It’s almost time to start canning. I LOVE to can! I wouldn’t consider myself the canning type, so if you don’t either please don’t stop reading. Canning is so much fun and it’s a great way to save money, control what you and your family are eating and eat better foods. Even if you don’t plant a garden you can get tons of fresh produce from your local farmer’s market and still save money.
Are you convinced you should can now? Save money, save time later on and eat good food, what else do you need? Throughout my canning season, I’ll share a few canning recipes that I use, but for now you need to know what you need to get started.
Canning jars, lids and rims-You can get these almost anywhere. Even the grocery store has them. These are very easy to find used as well. You can’t reuse lids though, but those are cheap new. There are difference sizes and widths. I prefer the wide mouth ones.
Water bath canner or large pot with a lid, and a rack-These are pretty cheap at the store and easily found used as well. You don’t use this for all canning methods, but for a lot of my favorites you do.
Jar lifter-I’ve tried doing it without this and it just hurts. No really, it burns. I always spill hot water on me and I’m just done with tongs. Jar lifters from here on out!
Heavy duty cooking pot-We have a really great dutch oven that we love. Sometimes you need to cook some items and these dutch ovens are the best!
Pressure cooker-Some canning recipes call for pressure canning. These are probably the most expensive item you’ll buy, but these are common at garage sales at Goodwill.
These are the basics you need and from here the recipes just need a few more items. Get these things and you’ll be ready for canning!
I just finished canning 9 pints of cherry pie filling. Where we live in Northwest Montana is very famous for its cherries. They truly are the most amazing fruit here! Plus, I absolutely LOVE canning. I mean LOVE it. I don’t have a lot of diversity to my canning, but I make a lot of what I do. Pickles is a huge favorite around here.
There is something very fulfilling about canning. I love that I have about 20 jars of pickles in my garage that we can enjoy all year long and they are better than anything you’d ever buy in a store.
Since so many of you may be canning, I thought I would outline some of the pros and cons. Hopefully this comes in handy for those of you who haven’t tried it yet.
It tastes better. It really does. You WILL not be able to compete with my cherry pie filling or pickles unless maybe you make it yourself.
You know exactly what you are eating. I know the exact ingredients to the items I can. There are no yucky preservatives or things I can’t pronounce. As a matter of fact, my cherries have 6 ingredients and they are all natural.
You have use of the items in your garden. If you grow a garden every year you may not know what to do with all your produce. Canning is perfect for all those wonderful fresh veggies!
And with canning you can enjoy the fruit of your labor all year long. When you can NOTHING is out of season! You can eat the things you canned in the winter. I’ll be enjoying my cherries at Christmas time with a cherry pie.
It’s usually healthier. Yes, some stuff has tons of sugar in it, but the produce you are using is healthy and so good for you!
It’s hard work. I won’t lie to you. It’s not really really hard, but it’s a lot of work. It will take me 2 hours from start to finish to do my cherries and my pickles are easily a 8-12 hour ordeal because of all the cutting, soaking, etc. It’s crazy.
It’s messy. Maybe I am just a messy canner, but my kitchen is destroyed every time.
You have to time everything perfectly. One wrong thing done or wrong timing and you’ve ruined it. Which is also why I think it’s messy. You don’t have time while something simmers to clean up the mess you just made. You just have to get it done and go.
You burn yourself. Maybe this is just me, but I always burn myself.
And the last con is that everyone wants to take your cans leaving you empty handed. I’ve started hiding my pickles.
Do you can? What do you think?