If you are a beginning canner or if you just do not have a lot of raw material, you may be interested in making smaller batches of jars of food to make in your own home. Here are some great recipes for you to try. Be sure to check on the recipe to make sure it is safe.
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Why small batch canning?
There are many reasons you might want to have small batch canning recipes in their repertoire.
Chicken Scratch NY has great post on the pros and cons of small batch canning. Definitely worth reading as you are considering your options in how to preserve your food. The biggest drawback of small batch canning is really cleaning up. You need roughly the same number of utensils, pots, pans and other miscellaneous cooking items to make 5 versus 20.
Healthycanning.com has a great post on adjusting existing regular or large batch canning recipes. The main issue is to continue to maintain safety through thorough measuring, heat, time and/or pressure. Mel’s Kitchen also has a post on small batch canning you should check out.
- Small batch blueberry jam
- Bourbon peach jam
- Small batch salsa recipe for garden produce
- Fig and honey jam
- Small batch tomato sauce recipe
- Small batch apple butter
- Strawberry rhubarb jam
- Dill Pickles
- Small batch loquat jam
- Kiwi Jam
Amy Bronee has an excellent book you should check out with lots of small batch recipe.
You can make small batches of almost any recipe. If you are like me, you’ve been gardening and maybe all of your tomatoes or figs do not come in all at once. Or you cannot freeze them until you have enough to make a nice big batch because your freezer is full. Both of these are things that I have had to deal with and why I appreciate making small batches.
Another good reason is recipes. When canning, the food will cook longer than you might otherwise because of the canning process. This means it can be hard to determine what the final taste will be like until it is all done. A small batch will let you try out different recipes while not committing to a large batch of food you do not like or will not eat.
Whenever you are canning, you have to take safety into consideration. There are a few resources you can go to that will have put their recipes through many laboratory tests with various levels of elevation and all of these recipes are very safe. The National Center for Home Food Preservation is an excellent resource and includes information on other forms of food preservation such as drying and freezing.
Another good resource is the Ball Canning Book. These tested recipes are ensured by Ball Canning which also produces most of the jars, lids and rings that the majority of home canners use. They are also the parent company of Kerr. All of these resources are tested and designed to help home canners avoid the deadly and dangerous botulism disease which can come from improperly processed food.
Pressure versus water bath canning
There are two main ways to can food at home: pressure canning and water bath canning. Both methods are safe and approved for home preserving. A general rule of thumb is if the recipe is not acidic enough or contains any meat or meat products or beans, you must pressure can it. Many recipes will call for added citric acid or some kind of citrus juice to bring down the pH. Definitely refer to the above resources if you are not sure. If you are ever worried, pressure canning is the way to go.
Do not be intimidated by pressure canning. It is very similar to the insta-pot and will have similar guidelines. As long as you read the user guide for your pressure canner (and at least skim your user guide for your stove top) you should be good to go. Checking all the valves and connections will be important as those tend to age.
Water bath canning is easier than pressure canning in that you are simply filling a large pot with a lot of water and relying on boiling water to safely seal your jars. For both methods, you do not want the jars sitting at the bottom of the pot. Most canning pots come with a wire stand for the jars to rest on so that they are a little bit above the base of the both and will not receive direct heat from the heating element.
What small batch recipes do you like? Leave a comment and let me know what you like to make!
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