2 Canning Methods to Build Your Emergency Food Stockpile

Colorful jars of canned survival food organized on shelves

Canning foods at home to build an emergency food stash has changed considerably during the nearly 200 years since it was introduced as a way to preserve food.

One thing hasn’t changed, though – many self-reliant people still enjoy doing it. And they really enjoy eventually eating the foods they have canned.

Canning during the spring, summer and fall allows people to stock-up their emergency food stash by placing many different kinds of chemical-free, tasty, ready-to-eat foods in jars that they can eat during the winter.

One of the best things about canning is that you don’t need to be concerned about a power outage spoiling the food you’ve canned.

You can put aside vegetables & fruits from your garden, preserves, jams, jellies, pickles, chili, stews, sauces, meat, fish, and may other items into glass jars. Then enjoy them later as a meal or snack.

Emergency Food Canning Safety

Before we get to canning methods, let’s talk a bit about proper safety precautions to take when canning first. The last thing you want is to put all the effort in to canning your delicious foods, only to discover your canned food has spoiled when you need it the most.

Proper food canning processes remove oxygen and destroy enzymes; prevent the growth of undesirable bacteria, yeasts and molds; and help form a high vacuum in jars.

Good vacuums form tight seals that keep liquid in, and air and microorganisms out. These canning processes include:

  • Carefully selecting and washing fresh food
  • Peeling some fresh foods
  • Hot packing many foods
  • Adding acids (lemon juice or vinegar) to some foods
  • Using acceptable jars and self-sealing lids
  • Processing jars in a pressure canner or boiling water for the correct period of time

2 Canning Methods to Build Your Survival Food Stockpile

Method #1: Pressure Canning is the way to go for canning meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables

The bacterium Clostridium botulinum is destroyed in low-acid foods when they are processed at the correct time and pressure in pressure canners.

If Clostridium botulinum bacteria survive and grow inside a jar of food, they can produce a poisonous toxin. Pressure canning uses higher temperatures than the boiling water method.

Method #2: Boiling Water Canning is an easier way to get started if you’re a beginner. It’s good for acidic foods including fruit jams and jellies, salsas, tomatoes, and vegetables.

The two methods work approximately the same way. After the ingredients are prepared, they’re loaded into jars with special lids that allow steam to escape.

The jars are then heated. When the jars cool, the food contracts and creates an airtight seal that preserves the contents for up to one year.

What Canning Equipment Will I Need?

Find a canning recipe for something you know you will enjoy. And follow the recipe precisely.

Next, gather the equipment you will need. This will include:

  • Canning jars with two-part lids: a flat lid with a rubberized gasket and a ring to hold it in place.

  • A stock pot at least three inches taller than the jars.

  • Canning tongs for lifting jars out of the boiling water.

  • A canning rack to raise jars off the bottom of the pot.

  • A wide-mouth funnel to make filling jars easy.

  • A bubble tool to release trapped air in the jars

Make sure to label every jar with the contents and the date when they were made.

Add Canned Dried Beans to Your Survival Food Stash

One of the many food items you might want to can is dried beans. You’ll want to use the pressure canning method for this task, and you can find sources online for how to conduct this activity.

Dried beans are a great source of protein. They also contain plenty of iron, fiber, calcium, and Vitamins B and C.

They’re less expensive than supermarket canned beans. And have much less sodium content.

Dried beans do take time to soak, pre-cook and can. But you can make them in large batches and then keep them in storage for meals.

Among the beans you can pressure can are lima beans, navy beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas and many others.

Speaking of great-tasting beans…

4Patriots offers a Meat & Protein Deluxe Survival Food Kit that includes, real beef and chicken, plus savory, healthful beans. It’s the perfect protein boost for your stockpile and all 85 servings are designed to last 25 years on the shelf!*

*4Patriots survival food is designed to last 25 years on the shelf. Storage conditions impact the shelf life of your food. For best results, always protect your food from heat, air and moisture. Avoid prolonged exposure to temps above 75 °F. Keep food sealed until ready to eat. Shelf life will vary based on storage conditions.