On Canning and Dehydrating,
by Editor-At-Large Suni
The easiest canning would be hot water bath canning, but has limited application. Making jellies, jams, marmalades, etc. It would also be the least expensive. You can use almost any thick walled jar and any pot deep enough to cover those jars by at least 1 inch. I still use the bands and lids for canning though. I have yet to make my own pectin for the thickening or jelling agent. I have been studying on how to do this though. Granny Smith apple peels are supposed to make great pectin. I will try this next year, if I can get some fresh Granny Smith apples (not store bought). They need to be about 1 to 5 days picked for optimum results.
The best all-around food preservation, I think, would be pressure canning. It will even do jellies if you choose to do it that way, but it just isn’t necessary. It is more expensive though in the fact you will need a good (not expensive) pressure canner, canning jars, lids, bands and to be especially sanitary to make sure the process isn’t contaminated. Most foods that are pressure canned are low acid foods. Most vegetables, all meats and fish, and some of the newer types of tomatoes do not have enough acid in them to make them safe by the hot water bath method. I also pressure can beef and chicken stock. Stews or soups as long as they do not contain any thickening agent or flour. You can pressure can on a wood stove, but would need to be diligent about keeping the fire built high enough to keep the pressure up and a fire diffuser for an even heat over the bottom of the canner.
I like dehydrating, especially veggies and some types of fruit. But there again I use an electric dehydrator and food storage canning jar attachment to keep the dehydrated food for long term storage. I have not tried to use a non-electric dehydrator, but I have thought about building one.
I have read about salt curing, but have not done it. Would really like to learn though, from someone that has actually done it. Also wood smoking would be something I would like to learn. In Texas we have a population of over 2 million wild hogs and the people I have spoken to that hunt them say they are good eating and can be hunted all year long because they are causing so much damage. Would like to smoke the meat on a wild hog. YUMMY
If you have a specific question on canning or electric dehydrating, ask and I will try to answer them.
Check out this Free Download on canning – http://seasonedcitizenprepper.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/GUIDE-1-Home-Can.pdf . Also check ou this website – http://nchfp.uga.edu/
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