This is my first year that I’ve really gotten into canning food, and I must say, it’s a little bit addicting. I love it! I love preparing and putting away foods for my family that are healthier than processed foods, and foods that I have grown myself. I’m usually a plant killer, so this is especially exciting for me.
I purchased a 23 QT. Presto Pressure Canner used on Craigslist, because I knew I would be putting away
low acid foods, such as green beans and carrots. Low acid foods MUST be pressure canned to ensure safety. It is the only way to kill any botulism that may be present. I have a smaller 8 quart pressure cooker, so I was already a little familiar with how they work. I did need to replace the gasket and overpressure plug, they were a bit dry rotted, but it felt good to be able to help someone get rid of their “Junk” and get a “new” treasure for myself. Here is Kitt in all her glory!
Don’t mind the dirty backsplash. *cough* At first the dial gauge was a little daunting to me since I wasn’t familiar with them, but they’re easy. You just need to keep an eye on how many pounds of pressure it’s at, and adjust your heat up or down as needed. Don’t forget about it and wander off somewhere, though, even if there’s an overpressure plug (and there is)! Oh, and yes, I named her Kitt. I polled my friends on Facebook and this name had the most votes. Of course, I took pictures of everything I’ve canned so far. 🙂
SO far I’ve done 13 pints of beets. This is all of the beets I grew, minus a few I picked to roast.
I see you’ve noticed that some lids are white and plastic. Those are reusable Tattler lids. I’ll be reviewing those soon. 🙂
Next I did peaches. No, we do not have a peach tree. I bought these from a local fruit stand. I love supporting local folks!
The half gallon jar is juice that I got from boiling the skins and pit meat. I did not process it, just stuck it in the fridge to add to tea (after I strained it, of course).
Next we have green beans. I think I did 14 quarts and 12 pints (I ran out of quart jars).
Now we have various pickles. I mostly did cucumber, but I also processed some dilly carrots and zucchini.
Then I decided to do something a little different. Recently I reviewed The Untrained Housewife’s Guide to Getting Prepared. That book inspired me to can meat! I processed chicken with celery (organic from Kroger) and some of my carrots. I also canned some glazed carrots.
Last, but certainly not least, I made Cowboy Candy. I got the recipe from a canning group that I’m in on Facebook. It’s basically candied jalapeno peppers.
Lastly, this is my canning shelf. It has all of my canned goods that I’ve processed so far. I love these shelves. I got 2 of them last year. They each have 5 large shelves. I use 1 for food and the other for small appliances.
I apologize for the fuzziness of some of the pictures. I took them with my phone to share on Facebook. I promise I can normally take better ones. 🙂
I talked a little bit about pressure canning. Foods that are higher in acid such as tomatoes, pickles, and jams can be water bath canned. This is simply boiling the foods in jars in a large pot fitted with a rack to keep the jars off the bottom of the pot to prevent breakage. Boiling time is usually shorter than pressure canning as well. Meats are processed for about 90 minutes in a canner, while some veggies go for 20. Usually in a water bath canner, you can process for 5-10 minutes, depending on what you’re processing and the jar size.
I wanna know! Does your family do any canning? What do you usually put up? I’m planning to do more canning. I’ve canned all of my beets and beans, so if the ground will hurry and dry out, I plan to till those rows and plant more green beans and beets so that we can have another harvest before it’s too cold. I also need to purchase more jars. I’ve been scouring Craigslist.
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