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Old 07-10-2006, 02:10 PM   #1
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Canning advice for newbies?

Hello all,

I'm just getting an interest in canning and haven't tried anything yet - haven't even bought any equipment yet. I don't expect I'll ever do great quantities, but I would like the ability for gifts (syrups, jams, salsas, etc.) and for storing a few things for myself like sauces and soups.

Is there any basic advice you could give to someone like me? I'm thinking of going the pressure canner route, so that I can have just one rather than two pieces of equipment. Any suggestions on size or brand?

Any particular books you recommend? I'm aware of the Ball book, and will certainly pick that up. Any others?

What type of food would you recommend as a first canning attempt?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

Valerie

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Old 07-10-2006, 02:24 PM   #2
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Well you already know the first step...The Ball Blue Book is the canning bible. Get that first before you buy anything else. It is very possible that once you read that book (you can read the whole thing in 30 minutes or less) you may decide you do not need to spend the $ on a pressure canner. That book will answer all of the questions you have right now most likely.

Are you growing a garden right now? If so then you will have plenty of thongs to can. My first canning experience was with green tomatoes. It was very easy and rewarding.
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Old 07-10-2006, 02:36 PM   #3
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No, unfortunately, I don't have a garden. We just bought our first house ever in January, and are still kinda getting it together. I've never done much gardening before, so this is all new to me.

Still, even having to buy produce at the store, I'd like to be able to make up some recipes in bulk that I can save for future use - like spaghetti sauce, for instance. And, for Christmas, I'd like to be able to give gifts.

I do plan to do a garden, soon, but that's going to be a "work up to it" project as well.
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Old 07-10-2006, 02:40 PM   #4
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yeah I know that feeling. Buying your first house takes up all your time and energy. the garden will come with time.

Well not to worry. Like you pointed out, there are plenty of things to can even if you do not have a garden.

best of luck. You will love it once you get into it.
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Old 07-12-2006, 02:12 PM   #5
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Any suggestions on size of canner? I see everything out there from 10 qts to over 40 qts!

Which size have y'all found to be most useful? I mean, I'm sure they're all useful in the right situation, but what's the most common, most often used one, do you think?

Any comments on brand?
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Old 07-12-2006, 05:14 PM   #6
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Well I just got into it, much like yourself. I ended up buying this on Amazon. Came with everything one needs to get started--including that book. So I guess my answer would be 21 1/2 quarts :P.
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Old 07-13-2006, 09:53 AM   #7
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Yeah, I've looked at that one several times, also. But I think I want to go with a pressure canner right at the beginning, so that I can do any type, rather than having to have two different canners for different things.

Of course, those cost more, so I may break down and get this one first....
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Old 07-13-2006, 10:01 AM   #8
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Look around. $50 seems like a lot to spend for this kit. The book costs about $5 and you can get a canning pot for very little money as well. All the other things you need are very inexpensive too when bought on their own. I would think the most you would need to spend would be around $30 or so.
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Old 07-13-2006, 06:20 PM   #9
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I dunno...I mean, if the book retails for 5 bucks...and you assume the accessories kit is another 10 if you get a little cheapie set...I don't really know as though I'd want a 15 dollar pot. I figured the pot in this kit accounted for about 30 of the total price, and even at that, it makes it the cheapest pot or pan I have in my kitchen. I'd be wary of the quality of something that large yet that inexpensive.
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Old 07-13-2006, 06:50 PM   #10
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For canning you do not need an expensive pot. It's only function is to boil water and be wide enough to hold the cans. As long as it can do that then you are in business.
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