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Old 02-14-2014, 09:00 AM
Doylespencer1 Doylespencer1 is offline
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The answer for me is a YES. It is worth the expense and time. We want to control what is being put on our vegetables. We prefer gardening organically with NO CHEMICALS. I believe the use of chemicals on your vegetables is a major cause of cancer.

When you first start out it is very expensive but you recycle most of your canning supplies year after year, so in the long term the cost balances out. The biggest plus is TASTE...no comparison between home canning and buying canned food from the store.

You have to answer this question for yourself after considering all the facts.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:02 AM
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After we have given our reasons, what does the OP have to say now?
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by WelderinWI View Post
In many areas, it is not cheaper for my family. We still buy canned corn and green beans others.....

... Where we are definitely saving money is canning soups, chili, meats.
We just got an All American pressure canner, this thing will pay for itself with what we will be able to put up this year vs. buying commercially available products. And ours won't have nitrates, MSG, and other random chemicals.
Exactly! I don't grow corn so when canned goes on sale every year for 3/$1 I pickup a couple of cases.

I have major problems with MSG and so can't buy the cheap canned soups. Over the years I've bought bones and made stock and frozen it. Now, I get free chicken bones from a butcher, and also will buy 15 pounds of his really good but more expensive than I normally would buy beef cubes. If my husband really wants a steak I get that too. There is no way I'm walking out with 30+ pounds of bones and not buying something. By the end of the weekend I'll have 28+ quarts of chicken soup and the beef 18 quarts of beef stew done. Why does it take all day? Because I'm picking chicken off the bones for the soup, that really decides how much soup I can . The rest is stock that I stick in the freezer. I don't put potatoes or other filler in them, so I'll end up with close to 50 meals for two for a days work and the cost of the beef and veggies. If I'm really up for work, I'll also buy beef and can up some ground beef and throw in a load of beans spiced for chili.

One thing I really like about beans is that they can fill up the space because they can like meat. I also can with camping in mind. My sons have asked for 1/2 pint containers of hamburg and chicken because that way they don't have to take a cooler!
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by ForestBeekeeper View Post
I would definitely start with simple. Learn hot-water-bath canning first. Master that skill set. There are many things that you can preserve in that manner.

Then later you can extend your skills into pressure-cooker canning.

That was what my wife did.
I actually think pressure canning is a lot easier then water bath canning. It is however a lot more expensive to get started with.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by two bits View Post
Interesting guestion. I've asked myself that same question many of times. Its not easier! Any real homemaker will tell you that its easier to go out and work.
In my case, after the initial investment, jars & canner, its just raising a crop, processing, & canning. Guess I could be watching soaps (general hospital). So, did I save any money on them 150 quarts of tomatoes?

How much is canned beef in the store, 16oz can? One free deer produces, 40-50 lbs of venison, which will produce 40-50 pint jars of ready to eat beef/venison. Did I save any money?
I realize in your mind that I would be paying myself a salary, but not for real, actually I donate my time to the future of my family. So, no wages paid.
With this being said, I know what I put on my crops, in the jar. I cannot guess what is in store bought food.
We made #45 of summer sausage just a couple months back. I had to purchase seasonings & casings for the meat, ($27). Meat was free. Compared to my brother-in-law, he purchased a deer tag, ($24) shot a nice deer. He took it to the butcher shop and had summer sausage made, #41 is what he got. He told me the bill was $169.00. You can do the math like I did. If you have an important job that requires your attention, then paying someone to do the job may be feasible. He is retired, I wish I were!

When your freeze dried is gone, have you thought about, "what then?"
Hillshire Farm Beef Summer sausage is $3.98/lb at Walmart. $0.72/lb or $29.52 total less than he paid and you don't have to sit in the cold.
Not saying either way is better, just, "doing the math".
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:13 AM
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Folks, canning is such a small part of the overall preserving and surviving mindset. Of course, you should have the equipment and know how to can, but more important, know what you CANNOT can and when food goes bad.

In addition to canning, we have dairy goats and milk an the DW knows ( has the equipment) how to make butter, ( cottage, ricotta, soft and hard) cheese, whipped ream, sour cream, yogurt, kefir, etc.

I brew my own beer and ferment cabbage( sour kraut).

You should know and practice all manner of preserving: drying and smoking and soaking in liquid, etc.

So in that context, canning is easy.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by kokosmom2 View Post
It is easier and cheaper to go to the store and buy a can of tomatoes. However, there is no comparison to the taste of home canned food. Even if you buy stuff from the farmer's market or CSA instead of having your own garden it is very much worth it.
A bonus value is that the acid from the tomato will not eat its way though a glass jar like it does a metal can.

It is absolutly worth the time effort and cost to can your own.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by yelruh View Post
Exactly! I don't grow corn so when canned goes on sale every year for 3/$1 I pickup a couple of cases.

I have major problems with MSG and so can't buy the cheap canned soups. Over the years I've bought bones and made stock and frozen it. Now, I get free chicken bones from a butcher, and also will buy 15 pounds of his really good but more expensive than I normally would buy beef cubes. If my husband really wants a steak I get that too. There is no way I'm walking out with 30+ pounds of bones and not buying something. By the end of the weekend I'll have 28+ quarts of chicken soup and the beef 18 quarts of beef stew done. Why does it take all day? Because I'm picking chicken off the bones for the soup, that really decides how much soup I can . The rest is stock that I stick in the freezer. I don't put potatoes or other filler in them, so I'll end up with close to 50 meals for two for a days work and the cost of the beef and veggies. If I'm really up for work, I'll also buy beef and can up some ground beef and throw in a load of beans spiced for chili.

One thing I really like about beans is that they can fill up the space because they can like meat. I also can with camping in mind. My sons have asked for 1/2 pint containers of hamburg and chicken because that way they don't have to take a cooler!
I would do the same by canning hamburger & beef stew..however,I like my own beef stew and Im sure that I cant can it..I heard that canned hamburger texture isn't good so no way would I can something my family wont eat..I want to make my own chicken stock next..Do you know you can can your own Chili,Taco Meat,Meatloaf ? I love using my canned chicken breast the most though..My goal is to can over 100 more jars of meat to add to my other 100 plus jars of meat meals..
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:32 AM
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By canning it yourself, you can adjust spices and "some" ingredients to suit your taste. In my earlier post on applesauce mentioned that I only use apples. But to change the flavor I use a ratio of 4 Golden Delicious and 1 Granny Smith to give it a little bit of a tart flavor.

Follow an established recipe from a reliable source.

Also check your county Agreculture Extension or Cooperative Extension to see if they have a Master Food Preserver program. The give classes free or at a very low cost.

Just Google your state or county and Master Food Preservers
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:50 AM
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I would do the same by canning hamburger & beef stew..however,I like my own beef stew and Im sure that I cant can it..I heard that canned hamburger texture isn't good so no way would I can something my family wont eat..I want to make my own chicken stock next..Do you know you can can your own Chili,Taco Meat,Meatloaf ? I love using my canned chicken breast the most though..My goal is to can over 100 more jars of meat to add to my other 100 plus jars of meat meals..
What ingredient do you put in your beef stew that can't be canned?

As to ground beef, yes the texture is a little fine. My family sees no difference when I use it for pasta sauce, chili, hamburger soup or in tacos. If you 'dry' can it the texture is better, but I think the taste is better if I include the de-fatted liquid that is left after cooking it.

When I can beef for stew, I brown the meat, and put in onions, grated carrots and celery. I de-glaze the pan with only water and add that to the jars instead of water. I don't add any flour or potatoes I do that when I'm cooking it. When I open the jar I scoop off whatever fat on the top and put that in the crockpot with a bit of flour. Once that is mixed in I dump the rest of the jar and add potatoes and maybe some water. If I want a really think stew I'll add more flour and other fat at the beginning.
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by letsgetreal View Post
Folks, canning is such a small part of the overall preserving and surviving mindset. Of course, you should have the equipment and know how to can, but more important, know what you CANNOT can and when food goes bad.

In addition to canning, we have dairy goats and milk an the DW knows ( has the equipment) how to make butter, ( cottage, ricotta, soft and hard) cheese, whipped ream, sour cream, yogurt, kefir, etc.

I brew my own beer and ferment cabbage( sour kraut).

You should know and practice all manner of preserving: drying and smoking and soaking in liquid, etc.

So in that context, canning is easy.
Op only mentioned canning..I didn't go into everything else I do I do to preserve food.
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by yelruh View Post
What ingredient do you put in your beef stew that can't be canned?

As to ground beef, yes the texture is a little fine. My family sees no difference when I use it for pasta sauce, chili, hamburger soup or in tacos. If you 'dry' can it the texture is better, but I think the taste is better if I include the de-fatted liquid that is left after cooking it.

When I can beef for stew, I brown the meat, and put in onions, grated carrots and celery. I de-glaze the pan with only water and add that to the jars instead of water. I don't add any flour or potatoes I do that when I'm cooking it. When I open the jar I scoop off whatever fat on the top and put that in the crockpot with a bit of flour. Once that is mixed in I dump the rest of the jar and add potatoes and maybe some water. If I want a really think stew I'll add more flour and other fat at the beginning.
I like my beef stew sweet..I know sounds weird! Its how my mom made it and its the only way I like my stew..I sautéed the meat and onions in oil then add salt pepper and sugar once the meat is browned and the onions are caramelized..I then add water,beef bouillon more salt pepper and sugar...after a few hours of cooking the meat I taste it to make sure its sweet enough then add the potatoes and carrots that take on the sweet taste..I don't think I can can that can I?

I also can my sauce with the hamburger..I really like it except I learned that I need triple the seasonings for it to taste like it did before the canning process..will do that when I make more..I still have about 50-quart jars left so it will be awhile before I make some more..unless hamburger goes on sale again then I will take advantage of it.

Now my family does like hamburger soup..and I also cook up hamburger then repackage it in small freezer bags just for that reason or dirty rice..hmm..maybe I should can up a few pints and try it out first..thanks for the input!
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:59 PM
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Planner32........ Reminded me of the pears I had for lunch. Picked a bunch from a coworkers tree couple years ago. Canned them up in light syrup. Ummmmmmmm good. He cut the tree down this summer!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh can't believe it.
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:49 AM
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My canned goods don't have the Rat Crap, Roach legs and dead flies that you get from store bought. I don't add salt unless its a must nor do I use flavour enhancers to make something that's made from the leftovers taste good. My canned beef is exactly that...
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Old 02-19-2014, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by two bits View Post
Planner32........ Reminded me of the pears I had for lunch. Picked a bunch from a coworkers tree couple years ago. Canned them up in light syrup. Ummmmmmmm good. He cut the tree down this summer!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh can't believe it.
Mine are in light syrup too. SO GOOD!

Some people just don't realize the value they have in a fruit true like that. It takes years to get one to be productive. To cut one down is a crime.
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Old 02-19-2014, 04:12 PM
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Sometimes the tree is not valued until you find the right use of the fruit. Our property came with an ancient full sized pear tree. For years, what we could reach and fell to the ground was horrible as fresh pears and never ripened well.

At last, we found it's niche. Ran them through the food mill to make pear sauce (like apple sauce), perfect flavor, perfect texture,...

Now stored on the left, second shelf from the bottom:
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Old 02-19-2014, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mythreesons View Post
Op only mentioned canning..I didn't go into everything else I do I do to preserve food.
well I's just putting it in it's proper perspective. Might as well ask if any survival skill is worth it.

If you(meaning anyone) have to ask, you don't have the survival mindset.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:58 PM
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A huge yes it's worth it! The flavor alone not to mention the Biochemcalnutritionally
Of the food makes it a no brainier.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by two bits View Post
Most people that discusses gardening, canning, raising my own food has one thing on their mind, $$$$$$$$ The first thing out of their mouth is "if you figure your time spent doing all that crap, you aint saving a cent"! What they don't realize is my time is doing what I want to do with my time.
The other thing is how much healthier the food is for you. My urban garden is a small one so I do have to buy a fair amount at the farmer's market and therefore the food is more expensive than buying it in the store. However, yes, I know what's in the can. Whether it's the meat or the veggies I saw them fresh and that's what the farmer handed to me. The other thing that I've noticed is how little my stomach cares for processed foods after two years of eating my own canned stuff. Processed foods taste like plastic and sit in my stomach about as well, and I'm glad when it's gone. I haven't eaten at a McDonald's in two years. I haven't purchased processed Mac & cheese or anything like that in over one year, though I do still purchase boxed potatoes for ham and scalloped. This trend makes me wonder just what chemicals are being used in/on processed food! Yikes. My own, thank you.
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Old 02-24-2014, 06:45 AM
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I live on a acre in a wooded area. I have a vegetable garden that I use for raw vegetable juicing. I buy what I need for juicing when the garden is not in season. I'm learning more about gardening and trying to expand this season and want to save all of it by canning. So I'm interested in doing it. I just have a hard time learning from books, I'd rather do it and watch it done before reading about it. Makes comprehending the book easier for me. Really great points and advice here from everyone. It's greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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