How to Preserve Food Without Refrigeration

It is possible to preserve food without refrigeration by canning, drying or using a root cellar.



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Use this guide to determine how and how long to store different produce.
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A root cellar needs to breath, and a ventilator is necessary. It should be 4 to 6 inches square, extend 3 or 4 feet above the dirt that covers the cellar and must have a rain cap. Plug the vent with rags or paper in extremely cold weather.
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You can pick between many types of glass jars. Each has its own pros and cons.
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HOW TO CAN STEP BY STEP: [1] Check jars for nicks, cracks and sharp edges. Check cans for corrosion and cracks in tin plating. Discard any defective containers. Use new lids and — for jars — good rubber seals. [2] Wash containers, covers and seals in hot, soapy water. Scald and leave in hot water until ready to use. [3] Select firm, fresh — but not overripe — produce. [4] Prepare fruits and vegetables according to appropriate hot-pack or cold-pack recipe.
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Drying is one of the most effective means of food preservation because dried foods can be held indefinitely as long as they are kept dry.
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Allow proper head space of 1 inch for corn, peas, lima beans and meat and ½ inch for all other home-canned products.
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HOW TO CAN STEP BY STEP: [9] Process containers in hot water bath or pressure cooker. Follow instructions of manufacturer. [10] Remove containers after processing required length of time. Set jars upright on folded towels. [11] Immediately tighten screw-on caps final quarter-turn. Other closures should already be tight. [12] Cool containers for 12 hours. Remove bands from self-sealing caps. Test seal by pressing cap. If top stays down, seal is good. Store.
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HOW TO CAN STEP BY STEP: [5] Pack food into jars or cans, leaving proper head space. Add liquid as called for in recipe. [6] Release air bubbles by running knife or spatula around inside of container. [7] Wipe top of jar and threads free of all pulp, seeds, grease, etc. [8] Place scalded lid on jar or can. Seal tin cans and tighten self-sealing jar tops as firmly as possible by hand. Do not use a wrench. Tighten screw-on caps firmly and back off one-quarter turn.
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Use this guide to determine how and how long to store different produce.
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This cross-section of a self-sealing lid shows how a good rubber ring seals all around jar top, inside, outside and on top. There's no chance for air to get in.
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