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  • FoodSaver V3240 Vertical Vacuum Sealer, White
    FoodSaver V3240 Vertical Vacuum Sealer, White
    FoodSaver
    I just started using a FoodSaver vacuum sealer to seal foods and I can't believe I waited so long to get one. (Check out my first project: Sweet & Sour Green Bean Freezer Pickles!)
    For example: In the past I would take the time to pick beautiful berries, then would bring them home and stick them in a zippered baggie in the freezer. My berries would have ice crystals and taste freezer burnt after just a few short months. 
    Then I had a light-bulb moment: "Air is the enemy" of freshness. 
    When vacuum-sealed my berries last 3 to 4 times longer! I have similar results with other fruits, veggies and even meats & cheeses.
    The FoodSaver has been a fantastic discovery. ~ Brook
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    • Mehu-Liisa 10 Liter Stainless Steel Steam Juicer - Made in Finland
      Mehu-Liisa 10 Liter Stainless Steel Steam Juicer - Made in Finland
      Mehu-Liisa Products

      Some day I will replace my ancient graniteware Steam Juice Extractor with this gorgeous Mehu-Liisa brand Steam Juicer. My old Steam Juicer leaks steam, meaning I have to refill the water often, and it doesn't have anywhere close to the capacity of this one from Mehu-Liisa.
      If you want to experience the magic of a Steam Juicer, check out this 10 quart Mehu-Liisa. It will last you a lifetime and save you countless hours in the kitchen, whether your juicing fruit for  Plum Jelly or Apricot Nectar, not to mention it minimizes the mess of juicing large amounts of veggies!  ~ Brook

    • Ball Quilted Jelly Canning Jar 4 Oz (Pack of 12)
      Ball Quilted Jelly Canning Jar 4 Oz (Pack of 12)
      Ball
      What's the one jar size I always keep a couple extra cases of? 
      The Ball 4 ounce jar.
      It's basically 1/2 cup, and just the right size for gift-giving and for experimenting with small batches. Perfect for things like my famous Pear Honey.
      People can't help but say "That is so darn cute!" when they seem them. 
      ~ Brook

    • Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker
      Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker
      Presto
      Looking for an affordable, easy-to-use pressure canner, backed up by great customer service? Look no further than the Presto 23 quart Pressure Canner/Cooker. It's the one I recommend to all my students. ~ Brook

     

    Dilly Pickled Onion Slices on Punk Domestics

    • Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen (Orange) Instant Read Thermometer, Perfect for Barbecue, Home and Professional Cooking
      Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen (Orange) Instant Read Thermometer, Perfect for Barbecue, Home and Professional Cooking
      ThermoWorks
      Do you have a great instant-read thermometer, or are you still buying the 20 dollar ones that only last a year or two? This was one of my best kitchen purchases.
      Can't imagine cooking jam (or meat or candy) without it! 
      Take your jams to 220º and you'll have a perfect gel set every time. Also available in other colors, but why wouldn't you want orange? It's only the BEST COLOR EVER. ~ Brook

     

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    • The Home Preserving Bible (Living Free Guides)
      The Home Preserving Bible (Living Free Guides)
      by Carole Cancler
      If you're looking for a book that covers every preserving topic imaginable, this is the book for you. It doesn't have a flashy cover or glossy pictures, but it's full of great info. One of my very favorite resources. ~ Brook

    • OXO Good Grips Corn Stripper
      OXO Good Grips Corn Stripper
      OXO

      Last August my friend Kelli asked me if I wanted some fresh corn from her grandpa's garden. I said "Sure....I'd love to make a few jars of Sweet Corn Relish!"
      She showed up 6 hours later with 158 ears. Wasn't sure if I loved her or hated her for it.
      After a long hot day spent cutting kernels off all those cobs with a small paring knife, I decided I'd never be without a Corn Stripper again. ~ Brook

     

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    I have attempted to share safe preserving methods however you alone are responsible for your health & safety in your own kitchen or location. Be aware of current safety recommendations. Please see "Full Disclaimer" page for suggested preserving resources.

    Full Disclaimer

    International Food Blogger Conference 2011 NOLA

    Boiling Water Bath Canner

    Water-Bath Canner

         These canners are made of aluminum or porcelain-covered steel. They have removable perforated racks or wire baskets and fitted lids. The water bath canner must be deep enough so that at least 1 inch of briskly boiling water will be over the tops of jars during processing.

         Some boiling water bath canners do not have flat bottoms. A flat bottom must be used on an electric range. Either a flat or ridged bottom can be used on a gas burner. To ensure uniform processing of all jars with an electric range, the canner should be no more than 4 inches wider in diameter than the element on which it is heated.

    Why Choose Boiling Water Bath Canning to Preserve Food?

         Boiling water bath canning is a safe and economical method of preserving high acid foods. It has been used for decades especially by home gardeners and others interested in providing food storage for their families where quality control of the food is in ones' own hands. Home food preservation also promotes a sense of personal satisfaction and accomplishment. Further, the guesswork is taken out of providing a safe food supply which has been preserved at home when guidelines for operating a water-bath canner are followed exactly, scientifically tested/approved recipes are utilized (1988 or later), and good quality equipment, supplies and produce are used.

    What Foods Are Typically Processed Using a Boiling Water-bath Method and Why?

        High acid foods can be safely processed at temperatures reached in the boiling water bath canner. To kill harmful molds, yeasts, and some bacteria, processing using the boiling water bath method ensures the safety of the preserved produce. Foods such as fruits, pickles, sauerkraut, jams, jellies, marmalades, and fruit butters/spreads fit into the high acid group since they have an acidity, or pH level, of 4.6 or lower. Most tomatoes and tomato products also fit into this category provided current recommendations for acidification* are followed.

        *Acidification: Current recommendations for acidification of whole, crushed, or juiced tomatoes, are to add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid. Four (4) tablespoons of a 5 percent acidity vinegar per quart may be used instead of lemon juice or citric acid. However, vinegar may cause undesirable flavor changes. Add sugar (or salt) to offset acid taste, if desired. This does not effect the acidity of the tomatoes.

    Selecting The Correct Processing Time

         To ensure the safety of food processed the boiling water bath method, use scientifically-tested recipes (dated 1988 or later) to prepare the produce and adjust the processing time for altitude using the chart below. Keep in mind that failing to properly lengthen processing times may result in short-term shelf-life or spoiled food due to the growth of mold, bacteria, and other microorganisms not detected by sight or smell. Food poisoning may result if the spoiled food is eaten.

     

    Boiling Water Bath Canner Altitude Chart

     Normally the processing times given for acidic foods in recipe and canning guides are based on an altitude at or below 1,000 feet above sea level using the Boiling Water Bath method. At altitudes ABOVE 1,000 feet, adjust the processing times according to the cute chart below.


    Steps for Successful Boiling Water Bath Canning:

    1. Fill the canner halfway with water.

    2. Preheat water to 140 degrees F. for raw-packed foods and to 180 degrees F. (simmering with steam) for hot-packed foods. Raw or cold-packed foods are placed directly into hot jars and covered with hot syrup; hot- packed foods are partially cooked or heated through and placed hot into hot jars, and covered with hot syrup. See tested recipes for detailed instructions for various types of produce.

    3. Load filled jars, fitted with lids, into the canner rack and use the handles to lower the rack into the water; or fill the canner, one jar at a time, with a jar lifter.

    4. Add more boiling water, if needed, so the water level is at least 1 inch above jar tops.

    5. Cover with the canner lid and turn heat to its highest position until water boils vigorously.

    6. Set a timer for the number of minutes required for processing the food. (Check tested recipes for specific instructions for jams/jellies and pickles.)

    7. Lower the heat setting to maintain a gentle boil throughout the process schedule.

    8. Add more boiling water, if needed, to keep the water level to above one inch of the jar lids.

    9. When jars have been boiled for the recommended time, turn off the heat and remove the canner lid.

    10. Using a jar lifter, remove the jars and place them on a protected surface, leaving at least 1-inch spaces between the jars during cooling. Keep away from air drafts and let the jars cool at room temperature.

    Sources: Adapted from information in the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning and Ball Blue Book, Guide to Home Canning, Freezing & Dehydration.