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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Small Batch Canning Method & Two Recipes

I will be doing a bit of small batch canning over the next couple of weeks along with my normal canning. At some point a dedicated home canner or even a novice is going to do a bit of small batch canning. There are three main reasons for this but there may be others. First, small batch canning can include test batch canning. In this case the home canner is purposely canning one or two jars to be opened within a day or so to see if this is a product he or she would like to can more of. Second, small batch canning is an ideal way to use up small amounts of some produce either as it becomes available or end of season gardening. The third reason is there are some products that are nice to have on hand but won't use a lot of (eg. dilly beans).

In general small batch canning batches:

  • are packed into 250 ml (half pints) or 125 ml (½ c) jars
  • are processed using a boiling water bath (BWB) canner
  • are usually 1 L or 4 cups total batch
  • are usually specialty food products
Small batch canning of pressure canned processed foods is possible but is normally done as part of a another canning batch using the same processing time. The reason for this is running a pressure canner for anything less than at least a half load is rather energy inefficient.

Modified Rack

When water bath canning you do not need a special pot. All you need is a pot deep enough to cover the filled jars when sitting on the rack by a minimum of 1 inch. The other requirement is it needs a lid. A normal water bath canner will hold 7 - 500 ml (pint) jars or 6 - L (quart) jars. A rack is necessary to keep the glass jars from coming into contact with the canner bottom.

Small batch canning requires a smaller water bath canner that can easily be made using a stock pot with a lid and a cake cooling rack or canning jar rings. I have three stock pots ranging from 24 cm to 28.5 cm diameter that all double as water bath canners. I found a cooling rack that fit nicely in the middle sized stock pot but for the others I use canning jar rings. These can be joined together with wire or left as is if you are only going to use that sized pot for a load or two.

Pickled Hot Peppers & Tango Preserves

Small batch canning requires that you be extremely prepared with all ingredients ready to use. The reason for this is in most cases you will run a few small batches of different products back to back to save on re-heating the water. At the same time a lot of small batch canning recipes are shorter period processing times so you have a shorter period in which to work.

I decided to process the rest of the jalapano peppers today along with tomato tango preserves. Both look beautiful in the jars! Both are wonderful products to have on your pantry shelves. The rich and aromatic tomato tango preserves would be nice to do a double batch. I modified the original recipe to use Pomona's pectin to make it low-sugar. These preserves would be perfect for baking chicken or pork in.

Pickled Jalapeño Peppers
source: Topp, E. and Howard, M., Small-Batch Preserving. 2001. Pp. 157.
modifications: by myself

1 c cider vinegar
¼ c water
1 tbsp local honey
2 tsp pickling spice
½ tsp Kosher salt
1 large clove garlic cut in half
8 large jalapeño peppers

Wash peppers. Wearing gloves, cut the tops off of the peppers. Slice lengthwise and remove seeds and pith. Slice thinly. Cut the garlic clove in half. Combine the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil then remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes. Pack one slice of garlic and jalapeño peppers in hot, sterilized jars leaving ½ - inch headspace. Pour the hot pickling liquid over the peppers leaving ½ - inch headspace. Wipe the rim. Adjust the two piece lids. Process in boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes for 125 ml (half-pint) jars.

Yield: 2 - 125 ml (half-pint) jars

Tomato Tango Preserves
source: Bernardin, Tomatoes Canning & Specialty Recipes. 2000. Pp.54.
modified: by myself to be low sugar and use Pomona pectin

3 c chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tsp calcium water
1½ c organic sugar
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2¼ tsp Promona's pectin

Wash, peel and seed tomatoes. Combine the tomatoes with lemon juice and calcium water in a large sauce pan mixing well. Mix dry ingredients together in a separate mixing bowl. Bring the tomato mixture to a boil. Stir in the dry ingredients, mix well and return to boil. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Ladle into hot, sterilized jars. Wipe rims. Adjust two piece lids. Process 5 minutes for 125 ml jars.

Yield: 3 - 125 ml jars

8 food lovers commented:

Mommy's Kitchen said...

Oh wow I love canning. I am going to do a batch of pear honey this weekend. I just canned some peach preserves.

TBones said...

hope i have time to do one of these recipes! thanks for this post :)

Garden Gnome said...

Mommy's Kitchen, canning is addicting :)

Garden Gnome said...

Oh do try the if you get a chance tbones. I'm sure you will enjoy them.

Chef Jay said...

Aside from food preservation purposes, canning can really be fun too. I'm doing canning salsa recipes myself and I'm glad I've found your post. Thanks.

Garden Gnome said...

You are quite right Chef Jay. Canning can be a lot of fun!

Sam said...

"Small batch canning of pressure canned processed foods is possible but is normally done as part of a another canning batch using the same processing time. The reason for this is running a pressure canner for anything less than at least a half load is rather energy inefficient."

THANK YOU! I've been looking all over the place for the answer to the question of whether I can process different things in the same load so long as they use the same processing time. I'm only me and there's no way I'm going to eat 7 quarts of green beans in one winter.

Actressdancer said...

I made this recipe today and it was very easy. However, the brine didn't yield enough to fill to the headspace properly. I made a second batch of brine and used about half of it.

What might I have done wrong?