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Old 05-08-2008, 02:48 PM   #1
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Which is more economical, canning or freezing?

I'm thinking mainly garden stuff here. Canning probably costs a little more for containers (special grade jars and one-time use lids). Canning takes energy to heat the jars, but then requires none afterwards, while freezing probably takes less energy to initially freeze, but then of course requires a small but steady supply to maintain. And equipment wise, a (chest) freezer is more expensive than a canner.

Just wondering how great or minuscule the differences might be. There's also the question of which is healthier (probably freezing?) and which tastes better (depends on the item IMO - I'll take frozen peas over canned, but canned beans over frozen).

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Old 05-08-2008, 03:21 PM   #2
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there is no correct answer, you very well stated the pros and cons of each.. i do both, some foods are better suited to freezing and some to canning. It is a personal choice. I can tomatoes, green beans, potatoes and freeze corn, broccoli, green peppers, and some green beans. Try to store some fresh; sweet potatoes, white potatoes, winter squash, onions, garlic do not need any processing. Think about dehydrating some things, celery works great for me. We also store carrots, spinach and celery in the garden under wraps all winter.
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Old 05-08-2008, 05:03 PM   #3
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ya know, I just thought of something else. We really concentrate on eating fresh out of the garden for as long as we can. We are planting something from March to September, actually October when the garlic goes in, so something is about always coming ripe to eat. That way, we are putting food by for a shorter period of time than folks who "put in a garden in May" and never plant anymore. I have a goal, that is never met, to eat something fresh from the earth every day, for health purposes.
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Old 05-08-2008, 06:54 PM   #4
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In regard to the cost of canning: the jars and rings are reusable. In fact, once the jars are sealed, you can remove the rings and reuse them immediately.
Other advantages of canning: If the power fails, the food won't spoil; Properly stored canned goods maintain their quality longer; Some foods, as Beth mentioned, just taste better canned.
However, when you put that canner on the stove, it really heats up your kitchen, and it takes a lot more AC to keep your house cool.
And you do need a cool dark place to store your canned goods.
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:33 PM   #5
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In our case, it's a matter of available freezer space. I prefer to can my tomatoes and tomato sauce. I also don't have to wait for canned goods to thaw, either in the fridge or micro. Both methods use energy.

But, as others have stated, some foods are better candidates for the freezer than the canner.
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:09 PM   #6
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I don't really analyze the cost differences since they all tend to equalize out at some point. I dehydrate, refrigerate, freeze, and can food as necessary with what becomes available to me. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. It's like invested money. You never put it all into one account. You diversify so that overall you are safe from total loss.

I got interested in canning originally as an effort to reduce the salt and other ingredients in commercial foods by making my own. Then I became aware of the food shortage/famine issues and took food preservation a few steps further. In the end it becomes a very frugal thing to do.
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Old 05-08-2008, 11:12 PM   #7
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I agree - the absolutely correct, can't be disputed, there ain't no other way answer is ... it depends.

Freezing requires freezer space - and quality freezer bags are not free. While you have to make the initial purchase of canning jars - the lids are relatively cheap when compared to the freezer bags. Canned food doesn't require refrigeration - frozen food does.

And, if you want to can something like a tomato meat sauce - you need a pressure canner ... which requires a longer processing time.

Personally - for "out of the garden" stuff ... I prefer to blanch, shock and freeze vegetables.

As far as nutrition - it declines with time whether it is fresh, frozen or canned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milkdemcows
.... I'll take frozen peas over canned, but canned beans over frozen.
Although they may take a little longer to cook - I'll stick with dried beans.
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Old 05-09-2008, 01:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW View Post
Although they may take a little longer to cook - I'll stick with dried beans.
Oh yes, I was meaning green beans. I agree with you on this.
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