A couple of weeks ago we decided to buy a pressure canner/cooker and start canning for the first time. We did a couple first run simple pressure canning experiments and quickly upgraded to more complex ones.
So far it has been very satisfying and it is becoming more fun as we get the hang of it.
What is home canning?
Home canning is the process of preserving foods like fruits, vegetables, and meats, by packing them into glass jars and then heating the jars to kill the organisms that would create spoilage allowing for long-term storage.
There are two kinds of canning: water bath canning and pressure canning. Foods with high acid, salt or sugar content such as pickles and fruit jams, can be preserved with the water bath method. Otherwise, they should be pressure canned. For this, the right type of pressure cooker should be used for safety reasons.
In North America, we commonly use Mason jars, thick-walled glass jars with aluminum lids and bands to seal them.
Why I like it
I love the possibilities of canning because so many recipes can be preserved. And I love the fact that you can store the canned food for at least a year without spoiling. I also love that we are able to control which ingredients go into the jars. I like using organic and fresh ingredients.
It’s especially rewarding if you preserve food that you have been growing in your vegetable garden. Our garden gave us a great bounty this year. And it’s important to pick the right vegetable fertilizer for cultivating.
How we did it
We went straight to using the pressure canning technique rather than the water bath. We bought this pressure canner and few dozen mason jars. So far, we have canned pineapple, green beans, homemade chicken soup, and black beans.
Our very first time we canned a whole pineapple which made only three-pint jars and one of them didn’t even seal because we accidentally put two lids on it! Rookie mistake.
Our next cooking adventure in consideration includes using an air fryer, to fry foods without oil.
Another great thing to think about during cooking adventures is comfort and safety. One good way to tackle this is by wearing the right kitchen shoes that are supportive and slip-resistant.
I am especially excited about canning the many tomatoes that are growing in our garden.
What used to be done out of necessity because of the abundance of produce been grown in gardens, is now an opportunity.
Do you can at home? Do you have any great recipes for me to try?