The canning debate
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  1. #1
    Registered User DJ1972's Avatar
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    Default The canning debate

    I was given a pressure cooker and a gazillion canning jars. Was sooo excited, as I have been wanting to learn to can. DH says, with all the hassle of canning, it's more efficient to just find the food on sale and buy it. He is also afraid of pressure cookers..apparently a family member had a bad experience with one. So just curious, do you can and if so why...I need to win this argument ladies!

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    I love to can!! I love the taste of it, the growing it ourselves and making our own salsa's,relishes, pickles and sauerkraut and anything else I can think of. What we don't grow we buy locally and freeze or can it.

    I don't use a pressure canner I do the boiling water method with high acidic foods or when I can pears or I freeze it. Never have I had a problem. I always tease my DH that this food will not be recalled because I know what went into it.

    I guess cost wise I have never thought about. The taste says it all to us.

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    Registered User suki's Avatar
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    I love to can. Nothing beats the flavor of homemade preserves!

    I can from our garden. But, I don't can everything and on some items he's correct, it's not necessarily a cost savings. However, with free jars, I can't imagine it not saving you some money if you have your own garden.

    The best point about canning is, you know what's in that jar! No preservatives. And the taste of just about anything is incredible.

    That said, I'd never do my own tomato sauce or paste... way too much work when I can buy a can for 25 cents.

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    Registered User Persimmon Lace's Avatar
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    I think it can cut both ways. I don't mind buying canned veggies, but I want to have everything in place, canner and knowledge in case I want too! Does that makes sense. If you read the cans of most commercial veggies there is nothing in there that isn't in home canned veggies. If you have a garden or a cheap/free way to get produce then I do think it is cost effective.

    I just want to be able to preserve my food other than freezing it if I need too.

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    Registered User quiltergirl2's Avatar
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    I'm afraid of pressure canners too. My mom had one explode (before I was born) but she talks about glass, hot water and food flying everywhere and she was injured. I have heard the story and her warnings enough times that I won't go near a pressure cooker. Your husband may be pretty hard to convince. Pressure canner accidents are scary and once you've known someone who has had one you just don't want to take chances.

    But I have put up a variety of pickles, corn relish, applesauce, peaches, jams and jellies and processed them in a boiling water bath. I don't can much now because our kitchen is so tiny there just isn't room.

    Maybe you could talk hubby into buying a few dozen jars and trying a test run with a water bath canner before you invest heavily in supplies. Do a price comparison and see how it comes out.
    Last edited by quiltergirl2; 03-04-2008 at 03:33 PM.

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    Registered User StaceyS's Avatar
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    I can both with a pressure canner and water-bath. Today's pressure canners have a pressure release safety feature, so they won't explode like old canners. Just make sure if you're buying a used one, check for the safety feature (it's usually a red plug).
    With the price of food going up and up, I'm going to can more!
    Stacey

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    now i dont can, but my godmother does, always has.
    and there is a HUGE difference in taste, like others have said.

    i think the biggest argument is the investment of time.

    now we'd go picking from our gardens and ready the foods and she'd make her preserves, wines, salsas, chutneys... you name it!
    and then boil 'em... didnt use a pressure cooker.

    so it's more a matter of time than cost.

    technically a packet of seeds to grow a row of green beans is a LOT cheaper than buying 'em in tins or frozen.

    BUT...

    yes, there's a but...
    do you have the time to invest in canning?

    I'd use that as my argument. And if you do have the time, make it another hobby you want to do, in order to provide MORE nutritious foods for your family.

    good luck!

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    Registered User mombottoo's Avatar
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    Canning, if you have to buy the stuff you want to can is not in my opinion cost efficient. However, home canned foods do taste better.

    I used to can, I canned growing up and I canned when my kids were small...it is a whole lot of work. Now, due to the blessings of my dear daughter and her farm, it looks like I will be canning again...since dear daughter has asked me to teach her how. All I have to say is it is a good thing I LOVE her .

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    Registered User SAHM I Am's Avatar
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    I'm going to begin canning this year. We're planning a decent little garden so I want to preserve all that yummy goodness! ;-)

    I am in the process of trying to find free or very cheap jars. I don't think it will be very difficult.

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    Registered User DJ1972's Avatar
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    so the decision is...since all the things needed for canning will be given to me (excluding lids), it will cost very little. add in the amount of cans that won't go in the trash can, very important. anyway, dh says that as long as the pressure cooker has a safety valve he's ok with me trying to teach myself to can. so, off to the library I go.

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    Registered User jkelstaten's Avatar
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    Last year we were able to get a lot of jars off freecycle or at yard sales, so there are some very cheap/free ways to get supplies. Also, because NO one in our area seems to can, the supplies at the stores all went on clearance and we got Fruit Fresh, Sure-jell, etc. all for very cheap. If you have a garden or access to cheap fruits/veggies I say "go for it!". I find it very therapeutic and it gives me the assurance that I'm really doing something for my family. Last year we did pears, apples, peaches, tomatoes, green beans, pear/apple sauces, jellies. This year we plan on doing some soups and I will probably look around for a good source of corn too.

    We're also going to do a container garden, so we won't have as much output $$ for the produce. I agree that tomatoes aren't really cost effective because I've gotten tons for free the last couple months, but they still taste great home-canned. Unfortunately, cost-wise, my family prefers canned veggies and the cheapest I can get them here is about $0.50/can. Frozen veggies I can get for free regularly.

    Anyway, long story short, we love canning and if you can get into it for cheap , I'd say do it....

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    Registered User Holly's Avatar
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    Find a canner at a yard sale and can with out the pressure cooker. ( you can also buy them at a decent price at an Ace Hardware store, Kmart also had them last summer )
    Its a bit of work but your food will be better and taste so fresh. Its alot healthier also
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    Registered User Frugal Cook's Avatar
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    I started canning (water bath & pressure) about a year ago, mostly to have an understanding of "how" to do it for when there was a need -- like when a neighbor hands me a box or two of fruit from his/her trees, or the farmers market has pickling cucumbers for cheap prizes. Now I'm growing my own vegetables and I'm also concentrating on making my own condiments to cut down on the salt and preservatives. I'm a guy and I now make my female relatives jealous.

    Pressure Canners are totally safe these days and easy to use and are even better than the pressure "cookers" most households use.

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    Registered User hippytreehugger4ever's Avatar
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    Smile I'm A Canner Too

    I can every year too. I pretty much didn't have a choice growing up, and the year I was 12 I ended up doing it ALL myself because my mom herneated her back. I plant just about everything I can cram into my garden. This year need to double the amount of spagetti sauce, tomato soup, tomato sauce, salsa, canned beef, apple pie filling, applesauce, and carrots that I do. Also need to grow twice as many onions

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    Registered User hippytreehugger4ever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAHM I Am View Post
    I'm going to begin canning this year. We're planning a decent little garden so I want to preserve all that yummy goodness! ;-)

    I am in the process of trying to find free or very cheap jars. I don't think it will be very difficult.

    Just make sure their the Mason or Kerr CANNING jars! No mayonaise, pickle, or jelly jars from the store!

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