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New to prepping - looking for equipment help please(5 Posts)
I’m hoping to start prepping in various categories but would like to start with preserving food, in particular, home canning and dehydrating. I know what dehydrator I’m getting but I can’t figure out the pressure canning/water canning equipment.
I watch mostly US food prepping on YouTube so the equipment available is different.
Specifically I’d like a large pressure canner like the ‘All American’ but can’t seem to find anything like it in Europe. Anyone know anything about a ‘Presto’?
I’d also like to make my own jam and marmalade but haven’t the first clue about water canning equipment (or even jam making pots ). Any suggestions on either equipment or a good source of information?
Are there any other brands of canning jars in Europe other than Kilner and Le Parfait?
And one last thing - can anyone explain to me (or point me to a website that could help) why some things are canned using a two part lid, some using a twist lid and yet more using jars with rubber gaskets?
Any food prep/preservation experts out there who could help?
Check out the preserving and canning U.K facebook group. I am in no way an expert, but have learned a lot from them. A lot of people there do water bathing instead of pressure canning, but you would need to research properly to decide what is best for you. I would say take your time instead of rushing in, especially as harvest is pretty much over now. You don't want to end up with a bunch of expensive equipment that you don't use, or doesn't fit your eating needs.
I tend to just do jams, chutnies and jellies. I don't grow enough to need much preserving and Bolognese etc I just freeze. Pre kids I just baked screw top jars to sterilise them and boiled the lids. Since kids I have a bottle steriliser that I kept when the rest of the baby stuff got rehomed. I use lids up to two times and then buy new. I usually reuse jars that I originally bought containing something else, but do occasionally buy them. I just go for the cheap ones, not kilner etc.
When I did drink alcohol I did sloe gin, blackberry brandy etc in kilner jars and had a charity shop rum topf. Now I use it for fermenting sauer kraut.
I don't know about canning and the only thing is preserve in jars is jam but I also just reuse jars from other things. My advice would be keep some smaller jars too because there is always a little bit left over if you doing a big batch or sometimes you are just doing a little bit to not waste something so don't 'waste' a big jar. I use the oven for my jars too.
You will need to import a pressure canner from the US.
I got mine from ebay.
I have a Presto because I wasn't prepared to pay for an All American.
It's had regular use for a decade & is still as good as new.
I actually purchased a replacement seal for it, but the original one is still in great condition so I just keep it as a spare.
Mine will stack 2 layers of 500ml jars.
They only come with one canning rack which you need to leave in the bottom of the pot so I got a second one (from AmazonUS) so I can have 2 layers of jars.
Have a look on Amazon & you will find loads of canning jars.
Even Lakeland sell them.
I have a lot of Ball jars because I like the ones with pretty designs or colours that they do.
I also have quite a few kilner anniversary ones as I prefer the look of them & they don't have the throwaway lids.
The disposable part of a 2 part lid has a one use rubber seal attached to it.
After you've pressure canned it once, you are supposed to bin it & buy a new one.
The ones with a separate rubber gasket are reusable.
Eventually the rubber seals fail & you just replace them instead of the whole lid.
I have Tattler reusable canning lids & rings which I bought from the US too.
Beginning costs a small fortune because if you want to can 12 jars you will need to buy 12 jars.
Next time, you'll only need to get the replacement lids.
Beginners often find that a number of their jars fail to seal which can be expensive & frustrating. so the learning curve can also be expensive.
Depending on your cooker top, you might need to find a different hob to pressure can on.
If you just want to make jam or marmalade you don't need a pressure canner.
Water bath canning is just a big pot & not under high pressure like the canners are.
If you keep it up, you will need dedicated storage & probably end up with hundreds of jars.
Apart from the jars & canner, all you really need is a funnel, a jar lifter & a bubble popper.
It's the jars that are expensive at the start.