Prairie Fox Survival


The art of canning has been used for decades by people who prefer fresh tasting foods that lasts for many years

How To Can:

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Lima Beans
Pinto Beans

Blackberry Jam

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You ask yourself: Why go to the trouble of canning when you can buy canned vegetables, fruits and meats from the store? The answer is simple the home canner uses no artificial preservatives or colorings. Our vegetable garden contains no chemical fertilizers or insect repellents, so we know we are getting the freshest and natural produce.
Canning is a great family project, kids love to help prepare the produce.

If you grow your own veggies and fruits your cost is minimal. If you buy your produce in bulk from a farmers market your grocery bill will decrease. The initial cost may be high but the rewards you will realize in the future will be worth it. You don't have to purchase the most expensive or fancy canner. We have a Mirro 22 quart canner (Sells at Wal-Mart for $77.54) which we have used for 14 years with absolutely no problems, just replaced the gasket this year. This year we saw the need to purchase another one and went with the top of the line with the All American Canner 921 21-1/2 qt. Just got it in and have nothing fresh to can.


The Basics of Canning

There are two basic types of canning: Pressure and Hot Water Bath.

Pressure Canning is used for all non acidic foods; meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables.

Hot Water Bath is used for all acidic produce, fruits, tomatoes, jams, jellies and preserves.

You must use mason jars that are designed for canning such as Ball or Kerr. Do NOT use mayonnaise or other jars that contain food bought from stores, they will more than likely crack and your food will be ruined.

To be on the safe side we always sterilize the jars and rings by putting them in boiling water for 10 minutes, the dishwasher if it has a sterilize cycle or the oven heated at 250 degrees for 30 minutes.
Heat lids in simmering water for 5 minutes or until the rubber gasket becomes soft.

Canning meats can be either hot or raw packed. Precooked meats are packed into the hot jars, filled with boiling water or broth. Leave a one inch headspace between the meat and the top of the jar. Remove any air bubbles.
Raw meat requires no water. It makes its own juice. Leave one inch of headspace.
Be sure to thoroughly clean the rim of the jar before placing the hot lid on it, then screw on the ring just hand tight, don't over tighten.

Read your canner instructions as to how much water to put into it. Have the water and canner heating on high before putting your jars in.

Put rack in bottom of canner before putting jars in. If your canner is big enough for 2 layers put rack between jars

Secure lid and wait for a steady stream of steam to come from the vent about 10 minutes before placing weight on.

Know your altitude as that determines the amount of pressure you will need to safely can in a pressure cooker. All pressure canners have a pressure weight, more than likely it is round with 5, 10 & 15 pound marks. Be sure to put on the correct poundage.

Wait for the weight to jiggle, that is when the canner has reached the proper pressure, slowly lower the heat until the jiggler (as Richard calls it) jiggles 1 to 4 times a minute.
When you hear the first jiggle set your timer: 75 minutes for pint jars and 90 minutes for quart jars.

When cooking time is up turn heat off. Do NOT move pan or attempt to remove lid. Let the canner cool naturally about 30 min. to an hour depending on the size of your canner. Test to make sure the pressure is gone by touching the weight with a pot holder or fork. If you don't hear any sputtering it is safe to remove the jiggler and lid.

Carefully remove the lid. Using jar lifter place the jars on a folded towel leaving an inch of space between them. Shortly you will hear the magical pinging of the lids as they are sealing. You will notice the lids will be sucked down towards the jars. Wait at least 12 hours before removing the rings. Clean lids and jars then label with contents and date. Store jars in cool place without the rings.

Be sure to watch Canning Kielbasa - 101 which shows the details.



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