Rebel canning is gaining popularity as the world begins to see that certain agencies in the US really should not be seen as the be all end all of safety for the world when studies are only done where they make money for someone. As more and more brave people dive into urban homesteading canning is becoming as popular as it once was and rebel canning is taking off in leaps and bounds.
I have discussed canning rules I am willing to break but today I want to talk about rebel canning activities you should be doing at home to help save money and stock your pantry to feed your family in this harsh economy.
Reusing canning lids
As much as I Iove my reusable canning lids the fact is they are not cheap and reusing metal lids is a great way to save money and make the most of the supplies you already have. When reusing canning lids be sure to inspect them very well tossing out lids with any signs of damage.
To help prevent damaging your lids when you open your jars use an old lid you can no longer reuse over top of your good lid to prevent damaging it with the canning jar opener. This will let you get a few uses out of most canning jar lids saving you money and allowing you to keep a stock of lids on hand for when they are hard to find.
Using cheap jars
A lot of people will tell you that you can only use real BALL jars for caning but the fact is that the quality of ball jas has dropped so much that cheaper brands are just as good if not better since the pandemic. Use the jars you can find and if you end up with some super cheap jars on sale know that you can always toss the rings if they are not that great and use different lids if your jars lids are too thin.
I prefer to use Golden Harvest lids over Ball lids because they never have failed seels when Ball lids have been having sealing issues and their jars have been breaking for no discernible reason in the past few years.
Using jars from store-bought food
Im sure you have looked at the jars from the store and wondered if you can use those jars for something. the truth is yes you can in some cases. Some jars like form classico pasta sauce are designed for this and fit canning jars and rings. For this reason, when shopping for pasta sauce I tend to go in this direction unless another brand has an amazing deal. I would rather have those amazing and hard-to-find pint-and-a-half jars for my family.
I often use other jars for my canning as well. When looking for a jar to reuse I look for jars with lids that have a rubber seal on the inside and a pop dot in the center that goes down when the jar is sealed so you do not have to question if you got a good seal. These are best not used in pressure canners but I love to use them for long water bath time items like water bath canning corn, green beans, or potatoes.
Have you seen the prices of canned milk for baking in the past few years? By canning your own milk you can make this cooking milk for your family and save a lot of money when you snag milk on sale. I do this and water bath can milk for my family. We use this milk in cooking and keep it rotated well in the pantry. this milk is perfect for creamy mac and cheese, pumpkin pie, and other baking.
Water bath canning low-acid items
Pressure canning here has to be done when everyone is asleep for safety reasons. Something that is hard to do when you have long hard days and just want to go to bed yourself. For this reason I use the water bath or steam canner for low acid foods. For meat, vegetables, and dairy we run for 3 hours.
In the winter this helps to heat our home and increase the humidity to make it feel warmer. This allows me to take advantage of the sales in the fall to build our stockpile while lowering our heating bill. With this trick, I get a real bang for my buck in the winter.
A lot of people are scared of dry packing their meats and vegetables for canning. People will freak out over the fact there is so much air space in the jars but in the end, dry packing is a great way to help prevent things from coming out far to soggy.
I love to raw pack my potatoes making them super easy to toss into a pot and fry up. Because you rinse out all of the starch you can and the canning process releases most of the air your dry-packed potatoes end up sealed well and keeping their light color so they are like fresh when you go to cook.
Things to remember when rebel canning
When it comes to canning at home you need to keep in mind that you set the rules in your kitchen. Always check seals before storing and before using the food in your jars. If a seal is broken you are better off tossing this out. Unsealed jars that have just been processed can be reprocessed with a fresh lid or put into the refrigerator for later.
Take the time to study how bacteria work and grow in canned foods. When you understand not only the dangers of bacteria but how they are killed off with high sustained heat it is a lot easier to be less fearful when it comes to rebel canning.
Remember it is always your kitchen your rules, and your family will be blessed by your hard work.