Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Few Canning Tips

Canning season is here for some gardeners!  I have not canned much yet.  I had to replant my green beans and the corn got planted late.  So I am just waiting.   I thought I would share a few canning tips that I have learned myself and from others.

Tip #1-
Have you ever opened a jar of green beans only to find that they tasted sour?  Over the years I have tried to figure our what went wrong with these kind of beans.  I even tried to add a little vinegar, but it just didn't help.  A few years ago, I discovered that if I wait to put the water and salt on them until just before I put them in the canner, I did not have sour beans!  Usually, I can 20+ jars of beans in one day and it is handy to fill all the jars and let them sit until the canner is ready.  But no more!  One year, I did beans with my sister and she filled the jars with water and salt ahead of time.  And I thought, "Oh well, shouldn't matter."  But it did!  I will never do it again!  We are still trying to eat those beans!

Tip #2-
Are you tired of fruit and vegetables that cooks out all over the jar?  Just a simple proceedure will take care of it!  Run a table knife through it to let all the air bubbles out.  You should have no more messes!

Tip #3-
Want to keep the heat out of the house?  Just use an outside cooker!  It costs around $130 but is well worth it!  My cooker (Click on the Cabelas link on the top right and search for camp chef explorer stove to see what I have.) has two burners and is run with a gas tank  from your gas grill.  With two burners you can use two canners and cut down on your time. 

Tip #4-
Having trouble with your pressure canner sealing up or jiggling properly?  I have trouble with the jiggler jiggling right.  It seems to build up pressure and I think it is ready to be timed but it never jiggles properly.  I called my aunt and she told me that the bottom of the pressure canner is warped and it is not level.  So my husband is to take a hammer and a board (inside the canner) and beat it flat again.  When she told me that, I remembered that he had done that once before.  So now I am anxious to pressure can beans this year!

If your canner truly does not seal up, you can go to Pague and Fegan in Shippensburg and buy a new sealer.  Just make sure you take your model number along.

I hope you find these tips useful!

Do you have any canning tips to share?  Feel free to share in the comment section!

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