It is a very summery picture, which is repeated in almost all the towns of Spain: the family garden produces an amount of vegetables impossible to assimilate. As much as you eat ratatouille and gazpacho on a daily basis there is only one solution to not throw food: prolong its useful life.
Conservation techniques have allowed Humanity to survive during the winter since the Neolithic, when societies became sedentary, but it seems that This task is today exclusive to the food industry. Big mistake.Live to the PalateThis is the best time to make canned tomatoes: all the keys to make it perfect
Learning to make homemade preserves is the best way to have quality products all year, and not only if you have an orchard. Now that tomatoes, peppers or zucchini, and many seasonal fruits, are at their best, and are much cheaper, it's time to fill the pantry.
Basic notions of conservation
A good conserve is one that limits the factors that favor bacterial growth, something that is achieved by reducing the oxygen present in food, heating or cooling, reducing humidity (the base of dehydration) or increasing acidity (the base of pickles or pickles).
Choosing between one technique or another - and, more generally, a mixture of several of them - will depend on each food, our knowledge and the technologies we have.
At home level, and if we want to store the food so that they arrive in full winter conditions, the best options are dull, freeze or dehydrate.
In previous reports we have explained the procedures to follow for each of these techniques, but to achieve reliable preserves it is essential to have some basic food security measures, which are much easier to observe with the right instruments.Live to the PalateHow to make canned food at home
We have already told you how useful it is to have a vacuum packing machine in the kitchen, essential if you want to freeze all kinds of food for longer. We have also addressed the world of dehydration, perhaps the great unknown. Now comes the turn of the blunted.
This is a tour of the tools that will allow you to become a master canner:
It is obvious, but many times we forget: having a good boat is essential to make a good dull. True is that jars can be recycled of commercial products, but an extremely common mistake made when canning is pulling damaged boats, in which the void is lost.
To buy new boats, at least once in a while, it is much safer. Although you have to sterilize them anyway before using them - just wash them in the dishwasher at a high temperature -, We will be sure that the closure works. In addition, we can choose the ideal size for what we want to keep.
In Amazon there are lots of boats Ideal size for preserving vegetables, sauces or jams, and they are very affordable. This pack of 46 units, half a liter and priced at only € 11.89, is ideal for vegetables. If yours are sauces or jams, this pack of 25 jars of 230 ml at 19.99 euros is the winning option.
The great enemy of home canning is the cross contamination, therefore it is important to have all the instruments that we are going to use clean. Have good dishcloths, that do not accumulate dirt, it is essential to safely handle all containers.
In Amazon there are very cheap lots, like this one of 12 rags at 14.99 euros, or this one of 10 units at 11.99 euros.
3. Pots to pasteurize or sterilize
The heat treatment It is essential to eliminate all microorganisms that can ruin our preserves.
The pasteurization, which is reached simply by boiling the boats, it is enough for medium-term preserves of previously cooked foods such as fried tomatoes or jams, but to more safely dull all types of food it is preferable to opt for sterilization, for which it is necessary to use an autoclave or express pot.
Just heat the boats twenty minutes in one pressure cooker conventional - since the rings rise - to sterilize them. For this purpose we only need a large quick pot, such as this six-liter of the Monix brand or this, more professional, of the WMF brand. But if we make many preserves, we can consider buying utensils designed specifically for that purpose.
In Amazon we find this pot with thermometer and capacity for 11 jars, for use with gas stoves, or this electric sterilizer, which despite its higher price, costs € 136.98, is the ideal tool if you are going to make an important volume of boats.
If yours touches the professional, you can consider buying a autoclave, the type of instruments used in the food industry. There are from 300 euros.
4. Markers and labels
Almost no one does it, but it is a custom that greatly increases the safety of our preserves: every time we process something, the ideal is write down what we are saving and at what time, to be clear about the time after which it is preserved is no longer safe.
Although, if all the steps are done well, canning can last up to two years, ideally, especially if we are first-time, it is run out of canning from one year to another. Aiming well on the dull date is the only way to have all this controlled.
Have some good ones in the kitchen permanent markers It is ideal for both dulling and freezing. In Amazon we find these of the BIC brand, at € 5.81 the box of 12, or these at Amazon Basics at € 11.09 the package of 24.
It is also useful for boats to have labels, which also serve if we want to make canned cuquis to give to our family and friends. These black labels come with white markers, and cost only 13.78.
Counting a funnel is essential for a good dull. Not only greatly facilitates the taskIt also reduces the chances of cross contamination, which as we know is our great enemy.
There are wide mouth funnels, specifically designed to blunt. Ideally, we choose these with a size according to our boats. This Kitchen Craft, which has a price of € 13.64, can be adjusted to various sizes, although there are much cheaper, like this Toogoo brand, which costs only € 3.18.
6. Boat clamps
If we go to handle a good amount of boats It is very useful to have a specific clamp to handle them, which in addition to facilitating the entire operation, greatly reduces the risk of the glass breaking.
It is a very cheap tool, which prevents headaches. This Kilner brand is priced at € 14.89.
7. Probe Thermometer
Reaching the right temperature, during the optimal time, is essential for correctly pasteurize or sterilize food. And to be sure that we are doing well, especially if we keep it in a conventional pot, it is ideal to have a good probe thermometer (which is also very useful for all kinds of tasks in the kitchen).
These types of thermometers are not expensive. They are a good option this Ultranatura brand (€ 18.55) or Lacor (€ 34.55).
8. pH meter
Heartburn is another factor that reduces the bacterial contamination, because microorganisms have a harder time surviving in acidic environments. Ideally, the inside of the canning reaches a acidity greater than 4.5 pH, That is why food is covered by what is known as government liquid, which serves both to facilitate the vacuum, and to ensure adequate acidity. This liquid is usually simply salt water, but you can also add some lemon and vinegar (something that must be done carefully if you do not want to alter the taste of canned food too much).
Although the pH meter It is not much less essential To make homemade preserves, it is useful if we are going to make a lot of them, or we want to guarantee extra security. It is also not very expensive: this Adwa brand has a price of € 35.90.
This instrument is used for determine the relative density of a liquid, and it is a very useful tool if ours is to make jellies, jams or chutneys. It serves to know if we need to thicken them more or less.
It's about a very simple device, so it’s nothing expensive. In Amazon we find this Alla France brand for only € 9.90.
This gossip is ideal if we are going to keep Cherries, plums or olives: by removing the bone we not only have a product ready to consume, we also reduce the space that oxygen can occupy and gain capacity.
This GWCLEO brand, made of stainless steel, is one of the best sellers on Amazon, and only costs € 6.90.
Estameña is a type of fabric used in cooking to strain sauces, broths, jellies or vegetable milks and get them to have a finer texture. Although it is not necessary for most preserves, it is essential for some specific elaborations.
There are closed, like this one of 23 centimeters (and a price of € 23) or without closing, like this set of three, which has a price of 11.99 euros.
Standard Stainless Steel Autoclav, designed for the preservation of Domestic Products, 32 Gläser 0.5 Liter Oder 21 Gläser 1 LiterToday in Amazon for € 391.90