Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Oven Canning


I'm huge into canning and dehydrating food, when it goes on sale. Ever since my husband's grandmother gave me her 1950s aluminum pressure cooker, I've been crazy over it! Well, this past week, our local grocery store had a sale on potatoes; $0.99 for 10 pounds of potatoes! Amazing sale, and I knew that I could do some serious dehydrating and freezing for later use. I got 20 pounds, and was happy with that, for now. Until, a friend gave me another 20 pounds of potatoes.

So, now I had 40 pounds of potatoes that I needed to find a solution for storing. I planned on parboiling, and freezing 1/2; making potato wedges and dices. But, I needed a more permanent solution for the other 20 pounds. Storing 20 pounds of dehydrated potatoes in plastic bags didn't sound like a good option; I've had issues with the bags ripping during the year, and there goes all my hard work.

After alot of research, I came across a very interesting idea.  Oven Canning




The first thing I did, to prepare my dehydrated potatoes, was to slice them thin on the mandolin. Then, I parboiled the potatoes for approx. 5 min, then put them into an ice bath. From there, they went onto the drying racks, for the dehydrator. Less then 8 hours later, they were hard as a rock, and ready to be Oven Canned.

To Oven Can:
Preheat your oven to 200* Fahrenheit. Fill a pint, quart, or half gallon size jar with the desired dry goods. You can only oven can dry foods, not wet ones. Do not put the lids on the jars, after filling, and place on a cookie sheet. You can fill your cookie sheet with as many jars as will fit on it, just be careful putting it in the oven! Set the timer for 1 hour, and wait! While the jars are baking, place all your seals and rings into a pot of boiling water. This will start melting the wax on seals, making for a tighter seal. After the timer is done, take 1 jar out of the oven. Taking a damp (not wet) rag, wipe the lip of the jar, and grab a seal out of the water with a pair of tongs. Working quickly, and while holding the jar with a thick towel or oven mitt, put the seal on the jar and screw a ring on, and set on another towel to cool. Continue pulling the hot jars out of the oven, wiping the lips off and and sealing them, as fast as you can. As the jars cool, the seals will suction down, sealing the jar and its contents.

What Can You Oven Can?
Dried goods like rice, oatmeal, whole wheat flour, white flour, potato flakes, pasta and cake mixes can all be canned. Some cereals and dried fruits and vegetables can be oven canned, as long as the cereal does not have nuts in it. Products that can not be oven canned are those who contain oil, as in walnuts and almonds. The oil will go rancid using this method.


There you have it! You have a super simple, and fast, way to store and keep your flour, dehydrated potatoes, or whatever you want, and bugs can't get in! The heat, from the oven, kills any bug eggs, and as the seal attaches, it seals out any air that might rot the food! Our local grocery store is having a massive sale on whole cranberries, this week, so I think the next thing I'll be doing is dehydrating and oven canning some dried cranberries!

Until Next Time,
In2Kermit

55 comments:

  1. SOOOOOO Doing this!!!!!
    - E from church



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  2. Then what do you do with the dehydrated potatoes?

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    1. You can use them in all sorts of recipes. Here's a link on how to rehydrate them, so that you can use them. I like to use them in place of pasta, or in a stroganoff. There are so many possibilities. http://www.ehow.com/how_7764187_cook-dehydrated-sliced-potatoes.html

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  3. Brilliant. I'm going to do this with my dried fruit.

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  4. I am really enjoying your site. I am new to canning and admittedly don't know much. Is this method of canning dry ingredients superior to just using oxygen absorbers? Do the canned items last longer canning this way? I wanted to can some cake mixes that I got on sale (oxygen absorbers)but don't want to mess things up!

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    1. I'm glad you're enjoying the blog! Thank you for your comment. As for using oxygen absorbers, I'm not sure about that. My only thought with oxygen absorbers would be how would you seal the jar to keep bugs out? Oven canning is a way to make sure that your food stays fresh for a long time, and remains bug free. Using glass means that bugs can't get in to the food. Heating the food in the oven means that you will kill any bug eggs and sealing right out of the oven means that the oxygen will be absorbed and your jar will be sealed. I hope this helps!

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    2. Just FYI, an oxygen absorber will also seal the jar tightly as it eliminates all the oxygen. It will take several hours, but you will hear the "ping" sound that happens as the lid is sucked down and the jar is fully sealed. The lack of oxygen in the sealed jar would prevent anything from growing in your dry goods after the jar is sealed.

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    3. Where do you get the oxygen absorbers from?

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    4. I'm not sure, as I have never used them. You could probably buy them online in bulk, though.

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    5. I use my Food Saver with the canning jar attachments and oxygen absorbers. I guess it does the same as the oven canning, but what a great way to do some dry canning.

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    6. This is probably where the food saver would come in handy

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    7. I get mine from mylarbagsdirect.com They aren't expensive at all.

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    8. You can buy the oxygen absorbers on amazon.com. They have different sizes

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  5. My canning question is - can you re-use the canning lids? Or is it better to use new ones every year? I have only canned one garden season and will be building up my supply of jars and lids.

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    1. That's a good question Kara, and the answer is no. The lid part has a special wax like seal on it, that when you boil it, to heat it, it activates the seal. That's why you have to wet your jar with a moist rag, then put the seal on and then the ring to hold the seal on while it cools. If the seal has been put on properly, you should be able to remove the ring, after the jars are cool, and the seal will not give way at all, and make a thud sound when tapped with a spoon. Once that seal is used, it's not safe to try and reuse it. If you have some that are just sitting around, that haven't been used, but are older, they should be fine. Just check to make sure that the wax is still on the lid. Jars and rings can be used over and over, as long as they are not showing signs of fractures or stress. You can buy the replacement lids, for really cheap, at your local Wal-Mart store, where they keep the canning stuff. I hope that helps!

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  6. For what it is worth, it is best not to boil the lids. I let mine simmer in hot water while i am preparing everything else. If you read the ball blue book of canning it specifically states not to boil the lids. On a side note, I cannot wait(!) to try this!

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    1. You're right! I mis-typed. I normally have the water on a medium heat, which heats the lids perfectly. Thank you for correcting my mis-type!

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    2. I heat my lids on 150 in my convestion oven for 5 min, works perfect, just lay them on a flat baking pan, seal side up.I retrieve them with my lid magnet, lay on top of jar and seal with a ring. I don't heat my rings. If you put them into hot water you have to make sure there totally dry before placing on jar.
      gale osborn

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  7. Is it ok to dry can baking powder, soda, and other baking staples?

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    1. I see no reason why not, You can do things like cake mixes, why not baking essentials.

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    2. I would not do this to baking soda or powder, the heat causes a chemical reaction that changes these items. Therefore, I would not recommend it.

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  8. I've seen where people have par-boiled dry beans and then canned them. Those are good for up to 8 months, from what I can tell.
    I'd rather not par-cook my beans. Do you think oven canning would work for rice and dry beans such as pinto, kidney or black beans?

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    1. I would imagine that you could do beans. I would put a note on the bean jar to wash them before using them, unless you want to wash them and dry them before oven canning. Either way, as long as the beans are 100% dry, the baking process will kill any bug eggs that might be there, and the quick canning process will remove any air creating an air tight container.

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    2. I have done several jars of dried pinto, kidney, northern beans and 50 pounds of rice.. I also have done oyster crackers, and oatmeal so far. I did not par boil the beans. Just put them into jars and in the oven as the directions say. Hope this helps.

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  9. How do you prepare the food once you have canned it? Like the potatoes, can you make mashed potatoes with these canned one? Also, the dried foods like flour, rice, etc. Do you skip the first part of the process, since the food is already dry and doesn't need dehydrating, and just start with the oven canning? How long does each of these last in the can?

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    1. You can make mashed potatoes with the dried potatoes. You would just need to rehydrate them first by soaking them in water for awhile. About an hour would do it. As for the flour, etc. you don't need to dehydrate them. Just place them in the clean, dry jars and heat in your oven. As for how long they last, everything I've read says it can last up to 10+ years or more. Since bugs, moisture, and air can't get it, it will last a very long time. I would recommend rotating the stock and make sure to always check every jar before you use it.

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  10. I read some where that oven canning is not safe, dry canning with oxygen absorbers is better, now that just does not make sense to me, if a food is safe in an vacuum sealed jar,with bacteria, how can it not be better to heat the food before it's sealed and the seal is the same because the cooling process vacuum seals.I have all my dry goods oven canned and I'm now oven canning my dehydrated food. I soaked, cooked and dehydrated all kinds of beans and peas, my next project is to oven can dry soup mixes. I will do 1 and check it out to see how it did. gale osborn

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    1. I don't mind the oxgyen absorbers, but I am wary about putting them in food that I've prepped myself. Plus, who knows what chemicals are in them. I don't know why someone would say that oven canning isn't safe- you're right, it doesn't make sense. I would love to have your recipe for dry soup mixes, especially if they don't contain wheat products!

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  11. Just a thought/comment. People asked about using the dried potatoes, made me think about the packages of potato au gratin and other mixes, they seem to me to be dried potato chips. Your description of how you prepare them seems to fit as a substitute. So making an au gratin or other potato casserole just adding some extra liquid would probably work.

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  12. here in Ga, jars are getting expensive, so I want to use what jars I can get for canning liquid--regular foods. If you go to the trouble to dehydrate foods, or using for canning dried foods (rice, beans, etc) then why not just use a "seal a meal" ? My daughter used hers to seal beans, rice, etc. and it seals and removes air and keeps out bugs, etc. The only benefit to oven canning is to kill bug eggs---and that's a scary thought of bug eggs in foods. Anyhow,when she used her "seal a meal" it has an attatchment that can be used on regular mouth jars or one for wide mouth jars..and she used previously used flats because the machine removed the air and made a seal by suction...just my thoughts.

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  13. What about powdered milk? Can it be oven canned and would the shelf life remain about 10 years?

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    1. I have no clue about powdered milk. You could try one, and see if it was still good in a few months. I don't see why it wouldn't work, but being a dairy product I am not convinced. Maybe research how stores seal their powdered milk, for those of us who are preppers. Maybe it would be a better solution. I'm just not sure if the heat would damage the powder, or make it taste funny later.

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    2. I just watched a video where the woman was oven sealing several different things to see how they did, powdered milk and dehydrated veggies didn't do well

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  14. You should heat dried beans flat in the oven without washing before canning this will kill any eggs in the bean.

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    1. I understand that freezing beans, rice, flour, and any other grain for three weeks kills the little critters as well. I'm not positive about it though

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  15. You mentioned you can only oven can dry food but I do have a recipe for oven canned tomatoes. Just for your info!

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  16. Do you just take rice, beans, grits, etc. out of their bags, place in jars and put in over and then seal? I'm new to this. Sounds great.

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    1. That's exactly how I did it! I would wash the beans, then heat them on a cookie sheet in the oven to dry them again, and kill any eggs in the beans. Once it's dry it should be ready to oven can.

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  17. Can you oven can sugar?

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    1. I see no reason why not. I would try a bit and check it in a month to make sure that it was still ok.

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  18. Thank you for the info I have a big family so this will help alot

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  19. Do you need to turn the jars upside down to cool?

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    1. I have never turned my jars upside down to cool. When I can salsa, or anything else, I'll cover them with a towel to avoid them cooling down to fast but that's it. I won't handle the jars anymore than necessary to avoid being burned or breaking them. I've never heard of turning them upside down.

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  20. Here in U K we have been bottling fruits (in syrup, mostly) using the 'oven' method, for ever. I learned to do this at college in the 60s, using the 'Domestic Preservation of Fruit and Vegetables' published by HMSO . Modern preserving books are much prettier, but the method remains the same!

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  21. http://nchfp.uga.edu/questions/FAQ_canning.html#33

    Physical safety and food quality: In the provided directions, the jars are preheated in an oven (dry-heat), which is not recommended for canning jars. Manufacturers of canning jars do not recommend baking or oven canning in the jars. It is very risky with regard to causing jar breakage. There is no guarantee that the jars heated in this dry manner are sufficiently heated to sterilize them, as we do not have data on sterilizing jar surfaces by this dry-heating method.

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  22. If you sprinkle fresh potatoes with salt and other spices before drying you can get a tasty and healthy snack. Just like potato chips, but without chemical preservers, without oil, much better than fried chips when you crave something savory. I do not own a dehydrator, so I have to use microwave to make chips, but it is all about getting rid of any moisture.

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  23. I oven canned powdered milk and it turned brown in the oven. Nothing else did that I canned at the same time, Is it scorched? Does anyone else oven can?

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    1. Ruth, sadly you can not oven can Powdered Milk. It goes bad. You might look at vacuum sealing the milk instead.

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  24. Just came across your blog. I have a question, can I oven can cookie and cake mixes? I scored some on clearance that are close to their use by date. I may have gone a little over board on how many I bought, they were only a $.25.

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    1. I believe that you can. Since it's a powder mix; has no oils, eggs, or other perishables, it should work! I've read that you can oven can cake mixes, so I see no reason why you can't do cookies mixes- as long as it's a powder mix! Good luck!

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  25. Hi In2Kermit!

    That sound like an interesting option to try... - Question: When you say 200° ... Do you mean 200° Farenheit? (That would be about 93° Celsius, I believe ... Here in Germany the ovens work with Celsius)

    Thank you for the great inspiration!
    Much love,
    Steffi

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    1. Yes, I mean Fahrenheit. I'm sorry for the confusion and hope that it works for you!

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  26. I was wondering if you have Oven Canned beans with the season packet. If so do you keep the season packet sealed or do you open and put the season in the bottom of jar or sprinkle on beans?

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    1. I, honestly, have no idea. I do know that you can store seasoning, dry, for awhile without losing flavoring. I have not tried this myself, and would worry that the baking process, that is needed to kill germs and remove air, would burn the flavoring.

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