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What Are You Preserving, and How Are You Doing It? (2016–)


Anna N
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Does anyone else use a steam canner? I bought one recently and its maiden voyage was for Bread & Butter pickles. (I can't find a commercial brand that we like anymore and we eat pickles quite a bit.) I should have considered making some dills also, but wasn't organized enough. 😞

 

Bought more pickling cukes from the farm than I needed so gave some to neighbour who will likely make some dills. 

 

I wish I had a steam canner sooner. It's SO MUCH easier than hot water bath. I wasn't sure that I would get good use out of a pressure canner, so this seemed like a good choice, but would be interested in hearing from others. 

 

I gave one jar away but there's another jar in the fridge, and this batch should last us for quite a while. 

 

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19 hours ago, lemniscate said:

 

Yes, I  found one that was induction friendly too.  So much easier than traditional hot water canning.

 

Thanks for replying!  🙂

 

Have you used it very often? I may get back into doing more canning with it. I was becoming reluctant to can things with the hot water method, so much slower and more awkward. 

 

 

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On 8/14/2022 at 1:56 PM, FauxPas said:

I wish I had a steam canner sooner. It's SO MUCH easier than hot water bath.

I took the multi-part preserving [webinar] course from University of Maine a few years ago, and the question I posted on the steam-canning day was:  why would anyone water-bath anything, ever?

 

The answer was:  for things that need longer water-bath-times than can be accomplished in a steam-canner.

 

I got it, immediately.  Specifically, I heard a charge:  go forth with steam, with everything that can be steamed.  

Edited by SLB (log)
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4 hours ago, FauxPas said:

 

Thanks for replying!  🙂

 

Have you used it very often? I may get back into doing more canning with it. I was becoming reluctant to can things with the hot water method, so much slower and more awkward. 

 

 

 

So far just citrus juices/syrups/pieces.   That's the main harvest in my neighborhood.  We don't have bushels of "canning tomatoes" or pickles available locally.   So, I just do the freebie local stuff.   High acid is easy.

 

I do have a pressure canner (also induction friendly).  Haven't used it yet.   I wanted to do soups and chile.   Oh well.  Maybe I'll get motivated someday.

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1 hour ago, SLB said:

I took the multi-part preserving [webinar] course from University of Maine a few years ago, and the question I posted on the steam-canning day was:  why would anyone water-bath anything, ever?

 

The answer was:  for things that need longer water-bath-times than can be accomplished in a steam-canner.

 

I got it, immediately.  Specifically, I heard a charge:  go forth with steam, with everything that can be steamed.  

I don’t intend to can anything but this certainly piqued my curiosity. I have spent a couple of hours down steam-canning  rabbit holes.
From what I gather it is only recently that enough research has been done to prove this method is safe if done correctly. 
Doesn’t look to me as if steam canning of tomatoes is a doable option unless you’re adding a considerable amount of acid into the mix. Am I correct in this assumption?

 

(However, my admiration for @Shelbygrew by leaps and bounds as I watched a YouTube of someone canning tomatoes using other methods.) 

Edited by Anna N
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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

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11 minutes ago, Anna N said:

I don’t intend to can anything but this certainly piqued my curiosity. I have spent a couple of hours down steam-canning  rabbit holes.
from what I gather it is only recently not enough research has been done to prove this method is safe if done correctly. 
Doesn’t look to me as if steam canning of tomatoes is a doable option unless you’re adding a considerable amount of acid into the mix. Am I correct in this assumption?

 

They have done enough recent research to say steam canning is safe.  🙂

 

Water-bath canning and steam canning both require some acid added to the tomatoes, according to the official sites. I think maybe pressure canned tomatoes can skip the acid, but not positive (I'm sure someone here will know or i can look it up). It's not a lot of acid that needs to be added. And I think @Shelbymight have canned without the acid at all. It's not recommended to do that, but depending on your tomatoes, it could be fine. 

 

I've done hot water bath canning in the past and I am certainly tired of dealing with all that water!!!! 

 

Edited to add:  @Shelby are you doing your tomatoes with a pressure canner these days? 

 

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2 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

They have done enough recent research to say steam canning is safe.  🙂

I just edited my post. I meant to say it is only recently that! Somehow I didn’t correct my typo but it is corrected now. 

Yes,, I see that it is recommended to add lemon juice even if you are water canning tomatoes.
Thank you.  
 


 

 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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9 hours ago, FauxPas said:

I was becoming reluctant to can things with the hot water method, so much slower and more awkward. 

Can (ha ha) you say more about the speed and, should I say gracefulness or less awkwardness of steam canning over the waterbath method.  That's all I've ever done and I like that there's no special equipment needed - I can just use whichever pot holds the # of jars I need.  And in my world, that's never going to be huge. 

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@blue_dolphin   Steam canners are glass top/flat top stove friendly.   For years, it has been considered a no-no to water method can on flat surface stoves.   Steam canners are lighter in weight due to much, much less water needed.   There's less opportunity to knock jars together when loading/unloading jars.  

 

I use the Victorio Multi Purpose Canner.  It is either a steam canner or a water method canner.  Or  a stock pot if needed.   I know there are specific steam canners that look like a cake dome design, I have no experience with that version.

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9 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

Can (ha ha) you say more about the speed and, should I say gracefulness or less awkwardness of steam canning over the waterbath method.

I wanted to give @lemniscatean opportunity to respond before I jumped in. There are a couple of very reasonable YouTube videos available that compare the two methods. I simply googled steam canning. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Re: canning tomatoes. I grew up canning tomatoes, water bath style, with no added acid. But we always waterbath canned hybrids (generally Big Boy). It may be they are more acidic than other kinds. We also occasionally waterbath canned “soup mix” as a means of using up odds and ends of other veggies, and “chili mix” with onions, garlic, tomatoes and peppers. Don’t recall putting additional acid in either.

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15 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

Can (ha ha) you say more about the speed and, should I say gracefulness or less awkwardness of steam canning over the waterbath method.  That's all I've ever done and I like that there's no special equipment needed - I can just use whichever pot holds the # of jars I need.  And in my world, that's never going to be huge. 

 

@lemniscateanswered some of this. But for me, it's also the sheer volume of water required for water bath canning. I do use some larger jars and it takes a LOT of water and a good-sized pot to hold it all. It also takes a long time to bring all of that water to boil and then to cool down sufficiently afterward to remove the pot from the stove. It also doesn't heat up the kitchen as much.  All that hot water seems dangerous.  🙂 I can't lift something like that so it has to be scooped out. It's so much faster and easier with the steam canner, because it only requires 2 - 3 litres of water. It takes very little time for the water to boil and there's an indicator showing when to start timing. 

 

I have done water bath canning on a ceramic-top stove and it worked fine, but it can be a very heavy pot and I don't know the long-term risk. 

 

I do get what you are saying about no special equipment required for water-bath, though I didn't pay a lot for the steam canner and as lemniscate says, it's still a multi-purpose pot - steam canner, water-bath canner or oversized stock-pot. 

 

 

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20 hours ago, FauxPas said:

 

They have done enough recent research to say steam canning is safe.  🙂

 

Water-bath canning and steam canning both require some acid added to the tomatoes, according to the official sites. I think maybe pressure canned tomatoes can skip the acid, but not positive (I'm sure someone here will know or i can look it up). It's not a lot of acid that needs to be added. And I think @Shelbymight have canned without the acid at all. It's not recommended to do that, but depending on your tomatoes, it could be fine. 

 

I've done hot water bath canning in the past and I am certainly tired of dealing with all that water!!!! 

 

Edited to add:  @Shelby are you doing your tomatoes with a pressure canner these days? 

 

I haven't had enough tomatoes to can any this summer :( .  However, I'm grateful to have plenty to eat every day and I've done some spaghetti sauce, so it's all good.  Maybe we will have a surprise surge in September.  It's just been too hot.

 

I don't know if it's because I learned to can using a water bath or what, but I'm just more comfortable doing it that way......I DO love the ease of pressure canning and every summer I try a batch of tomatoes...but the failure rate is always much greater than when I water bath.  I must not do something quite right....the pressure causes seeds and or bits of tomato to get under the lid when I pressure can and it seems like at least one jar doesn't seal.  I do great with green beans using that method though.

5 hours ago, kayb said:

Re: canning tomatoes. I grew up canning tomatoes, water bath style, with no added acid. But we always waterbath canned hybrids (generally Big Boy). It may be they are more acidic than other kinds. We also occasionally waterbath canned “soup mix” as a means of using up odds and ends of other veggies, and “chili mix” with onions, garlic, tomatoes and peppers. Don’t recall putting additional acid in either.

Like Kay, I don't add acid and also like Kay the variety of tomatoes that we plant have high acid amounts.  I know the rules changed sometime in the 90's in the Blue canning "bible" and they say to add lemon juice....I just have never had a problem so I don't do it.

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I haven’t canned a thing this summer because the a/c has been so iffy. Once that unit is replaced, I think I’ll cook nonstop for a month!

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I was straightening up our freezer the other day and realized I only had one bag of creamer peas left!  My mother would be so disappointed that her son was remiss in tending to the essentials.    I drove up to the north end of the county today to Steve's Farm (no relation) and picked up a bushel of speckled butterbeans, a bushel of  lima beans and a half bushel of pink eye purple hull peas.   I had then shell them and I was very happy with the quality.  Lots of smaller tender beans and they were very clean.   Not  a single hull in the batch!  The yield was eight pints of peas, fifteen pints of limas and 16 pints of speckled beans.   Now I don't have to worry about anyone looking in my freezer.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Taking a page out of @Shelby's book and adding a pat of butter as @rotutssuggested, I blanched and bagged 24 cobs of corn yesterday.  We will do the same again when the caramel corn arrives.  John cut the cobs into small pieces and we now have lots of concentrated corn stock to use in corn chowder, corn risotto and such.

 

We also caramelised 6 pounds of vidalia onions.

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20220910_164628.thumb.jpg.b81f027cedae2be918b730ea5c8ffa6f.jpg

 

That's six hours worth of canning tomatoes. I may go get another box next week. I may not.

 

The kitchen looks like a crime scene.

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6 minutes ago, kayb said:

20220910_164628.thumb.jpg.b81f027cedae2be918b730ea5c8ffa6f.jpg

 

That's six hours worth of canning tomatoes. I may go get another box next week. I may not.

 

The kitchen looks like a crime scene.

I know how much work that is, Kay.  Great job!  

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1 minute ago, Shelby said:

I know how much work that is, Kay.  Great job!  

But they'll surely make good soup and such this winter.

 

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Oh, my tomatoes didn't produce worth a damn. Thos was a box (25-30 pounds) from a local farm.

 

I think I have nematodes in my beds. Going to treat them this fall.

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