Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

I was looking for a way to store the tomatoes I had dried.  My instructions said stored at 60 degrees they would be best for 3 to 4 months.  I started  my search and found this process called oven canning.  Oven canning is a wonderful way to store grains, flour, cereal, dried beans and all the foods which are dehydrated.  

I know you are thinking why should I can cereal?  In these times, there are lots of people stockpiling and this is a great way to be sure your investment will be a good investment.  I just purchased a box of graham cracker crumbs for one dollar.  I oven canned the crumbs in pint jars.  I open a pint jar, make a pie crust and if there are any extra crumbs store them in the jar with the lid and band.  They will keep until I need the crumbs again.  

When dehydrating fruits and vegetables if you are in question about having dried them enough the oven canning process takes away the fear of moisture being in the veggies or fruits.  I dry my tomatoes and put them in jars with lids on them.  I do watch the jars to be sure there is no moisture on the inside.  When I have enough to fill the oven, I can them.

I use my canning jars and 2 part lids.  If you are going for long term storage I would suggest you use new lids.  I was told to reuse lids for short term storage and everything I have processed the lids have worked very good.  All of my jars have sealed and remained sealed until I opened them.  I only do short term storage about 6 months to 1 year.  I have friends who are doing long term storage.  They check the jars on a regular basis to see if the seals are holding. 

I have jars from 1/4 pint to 1/2 gallon.  I use all the sizes of canning jars.  My spinach flakes, which I add to soups and dressings, I put in 1/4 pint jars.  I did an assortment of tomato sizes.  When purchasing dried fruits I use pints.  Flour goes into the half gallon jar.  Do not pack the flour.  I do not pack anything to the point of being tight.  I feel the warm air need to circulate.  I fill my jars, I do not stuff them.

The oven temperature is 200 degrees F., preheat the oven.  I put a baking sheet in the oven and after I have filled my jars I place them on the baking sheet.  You will process the canning for 1 hour.  After the hour is up, I take the first jar out of the oven wipe the rim with a damp paper towel, put the lid on and screw the band tightly.  (Just as if you were doing any other canning.)  And continue this process until I have all of the jars with lids and bands.  I turn the oven off after I take out all of the jars.  I place them in a safe place to cool and cover with a towel.  You will hear the jars seal and after 12 hours check to be sure they have all sealed.  I remove the bands and store in a cool and dark place.

PLEASE NOTE, The jars are very hot when they come out of the oven.  You need to use the same safe handling procedures you use with any other canning.  Do not heat the lids as they would be wet and add moisture to your dried product which may cause mold.

I opened a jar of tomatoes last week, the tomatoes were easy to cut into small pieces with my scissors.  I did not use all of them, replaced the lid and I have a few for something else.

I am so glad I learned of this process, this summer I will dehydrate more for I know how to store my wonderful veggies and fruits.  My stockpiling friends, I shared this process with are having a great time filling their pantries. 

If you enjoy memories of the past (my parents farm) and hope (?) for the future (my woods becoming a farm) I would like to invite you to Happy Hallowhttp://happyhallow.blogspot.com/


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Comment by marie bittner on February 25, 2012 at 7:03pm

How about Rice if I wanted to keep it for a long time

Comment by Bootsie Battle on February 25, 2012 at 7:27pm

Marie, Rice will keep for a long time.  Please by careful with the jars you would not want to turn one over in the oven.   The letter in Countryside says she keeps things for 7 to 10 years.  As I have been doing this for 1 year,  I know everything I have canned is good.  I live 16 miles from a grocery store, I am oven canning a lot of staples.  

Comment by marie bittner on February 25, 2012 at 9:39pm

My niece had told me to put the rice in the jars put the lids on she never told me to put them in the oven I had no idea Would you be so kind as to tell me what should I put the oven at and for how long and should I leave some space at the top

Comment by Bootsie Battle on February 26, 2012 at 11:22am

Marie, If you go to the post, the section above the picture has the information you are asking for.  If you have questions, I will gladly help you.  

Comment by marie bittner on February 26, 2012 at 12:21pm

Thank you I have read the article one thing I am not sure about while the jars of rice are in the oven do I leave the lids of and only put the lids on when I'm done with the oven I want to make sure I'm doing it right I have never heard about doing things this way before

Comment by Bootsie Battle on February 26, 2012 at 3:36pm

While the jars are in your oven do not put the lid on them.  That is why I say be careful do not spill the rice.  I would not want to clean up rice that I spilled.  Cook the jars at 200 degrees for 60 minutes.  I take my jars out 1 at a time.  Wipe the top with a wet paper towel and put the lid and band on.  I know you question this procedure, it works.  I was quite concerned with my first jars I canned and I was surprised to hear how fast they started sealing.  I did not think it would work.  Stay in touch with me I want this to work for you.  Let me know what happens.  

Comment by marie bittner on February 26, 2012 at 7:04pm

I'm going to do it tomorrow and I will let you know how things turn out thank you so much for all your help

Comment by marie bittner on February 27, 2012 at 8:52pm

I did 12 quarts of rice up and all went well thank you Bottsie Battle for your help I am just learning  and very onsure about things

Comment by marie bittner on February 28, 2012 at 9:56am

Bottsie  did 15 quart jars in all and I just checked every one of them this morning and every one is sealed

I have another question for you if I can fruit do i have to add sugar to keep the fruit from going bad my sister inlaw says yes I have to--- I can't eat sugar would stevia work instead

Comment by Bootsie Battle on February 28, 2012 at 2:02pm

Are  you canning fresh or dried fruit?  If fresh, do you have a pressure canner?


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