Saturday, May 2, 2009

Preservers: Meet the Equipment

Today begins the first part of a series on supplies for the home food preserver. Some are essential, some are fun to have, and some are luxury items you'll consider, after you've been at it for a while. Stocking the pantry and your cupboards with nutritious home preserved foods is a joy and a labor of love. Having the right equipment for the job makes it fun!

Boiling Water Canner

Pots and pans are staples in the kitchen. You've got all shapes and sizes and you're comfortable using them. Whether you decide to freeze vegetables or make a mega-load of stew, soup, or chili, you'll find the boiling water canner an essential item. It's used for processing acid foods, such as fruit, quick pack picles and other acidified products, and for ensuring a seal on jams and jellies.

So, what does it look like? It's big. It's made of aluminum or porcelain-coverred steel. It has speckles - white on blue or black. It has a cover with a handle. You have a choice of sizes, but the one that's the most useful will hold 7 quart jars or 9 pint jars. These jars nestle in/on a rack which is either flat with perforations (to let the water circulate) or shaped like a basket with convenient handles for ease of lifting. The picture below shows what the inside looks like with the rack positioned on the rim.

Your bottom is important! Boiling water canners can have either flat or ridged bottoms. If you have an electric range, choose the flat bottom. If you have gas, you can use flat or ridged. Be sure the canner is no more than 4 inches wider in diameter than the unit you'll place it on.

Tomorrow: Accessorizing your boiling water canner

9 comments:

  1. This will make for a great series of posts. Nice blog ya got goin' here. I'll be poppin' in from time time during the post per day. :)

    Marvin D Wilson
    http://inspiritandtruths.blogspot.com/
    http://tiedyedtirades.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi from a fellow BBT participant! Enjoying your blog. I think your photo up top would look better if there wasn't text to the right... Maybe position text above and below the photo? Cheers to another non-fiction writer!

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  3. Like cooking shows, I think this appeals even to people like me who never do this sort of thing. I have friends who preserve and my grandmother did a lot of it when I was a kid. Maybe I will be inspired to try. It certainly would be a savings.

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  4. This is a really interesting blog. I also like the tip of the week. I didn't realize you weren't supposed to wash blueberries until you eat them. This is probably how I end up with moldy blueberries!

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  5. Your blog is well organized and very interesting!! Keep up the good work.

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  6. Hi from a fellow canning babe! Are you interested in my locavore group? Link below:

    Dani (yes, it's me;)
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/localvores-co

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  7. This blog definitely brings back memories for me. I was a dedicated gardener when I lived in Indiana--canned, froze, made jam, even made wine a couple of times. Maybe you'll inspire me to get back into it this year.
    http://www.patriciastoltey.blogspot.com

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  8. Interesting line of blog posts you've opened up here, gives me an idea to use with my own non-fiction book blog. You might want to try and find a link to the product you refer to on Amazon.com, and use an affiliate link to it - in case your readers want to buy themselves a 'Boiling Water Canner' or anything else you blog about.

    All success
    Dr.Mani
    Author: "Think, Write & RETIRE!"
    http://ThinkWriteRetire.com

    ReplyDelete

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~ I'm the author of Headwind: The Intrepid Adventures of OSS Agent Katrin Nissen. If you're a WWII buff, you'll like it here!