Survival Guide: The Book All Survivalist and Preppers Need ( 3 in 1 ) (2016)

Book 1

Survival

Chapter 2: Canning and Preserving

The science behind canning equates to trying to do your best to preserve the canned item in a state of maximum freshness. There are two main types of canning, water bath canning and pressure canning. Water bath canning is a great place to start as it will give you access to a wide variety of items including, pickles, tomatoes, jellies, jams and more all without having to invest in specific canning equipment. Pressurized canning on the other hand, is a bit more of an advanced technique but lets you tackle a much wider variety of products including meats.

Regardless of the methods you employ while canning it is important to always start with as fresh and high quality of food as possible. It is equally important to check and ensure food is without blemish before canning as anything already starting to turn will have a shorter shelf-life. Ideally, it is best to can an item within 12 hours after it has been harvested to ensure maximum freshness and the longest shelf life. When it comes to fruit however, they should be left to ripen for an additional 24 hours before canning.

When not handled properly, canning can be dangerous, leading to poisoning or even death. Ensure you only used approved canning methods and never attempt to can things using a steam canner, microwave, pot without a lid or the oven. Hot jars do not get hot enough to seal themselves properly. When in doubt, seek out a recipe and always check your cans and jars for any visible irregularities. If the lid of your jar or can has begun to bulge, throw it out.

How to pack properly

Before it comes time to choose a canning process however, it is important you prepare your food for canning in the best way possible.

·          Raw packing is a process whereby fresh foods are placed in the jar immediately before the jars are sealed. This method is appropriated for vegetables which will be finished with a pressure canning system.

·          Hot-packing is a process more appropriate for a wider variety of foods. It involves placing food in water before bringing it to a boil and letting the food simmer for a few minute before placing the food in the jars. This practice has been show to help decrease the amount of air the food holds in its tissue which will help it last longer. The heat also helps the jar seal more tightly.

Water bath canning

What you will need

·          Thongs that can lift the jars out of the water

·          Something long and sturdy enough to pull jar lids and rings from the water

·          A funnel

·          2 pots big enough to fully submerge your jars

·          A spatula

·          A ladle

·          A thermometer

What to do

1.                    Find a recipe and read it thoroughly before starting.

2.                    Fill the pot with water and place it on the stove to allow it to boil.

3.                    Fill the second pot of water will water and allow it to boil before adding your jars and lids and letting them boil for at least ten minutes.

4.                    Remove a jar from the water and fill it based on what the recipe says.

5.                    Ensure all air bubbles are properly removed.

6.                    Clean the mouth of the jar in preparation for adding the lid.

7.                    Carefully place the ring and lid on the jar and seal it as tightly as possible.

8.                    Place the jar in the first pot, cover it and boil at 212 degrees Fahrenheit for the amount of time specified in the recipe.

9.                    Ensure the vacuum seal on each jar is tight.

Tips

· Never use more than 6 cups of fruit when making preserves if you want it to properly set.

· Two tablespoons of white vinegar will sterilize hard water.

· After you have finished with your jars do not jostle them for at least 24 hours to prevent botulism.

· If your jars do not pop after 24 hours they are not sealed properly.

· Never use vinegar with more than 5 percent acidity

· Never use lids more than once.

· Processing time varies by altitude, from 1000 to 3000 feet you need to add 5 minutes, between 3 and 6 thousand feet you need to add 10 minutes, between 6 and 8 thousand feet you need to add 15 minutes and above that you need to add 20 minutes.

Pressure canning

When pressure canning most of the tools you will need are the same as water bath canning except of course for the pressure canner itself. There are a wide variety of pressure cookers available but it is important to get one that is large enough to hold at least four 1-quart jars in order to ensure it is powerful enough to meet your canning needs.

What to do

1.                    Fill the pressure canner with an average three quarts of water, it is important to ensure it does not run dry during the process. The jars do not need to be completely submerged when using this type of canning.

2.                    Jars and seals do not need to be sterilized first, just washed and cleaned, they do need to be kept hot before they are filled however. Keeping the jars and seals in the dishwasher after they have been cleaned is enough heat. Placing a few inches of boiling water in each also works.

3.                    Fill the jars as specified in the recipe before placing them in the rack of the pressure cooker.

4.                    Cover the cooker and heat to the boiling point.

5.                    Allow 10 minutes for the steam to vent properly before closing the vent to let the pressure build to the correct amount.

6.                    After the pressure has reached the right point you will leave if for the amount of time specified in the recipe.

7.                    Let the jars cool completely, this should take about 12 hours

The amount of pressure you will need your pressure canner to exert varies based on your altitude and whether you have a dial gauge or a weighted gauge canner.

For dial gauge canners in you are between 0 and 2 thousand feet you should put the dial at 11. For between 2 and 4 thousand feet you should put the dial to 12. Between 4 and 6 thousand feet you should put the dial to 13. Between 6 and 8 thousand feet you should set the dial to 14 and between 8 and 10 thousand feet you should set the dial to 15.

When using a weighted gauge canner if you are between 0 and 1 thousand feet you should set your canner to 10. If you are between 1 and 10 thousand feet, you should set your canner to 15.

Canning Fruit

Apples

All types of apples can be canned, Jona-Golds, Granny Smith, and Gala apples can the best.  Apples can be canned using the water bath method.

What you’ll need

·          19 lbs. of apples equals about 7 quarts

·          Canning syrup made by heating water and sugar together in a pan, a light syrup is made with a quart of water and two cups of sugar and a medium syrup is made with 3 cups of sugar.

What to do

·          Prepare the apples for canning, add them and the syrup in a pot and let it boil.

·          Leave .5 inches of head space when you fill the jars.

·          Ensure you remove all of the air bubbles and clean the mouth of the jars.

·          When you are ready to submerge the jars, both quart and pint jars should be submerged for 20 minutes.

Cherries

The process for canning sweet cherries is the same as that for canning sour cherries.

What you’ll need

1o lbs. of cherries should fit in 4 quart jars. Cherries can either be pitted or not.

·          Canning syrup made by heating water and sugar together in a pan, a light syrup is made with a quart of water and two cups of sugar and a medium syrup is made with 3 cups of sugar.

What to do

·          Fill the jars with cherries and syrup so there is .5 inches of space left in each jar.

·          Leave .5 inches of head space when you fill the jars.

·          Ensure you remove all of the air bubbles and clean the mouth of the jars.

·          When you are ready to submerge the jars, both quart and pint jars should be submerged for 25 minutes.

Peaches

What you’ll need

·          It takes about 2.5 lbs. of peaches to fit in a quart jar.

·          Canning syrup made by heating water and sugar together in a pan, a light syrup is made with a quart of water and two cups of sugar and a medium syrup is made with 3 cups of sugar.

What to do

·          Peel the peaches by first placing them in boiling water for 45 seconds before removing them directly to cold water bath to prevent them from cooking further.

·          Prepare the peaches for canning and cover with syrup quickly to prevent browning.

·          Peaches can be either raw or hot-packed

·          If raw-packing fill the jars as you go, adding hot syrup as the jar is finished to prevent browning.

·          If hot-packing cut the peaches and let them fall directly into hot syrup. When you are ready to pack them leave .5 inches of head space when you fill the jars.

·          Ensure you remove all of the air bubbles and clean the mouth of the jar

·          When you are ready to submerge the jars, if you raw-packed then pint jars should be left for 25 and quart jars for 30 minutes. If you hot-packed, then cut five minutes off of the time.

Apricots

Apricots do not to be peeled before canning if you chose to raw-pack them.

What you’ll need

·          1o lbs. of apricots fit in 9 pint jars.

·          Canning syrup made by heating water and sugar together in a pan, a light syrup is made with a quart of water and two cups of sugar and a medium syrup is made with 3 cups of sugar.

What to do

·          Prepare the apricots for canning by cutting them in half, when you place them in the jar ensure they are facedown to fit the most into each jar.

·          Fill the jars with cherries and hot syrup so there is .5 inches of space left in each jar.

·          Leave .5 inches of head space when you fill the jars.

·          Ensure you remove all of the air bubbles

·          When you are ready to submerge the jars, the pints will take 25 minutes while the quarts will take 30.

Berries

The process for canning all berries is the same, softer berries should always be raw-packed though harder berries can be hot-packed as well.

What you’ll need

·          15 lbs. of berries should fit in 4 quart jars.

·          Canning syrup made by heating water and sugar together in a pan, a light syrup is made with a quart of water and two cups of sugar and a medium syrup is made with 3 cups of sugar.

What to do

·          Prepare the berries for canning.

·          If hot-packing: add .25 cups of sugar for every quart of berries and then let the results sit for three hours. Heat the results until liquid starts flowing.

·          Fill the jars so there is .5 inches of space left in each jar.

·          Leave .5 inches of head space when you fill the jars.

·          Ensure you remove all of the air bubbles

·          When you are ready to submerge the jars, both quart and pint jars should be submerged for 20 minutes.

Canning Vegetables

Always use a pressure canner when it comes to canning vegetables.

Tomatoes

What you need

·          On average 10 tomatoes will fit in a quart jar.

·          Canning Salt

What to do

·          Prepare the tomatoes for canning by either removing the skin or leaving it on.

·          Place 1 tsp. salt in each quart jar.

·          Fill each jar with tomatoes, leaving .5 inches of headspace when filling the jars. When you are packing the jars be sure to push down to ensure they are canned in their own juices.

·          Ensure you remove all of the air bubbles and place the lids on the jars.

·          Let the pressure canner go for 25 minutes. If you are at an altitude of between

Green Beans

Green Beans can be either hot-packed or raw--packed

What you need

·          On average 10 lbs. of green beans fill 8 quart jars.

·          Canning Salt

What to do

·          Prepare the beans for canning before cleaning them and breaking each been in half for easier storage.

·          Place 1 tsp. salt in each quart jar.

·          To hot-pack ensure you let the beans boil for five minutes before draining and loosely packing in the jar and adding boil water on top. Leave 1 inch of space at the top of each jar.

·          To raw-pack fill each jar as full of beans as possible before adding the boiling water and leaving 1 inch of space at the top of each jar.

·          Ensure you remove all of the air bubbles and place the lids on the jars.

·          Let the pressure canner go for 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quarts.

Corn

Canned corn is a bit of an acquired taste. It tends to take much longer to can then other varieties of vegetable.

What you need

·          On average 32 lbs. will fill 7 quart jars.

·          Canning Salt

What to do

·          Prepare the corn for canning by blanching it before placing it in cool water right away. Blanching makes it easier to remove from the cob

·          Place 1 tsp. salt in each quart jar.

·          To hot-pack ensure you let the beans boil for five minutes before draining and loosely packing in the jar and adding boil water on top. Leave 1 inch of space at the top of each jar.

·          To raw-pack pack each jar lightly before adding the boiling water and leaving 1 inch of space at the top of each jar.

·          To hot-pack, simmer the kernels for 4.5 minutes before packing them into the jars and adding the boiling water to ensure there is 1 inch of empty space at the top of the jar.

·          Ensure you remove all of the air bubbles and place the lids on the jars.

·          Let the pressure canner go for 55 minutes for pints and 1 hour and 25 minutes for quarts.

Carrots

It is important to always peel your carrots to decrease your risk of botulism.

What you need

·          On average it takes 2.5 pounds of carrots to fill a quart jar.

·          Canning Salt

What to do

·          Prepare the carrots for canning by washing, peeling and chopping

·          Place 1 tsp. salt in each quart jar.

·          To hot-pack, simmer the carrots for 4.5 minutes before lightly packing the jars and covering them with boiling water. Leave 1 inch of space at the top of each jar.

·          To raw-pack fill each jar as full of carrots as possible before adding the boiling water and leaving 1 inch of space at the top of each jar.

·          Ensure you remove all of the air bubbles and place the lids on the jars.

·          Let the pressure canner go for 25 minutes for pints and 30 minutes for quarts.

Potatoes

It is important to always peel your potatoes to decrease your risk of botulism

What you need

·          On average 10 lbs. of potatoes will fill 7 quart jars.

·          Canning Salt

What to do

·          Prepare the potatoes for canning by washing, peeling and chopping

·          Place 1 tsp. salt in each quart jar.

·          After cutting the potatoes place them in boiling water long enough so they become hot but not fully cooked.

·          Fill your jars with potatoes and cover with boiling water so that each jar is left with 1 inch of space at the top

·          Ensure you remove all of the air bubbles and place the lids on the jars.

·          Let the pressure canner go for 35 minutes for pints and 40 minutes for quarts.

Caning Salsa

Canning salsa is just like canning any vegetable and should only be considered when using a pressure canner.

What’s in it

·          Tomato (4 chopped)

·          Lime juice (1 tsp.)

·          Salt to taste

·          Corn (2 ears chopped)

·          Garlic (2 cloves chopped)

·          Jalapeno (2 chopped)

·          Yellow onion (1 chopped)

·          Cherry tomato (1 cup chopped)

·          Purple onion (1 chopped)

How’s it made

·          Mince the garlic, jalapenos, peppers and onions and dice the larger tomatoes.

·          Cook the corn for five minutes before removing the corn from the cob.

·          Mix everything together before placing it into jars lightly packed and adding boiling water so that there is one inch of space left at the top of the jar.

·          Let the pressure canner go for 35 minutes for pints and 40 minutes for quarts.

Canning Soup

When canning soup, it is important to always pressure can it. Likewise, ensure that you do not add any thickeners, milk, cream, flour, rice or noodles to the cans, rather add them before the soup is served. If you soup includes peas or beans, ensure they are cooked before they are canned. The only safe ingredients for canned soup are those that are safe to can by themselves and only can soups before they are pureed.

What to do

·          Cook any approved vegetables and meats.

·          If you are making a bean soup boil the beans for two minutes before removing them from the heat source and letting them sit for an hour or so before draining.

·          Mix all of the soup ingredients together before letting the result boil before letting it simmer for 4.5 minutes.

·          Fill each jar 50 percent full of broth and 50 percent full of solid ingredients, while leaving about 1 inch of space at the top of each jar.

·          Ensure you remove all of the air bubbles and place the lids on the jars.

·          Let the pressure canner go for 60 minutes for pints and 75minutes for quarts. If you are making seafood soup, ensure that regardless of the size of the jar the pressure canner goes for 2 hours.

Canning Meat

When canning meat, it is important to remember a few important things. Always start by ensuring that the cut of the meat is as free from fat, gristle and bruising as possible. When meat is raw-packed though it can also be hot-packed in broth. Finally, you must never attempt to can meat without a pressure canner and always allow the pressure canner to run for the full amount of time listed in the recipe despite the times seeming quite long.

Canning Fish

Fish can either be canned in either half-pint jars or pint jars.

What you need

·          Fish of your choice

·          1 cup of salt

What to do

·          Prepare the fish for canning in the same way you would prepare it for eating before soaking it in a gallon of water mixed with a cup of salt for one hour.

·          Let the fish drain for at least 8 minutes

·          Raw-pack the fish with the skin facing the glass with 1 inch of space at the top of the glass.

·          Ensure you remove all of the air bubbles and place the lids on the jars.

·                 Let the pressure canner go for 100 minutes for both half-pints and pint jars.

Chicken

This same technique can be used for game birds, turkey, goose, duck and rabbit as well as chicken. This recipe is designed with raw-packing in mind and works for meat with bones and without.

What you need

·          Meat of your choice

What to do

·          Prepare the chicken by separating it at the joints, debone and deskin as desired.

·          Pack the meat into a hot jar while taking care to leave an inch of space at the top of each jar. You don’t need to add water the meat will create its own juice. Adding boiling water or broth is also common

·          Ensure you remove all of the air bubbles and place the lids on the jars.

·          The pressure canner will can meat with bones faster than meat without. Bone-in meat should be left in the pressure canner for an hour and 5 minutes for pints and for an hour and 15 minutes for quart jars. Boneless meat should be left in the pressure canner for 1 hour and 15 minutes for pints and an hour and a half for quart jars.

Beef

This recipe will work when attempting to can venison, elk, pork and beef.

Canning Fish

Fish can either be canned in either half-pint jars or pint jars.

What you need

·          Meat of your choice

·          3 tsp. of canning salt

·          Broth of the meat to pack it in

What to do

·          Brown the meat to prepare it for canning before adding the salt and onions or garlic to taste. Cook everything until the vegetables have begun to tenderize.

·          Pack the hot meat in the jars before adding the hot broth on top making sure to leave an inch of room at the top of each jar.

·          Ensure you remove all of the air bubbles and place the lids on the jars.

·          Let the pressure canner go for 90 minutes for quart jars and 75 minutes for pint jars.