We had some questions about canning from readers. It’s one of those subjects that needs it’s own post to have enough room to cover everything. It’s a great skill to have in your prepper skill set. It’s a way to store fresh foods for a long time, in a shelf stable state. Admittedly, you won’t be taking them in any BOB, and the process is water heavy.
Canning really shines when you need to deal with garden excesses. A lot of the time, you can plan things. If you plant a LOT of something, that should be a signal to start getting ready for the inevitable onslaught of harvest. If you find yourself with a lot of tomatoes, peppers, onions and herbs, Salsa can be the way to go, or a roasted tomato sauce.
People ask about canning spring produce, it has that reputation of being difficult to store. I personally love canned greens. Spinach is still my favorite. Not everyone agrees with me there, and that’s fine, but know that it’s an option. Peas, shelled peas, can be frozen. Peas can also be steamed, mashed, and then spooned into ice cube trays and frozen for easy melting into soups and stews and such. Radishes could be canned in a relish.
What’s the easiest way to can? Hot water bath is what you need to look for in canning recipes. (Do go with the trusted sources, like the Ball Blue Book, for your recipes.) Hot water bath means you cover the jars (and lids) with boiling water for a specified amount of time. It really is that simple. A really big pot can get you by, but the ones specially sized for jars won’t set you back much either.
Cold Pack is another easy technique to look for in recipes. Often times when I’m canning whole fruits, I’ll cold pack them. All that means is the fruit isn’t heated up before I pour the boiling hot syrup in.
Don’t be Tempted by some grandma’s best recipe. A whole batch of sauce going bad is heart breaking, illness is devastating. Know that you are working with a tested recipe.
Canning meats? I am going to open this one up to the loyal readers. Anyone have any experience with canning meat? I’m from more of a jerky tradition myself. Sound off in the comments.