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post #1 of 3
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I'm very interested to try canning - I really like the idea of "putting up" various antipasto-type vegetables; e.g. pickles, artichokes, mushrooms, etc. and being able to just open up a jar mid-winter and serve a noshy appetizer before a dinner party, not to mention storing things like good local tomatoes for the wintertime. I am, however, a little daunted by the array of tools.

Can anyone out there recommend a basic canning setup for a beginner who is primarily interested in preserving a few basic vegetables and pickling? Do I need a pressure cooker? Recommendations on models? Pointers/tips/suggestions?
post #2 of 3
teh Mrs. cans jams, jellies, and vegetables. I'd tell you how she goes about it, but that would require that I pay attention to her as she does this crap, and that's not happening. What little I do know:

For acidic/sweet stuff (jellies) - she just uses a big boiler. A pasta pot and basket should do the trick. She made watermelon jam on Sunday, and lemon marmalade last night and just used that to seal the jars.

When she made home-made dill/jalapeno pickles, she used a pressure cooker to seal up the jars. The sealing process takes a while, though.

She picked up all this off the internet, and none of us have died from listeria yet, so I think it's reasonably safe.
post #3 of 3
yeah, jams and jellies -- things made with sugar -- are pretty straightforward. most pickles are, too. that's because sugar and vinegar act as preservatives. vegetables are another thing entirely and you DEFINITELY want to follow recipes. a pressure-canner is advised as well.
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