Why should you learn to can? Because canning is a practical way to preserve your food.
Learn How To Can | Canning 101
Preserving food for the long haul is not only a great way to save money, but it’s also a smart way to be prepared in the event of an emergency. You never know when the next big power outage or storm might be… better safe than sorry and keep some those canned goods on hand.
Canning is also a great way to make the most of an abundant crop! Anyone who has a fruit tree can relate with this, for me, it’s apricots. I want all year for the apricots to finally come in season. Then, all at once there are apricots everywhere! The tree, the ground, and now the carpet in the house… Having fruit trees is such a blessing, I love eating fresh fruit straight from the tree. However, sometimes they can be *overbearing.* What to do with all the excess fruit? Can it now, save some for later!
Here’s how to get started, and how to be a canner. I have provided a list of some of the best resources out there for you, so keep reading!
1.Read a Book
Canning should be well organized, from start to finish! Staying focused is key. The canning process has to happen quickly and effectively so the ingredients are properly preserved. If done wrong, your cans could spoil – so pay attention!
3. Use Pectin
Pectin is an essential geling agent. It is found naturally in many fruits, but you’ll want to buy it in box form: liquid or solid for canning purposes. Using Pectin while canning will save you time and effort, makin the process much easier. Always read the instructions and use the proper ratio of pectin, sugar, and acid based on what it is that you’re canning – this changes dramatically between foods.
4. Botulism – The Truth Revealed
First things first, please note that Botulism is extremely rare. That’s why you hear about it, because it’s a surprise when it happens (similar to plane crashes). With that being said, Botulism can be avoided by using the right form of storage for the canned food chosen. See chart.
5. Make the Syrup in the Can
Don’t bother making a giant mess heating up the liquid sugar on your stove top. Follow the ingredients and add the hot water straight into the can. Less mess, and still the right amount of ingredients.
Hint: ¼ cup water makes a light syrup, ½ cup water makes a heavy syrup.
6. Check the Seal
You wouldn't drive a car with a flat tire would you? Check the pressure in your gasket for holes and quality before you begin.
7. Save Time and Energy
Use the pressure canner often to save time, energy, and money! This process uses less water, and is just as affective.
8. Easy on the Seasoning
Anytime you are canning a stew, soup, or chili, lay back on all that seasoning. Herbs and spices strengthen over time. In fact, you're better off not using any seasoning at all. Add it when you cook the dish for serving.
9. Don’t Mix the Greens
10. Start Small
If you’ve never canned before, don’t take on any large projects. That means start with only 2 or 3 cans. Small batches are easier to manage, and less heartbreaking if ruined. (Not that you’ll ruin it! – I believe in you!)
11. Skip the Carbs
If you’re canning soups, stews, or chili, don’t bother canning the pasta or rice. Pasta and Rice will only grow soggy in the can, and they will be a waste of space. You can easily store large amounts of dry uncooked pasta and rice in the cupboard next to your cans to ensure everything is safely there during an emergency.
12. Involve the Fam!
Ready for some family bonding? Turn canning into a learning experience on winter survival, or on harvesting your resources, and have them help! Canning is already tricky and messy, so make sure you have your patience hat on… This could even be helpful for you as well! Plus, whenever young ones can help out they feel a sense of ownership, and that feeling is priceless.
13. 3 Fs: Freeze. Fish. First.
If you’re gonna can the fish, you gotta freeze the fish. It works better that way.
14. Do Not Leave Overnight
If you don’t have time to can all in one go, don’t start. Let me repeat that. Don’t start canning unless you have time to finish canning.
That summarizes my canning tips and tricks for you. Don’t be scared, canning can be fun. It’s like long-term meal prep. You made these foods, you are providing sustenance to those eating it, whether it be months, weeks, or years later… Nice work!
Did I miss any tips? What are your canning secrets? Let us know in the comments, and thanks for tuning in!