The Pros and Cons of Canning Your Own Food
Canning food has been a long standing method to storing food in your food storage. You can create and preserve delicious foods and meals for yourself that will be able to store on your shelf for years to come.
But what are the advantages and disadvantages to canning your own food? Below are a few pros and cons to canning your own food:
1. Less Expensive
Canning your own food is definitely less expensive than buying cans at the store or buying other food storage options like dehydrated or freeze-dried foods. By canning food at home, you’ll be able to save a lot of money that you would spend on the same kind of food at the store.
2. Can What You Want
When you can your own food, you have the luxury of choosing the ingredients that you store in your food storage. You know exactly what kind of food is being placed in the can, so you can ensure that the ingredients are fresh and blemish free.
This is especially useful for those who have specific diets or food allergies. For example, if you are diabetic, you are able to can foods that meet your diet and store food that will keep you healthy no matter the situation.
The same goes for food allergies. Whether it’s dairy, gluten, nuts, etc you can make sure that these ingredients don’t make it into your canning so your food will be safe to eat without any allergic reaction.
Canning is also a great option for those of you who just want to be healthy and store the best foods in your food storage!
3. Make Specific Recipes
The possibilities for recipes and combinations of food are endless when you learn how to can your own food. You can recreate your favorite recipes or develop new ones specific to canning. You can always store basic fruits and vegetables like cucumbers and peaches, but you can also use some creativity.
You can can corn and jalepeños together to create a delicious corn relish, or make sweet treats like raspberry chocolate sauce. You can also infuse cheeses with different herbs for delicious flavor. There are endless recipe options that you can use in canning to put your favorite flavors on the shelf.
4. Self Sufficient
One of the best pros of canning your own food is that it helps you to become more self sufficient. You can do everything yourself, from growing your own fresh ingredients to canning them and putting them in your food storage, everything can happen by your own hand. You can have the assurance of knowing that if anything were to happen, you’ll be able to rely on your canning and live off of your own food if you need to do so.
While canning your own food has many great benefits, there are also some obstacles to be aware of as you consider if canning is what you want to do.
1. Lots of Knowledge
Canning is not as simple as putting food in a jar and screwing on a lid. It is a process that takes a little bit of knowledge. So before you start canning you’ll need to educate yourself about all of the steps, processes, and skills you’ll need to can your own food.
There are two different types of canning: the water bath method and the pressure canning method. The water bath is the more simple method of the two and doesn’t require as much equipment. Pressure canning is more complicated and you’ll need to invest in more equipment in order to do it.
Both of these methods have different recipes and foods that you can can with them, so you’ll need to make sure you know what foods can and can’t be used depending on the method you are using.
Before you begin to can your own food, you will need to invest in the necessary equipment you’ll need in the process. The water bath method requires less equipment, some of which you may already have in your home. Some equipment necessities include cans or jars with lids and a pot large enough to boil your cans. A jar lifter may also come in handy for removing your jars from the boiling water.
As the name implies, pressure canning will require a pressure canner, as well as jars and lids. These can be more expensive to purchase but allow you to can a wider variety of foods.
3. More Time Involved
There is a lot of prep involved with the process of canning your own food. You will need to go through everything like picking out the ingredients, preparing them to be canned, filling the jars, wiping the rims, screwing on the lids, and then following the process for whichever canning method you have chosen.
4. Shorter Shelf Life
Canning your own food as opposed to buying dehydrated or freeze-dried food has the downside of having a shorter shelf life. Canned foods can be safely stored for one year on the shelf as compared to the 20 to 30 year shelf life of dried foods. After that they will begin to lose their flavor and nutritional value. If the cans are stored at a temperature above 70 degrees F, the shelf life will be much shorter. For cans to last for a year, they should be stored between 50 and 70 degrees F.
Canning is a great way to store your own food with your own favorite flavors and recipes. But before you start canning, make sure that you realize the knowledge, time, and equipment necessary for the canning process. If you do, your food will be great for storing and safe to eat when the time comes. If not, there are many other options out there for your food storage.