Pressure canning in the UK

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Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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Very good :) and a nice feeling of chuffedness too I imagine :D

While I mind; Wilkinson's are selling the jar lifter plier things for £4 just now :)

cheers,
M
 

British Red

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Dec 30, 2005
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Always useful tool that. Wilkos are probably the best high street store in the UK for self sufficiency equipment at a good price - homebrew stuff, canning stuff, all sorts - I am mightily impressed with them
 

santaman2000

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Just to answer this officially I reserved two jars of these tomatoes to eat two years later (we normally eat up one lot when the next years crop kicks in).

Other than a little rust on the rings from sitting in the outdoor pantry, they were absolutely fine - no change in colour or flavour and the pasta sauce I made with them delicious (this years onions, field mushrooms and garlic with fresh marjoram, thyme and rosemary)

I've put back some chilli with meat to try for three years :)
Just to add the obvious, shelf life would depend on a couple of factors:
1) How scrupulously you follow the canning procedures (sterilization of the components, proper sealing, etc) and
2) The conditions of storage (preferably a dark pantry with moderate humidity and temperatures, etc)

But there's no reason home canned foods shouldn't last as well as commercially tinned ones, and I've eaten those that were over a decade old.
 

British Red

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Probably also depends on what we define "shelf life" as meaning - there's a huge difference between "unsafe" and "unpalatable"
 

santaman2000

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Probably also depends on what we define "shelf life" as meaning - there's a huge difference between "unsafe" and "unpalatable"
Yep. Absolutely. Generally excess light won't affect the safety, but it can kill (perhaps degrade is a better word)some of the nutrients and may or may not affect the taste. But the other conditions have the potential to affect both safety and taste.
 
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British Red

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Just been using up late veg harvests and canning loads of soup - We've done meat, fruit, and veg canning - I'm happy to cover a soup illustration (with recipe) if anyone is interested?
 

British Red

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I'm new to canning, just finished a few batches of apples, salsa, peaches, beets etc. I'd like to pressure can meats, veg etc, Are there any organisations where ideas nd recipes can be shared in the uk? It's just not done in the uk. I brought a canner back from the USA in my suitcase - crazy I hear you say!! - and want to get cracking with it. However I notice in the pics above that Kilner jars are used but I've been told by rayware (Kilner distributor) that Kilner jars are not "approved or tested" to withstand pressure canning. Can anyone please comment? They hv advised they are ok for water bath and oven canning only, confirming they have been tested to a temp of 150 recently by a member of staff. I'm keen to get started but a bit nervous I might hv an explosion!
Missed this post - I've been pressure canning using the Rayware jars for years without problem - even if one did break, it would break inside the canner so no risk to you. You can tell they have sealed properly by the "pinging" and indentation of the lid.

Red
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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I would check the Kilner ones very, very carefully, especially the larger sizes, before buying or using them.
I have shattered three in the past couple of months; all new ones and all on closer inspection unevenly cast. Very thin in some places, especially on the rounded bottom corners and the wall just above.
I was very disappointed :(

One of the staff in the local Sainsbury's who had the jars on sale, told me that they had had an awful lot of breakages too.

atb,
M
 

Toddy

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Yes, the 1 litre sizes in particular :( though the lady in Sainsbury's said that both those and the 0.5 l ones had broken.
The smaller ones 250ml ? ones seem to be fine.
I did break the sprung lid ones too though :(

Honestly, I'm really just so vexed at them. I expected to buy jars that I could use kind of forever sort of thing, and I'm actually better just washing out the ones that come with tomato sauces in them. The Mason jars, I mean.

Caveat emptor, and check them carefully when you get them home too.

If I were generally clumsy or destructive of things, I'd say it was me, but I'm not. I use fine china and glassware on a daily basis, and I'm still using stuff that belonged to g.aunts and grandmothers, so I'm pretty sure it's the quality of the jar that's at fault.

I want to know how they can justify charging so much for a jar when every single commercial company that uses jars sells them with the contents for less than an empty jar costs ? :dunno:

I'm seriously going to try canning using the mason jars since I found that company in Wales who supply new lids for them.....and those are cheaper than the Kilner ones too :)
If that's what the commercial companies are using, and they won't want to face any accusations of food poisoning, it can't be a bad thing.

atb,
Mary
 

British Red

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I confess that I haven't shared the experience. I have pressure canned hundreds of these jars and rarely if ever have a failure. Must have been a bad batch though from what you
say..shame.

You do know that you can pressure can in proper (Le Parfait) spring clip jars don't you? Replacement seals are dirt cheap and the seals can be re-used. Available in lots of sizes too.
 

Toddy

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I had used dozens of them over the years, but the new ones I bought, even the bottles for the sauces, are very poor quality indeed....and they didn't all come from one place. I bought from Sainsbury's, from Wilkinsons and a place in Glasgow that sold the bottles in their original box on ebay. They all had poor ones. It was noticeable that many now had Made in China cast into the bases even though the moulding on the side says Kilner.
Not a 'ticular happy egg about it :(
The Kilner spring clip jars I bought for nuts were useless....they aren't air tight; I had to put two seals on them to make them at all useable. Himself will set about the wires with a pair of pliers he says to see if he can adjust them that way.

While I mind; the house smells wonderful since HWMBLT has just baked bread and I have an apple sponge tray bake in the oven just now; have you ever canned butter fried and spiced apples ? Now they'd be handy for pie fillings :D

cheers,
Toddy
 

Toddy

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It's one of those by guesstimate type ones for me :eek:
Basically I peel and core some apples and slice up the flesh into biggish chunks. Then I fry them in a saute pan with some butter. I don't stir too much because it's usually eating apples that I'm just using up and they'll go to mush too easily.
As they 'dry off'....I don't know how to best describe that ;they sort of gently caramelise the juices, I add some brown sugar, and mixed spice, allspice or cinnamon.....which ever one comes to hand really and let it all thicken up. If it's looking dry I might add some orange juice, but basically that's the filling.
I make a pastry shell, fill it with the apples and top it with sponge batter and bake it until it's all golden brown. It's a good pudding or traybake. Works well as a cobbler or a crumble too :)
I kept meaning to do the apples when we had a glut earlier on in the year, but I only did some for the freezer and I didn't pre-cook those.

Tonight's pudding was done with six big eating apples and maybe-ish 50g butter, half of the juice of an orange and four pudding spoonsful of brown sugar and one teaspoonful of mixed spice.
Shortcrust pastry was made with about 200g flour (I guesstimate, again) half that of butter, a pinch of salt, and some really cold water. The sponge topping was 100g SR flour, 100g caster sugar, 100g margarine (not happy with this bertolli olive oil stuff for baking :/ ) and two beaten eggs, I added the rest of the orange juice and a few drops of bourbon vanilla.

cheers,
Mary
 

British Red

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Hmmm tricky to can given its "dryness" - can't have air gaps really - I've canned normal apple pie filling so would probably make this with a little extra runniness - is that a word? - and can it that way
 

Toddy

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I did wonder, but it could be like an apple compote I suppose. Commercial ones of those are pretty flavourless tbh, I tried two or three bought varieties and decided they were only fit to be mixed with pasta and sweetcorn for a salad. A bit baby food like, iimmc.
The fried apples are juicy, buttery, caramel sweet and smell wonderful with the spice. I suppose they could be done in syrup :dunno: but the butter might rise out of them though.
ah, it was just an idea.

atb,
M
 

British Red

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Apple "butter" is regularly canned by the colonials - can't see why it can't be spiced, flavoured or caramalised as desired - I'm sure something could easily be worked out

I like to use the half pint wide mouth jars for that sort of thing - I'm using them for the soup at the moment as its the right size for BB to take when working away - must buy some regular type jars in 250ml


Onion Soup Can for 55 minutes at 10lb by British Red, on Flickr
 

Toddy

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Are those Leifheit ones you've used there ?

I thought apple butter was like our Sunwheel spread stuff ? Marmite like thickness I mean......it's pretty easy to do from the scraps from making dried apples.

M
 

santaman2000

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......I'm seriously going to try canning using the mason jars since I found that company in Wales who supply new lids for them.....and those are cheaper than the Kilner ones too :)
If that's what the commercial companies are using, and they won't want to face any accusations of food poisoning, it can't be a bad thing.

atb,
Mary
Mason (sometimes known as Ball Mason) is pretty much the standard by which all jars are measured here. In fact the very term "Mason jar" is synoymous with "glass jar" here.

Kerr used to make a good glass jar also but I'm not sure if they're in business anymore.