Sunday, July 25, 2010

Canning How-Tos

A few years ago I spent several days with my Grandma Patton (one of Liv's great-grandmas) learning how to can.  While it was old hat to her, it was all new to me so I wrote down everything we did step-by-step.  Since I've heard a lot of people mention canning recently, I thought that now might be a great time to add these to Mom's Kitchen.

Freezing Corn

1.) Shuck, de-silk (is that even a word), & wash the ears
2.) Cut the corn off the cob but don't get super close to the cob. 
I have heard that this product is AWESOME for this job, but haven't tried it myself yet: 

(Kernel Cutter from Pampered Chef, $7.50)

3.) Scrape cob if you want creamed corn, otherwise use just the kernels you cut off.
4.) Add salt...we used 1 tsp (measured using an actual spoon not a measuring spoon) per dozen ears ???  (I'm not sure about this.  We used 1 tsp. per kettle we made but I'm not sure how much went in one kettle).
5.) Put on the stove or in the microwave & bring just to a boil - DO NOT boil for an extended amount of time.
6.) Remove from heat & allow to cool
7.) Place in baggies & freeze

Guide:  10 dozen ears = approx. 10 FULL quart baggies. 

Canning Green Beans

We tried canning green beans in a pressure cooker, but found that by the time you wait on the pressure to come up, wait for the allotted cook time, & wait on the pressure to go down, it's just as quick to do them in the canner the old-fashioned way.  So I'll put the directions for both here, but we use the canner (not the pressure cooker) when we do can them.

Canner method:

Break beans & wash.
Put them in jars.  Really stuff them in there or you'll wind up with only half full jars.
Add a tsp of salt to each jar - again using a regular spoon not a measuring spoon
Heat canning lids by placing in a pan of hot water for a few minutes
Fill the jars with water
Place lid & ring on each jar & tighten
Place the jars in the canner
Cover the jars up to the rims with water.
Bring to a boil.  This can take an hour.
Boil for 3 hours.
Remove carefully.
Listen for pops to know the jars have sealed.


Pressure cooker method:
(These are based on the instructions that came with our pressure cooker - ALWAYS read the instructions that come with yours & follow YOURS if they differ from these)

Break & wash beans
Fill jars (again - make sure you get them good & full)
Add tsp. salt (using a regular spoon)
Heat lids in hot water
Fill jars with BOILING water
Add lid & ring & seal
Put jars in cooker
*Here's where you need to follow YOUR instructions. In our directions, we had to cook them at 10 psi for 25 minutes.  But there was also some venting & waiting on the valve to come to a hard rock as well...I just don't remember all of the exact steps.  I do know it ended up taking us longer than the canner method & so we never went back to the pressure cooking method. 

Canning Tomatoes

Our family cans tomatoes in 3 forms - cold packed, open-kettled, & as juice.  Cold packed are great if you like to eat them from the can, open-kettled are fantastic for use in soups, chillis, etc, & of course juice is good for adding to soups, drinking, etc.  In our household we use almost exclusively open-kettled tomatoes.

In most cases, you'll need to scald & peel the tomatoes first.
Put the stopper in your sink & load the sink up with tomatoes
Pour boiling water over the tomatoes.
Allow them to set until the jackets start splitting. 
Run some cold water in the sink over the tomatoes.
Rinse with cold water & peel.

Open-kettled tomatoes:
Use the above scalding method to peel tomatoes.
Chop tomatoes into large pieces.
Place in a kettle on the stove-top.
Bring the tomatoes to a boil.
CAREFULLY dip the hot tomatoes into jars.  
Add a tsp. of salt (with regular spoon) to each jar 
Add lid (which has been heated in hot water), ring & seal. 
Listen for the pops as they seal & remember not to tap the lids :) 

Scald tomatoes as mentioned above
Place tomatoes (mostly whole) in jars
Add tsp. salt (you know by now...use a regular spoon) to each jar
Put in the canner
Add water to the rims
Cook for 20 minutes after water comes to a boil.
Allow to cool & listen for the pops that mean they're sealing

Tomato Juice:
Chop up tomatoes & put on the stove to cook (no need to peel, but you may have to add a little water to the pan so they don't burn).  Allow the tomatoes to come to a boil.  Put in a blender & blend until liquid-y.  Run through a sieve to remove seeds, skins, etc.  Put tomato juice back on the stove & heat to a boil again. Allow to boil for a few minutes.  Take off the stove & fill jars.  Adding a tsp. of salt to each quart. Put heated lid & a ring on jar & seal.  Listen for the pops that tell your jars have sealed :) 

One side note:  A lot of people will say that the tomatoes won't keep without the hot water bath canning process.  We've been making juice & open-kettling tomatoes for years & very seldom do we have a jar go bad.  Granted, we usually use up our supply each year so maybe if you plan on keeping them for 10 years you should use the hot water bath method.  If you're using the cold-packed method you will have to use the hot water bath method or a pressure cooker. 

Happy Canning!!!! 

1 comment:

  1. Terra, this was great! I enjoyed reading about all of the canning. I haven't tried my hand at any canning besides corn. Now, I do my corn a little differently than you do. (the pampered chef kernal tool is GREAT! I used it first hand when I Freezer Packed corn last summer) Here is the way I do mine..Cut corn off cobb..Place in a pan of boiling water (not sure how much water I use-I eyeball it) add some salt and butter and boil for about 3 minutes(this kills the bad stuff-enzymes and all)...Take off stovetop and dish one cup of corn per person into a freezer bag (I dish 3 cups per bag for us)...Immediately plunge bag into cold water you have reserved in your sink (this stops the cooking process)...This is actually called Freezer Packing it...Allow corn to cool off completely before putting in your freezer.

    I freezer packed around 50 bags of corn last summer. We had fresh corn all winter long! And with mine, I just take a bag of corn right out of the freezer...pop it into the microwave for 5 minutes and it is good to go for our suppers. No need to thaw it out or add salt or butter (did this before we packed it). I have found if you use the brand name freezer bags they work much better than the cheaper priced ones. And they don't turn to mush in the microwave either when you are cooking the corn to serve. They act as a steamer bag I think.