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post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Anyone here can/preserve and store things?

I'd like to 'can' some nice jersey tomatoes I've been eating the past week or so, and save them for a dish in the winter time....

...anyone do this? what kind of dishes would this be good for and not good for.

process in a nutshell?

I want to do tomatoes first to start, but want to do some other things as well.

Believe it or not my house has a canning cellar...used to be a coal cellar (little room for storing coal in the basement) then come more modern times, it was used as a canning cellar. holds my Christmas decorations/tree. It's a small room, can't really stand up in...was thinking about making it a half wine, have canning storage. nice and cool, no windows no light.
post #2 of 18

yes. actually gave it up in favor of freezing - way much more easier . . . .

there is only one rule for canning: follow the directions / safety guidelines with regard to hygiene and temps and processing time.
optional alternative: death by canned stuff gone bad.

what dishes are canned tomatoes good for?
that's a question with no answer.

you can can "plain whole / sliced / chopped / mashed / minced,,,," tomatoes - no salt, no seasonings, no anything. works like canned tomatoes in any dish.

I'm fond of stewed tomatoes - so it's seasoning, green peppers, onion, bay leaf, bubble-bubble-toil&trouble, on with the lid!

but I also "put up" just plain tomatoes for other purposes.
pick one . . . .
ah,,, rarely without salt.
actually, never without salt . . . .
post #3 of 18
I am farm-raised, so I grew up helping my mother and grandmothers put up the seasonal crops. I have successfully pressure canned various foods myself as well. It is work, but very rewarding. Here is my advice: Go to USDA pressure canning on the internet. You will get all the latest and most accurate information on safe food preservation available from the USDA and the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Do not do anything contrary to the instructions you see there, regardless of what anyone else tells you. We are talking serious food safety here. This is not something you just do, it must be done right.
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
post #4 of 18
Been canning for 35+ years now. It is not all that much work.

Do not use a water bath method. That has so many more pitfalls than pressure canning.

Our pressure canner holds 5-6 quarts. It is old, leaks water around the seal a bit, so we compensate by canning 5-15 minutes longer depending on what it is. Always longer if meat is involved.

Anyway, for fresh tomatoes. Just blanch them for 2-3 minutes in boiling water, scoop them out, put into a food mill. There are all kinds. We use one that you crank, and the juice/puree comes out on the left hand side, and the skin and seeds come out in front. We dump the skin and seeds back in and crank again, maybe 3 times.

My wife puts the jars through the dishwasher to make sure they're clean. We use our finger to rub the entire circular surface of the jar to feel for any cracks/divits.

You boil your lids in water for 10 minutes (or was it 5 minutes) I forget, because that part the wife does.

You fill the jars to the point where the jar starts to narrow, no further. That's why the jars are shaped the way they are! Pretty cool, huh?!~

Then you wipe off the top of the jar lid with a clean cloth, then pick out a jar lid from the hot water, place it firmly in place on the jar, hand tighten the jar ring onto the lid and place in cold water that comes up about 3/4 of the height of your jars. MAKE SURE the jars don't touch each other in the canner.

Afix the canner's lid on firmly. The way ours works is a counter weight pops up when the water reaches the correct boiling pressure.

Don't let the canner scare you. They all have over pressure relief valves (ours looks like a flat rubber plug). I've never had the over pressure valve blow open on me.

I never add lemon juice, salt or anything to the tomatoes. Never had a problem with them. That way, you can use them in any recipe and not worry about amounts of recipe ingredients.

I've often found quarts of tomato juice/puree that were canned 4-5 years ago, and if the lid "POPS" when you take it off (I always use my fingernail and not a bottle opener. The bottle opener, even being very careful, can easily cause a chip or divit in the jar's sealing surface).

Then I look at the color of the contents and smell it. IF anything seems off, we throw it out. It does occasionally happen, but usually it's because the seal leaked due to a chip on the sealing surface of the canning jar.

Ball's canning guide is nice, and if you have a University nearby, they usually will have an agricultural type department that will have free literature for preserving foods, including canning.

Freezing is ok if time is not important. Canning keeps stuff fresher, longer, and without refrigeration/freezer electricity costs. And never any freezer burn!

Have fun.

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
hmm. perhaps this year I'll just freeze a few jars....although I have a giftcard to BB&B so maybe I can pick up a small pressure canner.
post #6 of 18
The county extension office will have the information you need about canning. They are connected to the land grant universities.

Water bath canning used to be quite common and worked fairly well in years long gone. The problem now is plant genetics have created foods that are lower in natural acids which creates a potential spoilage problem. That is why you will read about people adding lemon juice etc.

Pressure canning is a process related to steam sterilization although I don't believe the temperature gets high enough quick enough for actual sterilization. I would have to check up on that. It has been a long time since I did any canning.

Glass jars can break during the freezing process. I have broken a few :D
post #7 of 18

fax: 706-542-1979

I recently discovered canning jars that can also be used for freezing...I didn't know they made such a thing.

caution: While some spoilage can be detected by smell and/or taste, this is not true of botulism. Any time there is a even a suspicion of spoilage, follow the time-honored rule "when in doubt, throw it out".
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
post #8 of 18
The "Ball Blue Book of Canning" is the best place to start. They have recipes for water bath and pressure canning. I water bath pickles all the time, same for tomatoes, just make sure you follow the directions and times in the recipe. I made 8 pints of pickled green beans last Saturday that way.
post #9 of 18
Just please be sure your book is up to date. This why I posted the website for the National Center for Home Food Preservation. You can be sure that all their advice is published according to current recommendations. My Ball Blue Book is more than 20 years old. While much of the information may still be valid, I'll invest in a new one before attempting to can again. :)
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
post #10 of 18
The Ball Blue Book is available at WalMarts etc. Mine is 2 years old so it is recent. It recommends bottled lemon juice be added to tomatoes to increase the acidity.
post #11 of 18
Very good. :)
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
post #12 of 18

I have canned nearly everything under the sun all type of vegetables, meats, fish, jams and jellies. Your idea of canning tomatoes to enjoy a bit of summer in the dead of winter is fabulous. Canning truly does allow one to do just that. Canning tomatoes is really not that hard...I use a good pressure canner (even for items only needing a water bath canning method0 and have had stunning results.


If you have any speciific questions feel free to send me a message. I will be glad to answer them the best I can.


Also, if you have any questions pertaing to the preservation of, making of or smoking wild game meats and or sausages let me know.

post #13 of 18
I have a little question?! Is there any safe way to make your own minced garlic with out risk of botulism???
post #14 of 18
Originally Posted by Candycamp76 View Post

I have a little question?! Is there any safe way to make your own minced garlic with out risk of botulism???

I take it you want to mince a lot  and hold it.

Simplest advice is to mince what you need, as you need it, rather then mince a bunch and have it oxidize in the fridge.

As it ages, garlic loses strength.

post #15 of 18

There must be a way to can garlic since htere are several brands of prepared garlic (whole, minced) onthe store shelves.  The only problem is what was mentioned in the last post - they all lack flavor.  Mostly canned garlic tastes like some sort of acid.  USDA does not recommend home canning garlic.  Most good cooks don't recommend using canned garlic.


Here is an interesting item to read on this topic:

post #16 of 18
Acidifying the garlic is part of how they make it safe from clostridium growth.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #17 of 18

Hi RP I'm a canning fool. My pantry is loaded with mason jars with all kinds of goodies. I'm jealous that you will have a nice cool cellar to store your things in.

My number one suggestion for you is to get a Squeezo.  You will love the way it takes out the skin and seeds of tomatoes and leaves you with nice juice and pulp.  And for safety, just follow the directions from Ball Jars or any other about the amount of acid you need to add to your tomatoes.

Good luck, you will be amazed at the wonderful flavor of your tomato sauces, nothing like those bitter or sour tomatoes you buy in the cans or boxes at the supermarket.

post #18 of 18

Marty, I only pressure can also.  Better safe than sorry!

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