Show us your canned produce

OK, folks, I thought that we ought to have a thread where we show what we have canned so far for the season. I know looking at jars of is not exactly exciting, but I was just wondering how folks’ harvests have been.

Alright, I’ll get this started with some of what we’ve canned this season. We did can 7qt of cucumber pickles last week, but I didn’t get any pics. Nor of the sweet pickle relish.

Here are the 7qt of tomatoes we canned last week. Has been a better season than last year for tom’s but all the rain we’ve had, interspersed with hot sun, has taken its toll on our plants.

OK, here are some half runner beans. I have to admit we didn’t grow them, but our neighbor a couple miles down the road had scads of them and was begging us to pick them. Here are 10qt. Love these beans. We did harvest some Rattlesnake pole and WV half-runner beans today and had them for supper. They were good, but not as good as these are.

Here are 13 pints of salsa, we had the tomatoes and garlic, I think, but had to buy the hot and green peppers, and most of the onions. We got the peppers from our other neighbor who sells produce at the local county farmers market. We made a batch of 6 pints first, it was a bit thin, but more spicier and tart. After this batch finished, we put a small can of tomato paste in the second batch, to thicken it up, and sweeten it a bit. Looks great, I will be doing some “quality assurance” soon.

And, here are 7 half-pints of apple butter. We got the apples from a relative of someone my wife delivers meals to sometimes. Our church has a food ministry, where every Monday, folks gather at the church and they prepare like a three course meal, with a dessert. They put these meals in bags and deliver them to some of the older and sick folks in the community that can’t get around very well anymore. One of the ladies that my wife delivers to, blesses us with a couple dozen of fresh eggs once in a while.

This is the first time Mrs Dood has made apple butter. It’s got apples, cinnamon, cloves and sugar in it. It’s then cooked down, and then poured into the jars and water bathed. I have to give credit to her for most of the work. She peeled and cored the apples. And mixed in the other ingredients. I helped put the lids on, tho…

These some of the apples that were left over. Yes, they look kinda bad, but they have a good flavor. You just have to peel and cut away a lot to get to the good parts.

In case you’re curious, we use a Presto 17qt pressure canner. Instead of a pressure gauge, it uses a weighted “bobber”, that has weighted rings that you add to get the required pressure level. We are at about 800ft elevation, so we cook at 10 pounds, which is the bobber and one weighted ring.

We also use an old 23 quart canner for water bathing quarts, which isn’t possible in the 17qt canner.
We found a older pressure regulator (bobber) for it last weekend, but it still needs a rubber gasket for the lid. If we can find a gasket, we’ll be able to can more stuff at once. But, for now, we’re done canning for the time being.

Again, most of the credit for these fine canned products goes to the wife. She did most of the work, in cutting and preparing the stuff. Hope you enjoy the pics and I look forward to seeing more from y’all.


Do you add acid to your canned tomatoes?

Yes, we added two tablespoons of bottled lemon juice to each quart. We then processed them at 10 pounds for 25 minutes, I believe.


We added lemon juice to canned tomatoes, but didn’t like the way it made chili taste. It was fine when making bean soup, though. Is there another way to make home-canned tomatoes “safe?”

I believe citric acid powder can be used, I’m not 100% on that. Contact your local extension office for help/ advice.

My canning book says either bottled lemon juice or citric acid. I didn’t see any other alternatives, but just googling I found that you can use vinegar (5% acidity), but that may be even more unappealing. Plus, the amount of vinegar required is double the amount of lemon juice. So, for a quart, that is 4 tablespoons of vinegar, as opposed to 2TBSP of LJ.

I’ve canned tomatoes for years. Never use lemon juice or citric acid. Just 1/2 tsp salt per pound of chopped tomatoes (weighed before jarring) and I only water bath can tomatoes. I’ve tried the citric acid for some non-acidic veggies but it really ruins the taste. Do folks really think summer tomatoes actually need more acid? Sorry. To me that is crazy.
Here is a small sampling of canned stuff still in the kitchen

From left cranberry jelly, chopped garlic, cubed kohlrabi, green beans, lacto-fermented chili paste, yellow tomatoes, and onion pepper relish.


I never add acid to tomatoes, either


Well yes, just to be safe. Tomatoes border at the pH of around 4.6 Pushing them a little more acidic stops the botulism bacteria from growing. It cannot grow at 4.5 (even if it’s there) or so, maybe it’s 4.6? I myself use lime juice. It must be bottled not fresh as we know the pH of bottled. Fresh lemon or lime can have a higher pH. How to solve the problem of acidity when cooking? Grated carrots into the sauce while cooking. This will cut the acid down. Carrots are very basic. So I use lime to ensure botulism is impossible and carrots to decrease the acid when ready to use.You will not taste the carrots and it works very well! You only need a little bit, use your taste to determine when right for you. Start with only 1/4 of a carrot and taste. Go from there. Again this works every time.

Some people like to use sugar to balance the acid, I myself prefer to remove it with carrots. I don’t add sugar to tomato sauce. I don’t like too sweet of a sauce.

If whatever you’re canning has a pH of lower than 4.5 or 4.6 (I don’t remember?edit: it’s 4.6, looked it up) you don’t have to add acid. You could test the pH. I use this chart

1 Like

Actually, all I ever use is salt. The pH determines more whether I’ll use the pressure canner or not. I’ll pressure can all the root veggies (beets, carrots, potatoes, rutabagas, etc. temp=240 deg) Even celery and kohlrabi. But salt has been my only additive and it has served me well. Not sayin’ people should do it that way…but I am sayin’ that the stuff written in canning books is overkill (and produces a poor end result in most cases)


I think it is too. Like I would never cook peppers before canning. I cook the liquid and poor it into jars with fresh peppers. A no-no, but I can’t eat soggy peppers! Do this at your own risk. I have high blood pressure. Salt is not an option for me.

I so agree. I can roasted red bells w/a vinegar brine, so I just blacken them under the broiler, peel, pack in jars and add the brine and water bath can them. Oh my. One of those on a sandwich in winter is as good as a fresh tomato.[quote=“Drew51, post:11, topic:6946”]
I have high blood pressure. Salt is not an option for me.

So I do not use a lot and the end result does not taste salty to me. Just 1/2 t/pint, 1t/qt.
Docs differ on the HBP/salt connection.

I have always used citric acid powder and salt in tomatoes. I process them in a water bath canner. I would guess that using the pressure canner would be guaranteed safe method if you don’t want to add acid in some form.

If I consume a lot of salt I can get edema in my legs. It has happened a few times. I have to go to the ER for powerful diuretics. So I don’t salt anything anymore. Plus I hate going to the ER, all the nurses know me as my wife is a pretty famous ER nurse. My wife used to have the drugs herself, it’s impossible these days for that to happen anymore. We still keep enough Cipro to protect the city against anthrax! Once expired, that is it though! I can’t even get scripts anymore from the ER docs! (without admission) Sucks!

I am relatively new to canning, but my wife had done some in the past while living here on the farm with her mom.

Since I am a bit OCD when it comes to safety, I add the acid to the tomatoes, not because of flavor, but because it’s needed to lower the pH, as @Drew51 says. I just don’t want to take a risk. Is it overkill? Maybe. My wife doesn’t seem to have same concerns about it like me, says, “well, that’s how we’ve done in the past.” Well, that’s all well and good, but it doesn’t make it right or safe. She said they would water bath green beans for 4-6 hours or so. That is no longer recognized as safe, low-acid foods like beans have to be pressure canned, so that’s how we do it.

When we were making the salsa the recipe called for using pints, not quarts. I researched it, and the reason you don’t see quarts in the recipes is that there apparently hasn’t been any testing done on quarts. In between our two batches of salsa, we discovered we were out of pints, but had quart jars. She wanted to use the qts, but I said no, we need the pints. So, I went to town to get some, and we finished the salsa later. Again, over cautious? Maybe. Besides, a quart of salsa is a lot, and once it’s opened, you need to eat it soon, or it goes bad. Not deadly bad, just goes off. A pint of salsa is just much more practical.

Getting back to the canned tomatoes, I don’t think we added any salt, just the lemon juice. My wife has mild hypertension, but we’re not too restrictive with it, but we do try to not overdo it with the salt. We add salt to our canned green beans though, but it’s only maybe 1tsp. My blood pressure tends to run a bit lower than normal, due to what I believe is a bit of adrenal fatigue. So restricting my sodium intake really isn’t necessary. Eating high potassium foods kinda messes with me actually.

I asked my wife this morning how we did the tomatoes. She said we put in 2tbsp of lemon juice in each jar, added the toms, and water bathed them for 40 minutes.

For some reason I thought we pressure canned them. At any rate, either way would’ve worked.

OK, yesterday we canned 7 quarts of dill pickle slices. Cucumbers have done real well this year. Last year we only got maybe 7qt of pickles and that was it. This year, I think we made 7qt of dill spears, 4pt of sweet pickle relish, in addition to these.


Those look delicious! Perfect size for frying, too.

I think so too, but there are limits to the risks I take with home canning.

We eat a lot of salsa in our house. I’ve canned it for about 20 years (always water bathed, not pressure canned) and we always can in quarts. I can about 50 quarts a year generally. Sometimes all I eat for lunch is chips and salsa.

I use citric acid for acidifying salsa (even though citric acid is not tested for salsa, only tomatoes). I probably wouldn’t feel comfortable not using an acidifying agent now on tomatoes or salsa, unless I was pressure canning them. But when I started canning years ago I didn’t know that C. botulinum didn’t grow in a low acid environment, so never acidified salsa. There are some newer low acid tomatoes, and riper tomatoes are less acidic, so it could be more important in some situations.

I use a little bit of sugar to offset the acid. Salt (although a preservative) won’t prevent clostridium botulinum in tomatoes, at the concentration used in the canning process. I think everyone writing on this thread knows that, just mentioning for any casual readers.

1 Like

In total agreement. Do it according to the best science that is available.

That said, I just wonder why salt is not mentioned as a bacteriostatic in canning. It is elsewhere. Just wondering.
Also wonder why sauerkraut hasn’t killed us all off. (=cabbage+salt)
And with citric acid/lemon juice, how do you know when you have lowered the pH enough? (Personal experience? Well gosh kinda.)
All rhetorical for now but should be answered at some point.

Because the botulism toxin is destroyed by high temperatures, persons who eat home-canned foods should consider boiling the food for 10 minutes before eating it to ensure safety.