Canning Resource

For many years I’ve gone to the USDA website for canning info.  As weird as it sounds, and hopefully improbable, there’s always the thought in the back of my head as to what would happen IF we didn’t have the internet.  Just suppose we moved to some remote location . . oh, wait . . that happened!  🙂  Seriously, even if there wasn’t some big problem that knocked out the internet, my own internet could be down just when I need to can something so when I saw that the info on the USDA website had been published in a book, I ordered it.  It’s available for less than $10 at Amazon and there’s also a Kindle edition for about $3.

This is a great resource and even for those who have not canned but are thinking about it, you might want to see if your local library has it so you can thumb through it and see if it’s something you want to buy.  It includes the most basic items that most of us definitely want to can — fruits, tomatoes, veggies, meats, pickled items and jams and jellies.  Of all the canning books I have seen, I would consider this book to be the one I’d have to have if I could have only one book.

I’m often asked questions about canning but the one I’m asked the most is . . why can instead of freeze?  I think foods last so much longer and taste better when canned.  The power can go out for weeks and my canned goods are just fine.  Last fall when I bought fresh chickens from the Amish, I froze a few and canned most of them.  If you’re thinking YUCK . . you would be amazed.  The canned chicken is so much more flavorful for gumbo, enchiladas, casseroles, etc. because it was canned with onions and a few seasonings.  The canned chicken made the move with me.  The frozen chickens were given to Chad.  In fact, everything that was in my freezer had to be used or given away before the move and the canned goods . . they’re right here with me . . loving Texas!  🙂

I now have a gas stove, and Vince has ordered a 500 gallon propane tank to replace the 250 gallon tank, and we’ve ordered a regular vent to go over the stove . . out with the microwave! I’m going to be canning everything I can get my hands on.


  1. 1

    Gwen says

    I’ve never done much canning. The pickles, jams, and jellies I have put were not processed for long term keeping. Just very small batches for short term use. I want to try doing some candied jalepenos! I have eaten some recently and enjoyed there. There are a couple of recipes on Pioneer Woman’s Tasty Kitchen site. I am thinking I will use the side burner on the propane grill for processing. This will keep the heat out of the kitchen which can still be a problem in December in San Antonio.

    • 1.1

      Elizabeth says

      Hello Gwen, It is funny that I am talking at you since I rarely read the comments. I just have to tell you that Judy’s canned jalepenos recipe is absolutely divine. I made it last year and have had friends tell me that they eat some just straight from the jar. I will put it on our homemade pizzas as my hubby likes them hot. Glad you are having warm weather. We just finished a weekend with lows of minus 20 to minus 30 degrees C. here in Alberta

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    I’ll have to check this out. Years ago I wanted to can some homemade soup. I called the local extension office for some information and apparently I reached someone younger than me for she just didn’t get it. She said “cook it in the canner” — well, I was trying to preserve the leftover soup I already made. So, maybe I didn’t get it. Needless to say, the only thing I’ve “canned” since then is cranberry sauce.

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    pdudgeon says

    i agree with you, Judy. with the price of food going up and up, canning or drying and rehydrating your food will make as much sense as having a large quilting fabric and yarn stash.
    if i had a spare room, a garden plot, and a vent over my stove i’d do the same thing now. when i did have those things i went thru more than 12 dozen pints in a canning season.
    My daughter said recently that she still remembers the smell of the kitchen in Summer, when we were canning tomatoes.

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    Just a few days ago, I canned 14 pints of venison. On the day of the butchering, I opened 4 jars of home canned beef stew to feed the helpers. Good, healthy, inexpensive lunch.

    Thanks to your encouragement a few years ago, I am now canning more that I ever did in the past and I thought I did a lot then.

  5. 8


    Hi Judy,

    I was just chatting with a friend yesterday about canning. When our children were young (and I was thrilled to be a SAHM), money…to say the least…was tight.

    I was always domestic and my mother canned fruits and vegetables when I was young, I was eager to try my hand at home canning.

    I canned EVERYTHING I could get my hands on. I went to farm and picked veggies, went to the farmer’s markets and bought up local produce, and of course if anyone with a garden had an overabundance…there I was, ready and eager to take the extras off their hands.

    My children never had store-bought soup. I would make vegetable beef, chicken, bean…pack it into jars and process it. I was famous for my soups and my frugality. One year, my brother had been hunting raccoons for pelts (and doing what I considered to be the “right” thing and cleaned them and put them in the freezer. I was never a hunter, but if you’re going to hunt, you should consume everything, not just the money-making pelts.

    As I mentioned, money was tight and he offered me a raccoon. I at first said “NO!”, but then thought about it and said…of course, I’d use it instead of beef for my soup that year.

    So, after cooking and picking those carcasses, we ate “MOCK BEEF” soup that whole winter. I never told my hubby and kids…I knew what they would say, but they never knew.

    I was always very proud when my canned goods were all lined up and my pantry was full. I loved knowing just what was in the food that I prepared for my family.

    I’ve not canned for several years now. but one of my daughters is a SAHM. I think next year we’ll be canning up a storm.

  6. 9

    Sharon says

    We are just starting our canning journey. I have ordered this book. Nice to see others beleive in good food storage.

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    Robin says

    Thanks for all your info on canning, this looks like a wonderful resource! I am a young wife and mother who has just started canning this year and I love it. I just made applesauce last month, this summer it was tomatoes and pickles. I love reading all of your stories and info on how you do things. I’m looking forward to you getting in your new kitchen, you’ll have plenty of new things to share with everyone then. 🙂

  8. 12

    Darlene S says

    Judy, I wish I were 10 years younger and had more energy to do all the things you do. I have done quite a bit of canning in the last 5 years, but did not put out a garden the last 2 since getting a long arm. Now my free time is quilting for others to pay it off and earn a little $$. Not sure it’s ending up that way though. 🙂 My grandma and mother both used the Ball Blue Book Complete Guide to canning and Preserving, so that’s what I use too. I have the latest edition since some techniques have changed for more safety. Wonder what the differences are with the USDA book and the Ball one.

  9. 13

    JoAn GODFREY says

    i have always used the BALL canning book, mostly because that is what mom used and we live in indiana. i didn’t know of any others.

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    I love canning… and I’m amazed at the resurgence of canning nowadays. It’s great to see young Mothers trying their hand. My favorite is pressure canning bean soups/w smoked ham. I generally have one of my daughters or a friend helping in the kitchen. Much more fun with another person!

  11. 16

    Sherry says

    Judy, I’d love to learn to can but I’m really afraid of doing something wrong and poisoning the whole family. But, I might look to see if our library has the book. I never thought I could learn to quilt but I’m learning. Maybe I can learn to can.

  12. 17

    Jenny Day says

    Why is it called canning when you use jars?
    PS LOVE the new look of the blog!