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Old 08-03-2006, 12:17 PM   #1
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I want to learn to how to can

Hello Everyone,

I am in need of advice. I want to start canning. I saw in another thread a suggestion of the Book Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. I will go out and get that . There are all these different methods and I don't know which one to pick a Pressure Cooker Canning set like Presto, or something like the Fagor Canning Tool set and use a Stock pot of mine at home.

I had an idea to make homemade Jams as christmas gifts and I want o can my tomatoes from my garden. I am open to all your comments. My mom never canned before and now has me worried that if I do it wrong I will make everyone sick . My mom does not cook at all I learned from other people's moms and cook books. I'm glad I found this forum today!

Thanks a lot!

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Old 08-03-2006, 01:11 PM   #2
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Jams and jellies and tomatoes can be canned in a water bath at minimal outlay of money--go to WalMart and get a big enamel pot with the insert to lift the jars.
You can also go online and get about all the canning procedures you would need.
For jams and jellies, get SureJell and follow the directions in the package.
Stockpots that you have are OK if you want to do 3 or 4 small jars, but are still very inconvenient.
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Old 08-03-2006, 02:55 PM   #3
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Current recommendations call for pressure canning of plain tomatoes. The acid level of today's tomatoes is not high enough for safe waterbath canning. (And I know, some folks have done it that way for years and years and they haven't died. Yet.)

Do go get the Blue Book, *do* follow directions exactly. The chance of your canned jams or even the tomatoes developing botulism is minimal, but you probably don't want to take any chances with a toxin that KILLS YOU DEAD .

Canning is great fun, lots of work with lots of rewards--nothing finer than lining up those jewel colored jars on the counter!

If you have any questions about canning, you are welcome to pm me. I have canned many a jar in my life, I love doing it.

PS: This is one instance in which you don't have to listen to your mom. Can according to current standards, and you won't make any body sick, unless they eat too much of your delicious jams and jellies.
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Old 08-03-2006, 03:35 PM   #4
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Gretchen- Thank you for the advice on the SureJell. I found some good recipes under there site!

Sparrowgrass- Thans for all the information. I will be getting th Presto Pressure Cooker/Canner set and I see online all the guidelines suggestion the pressure canning is safer so I'll try that. I've never used a pressure cooker before so this will be more of an adventure! LOL

Another question to whomever... I see most places say to soak the jars and lids in hot boiling water. How long do they soak? Just while you are preparing the jam(for example) and right before you are ready to pour it in? That is what I gathered from what I read. I know once I get the canning book by Ball that I will know more as I plan on reading it before purchasing my supplies I do not want to get a bunch of unnecessary items.

Thank you!
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Old 08-03-2006, 05:39 PM   #5
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I always had a small pan of water boiling while I was making the jam and once the sugar was added, I would plop the lids in the water and turn it off. They only need a very few minutes to soften and sterlize.
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Old 08-03-2006, 05:44 PM   #6
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I boil them for 20 minutes. Softens the seal and sterilizes.
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Old 08-04-2006, 08:44 AM   #7
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Thank you all very much! I did order the Presto 18 Quart Pressure Cooker Canning set yesterday as well as the Fagor canning tool set since it had all the funnel, etc..
It will arrive next week and I will get my Ball book today so I'm sure I will have more questions soon!

I hope you all have a great day!
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Old 08-04-2006, 09:01 AM   #8
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I had never canned before until a few years ago. I can all my tomatoes with the water bath method and once you do it, it will be easy. The first time you are kinda nervous, at least I was. Now it's just fun. The blue ball book will walk you right through it. No need to pressure cook tomatoes if your canning plain tomatoes.The best thing to make sure is that you have everything laid out and at hand ready.I canned 80 qts of tomatoes last year and every jar was good and I did them all with the water bath method.Before last year I canned 40 qts the 2 years before. Never had a bad jar. Just follow the direstions in your ball book. Good luck and happy canning.
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Old 08-05-2006, 02:45 AM   #9
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Maryanne - you've passed the first hurdle ... getting over the fear of canning and getting the right equipment and a good book to guide you. Read and follow the directions and you will not have a thing to worry about! It takes time and patience ... but it is worth it in the end.

The Ball book will give you recipes, teach you how to can, and as for an idea on a "gift basket" ... (1) 2-3 half pints of homemade jam/jelly/marmalade, a loaf of homemade bread, a small bag of gourmet coffee, and a couple of coffee mugs is one idea - (2) a quart of your homemade pasta sauce, a bag of pasta, and a loaf of bread. I'm no Martha Stewart - that's just the first two things I came up with off the top my head and have done in the past.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen
I boil them for 20 minutes. Softens the seal and sterilizes.
It only takes 10 minutes to sterilize them. If you are using the Kerr lids (like most of us in the US) read the instructions ... they advise against boiling them because it can over-soften the sealing compound and result in seal failures. Following their directions ... you wash them and then pour boiling water over them and let sit for about 10 minutes ... this will sanitize them and kill most all the bugs - then in canning the lid will be heated sufficiently that they will be sterilized.

I know - they keep changing things on us ....
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