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,