Prepper Checklist for Cooking and Canning at Home

Prepper Checklist for Cooking and Canning? Cooking and canning foods at home is so easy that even a beginner can quickly learn how to master it. Making and canning foods at home is also an inexpensive and healthy way to provide food for your family.

Prepper Checklist for Cooking and Canning at Home article cover image with canned goods

It’s a method where you can set aside provisions in the event of a disaster. But if you’re going to use canned foods, you’ll want to follow this checklist to ensure that you have the right supplies and follow the important safety guidelines.

Prepper Checklist for Cooking and Canning at Home

The first items that you’ll need to line up are enough jars to hold the foods you want to store. How will you know how many jars you need? One way is by checking out what the recipe says. Home canning recipes will usually tell you how many batches of food the recipe will produce.

You can find jars that are specific for home canning. When you have the jars you need, you’ll want to wash the jars along with their lids and bands like you would hand wash dishes. This is done to remove germs and sterilize the jars.

The next thing you’ll need is utensils. You’ll need spoons and a spatula. You’ll also want to make sure that you sterilize the utensils you use. When you’re canning foods, you don’t have to have many items, but you do want to make sure you have a sturdy stockpot.

You might find it helpful to have a funnel, labels, and a canning jar holder. If you’re canning fruits or jellies, you may also want – pectin, but some people can foods without it – it’s a personal preference.

Once the water has simmered in the pot, you’ll want to fill the jar to the level that the recipe calls for. Don’t put warm foods in cool jars because this will cause the jars to shatter. The jars need to be at least room temperature.

To get out the air bubbles, make sure you don’t stir – just run a flat utensil around the inside of the jar. Put on the lid toppers and the rings, then place the jars in the jar lifter. If you don’t have a jar lifter, you can use tongs in a pinch, but it’s easier for the jar to slip with tongs.

Using a jar lifter, you would lower it by the handle into the stockpot until the jars’ tops are completely covered by water. Let the water boil however long the recipe says to let it boil.

You don’t want to count the time before the water boils. Once the jars are cool, some people put labels that are dated on the outside of the jars so that they can rotate the foods while they’re in storage.

Which Prepper Recipes Should You Compile?

What Prepper Checklist for Cooking and Canning would be complete without talking about recipes? When it comes time to live off of your survivalist food stores, life might make a chance for you and your family at mealtime. You can no longer run up to the corner store for foods to go in a recipe – you have to have it on hand or make do with what you do have.

You’ll want to look for certain types of recipes that work with the kinds of foods most preppers store – but also locate recipes for your files that create meals your family loves.

The primary focus for many preppers is on beans, bread, and canning recipes. But that’s not your only option. You will probably be storing lots of rice, freeze-dried or dehydrated foods.

You want to be able to turn those staples that your family has worked hard to store into an almost gourmet meal that you’d be proud to serve to dinner guests during a typical celebration.

Start organizing your recipes offline. Many people have them stored on sites like Pinterest, but if there’s no electricity, you won’t be able to access those recipes at all. It’s better to print them out and save them in a small filing storage container.

Organize your recipes according to what staples your family has on hand. If you find a recipe that calls for something you don’t yet have, add that item to your checklist of food storage items to get. We like this list we found here: 45 Pantry Meals for Tough Times or Tight Budgets.

Put the recipes in categories for entrees, side dishes, bread, and desserts. You might even want to have one for beverages if you’re able to store different types of ingredients to make delicious drinks.

Too many preppers who are just starting out think that emergency food stores would mean you have to live on meals ready to eat or plan meals that offer no sense of enjoyment.

During a crisis, you want to provide your family with the most normal routine possible. Sometimes that means being able to serve up favorite family meals. You may have to create substitutions for certain things, but it’s better than living on a protein bar day after day.

Using your prepper food stores means rotating items out of commission, and you can invest in survival cookbooks and test out your prepper culinary skills using a variety of methods – including solar ovens and other forms of cooking without electricity.

If you have children, make sure you have them help you compile a list of their favorites, too. They can even help you make a test batch to see if it passes muster with the whole family and earns its spot in the recipe container!

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8 Must Have Supplies for Canning Your Own Foods

If you’ve planted a summer garden, you may be wondering how to preserve your harvest so that you can enjoy your harvest all year long. You can freeze your harvest, dehydrate them, or can them. It pays to think about supplies for canning before that time of the year hits so you are actually able to get what you will need.

8 Must Have Supplies For Canning Your Own Foods

If you’re new to canning foods, you may be unsure about which supplies you will really and truly need and which ones are extra. These 8 must-have supplies for canning your own food are where you will want to start.

Basic Supplies for Canning

Now, before you go down the rabbit hole and listen to what everyone on the different canning Facebook groups tell you that you need, just keep it simple. The only reason canning can be expensive is when you initially invest in your supplies.

Sure there are a ton of fun things to have, and specialized storage unit items for your finished goods, but we have a list of just 8 things that you really need to get the job done.

Pressure canner

When canning foods, there are two types of canners that you will need. The first is a pressure canner. As you begin looking for canning recipes, you will find that most canning recipes require pressure canning.

You can pick up a Presto 22qt canner for around $85.00 or you can go with a more expensive brand for $200+. When buying your canner though, make sure that you don’t opt for a smaller one. Those are pressure cookers and are not safe for home canning.

You optimally want to be able to put a double layer of jars in your canner for processing, so this is a great size.

Water bath canner

The other type of canner that you’ll need is a water bath canner (also called a boiling water canner). This type of canner is basically just a big pot with a lid and canning rack inside.

You can buy a complete water bath canning set for around $20.00. If you’re looking to can fruits or make jams and jellies, you’ll need to have this type.

Keep an eye out at garage sales and on your local Facebook by/sell groups and you might be able to pick one up for pennies. Mine is seriously the black speckled looking kind that Grandma used to have.

The technology on water bath canning really hasn’t changed much over the years.

Mason jars

I guess I should really say canning jars. There are a few different brands, like Ball, Kerr, etc.

You can’t can your food without Mason jars! You can buy them in a variety of sizes from 4oz on up. To decide how many you will need, figure out what you will be canning and how much.

Most people opt for pint and quart jars as their primary and use 4oz jelly jars as well.  You can buy wide-mouth jars or regular mouth jars. Both kinds will can the exact same way.

I tend to use wide mouth jars for when I can meat or things like green beans. Small mouth are fine fro everything from soups to other veggies like corn or peas.

Canning Lids and Rings

Along with jars, you will need lids and rings as well for the next use of those jars you bought. Lids are a single-use-only item unless you use a brand like Tattler.

Make sure that you buy the ones that are correct for the jars that you have. Wide mouth lids won’t fit on regular-sized jars and vice versa.

If you are looking for metal lids, do NOT buy them on Amazon. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of forgeries have been shipped in the real-looking boxes. They don’t work and are a waste of your time.

Keep an eye out at your local Walmart, Hardware stores, and farm supply stores like Fleet Farm.

Canning Tool Kit

I found a kit on Amazon that has the following talked about tools. It was less expensive than buying them all separately. Check out the canning tool kit here.

Plastic tool for removing air bubbles

When you fill your jars, they will fill with air bubbles. These bubbles can cause your food to not seal correctly or to become contaminated so that they are no longer edible.

Using a metal tool to remove these air bubbles isn’t recommended. Instead, pick up a plastic tool made specifically for doing this task. They’re fairly cheap to buy and will save you a lot of heartbreak.

Canning funnel

Filling your canning jars, especially with liquids, can be hard to do without spoiling. A canning funnel will make things much easier for you.

Again, make sure that you have one on hand for the correct sized jar mouths or buy a combination funnel that will work for both.

Lid lifter

Your lids and rings need to be sterilized before they are used. To keep both you from getting burned and to keep them sterilized, you’ll need a lid lifter. This tool is incredibly simple, just a plastic stick with a magnet on the end, but you will need to have it on hand.

Jar lifter

When your jars come out of the canner, they will be extremely hot. You will need a way to get them out of the canner and a regular pot holder will not work.

For this, you’ll need a jar lifter. They’re only a few dollars but will save you burned hands and possibly dropped jars.

If you don’t want to purchase the smaller tools individually, you can usually purchase an entire canning set that includes them all. Getting them this way is a more cost-effective way of building up your canning supplies.

Do you have any other must have canning supplies?

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