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Food Preservation

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Food Preservation

How-To's on putting food aside: canning, freezing, drying, much more...

Location: North Carolina
Members: 438
Latest Activity: Sep 18

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Comment Wall

Comment by shelley vaugine on May 18, 2011 at 12:07pm
Thank you for being a good adm...
Comment by Lynda Reynolds on May 18, 2011 at 12:35pm
Pat and Harriet: Sorry, but I'm holding my sides laughing!  I'm a cook from scratch kinda' gal...but I just now had to make a big bowl of JELL-O!  Tonight is our weekly *Family Fun Dinner Night* and the JELL-O was a request by the husband and grand kids!  I actually had to use precious fuel to drive to town to pick up a package!  Yes, I have all the ingredients to make *homemade*...but the vote was taken and everyone INSISTED on the *real* JELL-O!  I just can't compete with all of those nasty chemicals!
Comment by Karen Cunningham on May 20, 2011 at 12:30pm
I'm new to this site and only found it because I was looking for a way to can outside, rather than heat up the whole house in the summer with the stove.  When I did a search, I got a picture of Pat's outdoor cooker.  Pat, can you tell me what your burner is called and if it works well for doing large canning loads outside?  I'd be interested in getting your comments, as well as those from anyone else who does canning outdoors.  Thanks! 
Comment by Pat Johnson on May 21, 2011 at 8:44am

Karen,

Any fish/turkey-cooker propane burner will work great. You can buy them just about anywhere from Lowes/Home Depot to Sports Academy. You end up turning it down till it's barely on so I think even the smallest/cheapest one will be fine to use when canning. It does a wonderful job and I can even use it inside if I choose. Unless I am canning in my little 4 pint pressure canner I always use the larger outdoor cooker and a large canner.

Comment by Pat Johnson on May 21, 2011 at 8:54am
My canning interests originated is an unique way. While I grew up in a farming area and was exposed to canning during my childhood, it wasn't until much later that I became interested in it. I was a boater/sailor most my life. When I got larger sailboats that could go out into the ocean I started dreaming about going round the world the way all guys do. I'd read about it and made short crossings (300-400miles) but never actually did any real long distance blue water cruises. But one book I read talked about a couple who canned a lot of food for a trip to Fiji and then when in Fiji they canned fish for the return trip. I liked that idea and bought my first (Small) canner and started canning meats and fish. The rest is history and although I didn't circumnavigate the globe on a sailboat I sure did can enough food to do it!
Comment by Karen Cunningham on May 21, 2011 at 9:07am
Pat:  Thanks for your quick response.  Just for clarification, when I say large canner, I'm referring to a 30-qt. All-American Canner.  Is that similar in size to the canner you use on your burner?  I just want to make sure that it will hold the load when full and not tip over.  This looks like the perfect solution for canning in July and August.  I've not canned a lot in the past, but the economy is such that it's a necessity now.  Thank you, so much, for your feedback!  I appreciate it very much!
Comment by Pat Johnson on May 22, 2011 at 9:06am
I generally use the 21 quart All American Canner but my sister has the biggest 41 quart canner and we use it outside on the propane burner too. No problem with the wieght. Heck I use those burners to make beer with and heat 15 gallons of water at a time in a large beer keg (much heavier than the largest single canning setting). I saw a propane burner on sale at Sports Academy in the paper today for $20. Make sure you get one with the ability to regulate the level of the flame.
Comment by Karen Cunningham on May 22, 2011 at 9:54am
Pat:  Thank you for your feedback.  The heat in this Ohio Valley is very humid and forces me to can at night.  I'm definitely going to get one of these burners for this summer.  I'll be sure to get one where I can regulate the level of the flame.  Thanks for the tips!  I appreciate your help very much!
Comment by Pat Johnson on May 29, 2011 at 9:46am

So....I'm addressing the folks in my "Waterbath" canning class yesterday and getting things started. I was heating water in the canners and my lovely assistant was cutting up Zuchinni to make the Bread & Butter pickles. I'd already begun to impress everyone with my "know everything/done everything" chatter when it comes to me that I have forgotten to bring "LIDS". I immediately rachetted down the know-it-all banter to a much more humble level as I tried to figure out how I was going to can pickles, jam and tomotoes without LIDS! I'd forgotten things in the past but LIDS? Dang! I'm a pretty good talker but was I just going to describe the sound of the lids sealing? How do you keep the water out of the jars when lidless-waterbathing? I began to sweat (a lot). I looked out over the crowd in desparation and saw my salvation. There was a friend in the class. I asked him if he would run to my shop (less than a mile away) and grab some lids. He agreed and immediately left to obtain said lids. Whew, that was a close one. Thoughout the rest of the class I was never able to peg out the know-it-all meter again but I was able to shed some of the new found humbleness as I finished up an otherwise pretty near-perfect Bread & Butter Pickle, Strawberry Jam and canned Tomato demo!

Just goes to show you that regardless of your expertise and knowledge, some things are beyond your control and you simply can't get every jar to seal when canning (especially without a lid)!

Comment by Pat Johnson on May 29, 2011 at 9:51am
While fessing up on this food PRESERVATION group I may as well tell you that after my canning class I went to a pig roast and provided a decidedly "negative" impact in preserving a perfectly roasted pig and several styles of home-brewed beer!

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