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Preserving the Harvest canning, drying, smoking, etc.


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  #1  
Old 03/12/10, 05:01 PM
 
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Can I reuse spaghetti sauce jars?

Some of the spaghetti sauce brands have heavier jars marked 'Mason'. Can these be used for canning jars?

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  #2  
Old 03/12/10, 05:08 PM
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I reuse the classico jars all the time, work great!

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  #3  
Old 03/12/10, 05:14 PM
 
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Great news! I've been buying that brand when it is on sale.

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  #4  
Old 03/12/10, 05:16 PM
 
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Me, too! They are perfect when a pint is not enough, but a quart is too much.

Process the contents in these jars for the time given for quarts. Make sure the Ball (or equivalent) fits. I understand you can use the twist-lock lids also, if the Ball-type lids don't fit.

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  #5  
Old 03/13/10, 01:16 AM
 
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Sorry for the thread drift (it's a little relevant, lol), but I buy Del Monte Sun Fresh grapefruit sections in the refrigerated produce section in 24-ounce jars. They are kind of a rounded-off square jar. They do seem to be the thicker glass as opposed to mayonnaise jars, but they don't say Mason or anything on them anywhere. A ball lid will fit. Do you think it would be safe to can in those? Probably the biggest issues would be the squarish shape rather than true round. I've got tons of them, figured I'd use them for some dried stuff, but still can't use them all up like that. It would be great if I could can in them, I've often thought that would be the perfect size, in between pints and quarts!

Here's a picture: http://www.delmonte.com/products/FruitItem.asp?id=43

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  #6  
Old 03/13/10, 07:47 AM
 
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The Classico that I buy from Sam's Club in 3 pack are 32 oz. I buy another 3 pack at every opportunity. We like the sauce, and I get "free" canning jars.

Try canning some water in the Del Monte jars to see how well they work for that. If that does fine, then they should be OK for water bath canning. Don't think I've seen them or noticed them in the stores, so can't make any comment on using them in a pressure canner. However, you can do the same test with a pressure canner. Then, watch the seals for a couple of weeks to make sure they don't release. Sometimes the rims of jars that aren't made for canning don't hold seals very well. Not smooth enough or too thin with todays skinny sealing compound on the lids.

Lee

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  #7  
Old 03/13/10, 09:21 AM
 
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I have some of those jars and they have changed the size of the opening. Some will take a canning lid, some don't. Also, in my area, they are made of plastic nowadays.

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  #8  
Old 03/13/10, 11:28 AM
 
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Those Del Monte jars do work but to buy them on a regular basis is more than I care to spend. Always tempted to add another jar to my stock every time I pass them in the stores but leave them for those who live higher than me.

Heaviest jars I ever found were those which Five Brothers sauces originally came in. Classico jars seem as thin as Golden Harvest in comparison.

Martin

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  #9  
Old 03/13/10, 05:12 PM
 
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Thanks Lee, I'll try that! I knew you'd have good advice as always. I don't usually buy ready made spaghetti sauce, but that's great about the Classico jars. I may have to retry it and see if I can doctor it up, lol. I posted not too long ago about how I can't find a jarred or canned sauce that's spicy enough or has enough veggies for me.

Sally, that's too bad! They have a bigger size here that's plastic, sort of looks like those big square mayonnaise containers, but the ones like in the picture are all still glass. They have a bunch of different varieties of fruit in them, not just grapefruit. I don't buy them much any more, but hope they don't all go to plastic!

Martin, I wasn't crazy about spending that much either, but I was fighting a Candida overgrowth in my system for almost two years and towards the end discovered that eating them really made a difference and I think was a big help in kicking it finally. By that time I'd spent thousands and thousands of dollars on doctors, medications, supplements and special foods, so it was worth the cost. I sat down and actually figured it out not too long ago though, and it really wasn't a lot more than buying fresh grapefruit. The best price we ever get around here is 2/$1.00, and the jars hold six, so for six fresh grapefruit it would be $3.00, and the jars are $3.79. But like I said, I don't buy them hardly ever any more, only when I get some good coupons. If I could ever get a good price on some by the bushel I'd can them up myself.

I occasionally buy some Five Brothers alfredo sauce, will have to try those jars too!

I WISH they'd stop switching everything over to plastic, arrggh! I've noticed mayonnaise goes bad a lot faster in it, coffee does too and tastes like plastic to me, and I miss the free jars and coffee cans, lol. But that's a whole 'nother post topic, lol. Sorry for the drift fetch33!

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  #10  
Old 03/14/10, 11:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calliemoonbeam View Post
I buy Del Monte Sun Fresh grapefruit sections in the refrigerated produce section in 24-ounce jars.... They are kind of a rounded-off square jar. Probably the biggest issues would be the squarish shape rather than true round.
Way back when, Ball jars were made square. The thinking was that they would store better with no wasted space. I have many of those jars and the shape is of no consequence.
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  #11  
Old 03/14/10, 11:18 AM
 
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BTW, I looked at that web site for the fruit, and down at the bottom it says: "Resealable 24 oz. mason jar".

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  #12  
Old 03/14/10, 03:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calliemoonbeam View Post
Thanks Lee, I'll try that! I knew you'd have good advice as always. I don't usually buy ready made spaghetti sauce, but that's great about the Classico jars. I may have to retry it and see if I can doctor it up, lol. I posted not too long ago about how I can't find a jarred or canned sauce that's spicy enough or has enough veggies for me.

snip....

I WISH they'd stop switching everything over to plastic, arrggh! I've noticed mayonnaise goes bad a lot faster in it, coffee does too and tastes like plastic to me, and I miss the free jars and coffee cans, lol. But that's a whole 'nother post topic, lol. Sorry for the drift fetch33!
I always "doctor" sauces. Usually it's adding mushrooms, TVP hamburger or meatballs (low fat/cholestrol diet), a tiny pinch of red pepper flakes, etc. While I like it a little spicy, don't like it too hot.

That's one of my biggest on-going gripes. I miss buying vinegar in glass gallon jugs and quart glass bottles. You're right in that mayo, ketsup, mustard, and such just don't last as long, sitting on the shelf, as the glass containers. Miss having those various size coffee cans, too. Just when I got a side opening can opener, the cans disappeared from the store shelves.

Could rant for an hour, but it won't do any good. (sigh)

Lee
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  #13  
Old 03/14/10, 09:11 PM
 
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Lee, you miss coffee cans in various sizes? My favorite jars for tomato juice are coffee jars with 63mm tops, probably 50 years old. Only get 3 into the BWB or PC but they hold almost 2 quarts.

It indeed is a bummer that so many food products come in either tin or plastic now rather than glass but it is a cost factor. Haven't researched the commercial prices of plastic but the cheapest I find for 24-ounce jars was about 75¢. There's also a new size which we'll soon be getting used to; 20 ounces, 1¼ pint. They are also now being made with 70mm screw top and will probably first appear in gourmet fruit packing.

Martin

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  #14  
Old 03/14/10, 10:32 PM
 
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Wow Sally, thanks, I didn't even notice that, DOH! lol I never knew that about Ball jars either, knew about the different colored ones and the ones with bails. Now I'll have to research that and find a picture of a square one!

Martin, I don't know about anyone else, but I'd be willing to pay a little more to get the glass containers back! Of course, I'd also be willing to pay more to stick with the standard sizes, for instance a 7 ounce can of tuna which dropped to 6 and now 5 ounces! It plays havoc with trying to create a recipe when they keep changing the sizes. Suddenly one container isn't enough and two is too much! Or paying a little more to keep the same quality product instead of cheaper but lower quality. But then I've always been the oddball, lol.

Lee, when I make homemade sauce, I use onions, garlic, bell peppers, mushrooms, and black olives, plus spices of oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, marjoram, and red pepper. I like it really spicy, but just a hint of hot. I add that to a mixture of sweet Italian sausage and ground chuck, tomatoes and tomato paste. Wish I could just can it, but have been told by many that it's not safe. :sigh:

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Old 03/14/10, 11:13 PM
 
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What something is packed in does make a difference if I wander through a store and buy on impulse. I've already settled down to two local sources of honey that use standard canning jars. Since we easily go through a pint per month, that's a case of jars per year. Latest impulse buy took me way back. Used to love pickled pork hocks and they were in pints. Hormel had a special jar just for them and I still have a few of them. Everything in plastic since that line was discontinued. Couple weeks ago, saw pickled pork hocks, turkey gizzards, hot sausages, and various other "bar fare" snacks and darned if they weren't in glass pints! No markings but twice as heavy as Golden Harvest jars. The pork hocks weren't anything to brag about but another good pint jar was added to my conglomeration.

Martin

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  #16  
Old 03/15/10, 12:23 AM
 
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Well, I had canned back in the 60s and 70s with my grandma, but hadn't touched it again until two years ago, so I'm still kind of feeling my way. I wasn't comfortable with using store bought jars, but after this post I'm going to start paying more attention when I shop, lol.

I buy my honey in 5-gallon buckets (much cheaper in the long run! - see the bulk honey thread), and then transfer it to quart jars and store it in the pantry. Before that, I was buying it in a quart jar at the grocery and saved those for dry stuff.

I used to love to use glass gallon jars for stuff like beans, rice, oatmeal, etc., but over numerous moves and accidents they've almost all been broken. I've priced them different places, but they're outrageous. Someone mentioned gallon jars of pickles at Sam's for around $5, and I thought about buying those and just throwing the pickles away (I don't eat many pickles), but was afraid I'd never get the pickle smell out.

Isn't it funny, just about the time a lot of us started trying to get plastic completely out of our kitchens, and that's when they start switching everything over to plastic in the stores, even things that have been glass for 50 years or more. I write the manufacturer every time one of my favorite products changes over, but all it results in is an apology and maybe some coupons, lol.

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  #17  
Old 03/15/10, 10:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calliemoonbeam View Post
Wow Sally, thanks, I didn't even notice that, DOH! lol I never knew that about Ball jars either, knew about the different colored ones and the ones with bails. Now I'll have to research that and find a picture of a square one!
Allow me to help.

Here is a picture of one of my square Ball jars with potatoes in it. The picture is taken from the corner. The other picture is of the bottom of the jar so you can see how square it is. The jars have beads down the sides for "grippers".



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  #18  
Old 03/15/10, 01:13 PM
 
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Just wanted to say if you go to the Classico website you can get a coupon for the sauce. Our Sunday paper had a coupon yesterday, too. It was for $1.50 off of two jars, I think.

I love the 24oz size to use for kraut and green beans.

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  #19  
Old 03/15/10, 01:58 PM
 
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The coupon in the paper was for $1.50 off fresh beef when you buy two jars of sauce. Same money, though.

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  #20  
Old 03/15/10, 02:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calliemoonbeam View Post
Lee, when I make homemade sauce, I use onions, garlic, bell peppers, mushrooms, and black olives, plus spices of oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, marjoram, and red pepper. I like it really spicy, but just a hint of hot. I add that to a mixture of sweet Italian sausage and ground chuck, tomatoes and tomato paste. Wish I could just can it, but have been told by many that it's not safe. :sigh:
I'm a little surprised that some say it isn't safe to can it. Perhaps there's something in your recipe/process that I'm not aware of from the info here.

Take a look at this spaghetti sauce with meat recipe that's approved.
http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_03/...auce_meat.html

Take a look at this recipe for Chili Con Carne. Other than the beans, this recipe is also similar. But, your sauce should be less dense than this recipe.
http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_05/...con_carne.html

And, for extra measure I took a look at the soups that contain meats.
http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_04/soups.html

Then, I went to the Ball site. Found this one.
http://www.freshpreserving.com/pages...D=Home-Canning

Please don't misunderstand, I firmly believe in following the current guidelines for all canning procedures. But, for experienced canners, substituting one spice for another, one meat for another or using a combo of meats shouldn't present any problems. That is as long as the ratios remain approximately the same when substituting for a recipe that's included either in current canning guide or sites, as above.

Has anyone said why your recipe wouldn't be safe to can? There could easily be some factor that I'm missing in this. If so, it may be something that I need to learn, as well.

Lee
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  #21  
Old 03/15/10, 05:36 PM
 
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Sally, that looks just like the grapefruit jars, except they don't say Ball. Yay, I probably have 5-6 dozen of those jars! Thanks so much! Those are some nice looking 'taters in that jar, lol.

Thanks Sunshine, I'll go check for coupons after this!

Lee, I've been told it's because my ratios are off, that I have way too many vegetables to meat and tomatoes and that it's also too thick. I've also been told that the spices would probably turn bitter. I don't have a written recipe any more (been making it since the early 70s), but this is my guestimate of ingredients:

1-1/2 lb. ground chuck
1-1/2 lb. sweet Italian sausage
6 cups diced onions (approx.)
6 cups diced bell peppers (approx.)
1 cup minced garlic
2 quart jars of tomatoes
4 6-oz. cans tomato paste
2 6-oz. cans of water
3 lg. cans sliced mushrooms
3 lg. cans sliced black olives

I saute the onions, peppers and garlic along with the meat, then when it's done drain that and then add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and all my spices (didn't figure you needed measurements on those). I get that mixed up well and then stir in the mushrooms and black olives. Then I put a lid on it and let it simmer on low pretty much all day, stirring once in a while. When it's done, the veggies have reduced way down and the sauce is pretty thick, maybe like a thick beef stew would be, not runny at all. I figured if I did can it, I'd need to not simmer it so long, but even starting out it's thicker than any home canned sauce I've ever seen, and I have that high ratio of veggies. What do you and Sally think...could I can this? Thanks!

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Old 03/15/10, 06:48 PM
 
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Callie, don't think the ratio of meats to veggies is a problem. But, there may be a problem with the density. Based on what you're saying sounds like your sauce is really thick like canned pumpkin, for example. If that's the case, it may, indeed be too dense to can safely. If you don't get the heat penetration all the way through the product for the time needed to kill the botilusm spores, then, it wouldn't be safe to can.

When I'm thinking of tomato sauces, I think in terms of them being roughly the same density of store bought ones, or maybe just a bit thicker for homemade. Especially since sometimes some of the pasta cooking water has to be added to a too thick sauce in order to get it to coat the pasta. Sounds like your's is much, much thicker.

Therefore it may not be safe to can. Is there anyway you can not reduce the liquid so much and still get the flavor that you want?

Lee

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  #23  
Old 03/15/10, 07:19 PM
 
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I don't know, but I'm thinking I may experiment next time I make some. I do freeze some of it, but it kind of changes the texture, plus I'm trying to get away from using the freezer as much as possible. It sure would be nice if I could figure out a way to can it. Thanks for your help though!

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Old 03/15/10, 08:00 PM
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In addition to the density, that is an awfully lot of low-acid vegetables in that recipe. No way to know the pH and how would you know how long to process it? I too would be leery of canning it.

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Old 03/15/10, 08:34 PM
 
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See, now that's what I've been told before, just couldn't remember the exact details, lol. Thanks Judy!

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Old 03/15/10, 10:24 PM
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If you can it at the longest time required for any of the ingredients, it will be safe unless it's too dense.

For the recipe listed that's probably 90 minutes for quarts as that's how long it takes to can meat. But do check each ingredient.

Also some herbs develop an off taste if you can them, and are better left out and added when heating the sauce before eating it.

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Old 03/16/10, 09:32 AM
 
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I would cook and drain the meat before adding the onions, peppers and garlic. The reason is that when draining the meat and veggies, you are eliminating moisture and flavor that should go in the final product. The recipe looks like it makes about 12-15 pints. Except for the olives (I have no knowlege of canning olives) I see no reason that this can't be canned. As turtlehead said, process it for 90 minutes and you should be good to go.

Use the recipe for Meat Sauce or Chili in the Ball guide as a guide for ratios of meat to veggies and you should be ok.

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Old 03/16/10, 10:29 AM
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If you can it at the longest time required for any of the ingredients, it will be safe unless it's too dense.
True, that used to be considered a safe assumption but no longer. It is now considered to be a potentially dangerous assumption. And just because of the issue you added - Density.

You could guesstimate the processing and PC something at 15 lbs. for 3 hours and it still may not be safe because of the density. Testing by USDA has proven, and so changed the guidelines, that in overly dense foods, pockets of imperfectly heated food still remain and will cause problems during shelf storage. Not a concern with acidified foods but a very real concern with low-acid foods.

calliemoonbeam - your recipe should be possible to adjust for canning I think. Match your vegetable proportions, as suggested by Lee based on one of the many approved recipes but leave in more liquid that can be drained off at prep time and then can the meats separately and add them to the sauce at prep time. That would be my suggestion.
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Old 03/16/10, 10:14 PM
 
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When I said above that I might experiment, that's kind of what I had in mind, either increasing the liquid or seeing if I could match the ratios closer to one of the recipes Lee posted. Thanks for the tip about the meat, Sally. I didn't think about draining out flavor that way, lol. That may help keep flavor and add a little more more liquid.

I'd really like to find a way to keep it all together, as I think the meat and veggies pick up a lot of flavor while simmering in the sauce that they wouldn't otherwise get if I add them after opening just the sauce.

So I'm thinking I need to figure out a way to get it more liquid to can and then be able to drain it or thicken it up after opening a jar to keep the flavor and yet get the consistency that we like.

I just made some not too long ago, so it will be a while before I do it again, but I thought before then I'd work on the ratios and then when I do it try several different variations and then work on draining and/or thickening upon opening. Thanks for all your suggestions, I knew you all would have good ideas!

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