing it's not going to be so easy to find those either in France or England, though. But you can probably go to some boot sales and see what you can find. I'm not sure whether you have an equivalent of Craigslist (www.craigslist.com) in England, or Freecycle, but I've gotten jars from both places.

I'm not sure whether the flageolets you're referring to are green beans or dry beans. Just be aware that the beans I've canned and talked about in my posts are dry beans, which require long cooking, normally. I just say this because I'm not familiar with flageolets.

And by the way, I'm still savoring the beans I canned last time for cheap, but tasty lunches. My SO will not eat beans, but that just means more for me. It somehow doesn't seem right that something so cheap should taste so darn GOOD!

I hope you have luck with your flageolets!

Tracy

Lenexa, KS, USA

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The main thing I have found with beans is this: Even after you have re-hydrated them and simmered them for 30 minutes, when you put the beans in the jar you should leave more like 2.5 inches of headspace so that the beans are covered by around an inch and a half of liquid. This way, when the beans expand and absorb water during the canning process, they will still be covered with a little bit of liquid when processing is finished.

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Question: I have a generic Mexican-style green sauce I make by simmering poblano and serano peppers, tomatillos, onion, garlic, pepitas until tender and then pureeing in the VitaPrep with lots of fresh cilantro. Is there any reason I couldn't can this? It's relatively thick as-is, but I'd thin it out with some water. Assuming I could can it, what protocol should I use? I was thinking of using the one for soup (i.e., hot pack quarts and process at 10 PSI for 75 minutes). Thoughts? Advice?

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I went on a canning spree yesterday and everything turned out great except one batch if habanero jelly. Its not setting up. I have been reading ways to fix it and am thinking i will open the jars and recook it with more pectin. But i cant figure out exactly how much more pectin i should use. My yeild (i shared with a friend) was 4 1 pint jars.

Please refer to the following link: Liquid cement.

This works when all else fails.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Sam, according to USDA, you can peppers in pint/half pint jars for 35 minutes, at 10 pounds. (15 if you are above 1000 feet.)

Nut meats (I would consider the pepitas as nut meats) are also canned for 35 minutes.

From the National Onion Council: Q: What do I need to know about canning onions?

A: According to the USDA, use onions of 1-inch diameter or less. Wash and peel onions. Cover onions with boiling water; bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes. Pack the onions into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Add ½ tsp salt to pints; 1 tsp to quarts, if desired. Fill jars to within 1-inch from top with boiling water. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids and process.

Process in a Dial Gauge Pressure Canner at 11 pounds pressure OR in a Weighted Gauge Pressure Canner at 10 pounds pressure: Pints or Quarts:40 minutes

The tomatillos are treated like tomatoes, and would up the acid content for you.

Mixed products are canned at the time and pressure used for the ingredient that takes the longest, so you could go for 40 minutes and be safe. If it wouldn't interfere with flavor, you could add some vinegar, just for insurance.

sparrowgrass
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Thanks andiesenji! Going to try if friday. I am going to post pictures soon and hopefully a good update on thebhabanero jelly. Unfortunately the canned fresh tuna turned out extremely ugly, hopefully people are brave enough to try it

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  • 2 months later...

Has anyone ever home-canned hominy? I have a lot of gigantic dried hominy corn, but seldom have the forethought to soak and cook it. Canning it in pint jars would be very convenient. But maybe the pH is too high? I'd be pressure canning.

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