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Thread: new to canning

  1. #1
    Junior Member seahorsesanna's Avatar
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    I have decided to try and learn how to can and am wondering what you think the best book would be for a beginner? I plan on using a pressure canner and will be canning fruits, veggies and meats like venison. Any ideas would be appreciated ~ thanks ladies ;-)

  2. #2
    Junior Member seahorsesanna's Avatar
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    or do you think a water canner would be better?

  3. #3
    Senior Member bobbie1's Avatar
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    I always used the Ball canning book and I used pressure canner. Been canning all my life but with just 2 of us now, not so much. Makes you feel so good when you sit back and see all you accomplished! Good luck!!

  4. #4
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    We've canned just about everything at one time or another. Be sure your jars don't have any nicks around the top to hamper sealing. The older glass mayo jars, if you have any, are fine for fruits and veggies. But because meats takes a longer time and more pressure, always use jars specifically for canning when you do meat.

    Good Luck!

  5. #5
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    I recommend that you go to your county extension service. It should be in Reed City on West Upton Avenue. They should have publications that they can give you on canning. They might also know someone that might be willing to be a mentor. Don't forget that your tax dollars pays for the MSU Extension Service. It's just like libraries...we need to use these services. The extension services are not utilized near enough and are staff with great people.

  6. #6
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I've never canned anything more complicated than jam, but my understanding is with meat you HAVE to use a pressure canner.

    Sorry I don't have any recommendations for books - I always used the chart that came with the pectin.

  7. #7
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I use the waterbath method and have had good success. Mostly I make whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, and jams. Got the first batch of blackberries freezing. One more batch and I'll have enough to make jam.

  8. #8
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    We can a lot with just a waterbath. The venison however we freeze. I think canning the venison would not be worth it. If you use a Food Saver or any vaccum sealer system and freezer it keeps well. A couple of years ago we found some vension in the freezer that was 3 years old. We cooked it and it was fine thanks to the vaccumn sealer.
    Good luck!

  9. #9
    Super Member donnaree59's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsparks
    I recommend that you go to your county extension service. It should be in Reed City on West Upton Avenue. They should have publications that they can give you on canning. They might also know someone that might be willing to be a mentor. Don't forget that your tax dollars pays for the MSU Extension Service. It's just like libraries...we need to use these services. The extension services are not utilized near enough and are staff with great people.
    I agree. They have a wealth of information, recipes, directions, cautions, everything for the asking! Here in Georgia, they will also check your pressure gauges each year to make sure they are registering correctly.

  10. #10
    Senior Member janell2009's Avatar
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    Go get the Ball canning book.. it is cheap and very good.. and yes you can only can meat with a pressure canner.. have done it for years... The chicken in jars is the best.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnaree59
    Quote Originally Posted by cjsparks
    I recommend that you go to your county extension service. It should be in Reed City on West Upton Avenue. They should have publications that they can give you on canning. They might also know someone that might be willing to be a mentor. Don't forget that your tax dollars pays for the MSU Extension Service. It's just like libraries...we need to use these services. The extension services are not utilized near enough and are staff with great people.
    I agree. They have a wealth of information, recipes, directions, cautions, everything for the asking! Here in Georgia, they will also check your pressure gauges each year to make sure they are registering correctly.
    Good advice.

  12. #12
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    [quote=Peckish]I've never canned anything more complicated than jam, but my understanding is with meat you HAVE to use a pressure canner.
    ---------------------------------------
    I don't know about that, seems to me I remember having to sit with a wind up clock to watch for an hour, or maybe far longer for the water to boil over the jars, then go get Grandma when time was up. She fried the meat first, not cooked but browned it so it would taste good after being opened.

    Looking around on the Internet, I've found folks who say to water bath boil it for from...get this...from 3 hours to 5 hours!!!

    I do believe that pressure cookers is the way to go, except that I'm scared of them.

  13. #13
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    [quote=Peckish]I've never canned anything more complicated than jam, but my understanding is with meat you HAVE to use a pressure canner.
    ---------------------------------------
    I don't know about that, seems to me I remember having to sit with a wind up clock to watch for an hour, or maybe far longer for the water to boil over the jars, then go get Grandma when time was up. She fried the meat first, not cooked but browned it so it would taste good after being opened.

    Looking around on the Internet, I've found folks who say to water bath boil it for from...get this...from 3 hours to 5 hours!!!

    I do believe that pressure cookers is the way to go, except that I'm scared of them.

  14. #14
    Senior Member angiecub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seahorsesanna
    I have decided to try and learn how to can and am wondering what you think the best book would be for a beginner? I plan on using a pressure canner and will be canning fruits, veggies and meats like venison. Any ideas would be appreciated ~ thanks ladies ;-)
    You should get the
    Ball Blue Book. You will need both a hot water canner and pressure cooker, depending on what you want to can. Foods with a low acid content such as corn and beans require the pressure cooker. Those with high acid content such as tomatoes can use the hot water bath. Just follow the directions in the book, and you will be fine. have fun!

  15. #15
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    Definitely get the Ball Canning book. And if you google Home Canning you will get more info than you ever wanted. There is nothing difficult about a pressure canner, especially the newer ones with gauges, etc. You can boil meat in a hot water bath for as many hours a you want and the meat will never get hot enough to kill the botulism. Our mothers and grandmothers were lucky with their canning. And they did have things spoil. I remember as a kid dumping many jars of stinky spoiled vegies. Canning meat is not a necessity but it tastes better than anything out of a freezer.

  16. #16
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    I use both the water bath method and a 22 quart pressure
    canner. Pressure cookers work great and shouldn't be scary, just follow the directions and keep an eye on your pressure gauge.
    I've been canning since 1997 and have put up carrots,beets
    ,green beans,tomatoes and salsa. My Dh grows a big garden every year and its so nice to have fresh produce.

  17. #17
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I'd really like to can my beef stew, but I want a pressure canner to ensure it's done properly. I DO NOT want my family getting sick!

  18. #18
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    #1 My mom.
    #2 Ball canning book

  19. #19
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    I always use a water canner

  20. #20
    Super Member Dodie's Avatar
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    I can everything I make my own apple pie mix tomatoe soup and even the small potatoes but you will need both a water canner and a pressure cooker as you use the water canner for peaches, pears etc. if you have questions you may pm me

  21. #21
    Member Becca J's Avatar
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    the Ball canning book is exceptional. note too that many of the better pressure canners come with cookbooks which including canning recipes. I have an All American pressure cooker which I am thrilled with and have used for both pressure canning and water bath. last year I put up: concord & peach jams, three kinds of pickles, gallons of tomato sauce, sliced fruits, apple/green tomato chutneys, sweet corn relish, and lots of succotash.

    just a note about canning deer meat: if you are canning it, you may want to also pickle it. it will soften some of the gameyness that becomes pronouced over time as well as tenderize it. (this is what the local Amish ladies do) otherwise if you are able, vaccum pack and freeze what you can.

  22. #22
    Senior Member lindagor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbie1
    I always used the Ball canning book and I used pressure canner. Been canning all my life but with just 2 of us now, not so much. Makes you feel so good when you sit back and see all you accomplished! Good luck!!
    The Ball canning book is one of the best I've seen! I use it and do a lot of water bath canning. Everything I've tried has come out great.

  23. #23
    Super Member quilt3311's Avatar
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    There is a "Blue Book" that one of the canning jar companies puts out. I think it is Ball jars --for pressure canning, be sure to read the directions and DO NOT let too much pressure build. If you have a canner with a guage, watch that closely, if one with the rocker, be sure it just rocks gently. It will take a while for the pressure to build, and then turn the heat down so it just rocks gently. Water bath canning is OK for things that are acidic. Things with vinegar like dill beans. It takes pressure canning for meats and things like green beans and non acidic items.
    If you can find a neighbor or someone who has pressure canned and ask them to walk you through it the first time, it helps. Just taught a DS how to pressure can. After the first time he is doing great. has a fairly large garden and yesterday, canned a soup mix of carrots, green beans, and onions. That with his canned stew meat and some tomatos later on, he will have ingredients to put in crock pot.
    You can dehydrate fruits and veggies too. With the moisture removed things do not spoil. I dehydrate onions, and fruits.

  24. #24
    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    Definitely pick up the Ball Canning book. Invaluable. You will want to have both a pressure canner and bwb on hand. The first is for low acid foods and the second for jellies, jams, tomato sauce, pickles.
    There is a great yahoo group called preserving-food. This board won't allow me to post the url, but do a search and you'll find it. Lots of old timers there and tons of recipes in the files.

  25. #25
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbie1
    I always used the Ball canning book and I used pressure canner. Been canning all my life but with just 2 of us now, not so much. Makes you feel so good when you sit back and see all you accomplished! Good luck!!
    I was going to say the same thing - and, if it turns out good, enter it in your local county or state fair. Have done that and what a terrific feeling one gets for getting a blue ribbon at the State Fair. Also, I use the water bath. Never had a pressure cooker. I love to listen to the "ping". Then you know you did a job well done - it pinged!!!!! Edie

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