Where To Purchase Canning Supplies

Introduction

Canning supplies are available across the country, in all kinds of stores. The first place to check is your local hardware store. Most hardware stores will carry canning supplies year round and have a good variety of jar sizes and tools. Larger hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s also carry canning jars and tools.

You can check your local grocery store; however, grocery stores tend to only stock canning supplies during canning season. The same can be said about home goods stores such as Bed Bath and Beyond and Tractor Supply.

Big box stores like Target and Walmart also carry canning supplies during canning season. If you are lucky, they may also have a few shelves of jars in the off season hidden in the aisles. These stores often have good deals on jars as they can purchase in bulk and pass the savings on to you.

Asian market stall with various dried foods and spices

You can also purchase your canning supplies online and have them delivered directly to your door. Amazon has all types of jars available and they will run coupon specials during canning season, giving you a great price on the jars. The companies that make the canning jars, such as Ball, have their own websites where you can purchase jars and accessories. Many of these company-owned sites will have unique canning tools since the product is coming straight from the company.

Many people have had success finding jars at yard sales or thrift stores. People looking to get rid of their canning jars may bring them to a second-hand store in order to make space in their own cabinet. When buying previously used jars, you should always check for chips or cracks before using them for canning.

Be sure that your canning supplies are up to the most current canning safety standards. While you may want to use your grandma’s old double hinge jars to preserve foods, it may not be the safest option. Be sure you have a canner that is in good condition and equipped with all the newest safety features. Uncover the details of preservation of bioactive compounds during processing.

Website Authorities

There are a few websites that are considered authorities in home canning. It is a good idea to look at these sites periodically to see if any new canning advances have been made.

The first site is freshpreserving.com which is owned by the company who makes Ball and Kerr jars. This site contains tried and true recipes, general information about canning, a store to purchase canning supplies and a forum for home canners to talk and compare recipes and experiences. This is a user-friendly site for anyone, whether they are an experienced canner or a novice.

Sealing a glass jar for canning with box of lids and jars

The National Center for Home Food Preservation is a government-owned website that will give you lots of scientific information about canning at home. If you are interested in the science behind canning and preserving, this is the site for you. There are also many detailed recipes to try. Find it all at nchfp.uga.edu.

Method of meat preservation

Freezing

It’s impossible to go wrong with freezing, except you utilize the unsuitable container or fail to turn on the freezer. Whether you buy meat in large, hunt it, or raise it locally, portioning the cuts and wrapping them in a freezer sheet or using freezer-safe bags or containers requires no effort. Based on the cut and fat concentration, meat kept at 0° F will last longer, but the flavor will deteriorate after four months to a year. When stored in vacuum-sealed containers, the storage life can be doubled or tripled. To avoid freezer damage, eliminate as much air as possible when using freezer sheets or plastic bags. To save storage, stack meat before it freezes.

Freezing has drawbacks. And the drawbacks might be terrible because when it fails, everything fails at the same time. When the electricity goes off, or your appliance fails, you may not notice until brown-reddish fluid oozes from the inside and blowflies swarm near the source of the foul stench. Many homesteaders have found out the hard way that relying only on a freezer is dangerous. Examine your appliances regularly to make sure they’re fully functional. If the door isn’t opened, food in a fully loaded freezer can stay frozen for up to a week, giving you enough time to contact a repair service or rescue the food.

Freeze drying

Home canning supplies with pressure canner and jars on kitchen counter

Freeze-dried foods are one of the greatest survival foods, and they may be organized into single meals that fit within a jar, ready to be hydrated and cooked.  The most convenient way to use this meat preservation technique is to get a freeze-drying device that takes care of most of the work for you.

Place fresh or prepared meats on the unit’s trays by slicing them. The temperature is then dropped to -30° to -50°F, creating a vacuum around the meat. In this vacuum condition, the meat is slowly heated, and all of the liquid in the meat is converted to water vapor and sucked off.

If you don’t want to spend extra cash on a freeze-drying machine, you can freeze-dry using a deep freeze, dry ice, or a vacuum chamber. Some of these procedures can take up to a week and risk freezer damage, resulting in foods that can be dried and kept in pantries.

Dehydrating

Traditional Asian market stall with jars of preserved foods

Drying meat on smooth rocks in the sun, handcrafted hanging racks, and using electrical equipment is one of the ancient meat preservation techniques. However, a dehydrator can be acquired for less than $40 new or considerably less if bought used. Jerky is dried meat that has been steeped in brine and seasonings before being dehydrated. When mastering how to cook venison, it’s common also to learn to create jerky.

Because residual fat can rapidly turn sour and destroy the whole food, dehydrate the thinnest slices of meat and extract it. Slice finely for faster processing; freezing the cuts ahead of time will help you get the thinnest slices possible. If you’re making jerky, soak it for up to 24 hours in acid fluids like vinegar, honey, or beer, along with your selected spices.

To maintain safety, University cooperative extensions recommend pre-cooking meat before dehydrating it. Boil for at least 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 275°F or steam/roast to an internal temperature of 160°F. Preheat the oven to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the meat in a straight line on the racks of a food dehydrator and dry at the highest level. Make sure the internal temperature is atleast145 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow four to six hours for drying before storing in sealed containers.

Although frozen meat usually lasts a year, pairing it with dehydration can extend its storage life to several years. It also helps to preserve space. Just dry your meat as directed above, vacuum seals it, and freeze it. Feel free to learn more about preserving wild foraged foods through fermentation and canning.

Curing

Nitrates have recently earned a poor rap. This is partly because huge amounts of sodium nitrate are hazardous. It is, nevertheless, required for curing meat because salt does not eradicate the risk of botulism, whereas sodium nitrate does. To apply this meat preservation approach, look for “curing salts.” Due to the additional dye, these are referred to as “pink salts,” however they are not similar to Himalayan pink salt.

Dry-curing entails mixing the curing salts with table salt and spices, dry-rubbing meat like pig belly to maintain even covering, and storing in the refrigerator for up to a week. The meat is then carefully cleaned, wrapped in cheesecloth to put pests at bay, and stored for up to eight weeks in a cool, dry area such as a walk-in refrigerator.

Combine a brine with water, table salt, curing salt, spices, and optionally brown sugar to wet-cure meat. For every two pounds of meat, the meat is brined for a day. For large hams, this can take up to a week. Strain the meat on a mesh screen for a day after carefully cleaning it, then store it for up to a month. After smoking, a cured ham becomes much tastier.

Hoof

Have you ever pondered why beef, pork, or venison are the most common classical cured or dried meats? Chicken and rabbit sausages do exist, but they are more uncommon. This is because curing and drying were required for bigger animals.

The simplest way of meat preservation is to feed the animal alive till it is consumed. Rabbits, chickens, and geese can sustain a family for one supper and reach butcher size in a matter of months. “Fat calves” were kept for important events when a large group of neighbors or family could share the animal, and hardly anything went to waste. In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the father requested the bigger calf to be butchered to celebrate his son’s return.

Families who live off the grid may not have the resources to operate multiple freezers to preserve their animals until they are needed. The difficulty of discovering alternate meat preservation methods for cattle or pigs is avoided by raising smaller, more sustainable animals. Smaller animals also enable homesteaders to grow more meat without requiring much land.

If all grownups have a full-time job, raising animals “on the hoof” may not be possible. It takes effort to butcher, prepare, and brine meat.

If power and appliances are more restricted than food or grass, raising the animals alive for a longer period may solve a storage space challenge.

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