Win a copy of Straw Bale Building Details this week in the Straw Bale House forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Anne Miller
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
stewards:
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Burra Maluca
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Mike Barkley
  • Shawn Klassen-Koop
  • Pearl Sutton

Weekly canning, in lieu of refrigeration  RSS feed

 
pollinator
Posts: 8159
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
615
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Weekly canning, in lieu of refrigeration
.......
This is something I'm exploring more for others than for myself, since I can afford a good freezer. Most of the people I know in the Philippines cannot afford a freezer and don't have the ability to generate their own power, to make sure that it always runs. But if I can find a way to make this work really well, it could become our wet storage method as well.
.......
I will be living part time for now and hopefully pretty much full within a couple years, in a tropical location. There's a 12 month harvest, so no real need to store most foods for very long. There are always plenty of things in season, and a few things like rice and beans are easy to store dry.

 But with some things, its just convenient to not have to cook them every day. Meats are a problem, particularly if you slaughter your own and the size of the animal dictates that it won't be eaten fast enough to prevent spoilage.

I'm looking at alternatives to refrigeration, that don't involve drying or pickling.

These are food that must be cooked anyway, so canning seems a sensible choice. Imagine that we kill a few chickens or a turkey. Normally it must all be eaten by the next day. Birds are often boiled and then used as soup base. All of the meat could be cooked up in a great big triple size Dutch oven and then put into the largest mason jars. Let it cool and we are done.

Now it will be simple to chop up whatever vegetables we want in our soup, on a daily basis and pop open a can of already cooked and spiced chicken and broth, which will be the main flavoring. I am good at making chicken soup and I don't mind having it eight days a week, or until it runs out and we slaughter a turkey or pig.

This seems like something that would save fuel, as compared to cooking a whole bunch of separate batches of chicken.  Most importantly, no refrigeration is needed.

The only problem I can see with it as that most canning  is done with glass jars and there's a good possibility that they could be broken, if I'm not the one handling them. I wonder if there are any stainless steel canning jars? I'd like to be able to can up to a gallon in one container. I'm pretty sure glass jars are limited in size, because of the possibility of them shattering with heat stress.
.......
 I started on this a few days ago and this morning I stumbled upon the answer
.......
Use a thermos that develops a vacuum seal while cooling. The word "thermos" is a genericized trademark used as a name for a vacuum flask. I'm so used to that company name that I had to really think about what it actually is called.

I'm not sure if they make thermos items that give a high-quality seal that would ensure safe storage. I could see getting everything up to temperature, and then filling a big thermos container, so that the product could finish cooking over several hours as it cools. Provided that we reach boiling temperature and everything is sanitary,  I think this will be safe. But then my canning experience is very limited,  stirring things for my mom when I was little. I think as a precaution, I would want to super clean the thermos and after the meat is put in, pour boiling water all around the rim so that some goes into the food and some goes into the sink, as a means of making sure that there are no food particles to ruin the seal. Some of these containers are made of a sort of plastic. That's not the type I would use. I would like to use either the ones made from glass or from stainless steel. Obviously the stainless steel ones would be more durable. It's pretty straightforward to sterilize stainless steel and the material going in will be boiling hot. So it would seem that any risk, comes from a compromised seal.

 What do you think of this? How safe do you think it will be? Do you believe that good quality thermos equipment is suitable for short-term canning or for any type of canning?

Thank you.
 
gardener
Posts: 2376
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
401
forest garden trees woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What I know is that home canning in general is considered by food safety experts to be "safe" only when conducted in standard containers according to prescribed recipes at standardized pressures for measured times, because only thus can there be any sort of assurance (as in, repeatable lab checks of the procedure) that it won't lead to botulism in the food.  Botulism is a silent odorless flavorless killer, and an ugly death.  So usually in threads like this, people land pretty fast with urgent demands that you desist from the mere contemplation of any experimentation.  

I'm a bit more relaxed in my thinking, myself; but it's important to get the food safety orthodoxy spelled out for everybody's protection right at the top of the thread.  Ask any expert the question you have asked, and they will turn purple and try to sneak into your house at night to steal all the containers that can hold a seal.

That said, you can still easily get glass canning jars in up to half-gallon sizes.  And in quart sizes, they are quite durable.  It's not impossible to break them, but they don't break easily or often with reasonable care in handling.  I feel like you're borrowing trouble you don't need, trying to move away from them.

I do have the feeling (without looking it up) that the larger sizes are in disfavor (in the food safety books) due to difficulty of ensuring even temperatures at the middle of the jar.  You may not find standard approved canning recipes for larger than quart jars.

 
gardener
Posts: 1521
Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
491
bee books food preservation forest garden cooking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am not sure of safety of your method, but I really like this container design. It's a half gallon.


Amazon link.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2200
333
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Boiling temperature may not be adequate. Well, its adequate for what needs water bathed,  but not for those food items which needs pressure canned. It gets confusing though, because the meat is at the higher temperature and adding it to the thermos should increase that temperature to kill the stuff that lives at boiling temps.

Its a buyer beware kind of thing. I personally like the research done with mason jars. If breakage was in issue i would enclose the jars in a silicone sock. I have seen them available to convert a mason jar into a travel mug.
 
Dan Boone
gardener
Posts: 2376
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
401
forest garden trees woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There may be some overlap between the discussion you want to have here, and the discussion we had in the thread about pressure-canning ready-to-eat grain/beans meals: https://permies.com/t/56961/kitchen/Pressure-canning-pulses

And you probably saw this the first time, but for folks new to the topic there's a lot of general information on canning safety (and some on why canning experimentation is controversial) in this thread:
https://permies.com/t/57622/kitchen/hard-canning
 
Posts: 50
Location: San Vicente Creek watershed, California Coastal range, 2400ft
11
building fiber arts goat homestead solar wood heat
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It is almost that easy, but you need to buy a pressure canner.  It is not safe to just boil it and leave it unrefrigerated in jars.

I have pressure canned chicken meat and broth and then it is shelf stable for years.  And, yes, it is then easy to open a can of cooked chicken and use in the nights dinner.  The other good thing about pressure canning is that it makes the old chickens tender.  It makes it easy to have edible meat from a 10 year old laying hen.  

What we have done here is to cut the raw chicken off the bones and put into the jars, we mix white meat and dark, so there are cut pieces, chunks.  Nothing else is added, salt if you want although you can salt when you open and use.  It will release its own juice when it is pressure canned.  Then, we take the heads, feet, bones, skin and cook for a long time to make broth, put in some cider vinegar to help get minerals out of bones. Let it strain, let the broth cool and take the fat off of the top, that fat needs to be used, refrigerated to use, or frozen, you don't want to can with alot of fat as it can migrate up and ruin the seal on the jar.  There will be some fat left in the broth.  So this broth can be pressure canned to use later.  Then you can take any meat that you strained out and use it or feed it and the skin to the dogs.  

This pressure canned broth and meat is now shelf stable for years and is then "fast food" for when you need it

I own the All American canner, in 2 sizes as I later found a small one at a garage sale.  My big one is the skinner one and is taller and can take 2 levels at once.  I do this on an electric range, one with exposed coils, not glass top.  A smaller one will take less energy if you are only doing a small amount of jars.  There a couple videos here to demonstrate how they differ and work https://www.lehmans.com/category/pressure-canners  .

 There is also a counter top electric pressure cooker that double as a pressure canner if you are only doing a couple jars at a time, for example, to safely can that nights leftovers.  http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/todays-tsp-amazon-item-of-the-day
 
Dale Hodgins
pollinator
Posts: 8159
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
615
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It's looking like maybe this isn't a big labor saver. I got to a place with Wi-Fi and watched some videos. Extreme Caution must be taken. That pretty much rules it out for everyone I've seen cook a meal in the Philippines. I watched just about every food safe rule be broken. I don't think they need me to introduce the idea of growing botulism.

I can see that jar cooking, could still be of value when they are going to be stored in the refrigerator, just a few degrees above freezing. This would allow pressure cooking of tough birds and fast food for me, for up to about 10 days. I've done this with stuff that wasn't pressure cooked and never had an issue. Botulism thrives in anaerobic conditions. So if the jars are simply stored in the fridge, it will be an oxygen-rich environment. I've heard it before but I had no idea how heat resistant botulism is. I guess it's a good thing I haven't done any canning.
 
pollinator
Posts: 337
Location: Denmark 57N
50
food preservation fungi cooking trees foraging
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Now I will start by saying I do not preserve meat or anything that is not acidic or sugary but in the UK and here in Denmark no one even considers "water bathing" jars are filled with boiling jam or pickles, and then closed often they are left to cool and THEN closed so the fruit is better distributed. This is normal practice and will be found advised in published books and seen on TV. Also the jars are not what Americans call jars, they are normally reused jam jars with reused lids.
I make and sell preserves and there is no requirement to waterbath them, only that they must be in new jars and new lids, and sold direct to the consumer.  In Denmark they expect preserves to contain Sodium benzoate which actually makes waterbathing impossible as it decays at 100C. For my personal consumption I do not add this but anything that might be sold does get it. As to recipes there are no "Official" recipes.

I do think that preserving meat by canning would be a lot of extra work in the society you are talking about, would older methods like salting or pickling work better, or would be end result not be to anyone's taste?

 
Debi Baker
Posts: 50
Location: San Vicente Creek watershed, California Coastal range, 2400ft
11
building fiber arts goat homestead solar wood heat
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Skandi Rogers wrote:Now I will start by saying I do not preserve meat or anything that is not acidic or sugary but in the UK and here in Denmark no one even considers "water bathing" jars are filled with boiling jam or pickles, and then closed often they are left to cool and THEN closed so the fruit is better distributed. This is normal practice and will be found advised in published books and seen on TV. Also the jars are not what Americans call jars, they are normally reused jam jars with reused lids.
I make and sell preserves and there is no requirement to waterbath them, only that they must be in new jars and new lids, and sold direct to the consumer.  In Denmark they expect preserves to contain Sodium benzoate which actually makes waterbathing impossible as it decays at 100C. For my personal consumption I do not add this but anything that might be sold does get it. As to recipes there are no "Official" recipes.

I do think that preserving meat by canning would be a lot of extra work in the society you are talking about, would older methods like salting or pickling work better, or would be end result not be to anyone's taste?



fruit, preserves and acidic things like pickles cannot grow botulism.  I also keep pickles that have not been water bath canned, and I also have made fruit preserves by putting boiling jam in jars and not waterbath canning.  You cannot die from any of that.  It usually works, and when it doesnt it cannot kill you and you can see the mold.  We sometimes can these less critical things with reused jars and lids, even in America.  But, meat you do not want to mess around with.  You can ferment it, dry it, freeze it, etc... but if it is canned it must be pressure canned (and we use new lids )
 
Dale Hodgins
pollinator
Posts: 8159
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
615
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Case Closed as far as I'm concerned. I like to do things that aren't a lot of bother. So the killing of pigs and turkeys might have to only happen when there's a large group.

I can buy small quantities of beef and pork at any time, but with most of it, there's no way to guarantee what you're getting. I suppose some sort of meat pool with neighbors who are raising their own pigs on the grass, would help in feedlot avoidance. I'll just have to be really careful to not get screwed on quantity. And who knows if they will ever reciprocate at all.

My fiance has made loans to some people who paid it back promptly. But some people disappear, never to be heard from, until they think you've somehow forgotten about it. So I told her that the cheapest way to get certain people out of your life, is to lend them $10. She thinks that's expensive, but I know it's incredibly cheap. Instead of money, food might be the medium of exchange. If small quantities never come back, I can live with that.
 
gardener
Posts: 2293
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
146
forest garden trees urban
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think smoking would be the best way to preserve the meat.
Adding smoked meat to a soup would be delicious and easy.
 
Dale Hodgins
pollinator
Posts: 8159
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
615
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

William Bronson wrote: I think smoking would be the best way to preserve the meat.
Adding smoked meat to a soup would be delicious and easy.


Obviously. I never thought of that because I have never smoked any meat. I've never smoked anything, except the whole house when I got distracted while running a fireplace.

I've read so many bad things about smoked food. Colon cancer, throat cancer, neck and dick cancer. But maybe that's the artificial smoking chemicals and not doing it the old-fashioned way. I completely avoid bacon because of this risk, and I would like to have bacon with every meal. Now that's discipline.
 
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is a very informative discussion but, frankly, I just want Dale's Chicken soup recipe that is so good he can have it "eight days a week".  How about it Dale?  Care to share?
 
William Bronson
gardener
Posts: 2293
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
146
forest garden trees urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You're point about cancer risk is a good one.
I don't know about artificial  Vs. natural smoking persay,  but when researching wood tars compared to petroleum derived tars, the papers I found all gave wood tar a glowing report, to the point it was considered a tonic, while damning the petroleum based stuff.
Mind you,  these seem to originate in places where wood tar products have traditionally been consumed internally,  as medicine and flavoring.
These cultures are known for health and ling life,  but....

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tar%23Wood_tar&ved=2ahUKEwi6jouH26DiAhVPcq0KHZDJB-EQygQwCnoECAMQBA&usg=AOvVaw0PyH_jWrvFS3mdj-2NwSoM&cshid=1558032610709

There are all kinds of studies on the cancer causing effects if various foods and methods of preparation, so many, with so many conflicting conclusions, that I tend to just throw up my hands.
Maybe wood or solar powered dehydration would be a safer choice


On a different  note,  do the seals on the fridges and freezers in the Philippines successfully exclude the tiny ants and other pets?
I imagine derelict appliances are harder to come by there,  but if they are available, they could make for a nice storage cabinet.

It occurs to me that the convenient meals you seek might better be created from the cheapest natural resources available there,  labor.
Rather than cooking the way you like it and storing that meal, teach someone to cook the way you like.
They cook for you every day, you compensate them,  and ideally,  you make money selling any extra meals, thus storing the extra meals as cash.
A lot of potential problems there, but it is the traditional way one can maximize the out put of skilled labor(you).

Cowboys had Cookie to make them meals, maybe you and your wife could benefit from  one as well.

Just to put this idea into context, this is roughly how my grandmother went from being a talented home cook to a teaching gourmet cooking classes and catering events
 
Posts: 15
Location: in the country in southeastern US
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What about salting the meat?  Pork, beef, just about any meat can be salted, and I have even salted fish.  Quick, easy, cheap.  Soak in fresh water before cooking to remove excess salt.  Here is a synopsis of how it works, from www.almanac.com/content/preserving-meats-salting-and-brining#

Things You Should Do Before You Start
Obtain meat. Beef or pork would do nicely.
It is wise to mosey about the far reaches of your home with a thermometer in hand. Make a note of the temperature of your cellar, attic, bulkhead, shed, and any unheated area of your home during the cold months. That way, when you need a place to store full crocks, you’ll know where to go.
Salting Pork
This time-tested (and virtually forgotten) method of preserving your meats is neither difficult nor especially time-consuming.
Cut your meat into 4-inch to 6-inch slabs. Generally, for every 12 pounds, use ½ pound of pickling salt and ¼ cup brown sugar. Coat all the pieces with the salt mixture.
Sterilize a 2-gallon or two 1-gallon crocks. To sterilize, wash and rinse it well with boiling water.
Pack the meat tightly in the crocks (or jars if you don’t have a lot of meat to store), and cover tightly with cheesecloth.
Keep the meat at 36°F (no more than 38°F; no lower than freezing) for at least a month. Wrap the meat in moisture-proof paper or plastic wrap. It will keep all winter.
That’s it! You just made salted pork! Remember, however, if it gets too warm or cold, you must move your meats, so check it every once in a while.

If you can find a cool place to store the crocks, you have it made!  And yes, my salt fish was easy - although it looked like Styrofoam when dry & salted, it tasted good when soaked and cooked!
 
Dale Hodgins
pollinator
Posts: 8159
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
615
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Labor is very cheap and that's part of the appeal. I was thinking that this might be a fuel saver for other people, but when you consider all the could go wrong with people who will not follow instructions, I think they are best to continue down the current path. I made some fairly efficient charcoal burners when I was there. Maybe I'll just help people with that.

My fiance is a really good cook but if we get really busy doing other things, we will take on a working student. It's the closest thing to slavery I've ever seen in a country that otherwise seems modern. We won't abuse our working student, so it will be one of the better positions offered.


I have hated every piece of salted food I've ever eaten, so that one's pretty easy. Salt fish, corned beef Etc. Hate it all.:-)
 
Dale Hodgins
pollinator
Posts: 8159
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
615
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Scott Harper wrote:This is a very informative discussion but, frankly, I just want Dale's Chicken soup recipe that is so good he can have it "eight days a week".  How about it Dale?  Care to share?



I don't know that I have ever followed a recipe.

Kill a chicken. Boil it in a pot. Add a whole lot of whatever you have. Spice to taste. Eat. :-)
........
That has always been my method, to open the fridge and make a meal from available resources.

This 100 year old Kenyan lady did something similar when we visited. When we pulled into the yard
, she had her great-grandson kill two chickens. Then, she sent him with a big basket and instructions to harvest everything that was ready. The basket was brought to her and as she examined it, I asked her granddaughter what was going on. She said Grandmother is deciding what we will have for supper.

We had the chicken boiled and then fried with some of the vegetables. Some of the tougher vegetables were deposited in the pot of broth and made into a soup. We had a salad that contained the more tender vegetables along with many little slivers of fruit. There was also a fruit plate containing slices of papaya and limes and a little fruit that I don't know the name of. She may have had some sort of plan, but it was only finalized when the boy came back from the garden with the basket.
Screenshot_2019-04-30-19-37-28-1.png
[Thumbnail for Screenshot_2019-04-30-19-37-28-1.png]
 
Scott Harper
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The spices are the difficult part for me.  Salt and pepper alone just don't cut it.  My soup is wholesome and filling but unfortunately always quite bland.  
 
brevity is the soul of wit - shakespeare. Tiny ad:
2019 PDC for Scientists, Engineers, Educators and experienced Permies
https://permies.com/wiki/100059/PDC-Scientists-Engineers-Educators-experienced
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!