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Discussion Starter #1
id like to start canning whats the best to start with, the benifits of canning instead of buying canned.
how long does a canned item last? are the jars and lids reuseable?
thank you.
 

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I'm new but I'll just jump on this with my opinion. For me the benefits are real simple, I know what I put in the jar. I know the quality of the veggie and or fruit, how much or sugar or salt, how the food items were handled, etc. As far as ring and lids: the ones that come with the jars and the ones like them are NOT reuseable but there are the Tattler brand that are. Haven't tried them yet but they are on my wish list. Not so sure about how long veggies will last but I know we've eaten jam 3 years later. Get the Ball canning book and start there. There are blogs out there for homesteading and such that have good recipes and ideas also Youtube is a good info source.
 

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The benefits, as mentioned, can be as simple as knowing what's inside your food, economy,taste and lots of reasons in between. Canning, in general, is usually cheaper in the long run than buying can as well as more nutritious. If you get your canning supplies on sale and watch your bottom line when buying your food you can create meals as low as $1 a person. My friend and I just spent the day canning chili and it comes out to about 40 cents a pint.

A canned item usually lasts between 1 to 5 years, depending on the ingredients. The jars and canning band is reusable, but the lids generally aren't. The majority of lids have the sealing compound on the lid itself and only allows for one seal, so you'll have to buy new lids when you run out or can for the next year but jars, bands and lids usually stay well in storage so you can stock up when cheap and keep them until the next season. The good news is Tattler Lids allow for reuse though I hear they're a bit pricey.

The first things to consider would be how much you were planning on canning and therefore what size capacity canner you need and whether you'd like water bath, pressure canner or both. Water bath canning is good for high acid food canning and pressure canner for low acid or high acid canning. I went for a pressure canner simply because I wanted to pay once for an all-around workhorse instead of relying on two different canners ( though I did buy a speckled graniteware waterbath canner on the cheap because it was cheaper than the regular cooking kettles and was the same thing).

My pressure canner is a Presto 23 quart from amazon.com that was $75. My cans were on sale and cost $2.50 a case and the basic canning tools cost me just under $7. To keep prices low I buy in bulk when produce is in season and ask produce dept managers if there's a price break for buying by the crate/box worth. Lots are open to drop it a few cents a pound which really adds up. Managed to get a 40 pound box of bananas for only $4 the other day and the only problem was they were a shade overripe, but perfect for banana butter and banana bread.

I'd really recommend the Presto and ball/kerr websites. They usually have lots of info and the occasional instructional video. Youtube is also great and I love Beaxarprepper, I think her name is. Kerr/Ball also puts out a basic book on beginning canning but they also have a nice, thick book of om nom nommy goodness called The Complete Canning Guide. Lots of info and recipes to get you started.
 

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I find it hard to get a good gauge of shelf life from the sources I've found so far. I keep getting different numbers from what's called authorities but pffffft......all different and contradictory even in their own materials. I haven't been canning more than a few months to really test anything myself just yet.
 

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I find it hard to get a good gauge of shelf life from the sources I've found so far. I keep getting different numbers from what's called authorities but pffffft......all different and contradictory even in their own materials. I haven't been canning more than a few months to really test anything myself just yet.
I have asked my parents the same question. We just write the date on top of the lid.
Just be sure the little dimple in the center of the lid is down.
If you can touch it and it pops slightly up and down. ( guess what you are eating that day )
Rotate your stock!!! We started eating most everything after 3 years, then canned rotated check cans visually often. If the lids start to fail eat if the seal is NOT broken / no smell or color or bad taste.
 

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How did I miss this post? Sorry for not responding sooner. I am a canner and just started out this year. I made jelly, salsa, creamstyle corn this year.

I would recommend you go over to Youtube, shotlady. There's tons of canning videos out there for beginners. I would recommend you try making some jelly first and move on up from there. To properly process certain foods you'll need to invest in a pressure canner, but start simple and see how you like canning first.
 

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You prob want to start canning high acid foods like tomatoes. They are easy to can and have a long shelf life..The jars and bands are re-useable, but the lids are one use only.
The main thing to know or follow is the method (water bath, or Pressure cook) and the duration. Never can low acid foods in a water bath canner, unless you want botulism.
The Ball Blue Book runs about $10.00. it will give all the info needed to start canning.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
theres a book on blue balls?

i asked my friend. she has a garden. i dont. and it seems it wouldnt be adventageous for me to can. but i shall learn just to make sure i can if/when i have too.

thanks mike
 

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theres a book on blue balls?
Brandi... You don't need a book. Just ask any guy.. ;). But don't put them in a jar or he might get a tad bit angry!
 
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Howd this thread turn into a sac of laughs, oh I see, shotlady is on here. :razz:

Really though, I started canning this year after watching two grandmothers do it for 40 years now, I just picked it up and started doing it. I got one of those blue ball starter kits, which I think now was a waste, but eased me into the learning process, and quickly upgraded to the huge canner and pressureless systems. First thing I made was salsa, and it tasted like crap because I cooked it, then I canned it and didnt' realize that when canning it cooks it again as well as adds a little water (I still might not be doing it right). But anyways, the best part of canning was watching them POP after setting them out on the counter. I squeeled like a little girl!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Howd this thread turn into a sac of laughs, oh I see, shotlady is on here. :razz:

.... I got one of those blue ball starter kits
dont let yer wife hear ya calling her that lol

man yall are right i should make something like salsa or something stupid so i can squeel like a stuck pig too!
 

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My wife went thru this and wasted some money getting set up correctly. First buy an all american or similar pressure caner They use a weight not a valve for pressure release and do not have a rubber seal. She used a book to learn fruit canning, which is the easiest to can. Vegetables are not as acidic and are more prone to botulism. She was taught how to properly can meat and vegetables by some very experienced farm ladies who had been caning for years who we met thru the grange.

A cheap water bath caner will be fine for fruit and jams. I picked up most of our jars, as well as a steam juicer at garage sales. Found the all american caner on line used for half or retail, they are spendy at 3-4 hundred dollars new.

Also watch which pectin you use in jams, she likes some stuff in a blue and white box that sets better and requires less sugar. I cant remember the name of it.
 

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If you're looking in to an intro to canning but don't have the canner yet then this vid here is a good start.

It's for picked peppers and is a great intro into making a basic brine, tips on prepping lids and cans and some basic concepts without the equiptment. The recipe itself, if you decided to make it, is actually quite good.

 

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Almost forgot......Noreen's channel also has some basic canning vids too. Some are step by step with good info, at least last I checked her channel.
 

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One more little bit of information... If you are buying a pressure cooker for low acid foods. Make sure it has a pressure gage. You need more or less pressure depending on your elevation.... I suggest if you are going to can to get the ball books. Remember we are preppers good luck going on youtube after the shit hits the fan.
 
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