Sunday, October 4, 2009

Canning Dry Goods

I have never had the opportunity to can dry goods in cans.  Certainly, I have bought many things canned like dehydrated food, potato flakes, wheat, pasta, crackers, powdered milk and so forth.  Canned items are great for long term storage as long as you store them in a dry cool area off the floor.

Last week a friend of mine invited me to come and watch a group of people canning dry goods.  We went to a lovely new finished attached garage on a farm on the outskirts of town.  Couples arrived with bags of dry goods that they had purchased from a local restaurant supply store.  There were bags of oatmeal, rice and powdered milk.

The canner was electric and canned three #10 cans in one minute which was pretty impressive. First the canner had been clamped to a sheet of heavy grade plywood on saw horses.  Once secure to the make shift table, #10 cans were brought out.  Everyone helped fill the cans with the dry goods. 

The filled cans were lined up and a single oxygen absorber was placed on top of the dry goods. Oxygen Absorbers are used to remove oxygen from within a sealed environment, creating a nitrogen environment for long-term food storage. They protect dry foods from insect damage and help preserve product quality. They are used when dry foods are packaged in sealed containers. When used with proper packaging and sealing, the oxygen in the packaging is greatly reduced. Absorbers bring the oxygen level down reliably to .01% or less.  They are not edible and are good for one use only.

Next the cans were placed on the machine one by one to have the lid pressed on.  It was so simple.  The press handle was turned in one direction and then in the other direction.  The can lid was secured and that was that.  To finish the process a plastic lid was placed on top so that when the can is opened a plastic lid is easily available.  The folks had printed out labels with nutritional information on paper with adhesive backing.  What a slick process.  I am so impressed by how simple it was.  I have stored and packaged lots of food in buckets over the years and have seen all sort of methods to keep it bug free and long lasting.  I am now sold on canning and can't wait to locate a machine that I can rent, barter to use or purchase at an exceptional price.  If you know where I can access a self sealing canner please let me know!

My thanks go to my friend Peggy for continuing to share these new things with me!


Karen Stark said...

Just a detail that might be important...the packets we find in shoes, etc. are desiccant (usually silica gel)--to keep them dry--not O2 absorbers.

And desiccant can be used over and over after warming up in the oven.

Thanks, love your blog--

Catalina said...

What an interesting idea!

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Anonymous said...

i also would like a metal can sealer and a source for cans where i donot have to have them shipped to my home.