Saturday 7 February 2015
Preserving With Big Bertha
Have you met Big Bertha
Big Bertha is an All American Canner, I had her imported about 2 years ago from the US, we just don't do canners here in the UK, I don't know why they are excellent for preserving all manner of things, if you thin of all the things you can get in a tin well that's what you can do with a canner although you don't use tins you you preserving jars with seals and bands.
As well as canning I do bottling in Big Bertha, this week I bottled the plums I got from the wholesaler.
Firstly wash and chop the plums and pack the raw fruit into the jars
cover with a light syrup that is made from sugar and water
pop on the seals and bands, the bands only need to be finger tight
pop into Big Bertha and cover with water, bring to the boil and boil for about 20 minutes
lift out the jars and leave to cool, as they cool you here the lids pop as a vacuum is created and the lid seals
you can just see were the lid has been pulled down and sealed as it cooled the one on the front right is a failure, it was a bad fitting lid and some of the liquid escaped and it didn't seal, so that one will be used this week end, the others have all formed good seals, the bands can then be removed if you want and they will keep forever as long as the seal stays intact.
the difference between canning and bottling is with bottling you are covering with water and boiling to make a seal its suitable for fruits and some vegetables, canning is done under pressure, you lock the lid down and bring the canner up to pressure and temperature an only use a small amount of water, I have chicken I canned a few years and we are still eating it.
This year I do plan to do a lot more canning you need the jars for it and the seals, the seals can only be used once, unless you have the reusable Tattler seals, I have a friend in the US who sent me a half a dozen boxes of tattler seals, I am keeping those for canning, I did try some out with some carrots last year and they are still holding there seal.
I really think we should get into canning and bottling more in the UK. you don't need a Big Bertha for bottling just a deep saucepan, but for canning you need a canner.