If you're looking for successful canning and freezing tips, you've come to the right place. Canning and freezing are great ways to preserve food, but there are a few things you need to know to do it right. With these tips, you'll be able to can and freeze like a pro.
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Successful Canning and Freezing Tips
Canning and freezing are popular ways to preserve foods, especially summer's bounty. They're both ways to prevent waste and save money.
But things can go wrong, and sometimes your efforts to can and freeze don't turn out too well. Here are some tips for successful canning and freezing.
Foods of the Season
For the best bet at success, preserve seasonal, local foods. Start with your own garden and greenhouse!
They are fresher and more nutritious. You know exactly what has gone into growing this food. If you aren't growing them yourself I recommend going to a local farmers market to get fresh, local fruits and vegetables.
If you are freezing fresh food, blanching the food before freezing it can up your success rates considerably.
To blanch foods, dip them in boiling water for a few minutes, then remove them quickly and plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking process.
Blanched foods keep their color, flavor, and texture better than those that are frozen when raw.
Getting the air out of preserved foods is essential. In canned goods, you can tap the bottom of the jar sharply on the kitchen counter to release air bubbles.
For Ziploc bags, use a straw to carefully suck the air out of the bag. This works amazingly well. Maybe someday I'll own a vacuum sealer so I can ditch the straw.
If there is a sale on produce at your local market or grocery store, canning and freezing are excellent ways to keep that wonderful money-saver from going to waste.
I have bought peppers on sale and dehydrated too. I saved a ton of money and have peppers on hand whenever we want or need them.
Preserve in Small Batches
Success is more likely if you do a small batch at a time. You are more than likely not harvesting enough to do full batches from your own garden. Unless you plant way too many cucumbers each year like me.
When it comes to freezing your foods, the colder the temperature, the better.
This means that you may need to invest in a deep freezer rather than using your refrigerator's freezer. Deep freezers keep the temperature lower than the average fridge freezer, and the colder the temperature, the longer the food can be kept.
What is Freezer Burn?
Freezer burn is a term for the moisture lost from frozen food.
Why Does Food Get Freezer Burn?
There are two main reasons why your meat and frozen foods get freezer burn.
- The food stayed in a frozen space for so long that a lot of the water molecules moved off of it.
- The meat wasn’t wrapped securely before it went into the freezer.
The importance of cleanliness in preserving foods – especially canning – cannot be overemphasized.
It's so important that you follow your canning recipe closely and that you update it. Make sure you use sterilized everything that you are using and is going to be touching your food, that means jars, jar tops, funnel, and tongs.
It's frustrating when you're in the middle of a canning or freezing project and you find you need a piece of equipment. And then you may not be able to find it!
Gather all your necessary equipment together before starting. This is so important! Not only does it break your concentration and groove, but you also risk ruining your hard work.
Make sure you label everything! I know right now you know what is in those jars. But what happens six months down the road? Save yourself time right now and label. Or like me, set your kids up labeling them for you.