Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Shopping List for A Survivalist Canner

If I was planning to do much canning of food after a SHTF breakdown, I would begin stockpiling now a list of items without which canning could not happen.

I would have a wood stove. If the power goes out, or a person can't buy propane or operate a generator long term for canning, using a wood stove would be necessary. Canning requires several pots, one for sterilizing jars and lids and rings for those lids, one for cooking or prepping the food, and then the pressure canner or hot water bather. You must have a surface large enough to keep all this hot at once. It doesn't all have to be on full heat. Too much heat will cause excessive water loss from the canner.

A person must have lids. As I posted a few days ago, the flat mason lid with corresponding, yet removable ring, is iffy at best for reuse. The rubber gasket must be piping hot, anchored with the ring, until completely cooled on the jar. The ring can then be removed and used with other flat lids.
So, buying plenty of lids would be paramount. Sometimes they are sold out during harvest time. If they get sold out now, you know they will be sold out if SHTF.

Salt and sugar. You can can and preserve without it, but the food looses quality. Salt in particular is essential to food preparation. You can make sauerkraut in a large jar with salt, be sure it stays below the brine. You don't have to can it either, same with pickles.

Shelving. Proper shelving should allow easy access and have high weight limits. Storage out of direct sunlight, and low humidity. A cool but not damp basement is nice.  You'd be surprised how heavy all these jars full of food can become.

Glass measuring cups, funnels, hot pads and cooling space are all nice to have. Its funny how little counter space some kitchens have now days.

I am working on primitive ways our ancestors used to preserve food. Root cellars, salt brines, dehydration, and natural forest foods. One reason our pilgrims brought over dandelions and kudzu was gifted to the southern states by the Japanese was to take advantage of hearty natural foods which do not require cultivation.

Now, someone asked me what on earth does two people do with a ten pound can of corn.
First, I wouldn't open it unless in season food was gone. Hopefully we eat out of the garden til frost.
Once fall sets in, the weather is cold, we can open said huge can, divide it into smaller containers. With cooler weather, this gallon of food should last, without spoilage, one week. I think we can eat corn chowder, corn muffins, and corn and venison for a week.


  1. Damn good! You should write a book on canning and food preservation. But not an ebook, a paper book so I can buy it and put it on my shelf.

  2. Thanks, Arsenius. How does a DVD book sound to you? Course, if the power goes out, you'd still not be able to read it, or haul it around the back forty with you.

    I did a paper printed book years ago, its somewhat costly. But, maybe we'll do another one some day!

  3. Oh, but I can! I bought one of those little kits that has a solar power panel and is supposed to charge gadgets like cell phones and lap top. I keep my emergency lap top and disks in a home made Faraday cage. So a DVD book would be ok, if not as much fun as a paper book. What was the book you wrote before that was paper? I know you told me once but I can't remember now. :-(

  4. I wrote a book on Ultralight Backpacking, see it listed with the Kindle books? Its sold in hard copy, too. The e books can be sold world wide, without me having to mess with shipping to Japan, etc.

    Ok, I'm looking into printing hardcopy, on demand through a amazon affliate.
    I'm impressed with your solar adventures. I do the yard lights and flash lights, solar, and ranging into the cooking. We actually turned off the water heater due to sucess so far.

    The book I'm working on is part of a trilogy, which once completed, I hope to print in a paperback. But, making it available as the books are written gives people a chance to get to know me now.