Hello, what are some of your favorite things to can? Have you canned butter before? Any tips for a newbie? I just purchased all items to can and have been looking at videos to get me started.


  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    @Denisha Cole Welcome to TGN. I'm sure you will get lots of suggestions here. Years of experience on the forum to draw from.

    I think the easiest things to can to start with are fruits. Pop them in a jar, add water or sugar syrup as preferred, put on lids and stick in the canner. Easy-peasy. Relishes are also pretty easy as are jams and jellies.

    Some of my favourite things to can are condiments like ketchup, HP sauce (like a steak sauce for those in the US), horseradish sauce. zucchini relish, corn relish, etc.

    I have never canned butter before nor do I know anyone who has done so. But if you are doing it you will need a pressure canner. Not sure what the heat would do to the taste or consistency. But maybe someone else on the forum has experience with this. I prefer to freeze butter, although I have never had that much of an excess. I have also read that burying butter in a sealed container can be a way of preserving it.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,278 ✭✭✭✭

    @Denisha Cole You will have such a fun experience this summer and fall. Be sure to use the Ball canning book for 2020. It will give the correct times for canning the fruit. I have canned many different fruits and decided many years ago to include a spoonful or two of sugar just before you add the hot water to the jar.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,518 admin

    @Denisha Cole We have lots of butter since we milk jerseys! We love butter and cream. If we have extra, we freeze it. I have never heard of canning butter. I am not sure that it would be a safe method of preservation.

    Another point would be that heating the butter up in a jar would lead to it melting, which leads me to another thought. You could make ghee from the butter and place it in a sanitized airtight jar, and not have to go to the bother of canning. You should be able to find online information easily on how to make & store ghee.

  • erikawinterton
    erikawinterton Posts: 98 ✭✭✭

    So this is just my experience... I have tried several different methods of canning, and several different types of foods and jars. I actually found I do much better with lacto bacillius fermentation techniques. Like pickling over hot canning.

    I tried to make pie filling (fresh apples and a sugar spice mix) and can it by the water bath method. I used wide mouth ball jars. I was devistated to find none of them sealed and they all molded.

    So, instead I found pickling lids for my wide mouth jars. Then I did cucumbers, cabbage, garlic, eggs, into a brine (water and salt). I let it sit out and it fermented. It kept for years in my fridge too.

    I also do sourdough ferments which do not need refrigeration.

    For butter or milk you might consider making cheese and then wax preserving it too.

    I suppose all this is to say that there are alot of different things out there for different foods to save in different ways.

    If you have a water bath or pressure cooker, fruit and preserves are excellent place to start.

  • chimboodle04
    chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2020

    Hi :) I am sure others may say differently, but you cannot safely can any dairy at home - you are not just trying to seal the jar, but kill all harmful bacteria that may be in the food being canned. Home pressure canners do not get to a high enough temp to this for dairy like factory canners do, which is why you can buy things like canned milk, but you cannot safely do it yourself... Some of my favorite things to can are those that make putting together a tasty meal easier - chili base, spaghetti sauces, salsas, canned beans, soups, plum sauce or mango sauce (to toss with meat and serve over rice), chutneys to add to roasts, and pickles are some of our favorites!

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I suggest starting with jam. It's much easier than jelly, and as long as you are using a proven recipe, it should be safe.

    I recommend Put 'Em Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton. It's full of good recipes for preserving your food, and covers freezing, dehydrating, and acid-based water bath canning (but not pressure canning).

  • maimover
    maimover Posts: 359 ✭✭✭

    @Denisha Cole welcome... I have never canned a thing in my life but intend to thus year. All American canner “supposed” to arrive from Amazon July 10th. Hoping to can peas, string beans, and tomatoes at the very least. Hoping for some salsa too maybe. Melissa K Norris has a great canning class that seems to be pretty thorough and she covers many safety issues. She’s done presentations on the homegrown food summit and is a great wealth of information. Definitely going to keep an eye on this thread. Good luck with canning and welcome aboard TGN.

  • JaneMcTavish
    JaneMcTavish Posts: 26 ✭✭✭

    Welcome! I've been canning dried beans of all kinds, chicken, pork, Venison and meals in a jar for one. I enjoy it very much but was so nervous to start. I'm sure you will be so excited that first project. The joy doesn't end, it grows and grows the more you learn, the more you can. I'm looking for at least two new foods this season. I'll be keeping an eye here. Here's to a season of canning and cooking success.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    Welcome to the TGN Forum @JaneMcTavish! Here's to finding your new foods to explore!

  • Gail H
    Gail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭

    @Denisha Cole I try to can basic, more versatile things. I do crushed tomatoes and then I can use them in spaghetti, chili, soup, etc. I can a fair amount of applesauce, too; it's pretty easy to make and everyone likes it.

    I have done broth. It was a nice convenience food to have on hand. I really need to try meat this year; it makes me nervous to rely on my freezer too much.

    COWLOVINGIRL Posts: 954 ✭✭✭✭

    Denisha Cole that's great that you want to can! I need to tell you though, canning butter is ABSOLUTELY NOT SAFE! I'm sure you've heard about botulism. So the reason we can things is to kill the botulism spores, but when you can butter, the right amount of heat can't get all the way through the butter, even with a pressure canner! But, if want to store butter for later, it freezes very well! Check out this resource for safe canning:


  • herbantherapy
    herbantherapy Posts: 453 ✭✭✭✭

    I also highly recommend @Melissa Norris Melissa K. Norris. She has a lot of free content and an excellent membership program (idk if it’s open right now). She has a great way of explaining canning safety. And she is super patient with answering the same questions from people again and again💖

  • maimover
    maimover Posts: 359 ✭✭✭

    @Gail H I’ve never canned anything but along with vegetables this year I’m hoping to also do some bone broth. There is a reasonably close farm nearby. Their beef is grass fed and finished. My daughter and I have split pigs and cows in the past. They also offer bags of bones. So am hoping...

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Refreshing this topic to add this link to it.

    I am on vacation this week and want to get some stuff canned. Garlic has been a constant in my CSA baskets, so I will be adding that to my stash of canned goods.