So last year we picked up a Presto pressure canner from Amazon.
We were torn between it and the All-American canner, but in the end, we went for the better value. I would have preferred to buy something made in North America, but we couldn’t justify the cost. I’m sure that over many years it would pay for itself, but even after canning 400 jars of food, it is still adding $1 to the cost of each jar.
So far, we are very happy with our choice. I think that it has paid for itself a few times over, when you figure out the savings we have been able to take advantage of.
Our very first batch was months after we bought the canner. There was a big sale on pork loins for $1.77/lb and we bought two at about nine pounds each. We were going to cut them up into boneless chops and have a whole bunch of meals for a very reasonable price.
It turned out that we didn’t have quite enough freezer space so we decided to try out our new pressure canner. We cubed the pork up and put roughly a pound in each pint jar. We then put a pinch of various spices into the jars to see which combinations work well.
It turns out they all did.
We tried Montreal steak spice, onion and garlic powder, masala paste, chili flakes and a few others I can’t remember. The results were fantastic. We opened a can that night, because we were too excited, and we weren’t disappointed. We immediately started talking about how easy and delicious it was, and how much money we could save by buying and canning meat when it was at a heavily reduced price.
Then we started planning. We had a bag of chicken breasts that we got on sale, but after trying them and not enjoying their texture or flavour, we decided to can them in chunks to free up some more of our limited freezer space.
One taco Tuesday we opened a jar and mixed in a couple spoonfuls of taco seasoning and stirred it up in a frying pan. It was the best taco filling we had ever made.
We also canned up some ground beef with taco spice in it and it worked out very well.
Speaking of ground meat… Our neighbour had shot an elk and didn’t have enough space in her freezer, so she gave us a five lb pack of mooseburger from her hunt last year. We mixed in some ground pork, frozen corn and peas, taters and seasoning for delicious stew or shepherd’s pie filling.
At Thanksgiving we cooked a fifteen pound turkey and ended up with tons of leftovers. Gerri sliced up a bunch of celery, onion, potatoes and carrots, threw in the meat and topped it up with broth.
I tell you, we’ve been very happy with this one on these cold winter days. A quart of that and a couple of fresh made buns and we’ve got more than the two of us
Another excellent use was jars of potatoes. Drain them and throw them in the skillet with some butter and onions. Voila! Some very fine homefries are a great addition to your breakfast.
I know that we’ve been focusing on dinner stuff, but look!
We got a case of Okanagan peaches and put them in jars with a pinch of cinnamon in the syrup. They go great with a bowl of Gerri’s homemade ice cream. (Which I might add is better than any we’ve bought at a store.) They are even better than the ones we did with mint last year, and I loved every last jar of those ones.
We have tons more, but I think you get the point. We encourage you to go out there and get canning. You don’t need to have a homestead to do this, either. You can take great advantage of sales and give yourself a sense of freedom knowing that if there was an emergency, you aren’t going to starve. At least not for a few days.
Needless to say, we are very happy with this canner.
While it would be nice to have the All-American,
we can’t really justify it on our budget. I guess if the Presto dies for some reason, but I can’t see that happening in the next twenty years.