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Rec.Food.Preserving FAQ (v.7.08) Part2

( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 - Part4 - Part5 - Part6 )
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Archive-name: food/preserving/part2
Posting-Frequency: monthly (on or about 20th)
Last-modified: 2002/08/14
Version: 7.08
Copyright: (c) 1998-2002 Eric Decker ( and others as specified within )
Maintainer: Eric Decker <>

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
                          Rec.Food.Preserving FAQ

          FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ) in the newsgroup preserving

This FAQ and all its constituent parts, as a collection of information, is 
Copyright 1998-2002 by Eric Decker, as a work of literature. Distribution by 
any electronic means is granted with the understanding that the article is not 
be altered in any way.  Permission to distribute in printed form must be 
obtained in writing.  The removal of this copyright notice is forbidden.


Disclaimer: No author represented in this FAQ is qualified to establish
scheduled processes nor is any author a competent processing authority in
the sense of 21 CFR 113.83 et alia.

Part 2 of 6

1.2.6. [Fruit preserves]

From: (Eric Decker) Subject: Pear preserves Wash.
Cut the pears lengthwise in halves or quarters. Remove stems, core. 
Peel the sections. Treat pieces against oxidation with a solution of
1 tsp of ascorbic acid per cup of water. Make enough so the
effectiveness of the solution is not exhausted. Make a thin or medium 
syrup according to taste. 

Syrups: Thin: 4 cups water to 2 cups sugar Medium: 4 cups water to three
cups sugar Heavy: 4 cups water to 4 and 3/4 cups sugar Combine the sugar
and water, bring to a boil, skim off the froth as required. If using a
sweet pear use thin, medium syrup for a less sweet pear. Simmer the fruit
in syrup for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove the pears from the syrup;
put the syrup back on to boil. Fill sterile jars with pears leaving 1/2"
of headroom. Add boiling syrup, leaving 1/2" of headroom. Wipe down the
jar lips with a clean damp cloth. Apply lids and bands finger tight
only. Process in Boiling-Water Bath: Pints for 20 minutes, quarts for 25
minutes. These preserves can be enhanced by the addition of whole cloves, 
caraway seed or cardamon seed prior to filling with boiling syrup.

1.2.7 [Marmalade]

From: Patricia Hill . My recipe for blood oranges or for any of the citrus
fruit marmalades is easy. Citrus marmalade Use lemon, limes, grapefruit,
kumquat, oranges, tangerines, ugly fruit, tangelos Mix the fruit if you
please or keep separate. Cut the fruit in halves or quarters and add water
to barely cover. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours, adding water as needed. Remove the
fruit from the water. Cut into thin shreds, chop or however you like it. I
like thin shreds and find it is easier for me to do it AFTER cooking. My
sister-in-law likes to cut it BEFORE cooking. Add the fruit shreds back
into the water. Measure the fruit and water mixture. For every cup you
have add 3/4 cup sugar Cook over a hot flame until it reaches the jelly
stage. Put in clean jars and seal. After it has jelled, you can add a
little flavor. Lime marmalade with a little Club Raki (a licorice flavored
liquor) is great. Lemons with a bit of scotch is good. Orange with a little
Kirsch. This makes a firm marmalade so you can actually dilute it a
little. If you want more flavorings, add them to the pot before it jells.
Once we went to the store and bought some of every different type of citrus
fruit they had. We cooked each fruit in a separate pot. After cutting we
mixed the shreds in all sorts of combinations. We made some chunky and some
thin shred. We put all sorts of flavorings in. They were all good.

1.2.8 [Tea jelly.] from Michael Teifel : I made a half litre Earl Grey tea
4 times stronger than normal. And I simply added 500 grams of a commercially
available sugar/pectin mixture and followed the instructions for making
jelly out of juices. It tastes real good, nearly the same taste of the
jelly from the mail order tea shop I tasted before. The next time I will
reduce the amount of sugar so that the tea flavour will be stronger. for a
second batch: I made 250 ml of green gunpowder tea with mint flavour (4
times stronger, it means 4 times more tea, not 4 times longer brewing).
Then I added 150 grams of a 1:2 mixture of the sugar/pectin box (1:2 means
that you have more pectin and less sugar in the mixture, so the jelly
results in more fruity flavour) and added a few pine nuts. (This tea is my
favourite, in Tunisia it is very common drink: chinese green tea with mint
and pine nuts.) Then I followed the instructions, and it gave a very good
tea jelly with a fresh flavour of mint! 

Add 1 TB of lemon juice for each liter. 

1.2.9 [Flower jellies]

>From Bess Halle : Basic flower jelly Make an infusion from edible flowers. 
1 pint of flowers to 1 pint of boiling water. Most flowers have a bitter
bit where the petal joins the flower so you must cut that part off. I use
scissors and just trim the petals of flowers, leaving the points attached.
(though once I actually snipped the points off 2 quarts of rose petals....
tedious beyond belief!) 2 C flower infusion 1/4 C lemon juice 4 C sugar
6 oz liquid pectin *optional; few drops food coloring Mix infusion, lemon 
juice and sugar in stainless steel or enamelware pan. Bring to hard boil
you can't stir down. Add liquid pectin and return to hard boil. Boil at
this temp. 2 minutes. Pour immediately into hot sterilized jars and seal. 
Turn jars upside down for 5 minutes and revert [or process for 5 min in 
waterbath]. Makes 4-4.5 cups of jelly. I've found liquid pectin works
better with flowers (and herbs) than the powdered kind. You CAN make
jellies with flowers and juice and I often make an apple mint jelly
with apple juice and apple mint. My favorite herb combination, though,
is lemon mint, made with 1 cup lemon verbena infusion and 1 cup spearmint.
I never use the food coloring because I like the pale yellow and gold and
pink and ruby colors. 

P.S. The word from the wine making group (where I first got the idea to
make honeysuckle jelly) is to wash the blossoms first. This is probably a
good idea because I made a batch of honeysuckle jelly over the weekend and
there was an awful lot of pollen in the flowers. The jelly tasted like
honey, btw, and quite good...not at all lemony, but not enough of the
actual honeysuckle flavor I was aiming for. I'll probably increase the
proportions next time. Here's another rose petal jelly recipe which makes
more jelly. 2 quarts rose petals **see note below 2 quarts water 1/4 cup
lemon juice 7 cups sugar 6 oz liquid pectin Boil petals in 2 quarts of
water with the lid on, till 1/2 liquid is gone. Measure out 3 cups liquid.
(save the remaining cup!!) mix with lemon juice and sugar. Bring to rolling
boil. Add liquid pectin (this will be 2 packages of the liquid certo brand)
and bring back to hard boil. Boil 2 minutes and pour into hot sterilized
jars. Seal in preferred manner. I use the little 4 oz jelly jars so that I
can give away a lot. This makes about 15 little jars. The remaining cup can
be mixed with a 1 cup infusion of a favorite herb like mint or lemon balm
and used in the previous recipe. I also boiled a cinnamon stick in with
the jelly-making part (not the first boiling of petals) I think because I
heard of a restaurant called Cinnamon Rose and the name stuck. Anyway, at
first the cinnamon seemed a little strong. A friend said the jelly tasted
like the apple pie from heaven. BUT after opening a sealed jar a few days
later I DID detect both the rose and the cinnamon flavor. Be sure to
discard the cinnamon stick before bottling. **I've used less and I've used
more, so the exact proportions probably don't matter. In fact, even when I
pick them at night when I get home from work, and they have little scent,
cooking them brings it out a lot. Just remember, for a good red color you
will need some red roses and also remember.. ..the rose brew will stain
your hands, your sink, your clothes!!!

1.2.10 [Canning Cake] 

Not Reccomended.  Be safe - freeze or "use a recipe which contains enough sugar
or alcohol" to inhibit bacteria.   

1.2.11  [Canned Bread 101 ]

The information following is presented as Canned Bread 101. The data is 
copyrighted as noted.  Specific permission has been given for its 
replication here in RFP FAQ. See Part 1 of RFP FAQ for further details of 
usage regarding Copyright information in this FAQ.

Special thanks go to Fadi M. Aramouni for providing both the information 
and permission for inclusion in the RFP FAQ.  

------------------ begin Canned Bread 101 -----------------------

Journal of Food Protection, Vol. 57, No. 10, Pages 882-886
Copyright, International Association of Milk, Food and Environmental 

Growth of Clostridium sporo genes PA 3679
in Home-Style Canned Quick Breads

Department of Foods and Nutrition and 2Department of Animal Sciences and 
Industry, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506-1407

(Received September 10, 1993/Accepted April 4, 1994)


The safety of a home-style canned quick bread was investigated using spores
of Clostridium sporo genes putrefactive anaerobe (PA) 3679. Baking was done 
at 177 C for 30, 40 and 50 min, at l91 C for 45, 50 and 55 min, and at 204
C for 40, 45 and 50 min. Products were analyzed for pH, water activity (a) 
and vacuum level. The microbial quality of the products was determined
before and after baking. Of the products baked at 177 C, some were stored
for 90 days at room temperature (23 to  25 C) or in an incubator at 35 C to
study their shelf-life. Inoculated and endogenous vegetative cells and their
spores were counted before and after baking and after storage using Fungs
Double Tube method. Results showed germination of endogenous spores in
uninoculated products after baking at 1770C for 30 min and storage at 35
C for 90 days. Survival of inoculated C. sporogenes PA 3679 was detected 
for all baking and storage treatments. Further work is recommended to 
determine safe processing procedures for this type of product. 

Key Words: Clostridium sporo genes PA 3679, home-canned breads, botulism.

Home-style canned quick breads have been featured in popular magazines
and promoted through mail order brochures and specialty shops. They are
typically manufactured by small home-based operations and the process
consists of oven-baking a batter in a wide mouth glass jar. Once baked,
the jars are removed and immediately covered with a two-piece lid. As
the product cools, a hermetic seal is created. The jars undergo no
further heat treatment and are stored at room temperature until
purchase and consumption. Two commercial samples purchased from a local
gift shop exhibited pH values of 7.2 and 7.4, and a of 0.95. Such
conditions coupled with favorable temperatures and the absence of a 
chemical preservative could lead to the survival and growth of 
Clostridium botulinum and production of toxins in the jars. 
Dack (4) reported that white bread dough with an initial pH of 5.4
and 37% moisture inoculated with spores of C. botulinum prior to
baking and hot sealing developed toxin after 6 months of storage.
Although C. botulinum is the most critical microbial hazard in
canning, many inoculated pack studies used C. sporo genes PA 3679 as
the test organism. Clostridium sporogenes PA 3679 is a spore-forming
putrefactive anaerobe whose spores are more heat-resistant than those
of C. botulinum and its testing in such studies is safer because this
organism is non-pathogenic. The objective of this study was to
investigate the safety of a home-style canned quick bread by inoculating
the product with spores of C. sporogenes PA 3679 and challenging survival
and growth of the organism under different baking treatments and storage 


Quick bread formulation.

A banana nut bread recipe was adapted from a professional baking book(5).
It consisted of pastry flour (700 g), sugar (280 g), baking powder (35 g),
baking soda (4 g), salt (9 g),chopped walnuts (175 g), eggs (280 g), banana
(700 g) and shortening (230 g). Dry ingredients were mixed together. All
liquid ingredients were combined with the shortening and added to the dry
ingredients while mixing in a HobartTM mixer (Hobart Manufacturing Co.,
Troy, OH). Portions of batter (250 g) were placed in a wide-mouth, 
pint-size glass jar and assigned to either a non-inoculated or
inoculated group.  For inoculated samples, the batter was put in a
StomacherThi bag and transferred to the room assigned for microbiology
work where 1 ml of the spore-inoculum (to be described) was aseptically
dded and the bag was stomached for 2 min in the StomacherrM (Tekmar, 
Cincinnati, OH). After stomaching, the bag was placed back in the jar 
and was cut to the jar size before baking. Baking the batter in the 
StomacherrM bag did not result in any change in the temperature profile
at the center of the cakes when compared to baking without the
StomacherTM bag. The bag remained intact after baking.

Baking treatments and storage conditions.

A preliminary study showed baking at 177 C (350 F) for 30 min and at 204
C (400 F) for 50 min to be respectively the minimum and maximum treatments
that would result in an acceptable product. Acceptability, defined as any
product that was not underbaked (grayish crust, doughy) or burned (black
crust, dry), was determined by a consensus of four taste panelists. 
Gisslen (5) recommended baking of the product at 1910C (3750F) for about 
50 min. However, given the possibility of temperature gauges and human
preference as to degree of doneness, different baking treatments with
regard to product acceptability were investigated: baking at 1770C for
30, 40 and 50 min, at 191 C for 45, 50 and 55 min and at 204 C for 40, 
45 and 50 min. Baking was done in a rotary type Hearth oven (National
Manufacturing Co., Lincoln, NE) calibrated with a mercury thermometer
and preheated to the desired temperatures. Baking times were measured
from the time the oven was equilibrated to the desired temperature.
Because use of thermocouples was not possible in the rotary oven, 
product temperature at the center of the bread was monitored in 
representative jars by inserting a mercury thermometer in the batter and
taking readings through the ovens glass window at 10 min intervals. 
After baking, the jars were immediately sealed and allowed to cool at room 
temperature (23 to 25 C). Because of their greater acceptability by
preliminary evaluations of taste panelists, samples of products baked
at 177 C were stored for 90 days at room temperature (23 to 25 C) or 
in a LablineTM incubator (Labline Co., Chicago, IL) at 35 C for
extended evaluation. The latter storage condition was chosen to
mimic extreme summer weather conditions that would result in 
temperature abuse of the product. 

Vacuum level, pH and A,a

Vacuum level inside the jars was measured using a Ametrex U.S. Gauge 
Division vacuum gauge (Metek, Sellersville, PA). With an AccumetlM pH
meter (Fisher Scientific Co., Pittsburgh, PA) final pH of the bread
was measured using a suspension of 10 g sample mixed with 90 ml of 
distilled water. Water activity of the center portion of the bread 
was measured using an AquaLab Model a~ meter (Decagon Devices, Inc., 
Pullman, WA). All readings were taken in duplicates.

Microbiological study.

Stock culture and spore harvesting. A stock culture of C. sporogenes
PA 3679 American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) 7955 maintained in
cooked meat medium (Difco Laboratories, Inc.) was used in this study.
The culture was obtained from the Food Microbiology Laboratory culture 
collection of Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS). One-tenth
milliliter of the stock culture was transferred to a tube containing
10 ml of sterile cooked meat medium (Difco) and the tube was placed 
in an anaerobic jar with GasPak Plus (BBL Microbiology Systems,
Cockeysville, MO) and incubated at 37 C for 18 to 20 h. This procedure
was repeated three times to insure active growth of viable vegetative
cells of C. sporo genes PA 3679. After the third incubation, a loopful
of the suspension was streaked onto Tryptose Sulfite Cycloserine (TSC)
agar plates (1). The TSC agar consisted of Shahidi-Ferguson-Perfringens
agar base (Difco) supplemented with 8% (vol/vol) filter-sterilized 
solution of D-Cycloserine (400 j.tglml final concentration). Streaked
TSC agar plates were placed in an anaerobic jar, which was set as
described previously and incubated at 37 C for 18 to 20 h. Following
incubation, an isolated colony, typically round, black and smooth, 0.5
to 1.0 mm in diameter, was tested biochemically using the  diagnostic
kit of RapID ANA II system (Innovative Diagnostic Systems, Inc.,
Norcross, GA). One isolated colony was also transferred to 10 ml of
fresh cooked meat medium in a test tube, which was vortexed for 5 s
(high speed). The suspension was then transferred (2 ml/tube) to five
tubes containing 10 ml fresh cooked meat medium. These tubes were
incubated anaerobically at 37 C for 18 to 20 h then the tubes were 
removed and kept in  refrigerator at 40C as stock culture. With the 
purified stock culture, spores were harvested according to the method
described by Vareltzis et al. (11), in which the stock culture is added
to fluid thioglycollate medium (FTG), heated, cooled and then incubated
overnight. The FTG medium is then added to the sporulation medium and
incubated again for 10 days rather than 7 days as done by Vareltzis et
al. (11), since preliminary studies indicated it resulted in higher
recovery of spores. Spores were harvested by a series of centrifugation 
and resuspension steps and kept in freezer. Prior to use they were
thawed for 1 to 2 h at room temperature. 

Spore titer determination and inoculum preparation. After thawing,
spores were homogenized by shaking the bottle up and down about 5 to
8 times. One milliliter of this homogenized spore suspension was then
serially diluted in 99 ml sterile phosphate buffer to obtain the desired
inoculum level (ca. 106 colony forming units (CFU)Iml) to be used for the
inoculated group.  The spore titer was determined by serially diluting 1
ml of spores in phosphate buffer. Each dilution was then tested in
duplicate using Fungs Double Tube (FDT) method (1). Presence of black 
colonies in the FDT indicated germination of spores in the plating 
medium (TSC agar) and such colonies were referred to as viable spores of
C. sporo genes PA 3679. One black colony was picked with a needle and
transferred in a buffer solution. This solution was then used to identify
the colony with a RapID ANA II diagnostic kit (Innovative Diagnostic 
Systems). Count of viable spores of C. sporogenes PA 3679 was determined 
during a preliminary study by two detection methods, direct agar
plating and FDT, using TSC agar and brain heart infusion agar (BHI)
supplemented with 0.05% ferric ammonium citrate and 0.1% sodium sulfite
(Difco). The preliminary study showed that TSC agar in the FDT system
recovered higher numbers of C. sporogenes PA 3679 and was, therefore,
used for enumeration of the organism in this research. If present in the
FDT, Clostridium perfringens would also show black colonies, which within 
the same incubation period are much larger than those formed by C.
sporo genes PA 3679  (<1 mm in diameter). Regardless of size, any black
colony in the FDT using TSC agar was presumptive Clostridium and since
the inoculum was C. sporo genes PA 3679, blackening was associated with
this organism in inoculated samples. In non-inoculated samples, blackening
was associated with Clostridium-like organisms and biochemical tests using
RapID ANA II kit (Innovative Diagnostic Systems) were performed to
identify black colonies observed in FDT prepared from non-inoculated 

Bread sampling and testing of samples. 

Product sampling was done by aseptically removing 25 g of unbaked or
baked bread samples and diluting in 225 ml sterile phosphate buffer in
a stomacher bag with filter. The sample was stomached for 2 min using
a Stomacher 400Th1 (Tekmar). The suspension was serially diluted and 1 
ml of each dilution was used for microbial analyses(1,2).

Eight samples were collected before baking and analyzed for their
microbial quality. Eight samples were also collected from each baking
treatment for microbial analysis. The experiment was replicated twice
and all samples were analyzed in duplicates. Samples were either 
uninoculated or inoculated with spores at a level of I0~ CFU/g and were
tested for total aerobic plate count (APC) and C. sporo genes PA 3679
count before and after heat treatment at 177 C (350 F), 191 C (375 F) 
and 204 C (400 F). After baking, jars were allowed to cool at room
temperature for several hours (about 8 h) before sampling and microbial 
analysis. In the shelf-life study only bread baked at 177 C was stored
for 90 days and used to evaluate for APC and C. sporogenes PA 3679.
Aerobic microorganisms in the sample were counted using plate count
agar (PCA) for APC (2). All agar plates as well as FDT (a self-contained
anaerobic system) were incubated aerobically, with PCA plates at 32 C for
48 h (2) and FDT at 37 C for 10 h or longer (1). 


Physical and chemical measurements.
The heating profile indicated that temperatures at the centers of the 
breads reached 106, 107 and 108 C for baking temperature set at 177,
191 and 204 C, respectively, after 50 min in the preheated oven (Table 1).
Although temperature increased at a faster rate for the more drastic 
baking treatments, final internal temperatures were not significantly 
different (P>0.05). Vacuum level in the jars averaged 25.0 min of Hg for
all treatments; a ranged from 0.95 to 0.93 and pH from 7.6 to 7.9 (Table 

TABLE 1. Heating profile at center of quick breads*.
Oven temperature** (0C)	Batter temperature*** (0C)	Baking time (min)	

34								10	

70								20	
177									94

106							40	

106							50	

46								10	

78								20	
191									96

106							40	

107							50	

65								10	

94								20	
204									101

106							40	

108							50	
* Breads baked in pint-size, wide-mouth glass jars.
** Rotary type Hearth oven, preheated to designated temperature.
*** Average of three readings.

TABLE 2. pH and a of quick breads.
Oven temperature**(	0C)	pH*		a **		Baking time
0.95			30	
177								7.9
0.95			40	
0.95			50	
0.94			30	
191								7.9
0.94			40	
0.94			50	
0.94			30	
204								7.7
0.93			40	
0.93			50	
* 10 g sample mixed with 90 ml of distilled water and the pH read using
an AccumetTM pH meter.
** Small center piece section of a baked bread read in an AquaLab, Decagon
a~ meter.

Microbiological study before storage.

Microbial quality of samples before baking. Uninoculated and inoculated
samples with APC  of 4.08 and 4.24 log10 CFU/g, respectively, were not
significantly different (P>0.05).  Before baking, black colonies were
not detected in uninoculated samples. However, black  colonies were
detected in inoculated samples, which had C. sporogenes PA 3679 at 
level  of 3.23 log10 CFU/g, immediately after inoculation. Microbial 
quality of samples after baking and before storage. After baking,
uninoculated and inoculated samples had APC at non-detectable levels.
Similarly, after storage at room temperature and at 35 C for 90 days, 
counts were still non-detectable by our methods (data not shown). These 
results indicated that vegetative cells of non-sporeforming
microorganisms were either irreversibly injured or totally destroyed
by the baking treatments applied. Levels of C. sporogenes PA 3679 in
bread samples after baking. In uninoculated samples, black colonies 
were not detected before baking. Following all baking treatments, no 
black colonies were detected in any of the uninoculated samples either
(Table 3), suggesting no activation of endogenous spores of clostridia 
prior to storage. 

In inoculated products, counts of C. sporo genes PA 3679 were significantly
reduced (p>O.OS) for all baking treatments with the exception of 191 C for
45 min (Table 3). Reductions from the initial load of 3.23 log10 CFU/g
generally ranged from 1.24 to 1.52 log, with the 177 C, 50 min treatment
unexpectedly resulting in the lowest count (<1 log10CFUfg). The reductions
in levels of C. sporo genes PA 3679 were not significantly different
(P>0.05) among the baking treatments of 177 C for 30 and 40 min, of 191 C
for 50 and 55 min and of 204 C for 40, 45 and 50 min. These data seem to 
support the heating profile study at the center of breads, which showed 
no significant difference (P>0.05) among the ultimate internal temperatures
after baking treatments. Inconsistencies in survival rate of spores for
different baking treatments (higher counts after 50 min of baking at 204
C than at 177 C) could be partly due to errors in enumeration, because of
the nonhomogeneous nature of the product or to faster setting of the dough
at higher baking temperatures, providing better protection to the spores 
from heat effects in the surrounding environment. 

Although these treatments reduced the level of inoculated spores of C.
sporo genes PA 3679, they did not completely destroy them in the baked
products. Whether or not endogenous spores in the products were totally
destroyed by the temperature-time combinations used in this study was
not certain. Storage studies should elucidate the existence of surviving
spores. Only uninoculated and inoculated products baked at the low 
temperature (177 C) were further investigated during the storage
study, because these products were more desirable from a consumer 
acceptance standpoint. 

Microbiological study after storage.

Levels of Clostridium-like organisms and C. sporogenes PA 3679 in bread
samples baked at 177 C and stored for 90 days at room temperature (RT).

Uninoculated products baked at 177 C for 30, 40 and so min (Table 4)
initially contained undetectable levels of Clostridium-like organisms.
When stored for 90 days at RT the levels of Clostridium -like organisms 
were still undetectable (Table 4).
Therefore, with respect to C. botulinum and other sporeformers, these
products would be safe for human consumption if the initial spore levels
are low and if they are stored at room temperature (23 to 25 C) or lower 
for no longer than 90 days.

Clostridium sporo genes PA 3679 were detected in inoculated products
stored at RT for 90 days and counts were 2.29, 1.71 and <1 log10 CFU/g
in products baked at 177 C for 30, 40 and 50 min, respectively, (Table 4).
If present in home-canned quick breads at the inoculation level (3.23
log10 CFU/g), endogenous spores will resist low temperature baking. The
significance of this finding on product safety needs to be further 

Levels of C. sporogenes PA 3679 in bread samples baked at 177 C and stored 
for 90 days in the incubator at 35 C 

Uninoculated samples. Clostridium-like organisms counts obtained for
uninoculated products stored in the incubator at 35 C were significantly
higher (P>0.05) for the 30 min baking treatment (2.19 log10 CFU/g) than
counts obtained for similar products stored at RT (Table 4). Several gassy
jars (about 50%) from the same treatment (177 C for 30 min) were found and
had to be autoclaved and discarded before 90 days. Counts were determined
only using the remaining jars and may not totally reflect actual levels of
C. sporo genes PA 3679 in these products. For uninoculated products baked
at 177 C for 40 and 50 min, when stored for 90 days in the incubator at 35
C the levels of Clostridium-like organisms had remained at non-detectable
levels. These data show that 35 C was more favorable to repair and 
germination of injured endogenous vegetative cells or their spores. 
This incubation temperature ranges in the optimum growth temperature range
(35 to 42 C) for C. sporo genes PA 3679. Product prepared and stored under
these conditions may not be safe to consume. Gombas (6) reported that low 
or inefficient heat treatments often result in survival of spores of 
clostridia, and their subsequent germination and growth in food systems.

Inoculated samples. As expected, most inoculated products stored in the 
incubator at 35 C were gassy and spoiled even faster than similar products 
stored at room temperature. Several gassy jars, from the 30 (about 80%)
and 40 (about 75%) min treatment, which could not be kept safely until
end of storage period were autoclaved and discarded. Therefore, counts
were determined only using the remaining jars and may not totally reflect
actual levels of C. sporo genes PA 3679 in these products.

In inoculated products, counts of C. sporo genes PA 3679 were <1 log10 
CFU/g after baking at 177 C for 50 min (Table 4). Counts of C. sporo genes
PA 3679 remained at levels of <1 log10 CFUIg when stored for 90 days at
room temperature and 35 C, respectively, (Table 4). The ability of spores
to repair is related to factors, such as composition, pH, and a of the
medium (6). These factors are also dependent upon the intensity of heat
injury, structure of spores and storage conditions, particularly storage
temperature and sodium chloride (NaCl) (6,7). Heat resistance of spores 
can be affected by various factors including spore structure,
composition and pH of the sporulation medium (6,7,10).

TABLE 3. Counts (log10 CFU/g) of viable vegetative cells of C. sporogenes 
PA 3679 in bread samples before and after baking. 

Samples Before baking			After baking
Baking temp. 		177 C			191 C			204 C

Baking time (min)    30  40   50	    45   50   55	    40   45   50
Uninoculated	     <1  <1   <1      <1   <1   <1      <1   <1   <1

                    1.99c 1.77c <1	
                                      2.99a  2.21c 1.75c	
                                                        1.83c  1.99c  l.71c
Eight samples studied; two replicates; FDT plating in duplicates.
a.b.c Means with same superscripts are not statistically different 

TABLE 4. Counts (log10 CFU/g) of viable vegetative cell of C. sporogenes 
PA 3679 of bread baked at 177 C and stored for 90 days at RT and at 35 C.

Bake Time  Before bake	After bake   After storage
                                      RT    35 C		
30 min       <1		   <1            <1   2.19c				
40 min       <1         <1            <1   <1
50 min	    <1         <1            <1   <1  

Bake Time   Before Bake    After Bake   After Storage
                                        RT     35 C

30 min      3.23a           1.99b       2.29b  1.73b
40min       3.23a           1.77b       1.71c  2.59b
50 min      3.23a           <1          <1     <1

Eight samples studies; two replicates~ plating or FDT in duplicates.
a,b,c Means with same superscripts are not significantly different 

From a food safety standpoint, results of this study showed that
inadequate heat treatment (177 C for 30 min) of this type of product
coupled with favorable storage conditions (35 C for 90 days) could
lead to a health risk from consumption of these foods. The significance
of the survival of inoculated C. sporo genes PA 3679 for all baking and
storage treatments evaluated needs to be further investigated. Baking at
a temperature of 177 C, even though resulted in highly desirable product
appearance, did not result in a safe product (totally free of inoculated 
Clostridium after storage) for human consumption, especially when
baked products were stored under conditions (35 C ), which favor spore
germination. High baking temperatures (191 and 204 C) were not usually
desirable from a consumer acceptance standpoint because these temperatures
affected the texture and appearance of the products. During these
treatments, excessive crust formation occurred after 55 min baking and 
this would affect consumers acceptability, even though desirable to
enhance the microbial quality of the products. The standard procedure for
home-canned quick bread (5) recommends baking at 191 C for 50 min. This 
treatment resulted in non-detectable levels of sporeformers in 
uninoculated breads after 8 h of storage at room temperature. An extended
storage study of this and other temperature-time combinations will be of
critical interest to determine safer baking and storage procedures for 
this type of product. 


1.	Au, S. M., Fung. D. Y. C. and C. L. Kastner. 1991. Comparison of
rapid methods for the isolation and enumeration of Clostridium 
perfringens in meat. J. Food Sci. 56:367-370.
2.	American Public Health Association. 1985. Standard Methods for the 
examination of dairy products. 15th ed.
3.	Anderson, K. L. and D. Y. C. Fung. 1982. Double-tube anaerobic system 
for food microbiology. Food Technol. Abst. 163. 42nd Annual lET Meeting, 
Las Vegas, June 22-25. 1982.
4.	Dack, 0. M. 1953. Food poisoning. University of Chicago Press.. Chicago,
5.	Gisslen. W. 1985. Professional Baking. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY.
p. 94.
6.	Gombas, E. D. 1988. Bacterial spore resistance to heat. Outstanding
symposia in food science and technology. Overview of bacterial spore
resistance in food systems. Food Technol. 11(42):86-134.
7.	Hutton, T. M.. M. A. Koskinen and J. H. Hanlin. 1991. Interacting
effects of pH and NaCI on heat resistance of bacterial spores. I. Food
Sci. 56:821-822.
8.	Minoru, V., R. S. Fujoka and F. A. Hilmer. 1965. Method for obtaining
cleaned putrefactive anaerobe 3679 spores. J. Bacterial. 89:929-930.
9.	Ogg, J. F., S. Y. Lee and B. J. Ogg. 1979. A modified tube method for
the cultivation and enumeration of anaerobic bacteria. Can. I. Microbial.
10.	Pang, K. A.. P. A. Carroad and A. W. Wilson. 1983. Effect of culture
pH on D value, cell growth and sporulation rates of PA 3679 spores produced
in anaerobic fermentor. J. Food Sci. 48:467-470.
II.	Vareltzis, K., M. E. Buck and R. G. Labbe. 1984. Effectiveness of a
betalains/potassium sorbate system versus sodium nitrite for color
development and control of total aerobes, Clostridium perfringens and
Clostridium sporo genes in chicken frankfurters. J. Food Prot.  47:532-536.

--------------------------- end of Canned bread 101 --------------------------

More on Canned Bread ....

From: Bruce Carpenter

My day gig is as a chemist and I looked very closely at the study that
everyone is quoting. You must read all of it very closely. They found no
detectable bateria after 3 months in a quick bread in a jar. The only time
they did find bateria was when they put it in there to start with. The only
logical conclusion from this is that the processing does not kill all of the
harmfull bateria if it is present to start with. This is only one study and
the conclusion the researchers reached is that more study was needed.

So - it is dangerous ? - probably not very if you start with clean high quality
ingredients. Is it smart ?? probably not - the parameters seem to be quite
tight and the risk possibly high for such a small return.

Since I save so much freezer space by canning everything else in sight all of 
which have excellent track records and safety guidelines ) I choose to put all
of my breads up in the freezer and thus eliminate any risk.


1.3.1 [why do some recipes call for a little butter/margarine?]

From: Anna Welborne. My dad always told me it kept the foam quantity down.
That seems to be pretty much true, as I tried leaving it out of the 
strawberries this last summer, and had more foam. [BTW, for a beginner, 
cutting down on the foam is helpful. Less foamy jam gives a more accurate 
reading for your candy thermometer; too much foam is hard for a beginner 
to control.]

From: Eric Decker. Let the jam rest after cooking. Now the scum can be 
easily skimmed off. Adding butter will foul the flavour to a degree you 
may or may not like.

1.3.2 [Sugar]

Unless specified otherwise, sugar is granulated sugar. Dissolves easily,
easy to pour and measure, and all the recipes are calibrated to its volume
to weight. (Prograf) writes:

what are the precautions I should take when storing white sugar for long
periods of time?  Is there a way to keep it from getting hard?  I've
checked the FAQ but couldn't find any information about it.  [ thank you
for your question.  The info is NOW in the FAQ - ED] 

For longggggg term storage of sugar you can use honey rather than refined
sugar. Honey needs to be stored in food grade poly pails. Guard against
water penetration.  If you wish to keep white sugar from lumping you will
need to keep it absolutely and perfectly sealed from moisture. Use poly
food pails and seal well to keep moisture out. Sugar has an immense 
affinity for a water molecule.

If you wish the flavour of refined white sugar there is another way.
Make a 50% solution of sugar ( use filtered or distilled water ) and
bottle it off. Yeah I know it is sugar but if you want to preserve it
for a long time you will need a vacuum.  Oxidized sugar solution is
yucky.  You should Pressure Can it to exhaust the jar.  50% sugar
solution doesn't need pressure but by using a pressure canner you can 
get the high vacuum that BWB cannot produce. For shorter term storage
you can store 50% sugar solution in gallon bottles of the type used for 
laboratory reagents.  Typically the glass is dark brown [ mandatory imho] 
and the stopper has a plastic seal  [ highly recommended ]  not cardboard.

Using a funnel, fill right up to the narrow neck. Leave at least 1 inch
for expansion. Make sure there is no sugar solution around the rim - wipe
it with a clean damp cloth to be sure.  The stoppers are equally clean and 
used straight from a pot of lukewarm water. Apply the stopper tight. Store 
in a cool, dry dark place.

How to get a 50% solution?

Weight of sugar and water to make one gallon.

US gallons:  
To make a 50% solution put 1,892 grams of sugar into a pot with 3,785 grams 
of water.

Imperial gallons

To make a 50% solution put 2,272 grams of sugar in a pot with 4,545 grams 
of water.


It will be more than one gallon but by working this way you get the 
correct solution.  You WILL need to heat the solution to get that much 
sugar to dissolve. Do not overheat or you will scorch the sugar and 
induce a bad taste which will magnify with time in storage. 

The idea behind making a defined solution is you know exactly its strength
which will allow using it in nearly any recipe. 

1.3.4 [I need some good sources for pectin]

Bulk pectins, low sugar pectins, citric acid, from Dirk W. Howard
: Pacific Pectin Products/ P.O. Box 2422/ 40179 Enterprise Dr., 7B-D/
Oakhurst, CA 93644 (209) 683-0303. Low sugar pectin, from Sandy Fifer :
Pomona's Universal Pectin/ Workstead Industries/ P.O. Box 1083/ Greenfield,
MA 01302 (413) 772-6816. Another source for bulk pectin, from both Zlotka
and Kai : Home Canning Supply & Specialties/ PO Box 1158/ Ramona,
California 92065 (619) 788-0520 or FAX (619) 789-4745. 1 (800) 354-4070 
for orders. 

1.3.5 [Where can I find me some citric acid?] From Jeff Benjamin , If there's a home brewing shop in your neck of the woods,
try there. From Joel Ehrlich , King Arthur's Flour. Most
places which sell it for baking identify it as "Sour Salt". From several
in Safeway. Food Lion. Ask around.

1.3.6 {Where can I find Clear Gel/Jel A?]
>From Carol Nelson : Here are some sources for Clear Jel in western Oregon. 
I have no idea if they will mail order, but it won't hurt to give them a
call. Our local Extension offices sell Clear Jel for $2.00/pound for an
idea on price. Captain Albert's Good Things/ 254 Commercial/ Salem, Or
(503) 364-6511 Friedman's Microwave Store/ 1120 Lancaster Dr NE/ Salem, Or
364-0538 or 1-888-380-4372 Burrow's Country Store/ 635 Wallace Rd NE/
Salem, Or (503) 585-2898

1.3.6 - [How do I make and use homemade pectin?  aka pectin 101 ]

Putting Food By so lovingly know as PFB in RFP has the answers here.

If you are serious about preserving you do owe yourself a copy of 
PFB. If you can afford only one preserving book this is it.  It is 
also known in with good reason as "the Bible of 
food preserving".


"Pectin is highest in lightly underripe fruit, and diminishes as the
fruit becomes ripe; overripe fruit, lacking adequate pectin of its 
own, is responsible for a good deal of runny jams and jelly.


This natural pectin in the fruit can be activated only by cooking -- but 
COOKING QUICKLY, both in heating the fruit to help start the juice, and 
later when juice or pulp is boiled together with the sugar.  And TOO-SLOW 
COOKING or BOILING TOO LONG, can reduce the gelling properties of the 
pectin, whether natural or not.


Testing for pectin content.  There are several tests, but the simplest
one uses ready-to-hand materials.  In a cup, stir together 1 teaspoon 
cooked fruit juice with 1 tablespoon non-methyl alcohol. No extra pectin 
is needed if the juice forms one big clot that can be picked up with a fork. 
If the fruit is too low in pectin, it will make several small daubs that do 
not clump together.  DON'T EVER TASTE THE SAMPLES.

Homemade Liquid Pectin

Liquid pectin is especially helpful in making peach, pear, strawberry, or 
those other jellies whose fruit is low in pectin.

Four to 6 tablespoons of homemade pectin for every 1 cup of prepared juice 
should give a good gel: but experiment!  These pectins can be frozen or canned 
for future use. To can, ladle hot into hot [ sterile - ED ] jars, leaving 1/2 
inch of headroom; process at a simmer, 185F/85C, for 15 minutes. remove from 
canner, cool upright and naturally.   

Crab Apple Pectin

2 pounds sliced unpeeled crabapples
3 cups water

Simmer, stirring, for 30-40 minutes adding water as needed. Plop into colander 
lined with one layer of cheesecloth [ or muslim - ED] and set over a bowl; press
to force the juices. To clear, heat the collected juice and pour through a stout
jelly bag that has been moistened in hot water. The result is the pectin you
can, or freeze, or use right away.

Tart Apple Pectin

4 pounds sliced apples with peels and cores.
8 cups water

Simmer, little stirring needed, for three (3) minutes. Press apples through a
sieve to remove cores, etc. Return liquid to a heavy kettle [ or use a heavy
wide mouth pot to enhance reduction ] to cook briskly, [ and quickly ] stirring,
until volume is reduced to one-half.  Clarify by pouring though a stout jelly
bag that has been moistened. Use, can, or freeze as above.


1.3.7 - [What can I do with all these peels and cores - the waste? ]

Make pectin. Use as few seeds as possible and crush none to preclude ingesting 
alkaloid and cyanide compounds which are present in lima bean, citrus and apples

The pomace from apple crushing / pressing can be used to generate cider vinegar.

Compost is a great way to solve the by-product problem.  Your garden will
benefit enormously in the years to come. Do make sure the compost works fully so
that the seeds are digested. Add a sprinkle of powdered lime to each layer in
the compost heap to assure strong action. 


Ivan Weiss has some good words:

I don't mean to get into an off-topic thread, but it is inconceivable that
there would be enough pesticide residue in any fruit peels to withstand a
proper composting process. I can tell you this authoritatively from five
years of annual inspections by the Washington state Department of
Agriculture for certification as an organic grower. I compost anything
that will rot (within reason), and the state, which takes a whole lot of
core samples, has never found trace #1 of any pesticides on my place.


1.4.1 [ Don't you need a lot of stuff?]

If you cook, you probably already have most of the stuff that you need to
can (jar) high-acid foods. Basically, you need canning jars and 2-piece
lids (lids and rings), a large kettle or stock pot that you can boil water
in, several saucepans, measuring cups and spoons, light tongs (to pick up
the lids and rings), ladles, stirring spoons (stainless steel the best), an
accurate timer, clean towels, a cake rack, and canning tongs. As you get
more involved, other helpful tools are: canning funnel, clip-on candy
thermometer, lid lifter (a plastic rod with a magnet at the end of it),
boiling waterbath canner, preserving pan, and a pressure canner (not a
cooker). 2-piece jars can be found in the grocery, supermarket, and 
hardware stores, while canners, canning tongs, jar lifters, and canning 
funnels can be gotten at the local hardware store (or Walmart). Lots of 
equipment can also be obtained at yard sales, check out the Specific 
Equipment Question section for more information. What you really need is 
a desire to can food, and a bit of a perfectionist streak. Carelessness, 
disorganization, and inattention cause most problems.

* * * and a stove that can do the job: 

  From Robb (
Let's first say that there are probably as many preferences for gas or 
electric as there are cooks who truly utilize their equipment.

That said, my own personal preference is ALL electric.  My current 
configuration is a glass top cooking surface containing two traditional 
underglass coils and two quartz-halogen units. Newer glass top units are 
far more responsive to rapid control changes than their predecessors.  The 
quartz-halogen units are virtually "instant-on/instant-off".   All four 
of my surface units are capable of bringing a stockpot of liquid to a boil
more quickly than the average home gas range, discounting the ultra-high 
BTU output of commercial or semi-commercial units.  I also like the 
glass enclosed surface units because they contribute less heat to the air 
in the kitchen, keep the bottoms of all cooking vessels as clean as
possible, and are infinitely easier to care for than the myriad parts of
any gas range, regardless of quality or cost.  In short, it's a terrific
pleasure to cook and clean up after a meal. I will admit that complete 
cooldown of the cooktop is somewhat longer than gas, but that factor
doesn't bother me.  By the time we've eaten our meal, the cooktop is 
ready for cleaning.

Electric ovens are frequently noted for having more accurate temperature
control with less fluctuation.  Because they are sealed, they also
contribute far less heat to the kitchen area than their gas counterparts.
One advantage I particularly like is that food of any kind has less of a
tendency to dry out than it does in a gas oven.  Many professional bakers
prefer electric convection ovens for the above features as well as the
temperature stability throughout the entire oven.  I've read that there
are sometimes hot spots in the gas models. While I'm not at all fearful
of gas ovens, my preference for performance is decidedly for electric.
In conjunction with that, you might also consider the addition of a 
warming oven (less space than two wall ovens, or could be mounted under 
your cooktop), which I have found particularly helpful in maintaining
some completed dishes while continuing to cook those that require more 

If I had the room, one concession to gas I would certainly make is
including a down-draft gas grill. Nothing beats the flavor of flame 

1.4.3 [What's a preserving pan?] 

A wide heavy-bottomed pan but with relatively shallow sides.

No longer recommended.  Use a BWB canner for thorough heating. 

1.4.4 [My grandmother always reused commercial jars and sealed her jars
using paraffin. Should I do this too?]

Nothing against your grandmother, but usually you don't want to use "one-
trip" commercial jars for canning. Sealing jars with paraffin is also
counterindicated, because mold and other spoilers can slip in between the
paraffin and the side of the jar. Even a common trick of turning the jar
upside down to "sterilize" the top is not advised. [More on this below.]
(Use a boiling waterbath for about 5-10 minutes instead.) Food preserving
technique "rules" tend to change every few years, due to new knowledge
about microbiology and mycology, and due to rigorous testing of food
preservation recipes and techniques by many state extension services. Keep
up to date!

1.4.5 [Can I invert my jars instead of using that nasty waterbath thing?

From: (Eric Decker) PFB (Putting Food By) says: "and
NEVER invert processed jars in the mistaken idea that you're helping the
seal - quite the contrary!" Page 264 of PFB, 4th edition debunks (in my
opinion) the 1/8" Inversion theory. My comments will be indicated as [ED]
"Unsaid in the news release but voiced by staff responding to telephoned
queries to the GF Consumer Center in White Plains, New York, the benefits
are that the jam/jelly - being still at a temperature to destroy spoiler
micro-organisms - will sterilize the underside of the sealing disk, and
the little amount of air trapped under the lid. [How filthy are the lids
and  jars before use? E.D.] A vacuum can form if the jars are hot and the
contents are about 165F/ 74C. But it won't be a STRONG vacuum, because any
amount of air left in the jar will invite growth of mould eventually -
even though the jar is technically sealed. While a vacuum formed for us
at PFB using the "inversion" method, the "inversion" vacuum was not so
strong as the vacuum seal on the B-W treated jars. This fact is a
reminder that the "finishing" Boiling-Water bath was welcomed by
scientists in the South, to counteract heat and humidity of storage
in the region; and soon it was adopted for dryer and more temperate
climates. [I'd vouch for this: I've canned in Seattle, where seals
formed easily, and in Tucson and North Carolina, where the seals took
their own sweet time in forming. Give me that finishing waterbath
every time-- LEB.] At the same time, food scientists determined that
5 minutes in a B-W bath was adequate (instead of a longer time advocated
earlier) to strengthen the seal and drive air from the headroom, and
sanitize the surfaces where micro-organisms could have lit. Presumably
the reason for standing the jars on their heads is to hold the hot
contents against the head and the sealing disk to equal the action of 
the 5 minute B-W Bath. A further help would be to deal with floating 
fruit as the medium gels; turned back upright, the contents would shake
down by themselves. The same results can be got by giving the jars a 
twirl several times after they're set aside to cool upright after
their bath." (Note: in filing and capping the jars, we at PFB must have
left the bands a bit loose. After we inverted it, one jar spurted hot, 
hot jelly over a hand in a mean scald. This indirect hazard can also
make "inversion" less than foolproof.) [Since the writers of PFB know
how to tighten a band properly, if bands have to be applied that tight,
deformation of the gum is almost certain unless the lids were applied
without a sterilization process which softens the gum. E.D.] "PFB is
not gainsaying General Foods just to be tiresome; we, too, used to
advocate the quick "inversion" with almost non-existent headroom -
(though never setting the jars upside-down, regarding this practice
as harking back too far to old-time ways with preserving) - so we 
reverse our own recommendations, too.

Postscript: extension food scientists whose work we admire have 
expressed their worries over the "inversion" technique used at 
high altitudes and they are against it. 

Post-Postscript: General Foods shows fairness in their news release in
saying they will continue to mention B-W Bath method as an alternative
on all their printed materials." [Conclusion: I feel it gives a false
security to the user of the "inversion" method. Neophytes especially
are at risk with this method for they do not have the experience to
make valid food judgements. It is far better then, to master the basic
proven techniques that work under all circumstances. Safe, reliable
canning is more of a procedure than just a recipe - ED]

1.4.6 [The dishwasher sterilizes jars, right? (Nope)] 

An argument against thinking the dishwasher sterilizes, paraphrased from
Sandy Fifer : The water in the dishwasher is only as hot as the hot water 
setting in your water heater. Most are set at power saver settings, 130F 
or so, hottest settings are at 145F. Unless you set your water heater to 
212F, you're deluding yourself. 

And from Eric Decker : The typical dishwasher has an accumulation of crud 
in the bottom that you don't even know is there. Unless the bottom spray 
device is removed you have not seen the scraps of food which have not yet 
dissipated to nothingness and passed through the filter. The dishwasher is 
not a suitable device for preparing canning jars for use unless one adds 
an active anti-germ agent such as chlorox [bleach]. Develop good habits. 
The processes for sterilization of jar and lid must be inviolable and 
independent of the canning process itself. My grandmother didn't have a 
dishwasher so she scrubbed her bottles in a hot lye solution, rinsed them 
in soft running water, then plucked each one of them from a pot of
simmering water to use immediately. It may seem silly to iterate it but
she always put the mouth of the jar to the bottom - the inside was sealed
from the outside and kept full of steam. Talk about a simple way to 
maintain sterility! 

[Since you have to use your boiling waterbath, I wash, then boil jars, 
hold them when I need them, then I have a ready 2/3 canner of hot boiling 
water. --LEB]

1.4.7  [ Can I use unlined copper pots in preserving? ]

Sue Harris wrote:

I have recently seen some unlined "copper jam pans" for sale, supposedly
to be used in making jam.  I am wondering if anyone here has had any
experience with these - - are they safe?  I thought that unlined copper
reacted with acidic foods (which fruit jam certainly would be!).

Arno Martens replied:

I always thought copper MUST be tinned (led, cadmium and antimony free) 
before it could be used for ANY food, liquid or solid.

On Food and Cooking,  Harold McGee
"In 1753 Sweden outlawed the used of copper ( unlined is meant) cooking
pots in its armed service.  In the early 19Th century Britain issued
health warnings of the health hazards posed by pickles, beer, bakery
products and candies that had been prepared in copper vessels. 

Copper   About 1/10 gram of this element is incorporated into the body,
with the highest concentrations in the liver and brain.  It plays a role
in the formation of hemoglobin and of phospholids, an is also involved in
bone development and energy production. Organ meats, shellfish, grains, 
and most other seeds are good sources. Dietary deficiency  of copper is
rare, and excessive intake can cause damage to the liver, kidney, and
brain. For this reason, and because copper metal readily reacts with
many foods, the use of unlined copper utensils in not recommended." 

Eric writes:

Consider that canned foods may be eaten by persons on medication.
This presents a great potential for unwanted, unknown and possibly 
very dangerous side effects. 

Certainly a copper load uptaken by a child from food prepared in an
un-lined copper pot would be more toxic than the same amount to an
adult.   No doubt the symptoms in that child would be never be seen
as copper poisoning but would be called colic, stubborn or something
else. In the middle aged and older adult the degeneration from 
accumulation of copper would be seen as aging, the effects of having 
lived life of consumption or simple dementia. 
Live long, live well - use utensils which are safe.

1.4.8 - Can I use a propane "Cajun Cooker" style burner for canning?  

Ross Reid wrote: 

There are various makes of propane cookers on the market but they
basically fall into two types. There is a "ring" style burner and a "jet"
style burner. They are available with various Btu/hr ratings, right up to
200,000+ Btu/hr. The "ring" burner style normally falls into the lower
end of the range. I have one of each but, the "ring" burner is the one I
use almost exclusively. It has an input rating of 68,000 Btu/hr. The
average kitchen range surface burner runs from 8,000 to 12,000 Btu/hr so
you can see the advantage of the outdoor propane cooker in this respect.
Flame control on the "ring" style burner is excellent, from very low for
maintaining a nice simmer right up to a very energetic full rolling boil.
Ring burners also make far more efficient use of propane and, a big plus,
they are very quiet in use. 

My "jet" burner is rated at 135,000 Btu/hr but, its flame is much harder
to control. Trying to maintain a nice gentle simmer is impossible. It is
far less efficient with respect to propane use and, if operated anywhere
near full output it sounds similar to an F-18 ;-(.

If you go shopping for a burner, it is quite easy to tell the two types
apart. The "ring" style is just like its name, the burner itself is a
ring, (sometimes more like a starfish), about 8 inches in diameter with
upwards of 100 small holes. They usually fall in the range of 35,000 to
70,000 Btu/hr ratings.

The burner in a "jet" style is only about 3 or 4 inches in diameter and
has a cast iron flame diffuser in the centre. This diffuser can best be
described as a multi-tiny-pointed star, usually with one screw in the
centre to hold it in place. These are the ones that can run up over
200,000 Btu/hr ratings.

I purchased my ring-style burner at a home improvement outlet here in
town called The Building Box. It was CDN $49.97 complete with regulator
and hose. The name plate on the unit lists the manufacturer as:
S.R. Potten Limited,
1645-50th Avenue,
Lachine, Quebec, Canada H8T 3C8
Phone 1-800-667-7313

Zxcvbob ( not an anonymous name, per se - Bob's particulars is known to 
this FAQ Maintainer) wrote: 

In a welding class I took in college, I learned to only crack open the
valve on compressed fuel welding tanks, so you can shut off the valve
quickly in case of an accident.  This would be good advice when working
with portable propane tanks for operating these "Cajun Cooker" burners.
(Valves on high pressure non-fuel tanks, like oxygen, nitrogen, 3000 psi
air, carbon dioxide, are opened all the way becuase the valve has a
second seat that seals the packing when the valve is fully opened to
prevent a slow leak).

Best regards,

P.S.  Butane has about twice the BTU rating per pound as propane,
so if you can buy butane instead of propane for summer use, it is
usually a good deal.  In cold weather, butane does not have enough vapor
pressure to be useful.

1.5.1 [What about zinc rings, rubber sealed jars, and other great, but
antique, canning equipment?] A great question. Check out the answer under
Specific Equipment Questions.

1.5.2 [Ball or Kerr?] People have used both, and people have had problems
with either. In other words, whichever works for you. from Wendy Milner :
Canning jars such as those made by Kerr or by Ball, have special two-piece
lids. You should only use lids and jars made by the same company. While in
most cases you will get a seal when mixing brands, it is not guaranteed.
Additionally, if you are using an oil mixture in your recipe do not use
Kerr lids as the sealing compound on the lids has been shown to loose its
effectiveness as the oil seeps into it. [As of 3/96, the point is moot.
Ball bought out both Bernardin and Kerr. Soon the lid gum composition and
amounts on the lid will be similar.]  

[1998 -  the Kerr lids and Bernardin are still different in use ]

1.5.3 [Rings on the jar, or off?]
Pros and cons of each side:
Pro ring: "looks" more natural, secures the lid if you are mailing canning 
jars or storing leftovers in the refrigerator. I like the ring on when I
mail/give something.  [ Absolutely - there must be some _insurance_ the 
lid will not be loosened with the result of untold ruination - ED] 

Con ring: can reuse ring quickly, rings don't rust on
jar, doesn't hide dirty threads or a weak seal. Other ring facts: rings
have to be off if the canned good is to be judged at a county/state fair.
Rings shouldn't be removed until the seal is allowed to fully develop,
about 12-24 hrs. Gamut of opinions: From (Eric Decker)
... "the best canners will NEVER store food with bands on". It is a point
of pride with those canners that their process does not need "nails and
glue" to maintain its integrity. Get thee to an Amish or Mennonite
food/bake sale... Yes, removing bands is the default condition in serious
canning. Heck my grandmother canned a lot of meat and fish. Never did I see
a banded jar in her cellar. Take a peek in my cellar: I have bottles of
fruit in alcohol that have been there since 1986 without bands. (Sandy Fifer) wrote: What's all the hubbub about
leaving the bands on after canning? When I'm done canning my jam I remove
the bands, wash the jars (sometimes they're sticky from some jam leaking
into the canning water), dry them, test the seal by lifting by the lid, and
then loosely replace the bands. Once the jar is opened you need the band to
seal it anyway, don't you? And don't you give a band with each jar when
you're giving the jars away? And when I'm done with the jam I wash the jar
and store it with the band. All of you who remove the bands--where do they
spend the winter? From: (Jackee) After our
canned goods have sealed we always remove the bands, wash and use again. My
father says that was what his grandmother always did, so we just do the
same. They did it because they were dirt poor, why we do I am not sure.
From: (Jean P Nance) I find that removing the screw
caps, washing them, and storing them dry pre- vents rust. It seems if I
leave them on, they are much more apt to rust and rust interferes with a
seal. Rust and corrosion are especially bad in rings on pickles, where some
of the acid seems to seep out and collect on the ring.

1.5.4 [What if I don't hear a pop from my jars?] [And is there a way to be
sure they are sealed since I didn't hear that magic noise? --Nancy Delly
>From George Shirley < >: Nancy: Be sure the center of the lid is depressed,
generally that means they are sealed unless some mean person pushed them
all down while you weren't looking. I've found that if the lid didn't seal
it will usually fall off when you remove the band, but is sealed if the
center is depressed. I don't have time to listen to each individual jar.
>From Mary Delamater <>: My jars often don't pop, so I just check to see if
the lids are concave. It usually happens pretty quickly after water
bathing. Also, if I'm not sure, sometimes I will remove the ring and hold
the jar by the lid--if it stays on, it's sealed! (Be sure to put your other
hand under the jar in case it is not sealed, or you will have a big mess to
clean up :-) )

1.5.5 [I'm really cheap. How can I reuse my canning lids?] Penny-wise and
pound-foolish. The botulism antiserum shot costs a *lot* more than the
$10-$20 cost of a few dozen lids. As a public service, from the home office
in Grand Rapids MI, the top ten Things You Can Do With Old Canning Lids.

10. Windchimes 
9. Coasters for the vacation house 
8. Really boring mobiles
7. Palm protectors for smashing garlic cloves 
6. Train your pet Chihuahua to catch teeny metal frisbees 
5. 2 canning lids + 1 HD disk = yummy sandwich for your favorite USENET 
FAQ maintainer
4. With tin snips, create several dollhouse-sized cookie sheets
3. Sharpen the edges, make the business end of a pizza cutter 
2. Glue several canning lids into 1 slinky to contact those pesky 
1. Several hundred canning lids, stitched together make the perfect 
dress for your Oscar acceptance speech... (those brass ones look 
great, much better than AMEX cards!) 

Seriously, there are some things you can do with old canning lids. You
might not realize this, but lids and the mouths of jars/cans are of a
fairly standard size. The Kerr lids for the narrow neck pints/half pints
fit many commercial jars, like spaghetti sauce and mayonnaise jars, even
those medium size salsa jars. I've found that the wide mouth ones fit large
tomato sauce cans. It means that if you store dried peas, lentils, beans,
pasta, sugars, flours, nuts, seeds, your dried vegetables, dried fruit,
jerky, dried herbs, fruit leather, etc. in reused commercial glass jars,
you always have a lid. Poke many large holes in an old canning lid, use the
lid/ring/jar as a jar strainer for bean and alfalfa sprouts. If you're like
me, and you cut the can lid off completely but you don't use all the
contents, you still always have a lid. If your jars have great seals, and
you have to completely des- troy the lid of a particular home-processed
can, you've still got a spare lid when you put it in the refrigerator. If
your SO has a workshop, and organ- izes screws, nails, loose change, spare
RAM chips, matches, etc in glass jars, your SO has a lid. Just don't can
with them, and if you save old lids, mark 'em well so you don't get
confused. Scratches on the top with a corkscrew do it for me, you even get
planned obsolescence that way. And for god sakes, don't pawn 'em off at a
yard sale.

1.5.6 [How do I use a pressure canner safely and effectively?] from Wendy
Milner : As with the boiling water bath, you prepare your food according to
a tested recipe, place the food in the jar, put on the two piece lid, and
place the jars in the canner which has 2 to 3 inches of water in it. The
water should be hot but not boiling. Place the lid on the canner. The
petcock or vent of the lid is open. As the water boils, steam will rise out
of the petcock. When steam is steady, wait 10 minutes before closing the
petcock. There are two types of gauge: weighted and dial. The weighted
gauge has three positions: 5 pounds, 10 pounds and 15 pounds. Always use
the higher weight if the recipe calls for a weight in between one of these
values. For example, the recipe calls for 12 pounds of pressure, use 15
pounds.  With a weighted gauge, place the gauge on the vent using the
correct weight. Leave the temperature on high until the weighted gauge
begins to rock. Lower the temperature. You will have to experiment a little
with the temperature. You want the weighted gauge to rock lightly
throughout the processing time. Start the processing time when the gauge is
rocking at about 2 to 3 times a minute. [N.B. If your gauge refuses to
rock, check to see if your stove is perfectly leveled.-the gang at r.f.p]
The dial gauge canner has a dial which registers from zero to 20 pounds.
You should have your gauge tested every year by the local extension office.
The advantage to a dial gauge is that you can see exactly what the pressure
of the canner is during processing. With a dial gauge, close the petcock
and watch the dial. When the dial has reached the proper pressure, reduce
the temperature. Maintain the pressure throughout the processing time.
Start the processing time when the correct pressure has been met. If you
live above 1000' feet you must increase the pressure for processing. For
every 1000' feet add 1/2 pound of pressure. You do NOT add time to the
processing, only pressure. At the end of the processing time, turn off 
the heat. Do not open the lid or vents. It will take about an hour for 
the pressure to drop inside the canner. Wait till pressure reaches zero,
or the safety valve drops before opening the lid. Open the lid away from 
you. There will still be steam rising from the water and it is easy to 
scald yourself. Remove the jars from the canner. Place them on a towel
on the counter and leave them alone for 12 to 24 hours before checking
the seal. Do not check before the 12 hours as this could cause the jars
to not seal. Sealing is the result of heating and then cooling the jars.
[For more about pressure canners especially information about the
vagaries of the gauges, please checkout the Equipment Section in part 
4 of this FAQ.]

1.5.7 [I'd like some sources for non-standard size jars, decorative
bottles, unusual size rings, and other items that I just can't find in the
usual places.] Zlotka : Berlin Packaging has a great catalog of containers
for all manner of things. 1-800-4-BERLIN will get you a free catalog. Good
customer service, too. lost the attribution here, sorry.. You might try
Glashaus. They have some big jar sizes, the largest rings I have from them
are 4.25" at the outside. They are at Glashaus Inc./ Crystal Lake,IL 
(815) 356-8440.

1.5.8 [ Pump N Seal, Has anyone used these?]

Connie TC wrote:

"Pump and Seal ( the hand operated vacuum pump, right?) I found that it
did seal jars fine but I didn't like putting a hole in lids-they seemed
to rust easily.  But for plastic bags, while it could draw a vacuum it
was hard to get the bag closed before you lost it and the vacuum wasn't
as good as one from the Tilia vacuum and bag sealer machine, which I got
last year and really like."

Jay Heyl wrote:

"It does fine on jars, assuming you have a good seal around the rim.  I 
use it all the time for dry goods stored in canning jars.

With bags I would recommend going some other way.  The Pump-n-Seal pulls 
enough vacuum, but you need to be an octopus to work the pump, maneuver 
the hose inside the bag, and then seal the top of the bag.  There's also 
the small problem that Zip-Locks are not vacuum tight."


1.6.1 [My jars refuse to seal! Some of my preserved food is turning colors!
What is happening?]


Even when you follow directions, occasionally you may have problems with 
home-canned foods. Many of these problems can be traced to use of
non-standard canning jars, lids and rings or use of other-than-recommended
canning equipment or procedures. Checking your equipment and reviewing
current canning recommendations can go a long way towards preventing
potential problems. If you do have a problem, you may be able to determine
the cause and prevent its reoccurrence by consulting this 
"trouble-shooter's guide". 

1. Jars do not seal 

a. Off-standard jars and/or lids. 
b. Chipped or uneven sealing edge. 
c. Using one-piece caps instead of two-piece lids. 
d. Screwbands are rusty or bent providing poor contact. 
e. Bands not screwed down tightly enough before processing. 
f. Sealing edge not clean. Wipe edge well before placing lid on rim. 
g. Liquid siphons out of jar during processing taking food particles on 
to the sealing edge. 
h. Insufficient heat during processing. Air is not evacuated from jar, so 
a vacuum seal never forms. [In pressure canning the EXHAUAST phase is 
critical -ED] 
i. Lids were improperly prepared before placing them on rims. Most lid 
manufacturers require some pretreatment (heating, boiling, etc.).  [ Use
lid strictly according to the manufacturers specifications.  There are 
significant differences between the lids of various manufacturers. -ED]
j. Rapid, forced cooling of a pressure canner can cause a rapid pressure
and temperature change inside the canner causing the liquid to "boil" out
of the jars, leaving particles on the sealing rim and unsealing the jars.
Canners should not be "forced" into cooling rapidly by submerging [ no 
dousing or spraying either - ED] them in water or by adding ice.
k. Insufficient processing of raw-packed food; the air may not have 
been completely driven out of the food leaving residual air in the jar
so the seal does not form. l. Use of canning procedures which are not
recommended such as open kettle canning, microwave canning, and oven 
canning. Use USDA recommended procedures. 

2. Food spoils

a. Processing at an incorrect temperature.  Can occur with: 

1. Inaccurate pressure canner gauge. 
2.Failure to exhaust canner. 
3. Failure to make altitude adjustment. 
4. Heat source fluctuates--inaccurate pressure or fluctuating pressure. 
5. Water not at a rolling boil when jars are put into canner. 
6. Water not covering jar caps by 2" throughout processing. 
7. Water not at full boil throughout processing. 
8. Insufficient processing time. 
9. Use of canning procedures which are not recommnended. Recommended 
procedures (USDA) are based on the time it takes to achieve a temperature 
which will sterilize the food in the jar. 

b. Improper cooling of jars after processing.

 1. Failure to remove jars from canner when processing time is up (or 
when pressure gauge reads 0). 
2. Failure to set jars at least 1" apart during cooling. 
3. Covering jars which retains heat. Vacuum does not develop. 
4. Attempting to cool either the canner or the jars very rapidly. 

c. Using damaged (freeze damaged), spoiled, under ripe or over ripe food.
The pH may not be correct for the type of processing you used (water bath 
versus pressure). 

d. Very large number of microorganisms due to spoilage, bruising, etc. A
very large number of microorganisms present on the food which are not 
destroyed in the usually recommended amount of processing time.

3. Food loses liquid during processing 

a. Jars filled too full. 
b. Fluctuating pressure in a pressure canner. 
c. Forced cooling of a pressure canner. 

4. Food turns dark (not spoiled) 
a. Insufficient processing time. 
b. Processing temperature too low (water not at a full boil at beginning
of processing or drops below full boil during processing). 
c. Water not 2" over jar lids. 
d. Packing foods raw that should be precooked (pears). 
e. Liquid loss during processing causing fruit at the top to be out of the 
f. Lack of appropriate pretreatment for light-colored foods. 

5. Fruit or tomatoes float or separate from the liquid 
a. Using overripe fruit. b. Packing fruit too loosely. 
c. Syrup too heavy. 
d. Processing too long. Pectin is damaged. 
e. Processing at too high a temperature (pressure canner). 
f. Raw packing. Raw food contains a lot of air. 
g. Smashing or pureeing food prior to heating it activates enzymes which 
break down pectin in the juice so the food pieces are lighter and rise to 
the top. Heat or crush while heating any foods to be pureed or food to be 
packed in its own juice to help prevent separation. 

Prepared by Susan Brewer/Foods and Nutrition
Specialist/Revised, 1992 EHE-665 ----


Fruit darkens at the top of the jar: 
a. Liquid didn't cover the fruit--pigments become oxidized.
b. Fruit not processed long enough to destroy enzymes. 
c. Air left in jars permits oxidation (bubbles or too much headspace). 
Fresh fruit exposed to air oxidizes. 
d. Exposure to high temperatures and light during storage.
Color changes in canned apples, pears, peaches, quinces: Pink, red, blue 
or purple color--natural enzymatic reaction (not harm- ful) which may occur
during cooking, or a result of a chemical reaction between fruit pigments
and metal ions (iron and copper). Use soft water, stainless steel cookware,
plastic or wooden utensils. 

Fruit floats in the jar: 
a. Fruit is lighter than syrup. Use lighter syrup, cook fruit before
b. Improper packing. Pack fruit tightly without crushing. Use hot pack 
c. Fruit is overprocessed. Too much heat destroys pectin and acid, so
the fruit loses its shape and floats. 
d. Fruit is packed too loosely. 

Fruit Spoilage:
a. Overpacking. Heat penetration is poor and food does not become 
b. Poor selection of fruit (over ripe, wrong pH, large bruises). 
c. Underprocessing. Food is not sterilized. 
d. Unsanitary conditions. Microorganisms are not removed from the food or 
larger numbers are added during preparation. Clean up as you go. Wash
equipment, utensils and hands in hot soapy water. 

Prepared by Susan Brewer/Foods and Nutrition
Specialist/Revised, 1992 ----


The pigments in food which are responsible for their colors are sensitive 
to a variety of things which they may come into contact with during home 
food preservation. Acids (lemon or other fruit juices), anti-caking
ingredients in table salt, minerals in water, metals in water and from
cooking utensils, heat, and light are a few things which can affect
these pigments causing them to change color. Most color changes which
occur during home food preservation do not make the food unsafe to
consume. Hhowever, if the food looks or smells bad or odd, do not take 
a chance, dispose of it without tasting it.

1. Blue garlic: Occurs in pickled products. Caused by using immature
garlic or because table salt was used in place of canning salt. Not a 
safety hazard.

2. Yellow cauliflower: Cauliflower (or other white vegetable pigments)
are white in acid but yellow in alkaline medium. Minerals in the water
may have created a more-than-normal alkalinity. Not a safety hazard. 

3. Yellow crystals in canned asparagus: the crystals are glucosides
(rutin) which were in the asparagus cells before canning. The high
temperature of pressure canning causes them to come out of the
vegetables into solution, but when the food cools, the pigment
precipitates out of solution onto the the asparagus. Occurs mainly in
asparagus in glass jars. If asparagus is canned in tin cans, a pigment-tin
complex form so the yellow pigment stays in the liquid. Not a safety hazard. 

4. Pink pears: the light colored pigments in the pears convert to pink
pigments due to overprocessing or due to enzymatic reactions. Not a 
safety hazard. 

5. White crystals on tomato products: home-canned pureed tomato products 
may have crystals of calcium nitrate on the surface. They are hard and
scaly unlike mold spots. Not a safety hazard. 

6. White crystals on spinach leaves: calcium oxalate - not a safety hazard. 

7. White or pink crystals in grape jelly: Grapes are high in tartaric 
acid which goes into solution during cooking but precipitates as crystals
during cooling. Prevent crystals by extracting grape juice, cooling
overnight in the refrigerator and filtering juice before canning or using 
for jelly-making. Not a safety hazard. 

8. White, yellow, or pale red beets: the red pigments in beets
(anthocyanins) are sensitive to high temperatures. Some beet varieties
are especially sensitive. The pigments are converted to white or
colorless derivatives. Not a safety hazard. 

9. Blue pickled beets: the pigments in beets are pH-sensitive. They are
red in acids and blue in alkalis. If the pigments are blue, the pH is too
high for water-bath canning to be safe. Throw the beets away (handle 
according to spoiled food procedures).

10. Brown green beans: enzymatic color changes occurring before the
enzymes are inactivated by heat cause the green-to-brown color change of
chlorophyll. Blanching or hot-packing will inactivate the enzymes and 
help preserve the green color. Not a safety hazard.

11. Brown potatoes: storage of potatoes at temperatures below 45F causes 
the potato starch to be converted to sugars. During high heat treatment of
pressure canning, these sugars form dark brown pigments. Not a safety 

12. Colorless crystals which look like broken glass in canned sea foods. 
Not  harmful. 

Prepared by Susan Brewer/Foods and Nutrition Specialist/Revised, 1992

1.6.2 [My jams and jellies didn't set. How can I reprocess them?] From:
Barb Schaller Here are three ways to rescue syrupy jams or jellies. From
General Foods, makers of Sure Jell pectin products and Certo liquid pectin.

USING SURE JELL FOR LOWER SUGAR RECIPES: Prepare containers as you normally
would have (hot jars and lids). Prepare Pectin Mixture: Slowly stir
contents of 1 package Sure Jell for Lower Sugar Recipes (SJ-LSR) into 1-1/2
cups cold water in small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat;
continue to boil 2 minutes, stirring con- stantly. Remove from heat.
Prepare Trial Batch: 1 cup your jam or jelly, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1 Tbsp. Pectin
Mixture. Measure jam or jelly, sugar, and the Pectin Mix into small (1-qt)
saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil on high heat; continue to boil 30
seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with
metal spoon. Quickly pour into prepared jar. Cover jar and let stand up to
24 hours to check set of Trial Batch. Store remaining Pectin Mix in fridge.
JELLY AT ONE TIME. If Trial Batch sets satisfactorily, follow the recipe
above, using the listed amounts of Pectin Mixture and sugar for EACH 1 cup
of jam or jelly. (Not going to repeat previous instructions.--BS) For
convenience in measuring larger amounts of Pectin Mixture and sugar: 8
Tbsp. = 1/2 cup. 16 Tbsp = 1 cup. (Even I could do that math! :-)
"Remember, if your jam or jelly still doesn't set, you can always use it as
a glaze or syrup.

" USING SURE JELL POWDERED FRUIT PECTIN: Prepare Containers as usual (hot
jars and lids). Prepare Pectin Mixture: Slowly stir contents of 1 package
SJ and 3/4 cup cold water in small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium
heat; continue to boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Prepare Trial Batch: Same as for SJ-LSR instructions, above. Prepare
Remainder of Batch: Same as for SJ-LSR above. (Same comment about glaze,
too. :-) USING CERTO Liquid Fruit Pectin: Prepare Containers: Same as usual
(hot jars and lids). Prepare Trial Batch: (Pay attention, this is
different.....) 1 cup your sorry jam or jelly, 3 Tbsp. sugar, 1-1/2 tsp.
fresh lemon juice (I do use fresh), 1-1/2 tsp. Certo. Measure jam or jelly
into small saucepan. Bring to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring
constantly. Immediately stir in sugar, lemon juice and Certo. Bring to full
rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off
foam, blah, blah, blah. Quickly pour into prepared jar, blah, blah, blah.
Store opened pouch of Certo in refrigerator. (Blah, blah, blah - follow
standard procedure for sealing the jars, and for g'sakes, don't sneeze in
the jar.--LEB) Prepare Remainder of Batch: Do not try to make more than 8
cups of jam or jelly at one time. If Trial Batch sets satisfactorily,
follow the recipe above, using the listed amounts of sugar, lemon juice,
and Certo for EACH 1 cup of jam or jelly. Measure jam or jelly, sugar,
lemon juice and Fruit Pectin into large (6 to 8-quart) saucepot. Bring to a
full rolling boil on high heat; continue to boil 1 minute, stirring
constantly (this is DIFFERENT than trial batch.) Remove from heat, skim
foam, ladle into jars, blah, blah, blah. After pre- paring remainder of
batch, discard Certo in opened pouch. (Same commentary about glazes and
syrup.) For convenience in measuring larger amounts of sugar, lemon juice
and Fruit Pectin: 3 tsp. = 1 Tbsp., 8 Tbsp. = 1/2 cup, 16 Tbsp. = 1 cup.
There! From "Gifts from the Harvest, Homemade Jams and Jellies, from the
makers of SureJell and Certo." A 62-page booklet with beyond-the-basics
recipes for sweet spreads. Got it as a freebie at our State Fair one year.

1.6.3 [Anybody have a way to loosen up stiff jelly?]

From: (Kate Wrightson) If it's jelly, try to
maneuver a biggish glob (ooh, technical term) out of the jar and into a
small Pyrex custard cup. Add a tablespoon or so of warm water and microwave
it until the jelly begins to melt; stir and add extra water if needed to
make a smooth semi-thick liquid. This becomes a glaze for whatever sorts of
meats you might cook: chicken, game birds, roasts, turkey breasts.... The
obvious combos are peach glaze on pork, cherry on pork, apple on pork
(oops, and we don't even eat all that much pork; suffice it to say that
pork goes well with any fruit glaze), strawberry or any berry on cornish
hens, kiwi on chicken breasts, etc. 



2.1.1 [What do I *really* need to know about freezing?]

Freezing is preserving food using low temperatures--generally at
temperatures around 0 F/-18 C. Freezing generally inhibits both microbial
growth (doesn't generally kill, though) and many protease/enzyme actions 
in the food itself.

You need to decide whether or not to blanch or process food, how to wrap
food to prevent freezer burn, what foods freeze well, and what to do when 
the power goes out.


Food is safe from spoilage AS LONG AS IT STAYS FROZEN. Microorganisms
can start to grow as soon as food begins to thaw. To keep microbial growth
at a minimum, frozen foods should be thawed in the refrigerator. Thawed
Refreezing often changes the quality of food (texture, color, flavor).
Foodborne illness causing microorganisms may not be killed by freezing,
so the safety of the food will be no better than the condition of the 
food which was frozen. 

(section taken from Susan Brewer, from [Symptoms
of food poisoning are discussed in Section IV. Spoilage--LEB] - Tips on how to choose a freezer

From Blanche Nonken 

Get the biggest you can afford and have room for.  I've never
heard anyone complaining of TOO MUCH freezer space.  Before you
shop, look through the large appliance section of your sunday
paper.  You never know what special deals any number of
manufacturers might be offering.

Mine's a GE, and GE was offering a "12 Month No Interest Charge!"
deal.  I took a nice, leasurely 12 months to pay for my $400
chest freezer, because there was no interest involved.

Stay away from "Self Defrosting."  Emptying it once a year or so
for defrost is a great way to spend the hottest day of the year,
and you never know just what you'll find.

Chest freezers are harder to organize, but are more energy
efficient.  Uprights, just the opposite - great for organizing,
but everytime you open it all the cold air goes flooooosh all
over the floor.

[ Bulk it up with bags of ice { keep the freezer nearly full at 
all times} to decrease the running cost. The thermal mass of the ice 
also aids greatly in getting foods frozen quickly. - ED] 

2.1.2 [So what foods can be frozen well?]

from Wendy Milner

Freezing is not for all produce. Freezing will make mush of many soft fruits
and vegetables. Depending on what you want to do with these soft fruits
and vegetables, freezing may work. For example, you can freeze tomatoes and
later use them to make a sauce, but you would not want to try and use the
tomatoes whole after thawing. You can freeze apple slices and later make
apple sauce or apple pie.

Harder vegetables such as green beans and corn do well in the freezer.
These vegetables should be blanched first to kill mold spores and yeasts,
dried well, and then placed in freezer bags or freezer containers. The
vegetables should be cooled before placing in the freezer to prevent the 
freezer temperature from rising.

All meat can be frozen. If you are butchering your own meat, make sure
it is clean of hair, feathers, blood shot meat, and any foreign matter. 
Meat should be cut into small slices such as you find in the grocery store.
Do not attempt to freeze large sections of meat, such as a quarter of a
beef, unless you have a commercial sized and very cold freezer. Meat
should be wrapped in butcher paper to prevent freezer burn. You must
thaw meat in the refrigerator. Meat left on the counter to thaw allows 
for the growth of bacteria which could be harmful.

Corn freezes well

>From Robb Dabbs:

My freezer book says 9 minutes of blanching followed by 9 minutes of ice 
water.  Dry corn, package tightly and freeze.

Corn to be cut off the cob requires only 4 minutes of blanching.

2.1.3 [What's this blanching stuff, anyway?]

Blanching is plunging your item(s) in boiling water for a short amount
of time (30 sec to 5 min, check your recipe), cooling the items quickly,
then drying off the items. You don't cook the item, but you kill off the
surface bugs and you destroy several important enzymes that brown and 
degrade foods. 

2.1.4 [How do I freeze (your item here), and how long can I reasonably
expect it to keep?]

From Bobbi Zee




: Cheese wafers and straws 2

: Deviled ham puffs 1

Baked Products


: Angel food -- baked 4

: Chocolate -- baked 3

: Chocolate -- batter 2

: Frosted 3

: Fruit -- baked 4

: Plain -- baked 3

: Plain -- batter 2

: Sponge -- baked 4


: Brownies -- baked 4


: Brownies -- baked 4

: Chocolate chip -- baked 4

: Filled -- baked 4

: Peanut butter -- baked 6

: Peanut butter -- dough 4

: Refrigerator -- baked 6

: Refrigerator -- dough 6

: Sugar -- baked 6

: Sugar -- dough 6


: Apple -- baked 4

: Apple -- unbaked 4

: Blueberry -- baked 4

: Blueberry -- unbaked 4

: Chocolate chiffon 2

: Lemon chiffon 2

: Mincemeat -- baked 2

: Mincemeat -- unbaked 2

: Mincemeat -- baked 2

: Mincemeat -- unbaked 2

: Pumpkin -- baked 2

: Pumpkin -- unbaked 2

Quick breads

: Boston brown -- baked 4

: Nut -- baked 2

: Orange -- baked 4

Yeast breads

: Rolls -- baked 4

: Rolls -- dough 1 week

: Swedish tea ring 2

Combination Dishes

: Bakes beans with tomato sauce 4

: Beef or veal stew 2

: Chicken a la king 4

: Italian rice 2

: Rice Pilaf 4

: Italian rice 2

: Rice Pilaf 4

: Shrimp Creole 4

: Spanish sausage 2

: Tomato sauce and meat balls 2

Combination Dishes - General Directions

INGREDIENTS AND COOKING TIME: Use only ingredients of the best quality.
Prepare foods in the usual way but shorten the cooking time for most of
them. Cook meat and vegetables until barely tender and take from the heat 
at once.

The tissues will soften further during the cooling, freezing, and 
reheating. If completely cooked before they are frozen, meat and
vegetables may be too soft when served. Long cooking also causes 
unnecessary losses of flavor and aroma.

satisfactory in combination dishes which are to be frozen. The texture
is poor after freezer storage and reheating. It is better to cook and 
add them when the frozen food is prepared for serving.

In certain combination dishes quick-cooking rice and regular rice tend
to be mushy when they are reheated after being frozen. Converted rice has
been found to retain its shape and texture better.

COOL COOKED FOODS QUICKLY. After a food is cooked, cool it quickly to room
temperature. Place the cooking pan in a larger pan of ice water or cold
running water and stir occasionally. If the food is in a heavy kettle, you
can cool it more quickly by transferring it to one of the lighter weights.

CLEANLINESS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Since freezing does not kill all 
microorganisms, strive to keep the number in the food as low as possible
during preparation. Use clean utensils and sanitary methods of handling 

Keep the food covered during cooking, and loosely covered during cooling.
Package the product as soon as it reaches room temperature and freeze

PACKAGE CAREFULLY. Several types of containers are suitable for combination
dishes. However, the longer the product is to be held in freezer storage
the more moisture- and vapor-proof the package must be. Cylindrical cartons
with slip-on lids and tub-type containers are easy to fill but they may not
be air-tight. Rectangular cartons with plastic or plastic laminated foil bags
which can be tightly sealed with paper-covered wire closures, rubber bands,
or heat are more moisture and vapor-proof. Glass jars designed as containers
for freezing, tin cans, or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids afford
good protection against moisture loss and are easy to use. Freezer-to-table
cookware can be overwrapped with plastic or aluminum foil for a tight seal.

Some of the heavier plastic wraps now available are suitable for
freezer storage. Those made with polyvinylidene chloride (such as Saran
wrap) have been rated as excellent and are suitable for long-term storage.
Those made with polyethylene (such as Glad and Handi-Wrap) are suitable 
for short-term storage. Those made with polyvinyl chloride (such as
Reynolds Plastic) are poor choices because they are not moisture and
vapor proof. Plastic-coated paper freezer wrap is suitable for solid foods. 
(Formore details, see Consumer Reports, March, 1983.)

For food that is packaged solid be sure to leave space at the top of
the container for the contents to expand during freezing. Leave 1/2 inch
for a pint container, 1 inch for a quart. 

FREEZE IMMEDIATELY. Put packaged foods in the home freezing unit without
delay. The temperature in the home freezing unit should be 0 F or lower.
DO NOT STORE TOO LONG. The shorter the period of freezer storage, the more
appetizing these foods will be. (See table of recommended storage 
times - LEB) While some foods usually do maintain quality longer than
is indicated, undesirable changes may take place during freezer storage. 
Some fats tend to become rancid rather quickly. Separation may occur in 
sauces and gravies. Onion and black pepper become stronger and salt loses 
flavor. With all foods there is a gradual loss of flavor, aroma, and
natural texture. Be sure to write the date of preparation on every package
and make a record of the packages you put in the freezer so you will not 
leave them there too long.

PREPARE FOR SERVING. To reheat frozen cooked food, use the method which
will affect its appearance and texture the least. A double boiler is best
for combination dishes. A saucepan can be used if the food is partly
defrosted and then heated carefully. With either method do not stir food
more than necessary. Plastic wraps can be used in microwave reheating only
with foods that are low in sugar and fat. High-fat and high-sugar foods 
can become hot enough to melt the plastic.

Use all defrosted and reheated foods at the current meal. Further
holding and reheating is not recommended.


Freezing cooked meat, except in combination dishes where a solid pack
can be prepared for freezing, is not recommended. Work carried on in the
foods research laboratory of the University of Illinois as well as in 
other foods laboratories indicates that higher quality is obtained if 
uncooked rather than cooked poultry and meat are frozen. Carefully
controlled experiments have shown that this is true for deep fat and
oven fried chicken, braised beef round steaks, ham patties and loaves,
and rib and loin pork roasts. In general, poultry and meat roasted or
fried have a more attractive appearance and better flavor than that 
cooked before freezing. 

Precooked frozen vegetables have been rated as being inferior to freshly 
cooked and to blanched frozen vegetables. The few exceptions are products
that can be solidly packed such as vegetable purees and mashed potatoes.
In the latter case freezing is not recommended because it takes almost as
long to thaw and reheat mashed potatoes for serving as it would to prepare 
them fresh.


Among the baked foods that can be frozen successfully are certain 
appetizers, breads, cakes, and pies. Freezing and freezer storage preserve
the freshness of these products and having them at hand for emergencies is
a convenience. The recipes included here are those which were found to give
good results when they were tested in the University of Illinois laboratory.

Probably many other products besides those described can be frozen 

PREPARING BAKED FOODS. Use standard recipes and methods for appetizers,
breads, cakes and pies and select only ingredients of the best quality.
Several of these products can be frozen before they are baked, the 
following precautions are necessary:

For cakes frozen in the batter state, use double-acting baking powder
(SAS-phosphate) in order to assure good volume. Package batter and place
in freezing unit immediately.
For fruit pies frozen before baking, use a little more flour to thicken 
juice, and do not prick the top crust. Apple slices should be blanched
before they are put in a pit, so they will keep their color, texture, and
flavor better.

Dough for rolls must be wrapped and frozen as soon as the rolls are

DIRECTIONS FOR PACKAGING. Except for cake batter, these products can be
satisfactorily wrapped for freezing in moisture- and vapor-proof plastic
wrap, heavyweight aluminum foil, or plastic freezer bags. Heat-sealable
plastic bags are excellent. Tight seals prevent loss of moisture and flavor
during storage.

If you use aluminum foil, place product in center of sheet and fold
two edges together over it. Roll or fold the seam tight against the product,
taking care not to crush the product. Then press the ends of the package
together and fold them close to the product.

Pressure or cold-storage tape can also be used to seal plastic wrap or
aluminum-foil packages.

Plastic of waxed cylindrical freezer cartons with slip-on lids or
glass freezer jars are suitable for packaging cake batter. The quart size
holds enough batter for an 8-inch square cake and six cup cakes or for
two 9-inch layers.

DO NOT HOLD TOO LONG IN FREEZER. As soon as baked products, batters, and
doughs are packaged, place them in the home freezing unit. Do not, however,
keep them in the freezer for long periods because quality is lost gradually
during storage. The freezer space probably can be used to better advantage.


Questions about the advisability of freezing canap,s or tea sandwiches
are frequently asked. Such products can of course be frozen and held in
the freezer for about a week but the results are usually only fairly 

Freshness in appearance and flavor are apt to be lost, moisture content
of bread may no longer be evenly distributed, and crackers or toast rounds
tend to lose crispness. However, two appetizers which are baked after
freezing can be recommended. Similar types among your favorite recipes 
may give equally good results.


Frozen baked angel-food and sponge cakes, when defrosted, are very
similar in quality to freshly baked cake. Angel-food cakes seem a little
more moist after they have been frozen and thawed. However, both angel-food
and sponge cakes are likely to shrink a little in freezer storage. (Angel
food ) cake made from frozen and defrosted batter is not as fine-grained
as cake baked before it is frozen.)

Delicious angel-food cake can be made from frozen egg whites. Often
freezing the whites is more practical than freezing the cake. A pint 
container will hold the right amount of whites for one cake. After
defrosting by holding them overnight in the refrigerator or at room 
temperature for about 5 hours, use them in the same way as fresh egg 


Fruit cake can be baked and frozen. After freezer storage the thawed
cake will be more like a freshly baked cake than if it had been stored
at room temperature.


These cakes can be frozen after they are baked or the batter can be
frozen. Storing batter has several advantages: it is easier to package,
requires less freezer space, and the cake seems more moist, with a flavor
more like that of a freshly mixed and baked cake. A frozen baked cake, however,
required less time to prepare for serving after it is taken from storage.

In addition a baked cake can be frosted before it is frozen and stored.


Freezing baked cookies and cookie doughs makes it easy to keep a variety 
on hand at all times. Many types of baked cookies can probably be
frozen, as well as refrigerator cookie doughs. The enclosed recipes give
good products, or you may use favorite recipes and methods to prepare 
cookies for the freezer.


Frozen pastry, ingredients for pie fillings, and certain frozen pies
make excellent products. Apple, blueberry, mincemeat, and pumpkin pies
can be baked either before or after they are frozen. A pie baked after it is
frozen is more like a freshly prepared and baked pie, and less time is
needed to prepare it for freezing. But a pie that is baked and then frozen 
takes less time to prepare for serving.

Another possibility is to freeze the chief ingredients of fillings and
pieces of rolled pastry of appropriate size separately. This procedure
is more economical of freezer space than freezing unbaked or baked pies
and may in some instances be more practical. Cherries and sugar or pumpkin
puree can be frozen satisfactorily for use in pies.

Chiffon pies are completely prepared before freezing. Only lemon and
chocolate pies have been tested but it seems probable that other chiffon
pies will freeze equally well.


Pastry may be frozen separately and used later. One way to package
rolled-out pastry is to cut a piece of cardboard of the same size as the
pastry and cover it with waxed paper. Two pieces of waxed paper are put between
each two pieces of pastry and several can be wrapped together. Use aluminum

foil or plastic wrap for packaging or seal in a large plastic bag with
as little remaining air space as possible. Pieces of frozen pastry can be
removed as needed and allowed to that 10 to 15 minutes before using in the
preparation of a pie.


A few kinds of quick breads have been baked and frozen with satisfactory 
results. Probably others will freeze equally well. One advantage of
freezing quick breads is to have several kinds available at one time 
without spending many consecutive hours in their preparation.


Bread and rolls that are frozen and held in freezer storage do not
stale at the usual rate. Yeast rolls may be frozen after baking, or the
dough may be frozen. The former method of preparation is preferred because
it is more convenient and because the quality of the rolls is higher. The
volume, texture, and flavor of the baked rolls are maintained for several
months of freezer storage. Frozen dough should be thawed and baked within

one week after it is frozen. Swedish tea ring, baked before freezing, was
rated good after freezer storage. Other baked products made with sweet
roll dough will probably be found to be suitable for freezing.

Source: Freezing Cooked and Prepared Foods. Frances O. Van Duyne.

University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign, College of Agriculture,
Cooperative Extension Service. Circular 835. July, 1984

Typos by Bobbi Zee 1:230/73


2.1.5 [Specifics about freezing meats, especially wild game.]

Subject: Preserving Frozen Poultry & Other Meats

From: (Tanith Tyrr)

Somebody asked a question about "freezer burn"'s what
I do about it. Works admirably for me, and since I hunt and slaughter 
livestock, I always have a goodly stack of meat of all sorts needing a 
deft hand with the long term preserving.

Poultry, especially delicate items like wild duck or quail, keeps best
when frozen either in a solid block of water (best for the small game 
birds; use milk cartons) or when frozen completely covered with fat or 
oil. The key here is "no oxygen interaction".

If you can afford one (and if you know how to use it properly), a vacuum
sealer is also helpful for processing meats you want to freeze. I'm 
currently shopping models; input is solicited.

I freeze larger game birds, specifically wild duck, crocked in rendered
duck fat and wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and a ziplock so that no
surface is exposed. It works admirably and "freezer burn" just doesn't
happen. The outside fat might lose some moisture and texture if exposed
to air, but you can simply melt off the fatty layer and discard. You can
also used rendered chicken or goose fat for this purpose, depending on
what is in your pantry at the moment. I always save jars of rendered
poultry fat of all kinds in the freezer, for this and other culinary 
purposes. Confit, anybody? ;>

[Yep, check out the Meat Potting Section in this FAQ.--LEB]

I freeze good cuts of beef and lamb in a solid layer of olive oil, as it
does not impart that savory and unmistakable "poultry flavor" that
rendered duck, goose or chicken fat does. Any good quality, fresh and not
rancid vegetable oil will do, but I prefer olive oil for its weight,
durability and flavor.

Extra virgin is best, but the medium weight stuff you can buy by the
bucket load will do. It depends on how much you value that piece of meat
you're putting in the freezer. And taste your oil first to make sure it
won't impart unpleasant qualities to the meat; oil or fat can go rancid
or "off" if you (or the shopkeeper) leave it on the shelf too long.

You can even "freezer marinade" by adding seasonings to the oil
or fat and heating briefly, then allowing to cool before adding to the 
meat to be frozen.

You can use a fairly thin (1/4") of fat or oil, so long as you are
certain that the meat is covered on all sides and no actual meat surface
is exposed to air. Personally, I tend to go for a deep crock when it comes
to precious items of wild game; I buy rendered duck fat in 5-pound tubs 
from specialty stores such as D'Artagnan (NY) or The Game Exchange (SF).

Gently melt off all the grease before cooking, and you should end up with
a nice piece of well preserved meat even after many, many months in your

Don't forget to invest a small amount in an accurate freezer thermometer,
if your model doesn't come with one. It's worth it as fluctuations in 
temperature or too high a temperature can destroy products inside even if
they are properly preserved.

2.1.6 [I'm looking for an appliance to vacuum seal food. Any 

From: Ross Reid

Over the years I've tried several so called vacuum sealers and gave up on
them. Most had a tiny little fan which couldn't pull as much of a vacuum
as I can by using a drinking straw. However, about a year ago I decided
to bite the bullet and spend the extra for a Tilia FoodSaver and don't
regret it for a minute. The Tilia has a true vacuum pump and, IMO is the 
only one worth considering as a home vacuum sealer.

From: Barbara Rogers :

I have a Compact Foodsaver and really like it. I only use it to seal lids
on glass jars. I don't use the plastic bags. I have never used anything else
so can't compare. This one cost about 200 dollars and I have had it several
years with no problems. 

From: (Patricia C. Byrnes):

I also use a FoodSaver. I rarely use the bags, but have a whole collection
of containers that work with it (including Mason jars). These are easily
sealed. If I were freezing something I wanted to last a long time I would
use the bags.

From: (Elva Allen)

I have a Phillips vacuum sealer and it works just fine. It seals the plastic
to make a bag, and none have split on me yet! It was $35 at Zellers in
Ontario, CA. Extra plastic for bags is readily available.

From: Buddy McIlwain

I have owned a Foodsaver made by a company named Tilia for about 6 years.
I have been very pleased with it and with Tilia. They have an 800 number
which I used once when my machine quit pulling a complete vacuum on the
bags. They correctly diagnosed my problem and shipped the parts overnight.
The parts consisted of two strips of heavy duty weather stripping that is
used to seal the bags. [snip.] My machine seals plastic bags sold by 
Tilia, but will also vacuum seal mason jars.

From: Paul Hinrichs

Tilia, Inc. / 568 Howard St. / San Francisco, CA 94105

415-543-9136 / FAX: 415-777-2634

From: Barb Shaller

Bags for Bag Sealers: 
5305 Parkdale Drive
Minneapolis MN 55416-1681

I do not know if these bags are usable with the Tilia products.
Kapak has a boatload of sizes available.

Vac sealing flour:

Marie Martinek wrote:

I put my circle of waxed paper *inside the jar*. So it keeps the powdery 
stuff from sucking up into the space between the jar and the lid. Which, of 
course, also keeps it out of the pump parts.

Ross Reid wrote:

I put a wad of cotton batting (actually a single cotton ball) up inside
the recess in the very top of both my jar adapters. The cotton is held
there by a very narrow strip of Scotch tape. I've never had flour or
anything else get past the cotton and the vacuum still works as well as
if the cotton wasn't there.

Eric Decker wrote:

Test jars done to the methods given here fail. The vacuum held for a couple 
of months but one by one all twelve test jars lost the seal.  The seal at 
process time was solid. A test removal at process time deemed the FoodSaver's 
vacuum was adequate. Unfortunately a microscopic level of flour must have been 
present in all instances. There appears to be no way to guarantee flour will 
not contaminate the lid. The curent reccomendation is: Do not use vacuum 
sealing in glass jars for flour. Vacuum bagging flour is effective for 
those who buy flour in large quantities at infrequent cycles and have a 
need to exclude pests.  Sugar and other higher density, more coarse,
items should continue to do okay.

2.1.7 [Now that we found out that a seal-a-meal is worth having...where
in the world do you find supplies? Diane M. Ferrell ].

Seal-A-Meal Source

..was called at old number circa Feb/99 and was told that they sold the 
Seal-a-Meal division to the Rival Company.

   The Rival Co
   1001 Golden Dr
   Clinton, MO 64735-1195
toll free number (660) 885-5564

Many thanks to Russ Allen for investigating and reporting the info - ED]

>From Jenny S. Johanssen :

Here in Alaska, we can get the seal-a-meal bags and machine both at Sam's
wholesales and Costco. Payless Super Drugs also carries them. I think that
Costco is on the West coast - California through Arizona at least.

2.1.8 [How would I go about preserving baked goods (cookies,

pastries...) from both going bad and breaking up into crumbs? Gloria]

>From Joan :

When I am shipping things, I either freeze them or pack them very well.
For example, with yeast breads, rolls, etc., I generally freeze them and ship
them off with express delivery. That obviously works best if it will be
delivered within 48 hours.

For items like cookies or tender pastries, I generally find an airtight
container for them and then pack them very carefully with lots of waxed
paper between the individual items. Make sure they're packed snugly but
not enough to crush the items when you put on the lid. Cookies travel very
well this way, and some cookies also freeze pretty well so you can ship 
them in that state to help preserve them.

2.1.9 [Mushroom duxelles.]

What's the best way to preserve mushrooms?

From: Longhair (Paul Hinrichs) wrote:

The local grocery had some portabellos marked down yesterday and I threw
a whole slew of them into my smoker along with the leg of lamb I was smoking
at about 130 F. After about 4 hours they were completely dried and smoked
and tasted delicious even dry. I suppose you could do the same without
smoke in a dehydrator or in the oven.

From: (Jean-Pierre Dion)

I agree, but personally I prefer a duxelle.


1. Chop your mushrooms as small as possible, a robot does a nice job.
2. Saute the mushrooms in oil or butter (to taste) at low to medium heat.
The purpose is remove as much water as possible. They'll shrink and get
a concentrated mushroom taste.

3. Cool. Pack tight and freeze. Yes, I wrote freeze. A duxelle is the only
way you can freeze mushrooms. Use for soups or sauces. Remember,
they will taste much more than ordinary mushrooms.

From: (Eric Decker)

Larousse Gastronomique '76 says, and I paraphrase:

1. Chop mushrooms coarsely, put in a bag, express as much moisture as
possible by applying a twisting motion to the bag.
2. Saute mushrooms in oil and butter with chopped onion, chopped shallots,
salt, pepper, nutmeg, moistened with white wine, with chopped parsley 
3. Stir over a lively flame so that any surplus moisture in the mushrooms
is evaporated - to the degree of a thorough cooking.
4. Allow the duxelles to get quite cold - store in a cold place.

Freezing is quite a good option for a large amount of Duxelles. One could
add a splash, just a splash, of just about any good brandy instead of white
wine. Less is more here. Beware of liqueurs, they will caramelize the
duxelles' subtle flavours.

2.1.10 [ Is there any way to freeze cheese so it does not become "crumbly?"]

>From Annette Bowser:

After you take cheese out of the freezer, let it sit at room temperature 24
hours and then put it in the refrigerator to chill. When you cut it or grate
it, it will be like the day you bought it. The oils need to mix back in and
it is great and it grates great.


>From Dawn Crowley:

I buy already shredded cheese in 5 lb bags.  When my family was smaller,
we could not use it fast enough.  Therefore, I would flash-freeze it and
then put it into ziploc bags in the freezer.  To flash-freeze, just
spread a layer on a cookie sheet and place it in the freezer for a few
minutes.  It prevents the cheese from defrosting into one giant clump.



3.1  [Dehydration 101]

This entire section is Copyright 1997, 1998 by Commercial Dryer Systems
Inc. Explicit consent for its inclusion in the RFP FAQ has been given to
Eric Decker in the role of RFP FAQ Maintainer. No reproduction elsewhere
is permitted without permission of CDS. If this FAQ is reproduced in its
entirety with no revisons, inclusion of said article conforms with
copyright permission given. Please give attribution if you quote from 
this copyright section of the FAQ. 

The URL of this firm is included in setion 16 - Internet.

On behalf of RFP I express the gratitude of the RFP family to Mr. Dave
Stone of Commercial Dryer Systems Inc for the permission to include 
Dehydration 101 in our FAQ.   

---------------------------- begin here ----------------------------------

Dehydration 101:                                   
A Basic Look at Dehydration                   

Dehydration 101 (A primer for new Tray Dryer Operators.)

Revised: 5/1/97

Regardless of how brilliant the design, or how skilled the fabricators
might be, it is the operators of a Tray Dryer that will make it a success,
or failure. The following information is offered as a starting point from
which you will be able to jump-start your introduction into the fascinating
technology of dehydration. Throughout this lesson, every effort has been
made to follow the K.I.S.S. principle. The intent is to provide a basic
understanding of dehydration, but without the scientific jargon. This paper
is broken down into physics of dehydration, recognition of the four phases
of dehydration, maximizing production and finally how to trouble shoot the
process when your having problems. Dehydration is more an art form, than an
exact science. As your personal experience grows, extend your experience,
and dont be afraid to experiment. There will always be more than one way
to dry a specific product. Your challenge is to find that special mix of
temperature, air velocity, relative humidity, and dwell time that maximizes
both production and product quality.


In its most simplest form, dehydration technology is thousands of years
old. Dried meat on sticks and corn dried in the sun are two examples of
early mans ingenuity. After 1900, the need for technology to accelerate
dehydration and remove the dependence process became acute. Acceleration of
dehydration and the need to remove the dependence on sunny dry weather
where the factors that triggered invention of the Natural Draft dehydrator. 
This design incorporated a fire near the bottom on a hillside. Stacks of 
wooden trays filled racks. An exhaust vent in the upper porting of the 
roof allowed the smoke and hot gases escape with the water vapors.

As the fire heated the air, it was carried upward providing the critical
air flow and low humidity necessary for dehydration. The Natural Draft
Dryer is generally accepted as the first commercial dryer and instituted
the use of wood frame trays and artificial heat. Unfortunately, most burned
down and today there are no known surviving examples. Ten years later, the
Natural Draft Dryer gave way to a mix of crude dryers that incorporated
small fans. Finally, between 1910 and 1920, Mr. L. N. Miller invented a box
like dryer, with artificial heat made with oil, a large fan capable of high
air velocity, humidity shutters and bleeder vents. This was the predominant
design through the 1940s and spawned many variations. In the 1960s a
group of scientists at the University of California, Davis, California,
developed the now common overhead return Tunnel Dryer. Variations of this
design are now in use throughout the USA and overseas. Commercial
Dehydrator Systems, Inc. now carries on the tradition of L.N. Millers
dryers and the technology from UC Davis, which will keep dehydration alive
into the next centuries to come.


First Phase. (Raising the Core Temperature) In the first phase of raising
the core temperature, the product is warmed as fast as possible without
case hardening to within 10 to 20 degrees of the process air temperature.
In the counterflow configuration the wet fruit is placed in the cool end
and is subjected to very wet air that has lost 20 degrees or more by
passing through the Tunnel. This wet air transfers heat very fast and as
the car moves forward in the dryer, the process air temperature rises and
the humidity drops. This accelerates the transition to the second phase. In
the Parallel flow configuration the wet car is placed in the hot end and
the product is immediately subjected to the high temperatures and low
humidity of the high pressure end. Rather than pulling the product when it
is dry (counterflow), parallel flow requires that, at in less than two
hours, another car must be placed in the hot end to prevent the previous
car from case hardening. Thus the wet product drives the dehydration rather
than the dry product. As each car is placed in the high pressure end, a
charge of wet, cool air, bathes all of the cars behind it for a few
minutes. This dehydration and rehydration cycle continues throughout the

Second Phase (Rapid dehydration). In the second phase moisture content of
the product is in near free fall. To maximize production, moisture inside
the dryer needs to be controlled. As a general rule of thumb, moisture
content of the process air, when drying most products, measured at the high
pressure end, should be 17% to 19%. After the air passes through the dryer,
measured at the cool end, the relative humidity should be 35% to 50%.
Remember each product is different and should be treated as such.

Third Phase (Transition). Transition is the critical phase, from the point
of view of damaging the product. The high rate of moisture release
experienced in the second phase slows down to a crawl. Most of the free
water has been driven off. Capillary action at the cell level now provides
the majority of the free water being driven off. The evaporative cooling
that has kept the core temperature of the product well below the process
air temperature, slows as well. Case hardening, cooking and caramelizing
are all very possible as the product passes through the transition phase.

Fourth Phase (bake out). The final phase is characterized by a slow
reduction in the product moisture content. This phase is normally the
longest,and depending upon the target moisture content, may include over
1/2 of the dwell time. Caramelization is still a threat in the last phase,
as well.


(Hopefully Mr. Webster will forgive the following abuses)

Batch Drying: Of the three ways to use the Tray Dryer, Batch Drying is
simplest, and least commonly used. Batch drying refers to the loading the
tray dryer with all of the product laden trays and cars at one time, and
drying the lot, without moving the cars within the dyer. While some react
well to this procedure, most dont The loss in the even and consistent
dehydration motivates most operators to investigate other protocols. The
problem with batch drying is in the uniformity of the environment the
product is exposed to. Since the leading edge of the leading car sees a
much different environment than that of the trailing edge of the trailing
car, significant differences in moisture content will occur with in the
product. It is like drying the same product in two different dryers, each
dryer set at a different temperature.

Bound water: Water found in most products comes in two forms, free water
and bound water. For our purposes , bound water is locked up or bound
with salt, sugars, or proteins and as such, are not available for use by
bacteria or mold spores for propagation. Bound water is not normally a
concern in dehydration. See free water.

Caramelizing: Normally associated with fruit and vegetables with
significant sugar content. Caramelizing is simply the burning of sugars.
Caramelizing is normally associated with running the dryer too hot and with
too much air velocity. Tearing open a sample and smelling a Camp fire
scent is the classic test. For most purposes a caramelized product is
ruined, with no way to salvage it for human consumption.

Case Hardening: Like caramelizing, case hardening is caused by too much
temperature, too much air velocity and too little relative humidity.
Symptoms include a virtual halt in dehydration and a tough leather-like
outer skin. Increasing the humidity is the key to salvaging the product.
The product can normally be salvaged by massive re-hydration.

NOTE: I have seen fire hoses used to wet and re-soften the skin in an
effort to kick-start dehydration again. Once softened, dehydration begins
almost immediately.

Cooked: As with Caramelization above; your product has forever been changed
into something else. ( Will not re-hydrate back into the original form.) No
amount of re-hydration will help. The oils and sugars inside the product
have changed and will not keep. The rancidity clock is ticking and
refrigerated storage is the only alternative.

Cool End: The cool end of the dryer refers to the end that encloses the
fresh air inlet, combustion air inlet and the return air gap (in the air
deck). Sometimes called the low pressure end, this part of the dryer brings
fresh air, mixes in the return air and exhausts the saturated air. The fan
bulkhead separates the Cool End from the Hot End.

Counterflow: Counterflow refers to the direction of the air flow within the
dryer. The fresh (wet) product laden cars enter the dryer through the cool
(low pressure) end doors and are stepped forward periodically as cars
loaded with dry product are removed from the dry (Hot End) of the tunnel.
When dry cars are removed, an entire row moves forward, and new row of wet
cars enter the dryer. With each step forward the product sees a new
drying environment; always dryer and hotter. Counter flow dehydration is
normally associated with a lower process air temperature and higher quality
dried products. Drying is accomplished from the inside out, and case
hardening is rare.

Dehydration: The process of driving free water from products like fruits,
vegetables and nuts, at an accelerated rate, without damage to the product.
The purpose of dehydration is to stabilize the product at a low moisture
content, so it can be stored without refrigeration, remain free of
microbial action and can be re-hydrated to nearly the original form,
appearance, taste and nutritive value.

Drying Personality Just as people are unique, so are the many products that
can be dried in a tray or tunnel dryer. A carrot will respond to
dehydration in a radically different manor than a prune. This unique
personality causes the product to respond to dehydration in a unique
manner, unlike any other product. The variables inside the dryer that you
have some control over are: temperature, air velocity, relative humidity
and dwell time. Constant monitoring and timely reaction to changing
conditions in the product and/or in the environment will insure quality

Hot End: The Hot End or high pressure end begins at the fan wall and
extends across the air deck down through the air deck gap and extends back
through the first few cars on the ground level. Distinguished by high
static pressure and high process air temperatures, the hot end is where 
the dry product exits from the dryer when drying in the counter flow

Parallel Air Flow: Parallel air flow is a drying system that maximizes
production. The wet cars enter the dryer from the hot end. The hot
process air passes through the trays in the same direction as the cars are
moving inside the Tunnel Dryer. Parallel air flow is used when production
requirements out weigh quality concerns. The process air temperatures are
high, sometimes nearly 200 degrees (F). The hot air from the fan reaches
the fresh product first. To counter the potential for case hardening,
another car full of fruit is placed upstream the first car at a
specifically timed interval. The cooling action of moisture driven off the
upstream car re-hydrates the original car slightly, thus averting case
hardening. The timing of the introduction of the upstream car is critical,
which means the last car (wet end) comes out of the dryer, whether it is
ready or not. This is the cause of the quality issue. Parallel Flow is an
adaptation of the original counter-flow methodology. See Counter-flow air

Stewing: Just like it sounds, the product is not drying, normally from too
much humidity inside the dryer. Add fresh air. The product is salvageable
only when Stewing is discovered early. See cooking.

Tray Loading: The depth of the product on the tray is driven by drying
personality and production considerations. To achieve even drying the tray
loading must be consistent and uniform. Heavy on one side and light on the
other will result in the heavy side not drying, and the light side over
drying. Often seen where trays belly in the center.

------------------------------- end here ----------------------------------

3.1.1  [ How can I do jerky in wet zones? ]

 [ The response from Vicky Shaw is on jerky. It is specific to the NW
of the US. That includes the adjacent southern portions of British
Columbia. While it is specific to jerky this information should aid
with dehydration in general in areas that have high humidity and or rain.  
Thank you Vicky - ED ] 

Here is a cut and paste of info sheet SP 50-819  Revised October 16, 1997

                          New Venison Jerky Procedure

Home-prepared venison jerky was recently identified as the cause of a
foodborne illness outbreak in Oregon. The small electric dehydrator that
was used hadn't reached a high enough temperature to kill the harmful
bacteria E. coil O157:H7 bacteria can grow in the intestines of deer
and contaminate meat during handling. To kill these !bacteria, jerky
must be heated to 160F. while it is still moist. Because most home
dehydrators aren't designed to reach this temperature, the jerky must
be heated in another way to guarantee safety. This can be done by
precooking. Precooking in marinade shortens the drying time and makes
a more tender jerky. Although the color and texture will be different
from conventional jerky, precooked jerky is still tasty.

Note: Research is needed to identify other safe jerky-making procedures. 
To date, there is no safe procedure for the dry cure method. To precook 
venison jerky 

1.    Freeze game meat before preparing so that it will be easier to dice.
2.    Cut partially thawed meat into long slices that are no more than %
inch thick. For tender jerky, cut at a right angle to long muscles ("across 
the grain"). Remove all the fat possible to prevent off-flavor.
3. Prepare 1-2 cups of marinade of your choice in a large sauce pan.
4. Bring the marinade to a full rolling boil over medium heal Add a few
meat strips, making sure that they are covered by marinade. Re-heat to a
full boil.  Remove the pan from the range. Using tongs, immediately remove
meat from the hot marinade to prevent over-cooking. Repeat steps 4 and 5
until all meat has been precooked. Add more marinade if needed. 
6.    Place precooked strips in single non-overlapping layers on drying 

We did try the method out with beef and it turned out really good.  It 
surprised me.  I thought that it would not have the flavor of an overnight
soak but the cooking seemed to get the flavor into the meat real well.

3.1.2  [ What results may I achieve with a SnackMaster? ] <Lynette > relied:

I have the American Harvest Garden Master.  Am doing apples as we speak!
Here are my experiences. I have 8 trays going when I dehydrate.  Am going 
to buy 4 more this year plus 2 more roll up trays.

Jerkey takes about 12 hours.  Apples about 8 - 12 hours depending upon 
the outside humidity.  Roll-up about 12 hours depending upon how wet it is.

I find it does the same job in the same time no matter how many trays I use.
(The most I've used is 8)  Don't have more!

You don't have to rotate the trays as it has a good fan system that does
great.  All the trays dry at the same rate/time. Most of the variation in 
time for me is because we live in the Pacific northwest where it rains a 
lot. Humidity plays a part.

I've dropped the bottom unit from about 4 feet onto a lino. floor.  It did 
not break or malfunction. 

I chose to buy this one because I wanted something that would last and grow
with me.  I am very pleased with it.  Paid about $230 for the whole setup 
with x-tra trays, fruit roll up liners and fine mesh liners.

forget and spend more time prying off the items than if I had sprayed.  
They come right off then.

Can put the trays in dishwasher but have to take them out before dryer 

All in all I am very pleased with my purchase.  I had a Ro---- model before it
was very cheap and didn't have a temp control.  That is the most important
part, get one with a temp control.  Makes all the difference in the world.
Alsl the Ro--- model's trays broke up after using 5 - 6 time.s  The AH is
sturdy and no sign of cracking


3.2.1 [What do I *really* need to know about dehydrating food?]

Dehydrating food works on the principal that both microbes and enzymes
in your food require free water to work. (To a lesser extent, this is
how freezing works. The water is frozen instead of evaporated off.).

Generally, you get rid of the water in food by gentle, even heat (sun,
oven, dehydrator) and air movement (wind, open oven door, fan) 
otherwise water just stays in the food or condenses on it. You especially
need to be cautious, though, about several types of mold that produce
mycotoxins (e.g. aflatoxin) while growing on the surface of your dried


Dried foods which take more than 1 to 2 hours to rehydration or
reconstitution should be rehydrated either in the refrigerator or in
simmering water to prevent the growth of microorganisms. Once
vegetables are rehydrated, they will support the growth of Clostridium
botulinum so they must be handled safely. Any dried foods with signs
of spoilage or mold growth should be discarded. (section taken from
Susan Brewer) [See also the section of aflatoxin under Spoilage.]

Check out Part 6 of this FAQ (different file), for additional web
sites, and ISDN numbers, authors, etc of books recommended below.

2.2.2 [What foods dehydrate well?]

from Clint Scott (pre-1996)

Carrots dry very well. Most things do very well except green beans,
zucchini and yellow squash. Oddly enough fresh asparagus tips do very
well. The stalks are sort of 'barkey' but the tips re-hydrate nicely.

from Anne Louise Gockel (pre-1996)

I found that some foods are not worth drying (blueberries; yuck,
although they might be useful for pancakes when camping) and others
are just wonderful.

from Stephen Northcutt (pre-1996)

Besides apples and peaches, I have found that green or mature onions,
spinach, and squash (zucchini) dry well and make great additions to
winter soups and stews.

from Graham Dodd (Feb 8, 1996)

I use dehydrators for making fruit snacks and sweets also for
preserving food. Without trying to 'Advertise' I also sell them and
have some excellent recipe books with hundreds of recipes and tips in
them. If any one would like to know more about dehydrators from a user
view I would be happy to answer questions.

In other words, try it. It will either work for you, or it will not.
If it does not work perfectly for you, it will be great in some dishes


3.2.3 [Dehydrating Specific Items]

Look in 3.1  Dehydration 101 for the basics if you do not find a 
specific mention on what you want to do.   

3.2.4 [Pistachio Nut ( and other seeds) ]

Q: I intend to eat the nuts from my two eight year pistachio trees. By
now the nuts are growing. Does somebody knows how to get those crispy,
salty pistachios from the nut in the tree? Manuel Lopez Mateos]

from H. B. Ghoddusi ,


1 - Once you take the nuts from the tree, first get rid of the peel (the
thin one).

2 - Let them dry in sun (needs longer time and you need to have enough
sunny days) or in oven (it is faster but be careful to avoid

3 - Make a bowl of brine (not very concentrated) up 3-4% should be alright.

4 - Put the pistachios in a pan and heat it over a cooker until browning
and bumping starts. Keep on low heating for a while in this stage.

5 - Add the brine (not soak the nuts, just make them wet) and keep on
heating while stirring until the nuts become dry again, while the salt
is crystallized over them.

P.S: I have never tried this procedure for pistachio, but I have done it
several times with different seeds and it works very well.

3.2.5 [(Sundried Tomato. (A very frequently asked question)]

(from an unknown source, posted in either or
preserving) (pre-1996)

First, a few notes. It takes about 7 pounds of fresh tomatoes to make
a single pint of dried tomatoes (I am not sure how much a pint of dried
tomatoes weighs. A pint of water weighs 1 pound.). This is part of the
reason they are so expensive (costing in the neighbourhood of $20/pound
around here). The best tomato to use in this process is the Roma (also
known as a plum, pear, or Italian) tomato, because it contains less
water and seeds. However, you can use any tomato. They will just take a
little longer to dry.

Dried Tomatoes (yields about 1 pint)

Wash carefully and wipe dry:
7 or 8 pounds of firm, ripe (preferably Roma) tomatoes.
Cut out the stem and scar and the hard portion of core lying under it.
Cut the tomatoes in half, lengthwise. If the tomato is more than about
2 inches long, cut it in quarters. Scrape out all of the seeds that you 
can without removing the pulp. Arrange the tomatoes, with the cut surface 
up, on non-stick cookie sheets (glass or porcelain dishes are OK. They will 
have to withstand temperatures of a few hundred degrees F if you are going 
to oven-dry the tomatoes). Do *not* use aluminum foil, or bare aluminum 
cookie sheets. The acid in the tomatoes will react with the metal. 

Mix together thoroughly:

1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp salt.
Sprinkle a small amount of this mixture on each tomato. (You may
customize this mixture to suit your own taste.)
Dry the tomatoes in the oven, dehydrator, or in the sun. Directions
follow for each of these methods. However, no matter what method you
choose, be aware that not all of the tomatoes will dry at the same
rate. They do not all have the same amount of moisture, nor do they
experience the same temperature and air circulation while they are

They are done when they are very dry, but still pliable. Texture is about 
that of a dried apricot. If dried too long, they become tough and
leathery. If not dried long enough, they will mold and mildew, unless
packed in oil. So watch them carefully while they dry. Try to remove
them on an individual basis, before they become tough. Here are the 
drying methods. There is a time listed with each method.

This time is approximate, and can vary significantly depending on the
moisture of the tomato. Do *not* rely on this time as more than a rough

Oven-drying (approximately 12 hours):
Bake, cut side up, in 170 F oven for about 3 hours. Leave the oven
door propped open about 3 inches to allow moisture to escape. After 3
hours, turn the tomatoes over and press flat with your hand or a
spatula. Continue to dry, turning the tomatoes every few hours, and
gently pressing flatter and flatter, until tomatoes are dry.

Dehydrator method (approximately 8 hours):

Place the tomatoes, cut side up, directly onto the dehydrator trays.
Set dehydrator temperature to about 140 F. After 4 or 5 hours, turn
the tomatoes over and press flat with your hand or a spatula. After a
few hours, turn the tomatoes again and flatten gently. Continue drying
until done.

Sun-drying (approximately 3 days):

Dry in hot weather, with relatively low humidity.
Place tomatoes, cut side down, in shallow wood-framed trays with nylon
netting for the bottom of the trays. Cover trays with protective
netting (or cheesecloth). Place in direct sun, raised from the ground
on blocks or anything else that allows air to circulate under the
trays. Turn the tomatoes over after about 1 1/2 days, to expose the
cut side to the sun. Place the trays in a sheltered spot after
sundown, or if the weather turns bad.
After the tomatoes are dry, store in air-tight containers, or pack in

To pack in oil:

Dip each tomato into a small dish of white wine vinegar. Shake off the
excess vinegar and pack them in olive oil. Make sure they are
completely immersed in the oil. When the jar is full, cap it tightly 
and store at *cool* room temperature for at least a month before using. 
They may be stored in the refrigerator, but the oil will solidify at 
refrigerator temperatures (it quickly reliquifies at room temperature 
however). As tomatoes are removed from the jar, add more olive oil as 
necessary to keep the remaining tomatoes covered. The author notes that 
she has stored oil-packed tomatoes in her pantry for over a year with 
tremendous success. She also notes that she has tried a number of 
methods to pack the tomatoes in oil, but she says the vinegar treatment 
is the difference between a good dried tomato and a great one. It is 
also important from a food safety standpoint, as it acidifies the oil 
and discourages growth of bacteria and mold.

****** WARNING ********

Do *NOT* add fresh garlic cloves to oil-packed dried tomatoes, UNLESS
you store them in the refrigerator. Garlic is a low-acid food which,
when placed in oil, creates a low-acid anaerobic environment just 
perfect growth medium for botulinum bacteria if the mixture is not
refrigerated. Botulism poisoning is characterized by a very high
mortality rate. Be safe and add your garlic to the dried tomatoes as
part of the recipe for them *after* they come out of the oil.

3.2.6 [Dried Cranberries]

from Marie Martinek (Dec 14, 1995)

I tried drying cranberries in the Excalibur, and even with poking
every single one of them with a serious hole-maker (the sticker that
comes with the meat thermometer) and soaking them in a sugar solution,
they still came out sour and still not dry after twice as long a time
as the instructions said. I, however, tried making cranberry sauce,
whirred it through a blender/food processor, and made fruit leather
with it. Worked quite well. Cover your dryer frames with waxed paper
and pour the goop on (making sure it is higher on the edges than in
the middle), dry until it looks right (I do not have the timing
instructions here), then cut it into strips, peel the paper off the
fruit (works better than trying to peel fruit off paper), curl them
up, and dry some more.

from Phil Rozanski (Jan 2, 1996)

According to "Mary Bell's Complete Dehydrator Cookbook" you can
dry blanched (checked) cranberries in the following manner:

1. In a bowl, pour boiling water over the cranberries or submerge them
in a pot of boiling water with the heat turned off. Let them sit in the
water until the skin pops. Do not let the berries boil or the flesh
will turn mushy. Drain.

2. If desired, coat the berries with either a light corn syrup or
granulated sugar.

3. Transfer the berries to a cooking sheet and place them in a freezer
for 2 hours. Freezing the berries helps in breaking down the cell
structure promoting faster drying.

4. Put the berries on a mesh sheet in the dehydrator and dry for 10 to
16 hours, depending on the make of the dehydrator, until chewy and with
no pockets of moisture.

I really recommend the book that I mentioned above. It contains recipes
for anything you could ever think of dehydrating. I purchased my copy at

3.2.6 [Fruit leathers.]

Steve Muskovin wrote:

>I am looking to cut through the fruit leather recipe trial and errors.
Steve Muskovin .

>From Sandy Fifer :

I've made leather from strawberries, apricots, nectarines, peaches, and
pears. I didn't like the blueberry and cherry. The skins were too
annoying and I couldn't figure out a good way to get rid of them. I
was able to get rid of the raspberry seeds but the leather was just too
gooey for my taste. I puree the strawberries. The stone fruit I skin and 
then puree the flesh. I cook it briefly. Bring it to a boil for a few 
minutes to kill off any nasties (read this in PFB). I use 1 1/2 cups 
(1 1/4 cups if really thick) per American Harvester leather sheet. I add 
up to 1 Tbsp. sugar and depending on the fruit, an optional 1/2 tsp. 
vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp. finely minced ginger to each 1 1/2 cup of 
puree (before putting it on the sheet).

I lightly oil the sheets -- this is very important. When I've
forgotten to oil the sheets the leather has been impossible to remove.
As indicated in PFB, I start the dryer at 130 deg. for the first hour,
137 for the second, then 145 until the leather starts lose its
tackiness (can be two to four hours depending on conditions, etc.) then
lower to 135 deg until done. I rotate the trays (top to bottom and
front to back) every half hour or so if I'm in the house. The
strawberry I did last night took seven hours total. Pear has taken
nine hours. PFB talks about needing the high temperature (145 deg) to
kill mold, etc., but not wanting it the whole time because the fruit
can get caramelized and scorch. And not starting at too high a
temperature so that the fruit doesn't get case-hardened (cooked and
sealed on the outside so that the inside can't dry out properly).

When the drying is done I remove the leather immediately. While it's
warm it's still pliable and can be easily peeled off. Letting it sit
for even 5 minutes has made it more difficult to remove. I tear off a
large square of waxed paper and put the circular leather on that. 
It's just about the same size. Then I use a scissors to cut the
leather, backed by the waxed paper, into 8 wedges. I stack them and
store them in a ziplock bag in a cool place for the winter.

3.2.7 [Jerky]

>From ()

It's really easy. I just made some the other night. I don't follow a
recipe, but rather improvise.

Slice up some LEAN, raw beef in thin strips. Put it in a bowl and add some
salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, vinegar, worscheshire
sauce, sugar. (Be generous with the salt as this helps preserve it.)
Use any combination of the above ingredients, and whatever else you find
lying around the kitchen that seems like it ought to go good in the mix.
Keep tasting it as you mix stuff together until it tastes really, really
good. The very best jerky is spiced to the threshold of human pain. Use
lots of red pepper if you can tolerate hot stuff.

Heat the oven to about 150 degrees F. Spread the meat out on a nonstick
cookie sheet and put it in the oven with the oven door propped open (for
air circulation). Make SURE that the heat is NOT high enough to cook the
meat or it will be ruined. (actually, if it cooks, it will still taste
good, it just won't come out being jerky). When the meat is pretty dry 
(but not so dry as to be crunchy) take it out of the oven and put it in
a plastic bag. If it seems to be getting a little damp feeling after a 
few hours in the plastic bag, then you didn't dry it enough and it 
should go back on the cookie sheet in the oven for a while.

Safety tip: Do not use pork, bear, or any meat that could carry parasites
such as trichina. All jerky is RAW, dried meat. I remember reading of
some people that got trichinosis from eating bear jerky.

[One other important jerky tip.]

>From Richard Thead : in the bbq mailing list...

I have lots of experience smoking beef jerky. The bottom line is that if
you aren't careful, it's easy to get it too smoky. Early in my learning 
curve, I made one batch that was completely inedible.

If you have a slow smoker or use wood mixed with other fuels, it's
easy--just don't use too much wood. Exactly how much will depend on 
many things, so you'll just have to work it out by trial and error. I do
it in the slow smoking section of my pit using wood only for fuel. I've
learned that smoking it at around 140 to 150F for three hours gives me
the smoke flavor I like. At that point, the meat isn't completely dry,
so I finish it in a dehydrator (use an oven if you don't have a
dehydrator). One thing I'd recommend is to always add a teaspoon or so
of Tenderquick per 5 lbs of meat just to play it safe. 
I've made it without any curing salts and lived to tell about it, but
nowadays I always use them. A half teaspoon of Prague powder #1 will do 
too. How smoky was that incredible stuff? It was in a ziploc bag stored in
close proximity to some cashews in their own ziploc for a few hours, and 
the cashews got so smoky tasting I couldn't eat them! [Beef Sticks]

From: (Paul Hinrichs)

Try this proven recipe:

Slim Jims (10 pound recipe)

2 level tsp. Prague Powder #1
4 tbsp. paprika
6 tbsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground white pepper
1 tsp. ground celery
1 tbsp. mace
1 tsp. granulated garlic
3 1/2 ozs. kosher salt
1 1/2 ozs. powdered dextrose
6 ozs. Fermento
10 pounds lean ground beef

This is the Kutas recipe. The last two ingredients are for fermentation
and may be omitted if you don't want the tang. After you stuff the beef
sticks, he recommends smoking at 90-110 F for 8 hours and letting it go 
at this temperature for another 12 if you want the tang to fully develop. 
Then you raise the smokehouse temperature until the meat reaches 145 F

If you wish to modify your current recipe for the dehydrator, or use this
one (I highly recommend it, I've made it several times), just follow the 
temperature guidelines. IOW, keep the temperature under 110F for 8 to 20
hours, then crank it up to cook the sausage at the very end. What you've 
probably been doing is following the same procedure as for jerky, dry at 
145 F until dry, and have been ending up with jerky in a casing. Beef
sticks will not be as dry as jerky, hence the lower temperature. FWIW,
I use the Prague Powder #1 and make jerky at 120F and it is much more
flavorful than the stuff dried at 145F like most recipes call for. Under
140F, the curing powder is absolutely necessary to prevent the growth of 

3.2.8 [Dehydrator Tomato Paste]

>From Linda Merinoff :


Fresh basil
Olive oil

Push your tomatoes through a food mill. It's time consuming, but it gets
rid of the seeds which I think are bitter. You can also puree the tomatoes
in a processor or blender and push them through a sieve or chinnois to get
rid of the seeds. Or you can leave the seeds if you don't mind them.

[If you don't have a food mill, cut your tomatoes in half, get rid of
the tomato seeds with a finger, then rub the tomato halves through a
course grater.--LEB]

Spread the very liquid tomato on the flexible solid ring that fits into
the dehydrator. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt and put a few sprigs
of fresh basil in.
Run the dehydrator, stopping every hour at first to stir the mixture with
a rubber spatula a couple of times, making sure you stir every bit of it.
When the puree starts getting thick, stir every half hour. When it gets
almost to the right thickness (which is however thick you like it), stir
every fifteen minutes. All this stirring keeps the puree from burning or
When it's slightly less thick than you like it (it thickens as it cools),
stir again, remove the basil, and pack the paste into a jar just large
enough to hold it. Put a very thin layer of olive oil on top. Every time
you take some, put an extremely thin layer of oil on top again. Any extra
paste can be frozen.

For those of you as absent minded as I am, I once scooped half a jar out
to discard it, thinking it had gotten moldy. It hadn't. The oil on top
had solidified, as it often does in the fridge, and just looked weird.

3.2.9 [parched corn and bean]

from David Sidwell (pre-1996)

Here is a wonderful recipe for parched corn. it is eaten by Hopi
children and adults as a real treat. Speaking of parched corn, you can
also parch beans. Small, white teparies work well, especially if they
are from last year's harvest or older. The Hopi make parched beans the
same way they make parched corn.

1. Heat clean, fine sand in a cast iron pot until it becomes dark brown
and hot. (water sprinkled on it should pop and sizzle).

2. pour in a cup or two of dried corn. (old corn will be crunchy, this
year's corn will be harder).

3. Stir corn briskly, to keep it from burning, until it stops popping.

4. Remove corn from sand with a sieve and pour into bowl.

5. Sprinkle corn with salt water (1 T. salt in 1 C. water), and stir with
a corn cob that has been dipped in the salt water.

6. Add pinon or peach nuts for variety.

Note: The Hopi nation has very sandy soil. it does not cling like many
sands but falls away from toasted foods. You may want to
experiment a bit with the sand from your area.
We put parched corn in stews, soups, salads, and we eat it plain. yum
yum. Parched beans are often used as a snack.

3.2.10 [Dried Chile peppers.]

From: (David Cook):

It's absurdly easy. Either take a needle and thread and string the chiles
in a bunch near the stem of each, then hang in the sun. After a week or so
they'll be nicely dried and you can break them off as you need them. This
works particularly well for thin-walled chiles, like cayennes. Or, spread 
them on the rack in your oven, set it to just warm and prop the door open. 
Leave them in their overnight or longer until they're done. If the chiles 
are thicker, you might split them before drying.

Finally, get a dehydrator and dry them in it.

Personally, I favor the sun method. It's cheap, doesn't tie up the oven, 
and strings of chiles belong in the kitchen (at least in mine!)

[Nylon thread works very well, strong and doesn't fray. This procedure
works just as well with morels, ceps and other edible wild mushrooms--just 
know your mushrooms. -LEB]

3.2.11 [Dried Tofu]


My tofu book says to dry it: It is preferred if you make your own tofu,
make it as firm as you can. Freeze it for a day or 2, take it out and let
it thaw out. Squeeze as much water as you can out of it. If you want
crumbled or mashed, do that now, or slice it or cube it. Anyway now after
it is in the form you need it, put it in the oven at 175 degrees for up to
6 hours. Do not let it get brown but make certain it is a golden tan
color. Store after drying on the shelf in a sealed plastic bag. To
reconstitute it, mix cup for cup with hot water, stock, or whey. Stir and
let stand 15 minutes or so or until the previous spongy consistency
returns. Drain off any liquid not absorbed. You can also reconstitute it
in a marinade, full strength or diluted with water. You can also add dried
tofu to soups, meat loaf or moist vegetable patty mixtures etc.


3.3.1 [What do I *really* need to know about dehydrating food?]

from Cassandra Richardson (Jan 11, 1996)

>What about the type advertised on TV (Ronco?) are they worthwhile?

My opinion is that most people buy kitchen gadget and find they
novelty wears off. Why not buy a cheap one and see if you really get
much use out of it. I dry herbs and tomatoes and occasionally I dry
smoked salmon after it comes out of the smoker (cuts down on the
running in and out of the house); however, most of the people I know
never use theirs.

from Leslie Basel (Feb 4, 1996)

If you are uncertain about how much use you will get out of a
dehydrator, you might want to try using your oven as a dehydrator. I
have done tomatoes for years in the oven, and I am certain that if you
have the patience to fiddle around, you could make some dried things
and see how much dried stuff you use. If you find that you are making
and using dried things, remember that a dehydrator is much easier to
use than the oven. You develop the interest first, then the specialized 

That being said, many folks use dehydrators to make dried fruit for
healthier snacks, dry herbs (dried tarragon in the supermarket is
astronomical). If you do any camping, you could dry trail mix and
meals to reconstitute for later on. Some canning recipes call for
dried fruits for a richer flavor. Mostarda is a mustard/dried
fruit compote, good for meats.

A garden is a capital idea, but an orchard much less so. You might
want to ask your friends and neighbors if they are living with a
fruit tree. We used to be shameless about asking around. If we got
fruit, we dry it and can it, then give some to the tree owner as a
gift. It just seems a bit too much work to raise a fruit tree up to
maturity to see if you have an interest in food dehydration.
What ever you do, good luck and have fun.

from Wendy Milner (pre-1996)

When looking for a dehydrator, consider volume. How much volume will
you be using now, and how much in the near future? Additionally, if
you like fruit roll ups, look for a screen with a very fine mesh. This
would be in addition to the regular sized screen. The fine mesh is
also good for drying herbs. I use a convection oven with dehydrate 
features. Very convenient since I do not have to pull out another 

from Gary Yandle (pre-1996)

The reason you want a temperature control on a dehydrator is that different
 kinds of food dry at different temperature. Herbs dry best at about 90 to 
100 degrees F. Vegetables at about 110 to 120 degrees F. Fruit is best 
dried at 120 to 130 and meat from 135 to 145 degrees F. The whole idea 
is to dry the food quickly so as to preserve as much of the flavor and
vitamins as possible without cooking the food. Another must have when
buying a dehydrator is look for one that has a fan. Good air circulation
is a must for fast drying. Also look for one that has trays that are easy
to clean. If the trays have places on them that you cannot get a scrub
brush into then you will never be able to get it clean. (Do not let
anyone tell you that dehydrating food is a clean operation, cinnamon 
apples and beef jerky make a big mess).

from Connie TenClay (Dec 7, 1995)

I would suggest getting a electric dehydrator as it can be used year
around and is convenient. Also I feel that a fan as well as a heat
source is important. Without a fan the food dries much slower and not 
as evenly. While a thermostat is not mandatory it certainly makes for 
a better product. i.e. meats can use a higher temp than fruits to
dehydrate. I have found that one of the best books about dehydration
is the HP book "How to Dry Foods" by Deanna Delong. If you have any
other question I would be happy to try to answer them. I have been
dehydrating food for over 20 years with every thing from trays over a 
furnace duct to home made electric dehydrator to the commercial one 
that I have now.
Please take a look at the dehydrator sources/suppliers/more specific 
details in  Specific Equipment Questions (in Part 4).  [ What dehydrator features should I look for? ] 
Double wall construction of metal or high grade plastic. Wood is not 
recommended, because it is a fire hazard and is difficult to clean. 
Enclosed heating elements. 
Counter top design. 
An enclosed thermostat from 85F to 160F. 
Fan or blower. 
Four to 10 open mesh trays made of sturdy lightweight plastic for easy 
UL seal of approval. 
A one-year.guarantee. 
Convenient service. 
A dial for regulating temperature. 
A timer. Often the completed drying time may occur during the night and a 
timer could turn the dehydrator off and prevent scorching. 

3.3.2 [Specific Brands]

from Steven Kostur (Jan 1, 1996)

Some consumer book (or the other; name escapes me) suggested Waring's
Deluxe Food Dehydrator Model DF4171 $90-100 (no reasons were given).
An Organic Gardener 1995 (October?) suggested the Waring Deluxe Food
Dehydrator, or the Excalibur 2500 (US$189.95), Press-AIReizer

(US$249.95), and (IMHO) to a lesser degree the Vita-Mix Harvest-Savor

(US$89.95) and American Harvest Snackmaster (US$89.95). Such factors
as amount of control (fan speed, temperature), and how hard it is to
peel the stuff off the racks and IF you had to rotate the trays
(that latter ones you do) to get even drying.

[ Note from Jennifer Cagle : Vita mix no longer
makes or markets dehydrators. (March, 1996).]

from Steven R. Tobin (pre-1996)

I just bought a Harvest Maid, also sold as American Harvest, and a
friend has had one for a couple years and really likes it. The main
thing is to look for one with a thermostat controlled heater. Do not
be suckered into one like the Ronco, that does not have a heater. It
took me 4 hours to dry a load of apples last night, while the other
kind (w/o heater) will take days to do the same job.

from Stuart Johnson (Jan 1, 1996)

We use an American Harvest. Have had very good results with meats
(jerky) and all types of fruits and vegetables.

from Lynn E Johnson-Conrad (Jan 2, 1996)

We have an American Harvester Snack Master (expandable to 12 trays).
It has a blower and a variable temperature setting marked for the
different types of foods. The Snack Master is about $65-70 with four
trays and extra trays are $24 for two. Ours was bought at a big
hardware store. For Christmas my husband bought me 6 new trays (that
he found on half price sale - yippee) so we will really be in shape
to dry when our garden goes nuts next summer. My only complaint is
that there is no on-off switch (power control is by plug and unplug)
and the noise of the fan, while not loud, can get to be annoying if
you are trying to hear someone in an adjoining room. My understanding
is that the Ronco model does not have a blower - so it takes a lot
longer to dry.

Beef jerky takes about 18-20 hours- but we like to do it very dry and
it starts out pretty wet from overnight marinating. We have done all
sorts of stuff in our Snackmaster and love it. Apples and banana chips
are our favourite and take about 12 hours. I recently dried 7 trays
full of late growth celery tops from our garden. That took about 16
hours to get the thin stalks dry. Tomatoes take about 10-12 hours. The
only thing I am not happy drying is herbs- I still prefer to do them
in paper sacks on top of the fridge. They take about 24 hours in the
dryer (very low temperatures) and about 48-72 on top of the fridge. We
have dried other vegetables for use in soups and stews. I have not
noticed any specific increase in our electric bill for the times we
were drying lots of tomatoes.

from Phil Rozanski (Jan 2, 1996)

I also have an American Harvest Snackmaster with 8 trays and have great 
results with jerky (it takes 6 hours to dry) and anything else dried in 
it. The nice thing about the model I have, is that the temperature is 
adjustable and the foods are always dried uniformly. The other nice thing 
is the price is very reasonable.

from Naomi Counides (Jan 12, 1996)

I have an Excalibur and I do not can tomatoes (hot sweaty work in
summer). I have usually about 25 plants. I slice them (unpeeled) and
load them into my dehydrator which I keep outside (who needs extra
heat in the house?) I make about 30 gallon bags of tomatoes. We use
them in the winter. We also dry fruit, herbs and other vegetables. It
gets used a lot more than my canner.

from Steve & Beth (Jan 1, 1996)

>What about the type advertised on TV (Ronco?) are they worthwhile?

All I know is on the advertisement for the Ronco Dehydrator they say
it take 1 1/2 days to dry beef jerky. In my Excalibur it only takes 6
hours. If you plan on getting a dehydrator and are going to use it
frequently do not buy cheap. Invest in something that you will be
happy with. Point of reference 16 years ago my dehydrator (5 shelves)
cost around $100.00.

from Naomi Counides (Nov 30, 1995)

Do you have a garden and fruit trees? The reason I ask is that the
amount of "raw" material to be processed influences size need
for dehydrator. I have a large garden etc and a nine tray electric
Excalibur. Here in Idaho it does not rain much in late summer so I
leave it outside. (Keeps the heat out of the house.) I use it
steadily, 24 hour a day and 7 days a week from late July through
September. When the air has a bit of chill, I take it inside and dry
apples (smells nice). In the main summer months I dry, rather than
can, tomatoes. The model I use can dry a half bushel of tomatoes in 24
hours, approximately. I also dry other vegetables, and fruits and make
leather. A nice feature on mine is the that the plastic tray and
plastic screen are separate pieces. This can make removal of
individual pieces much easier.

from Rick Buchanan (Dec 24, 1995)

I have a garden master with round stackable trays. It is much faster
than the models that look like microwaves. A friend of mine has the
VitaMix food saver. She likes it a lot and I think it is a better
machine than my garden master. The trays are a little smaller in
diameter than on the garden master, but the unit costs a whole lot
less than the garden master. Believe the VITAMIN will stack up to
about 23 trays. Have experience with the Excalibur (microwave
lookalike), and the round trayed garden master. If I had it to do over
I would buy the VITAMIN with all trays, grids, and liners. [See

note from Jennifer Cagle above.]

3.3.3 [I have heard you can make a dehydrator yourself. Got any info?]

Check out the plans/ideas in Specific Equipment Questions in Part 4.
You really are limited only by your own creativity. Take a read below.

from Stephen Northcutt (pre-1996)

Take an old dead fridge, cut holes in the top as vents. Cover holes
with 2 layers of screen to keep bugs out. Put 100 watt light bulb in
bottom in ceramic receptacle. You can add additional shelves easily by
screwing small woodstock to sides and sliding in net covered frames.

[ be VERY sure to child-proof any and all refrigerator adaptations - ED] 

from Anne Louise Gockel (pre-1996)

Also, the newest edition of _Putting Food By_ includes information on
building a smoker with a small fire pit, a ditch with stove pipe and a
large 50-gal drum (from something like honey!). It is a pretty
ingenious system.

( end of Part 2 ) 

User Contributions:

Apr 2, 2023 @ 7:07 am
Regardless if you believe in God or not, read this message!!!

Throughout history, we can see how we have been strategically conditioned to come to this point where we are on the verge of a cashless society. Did you know that Jesus foretold of this event almost 2,000 years ago?

In Revelation 13:16-18, we read,

"He (the false prophet who deceives many by his miracles--Revelation 19:20) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666."

Speaking to the last generation, this could only be speaking of a cashless society. Why? Revelation 13:17 tells us that we cannot buy or sell unless we receive the mark of the beast. If physical money was still in use, we could buy or sell with one another without receiving the mark. This would contradict scripture that states we need the mark to buy or sell!

These verses could not be referring to something purely spiritual as scripture references two physical locations (our right hand or forehead) stating the mark will be on one "OR" the other. If this mark was purely spiritual, it would indicate both places, or one--not one OR the other!

This is where it really starts to come together. It is amazing how accurate the Bible is concerning the implantable RFID microchip. Here is information from someone named Carl Sanders who worked with a team of engineers to help develop this RFID chip:

"Carl Sanders sat in seventeen New World Order meetings with heads-of-state officials such as Henry Kissinger and Bob Gates of the C.I.A. to discuss plans on how to bring about this one-world system. The government commissioned Carl Sanders to design a microchip for identifying and controlling the peoples of the world—a microchip that could be inserted under the skin with a hypodermic needle (a quick, convenient method that would be gradually accepted by society).

Carl Sanders, with a team of engineers behind him, with U.S. grant monies supplied by tax dollars, took on this project and designed a microchip that is powered by a lithium battery, rechargeable through the temperature changes in our skin. Without the knowledge of the Bible (Brother Sanders was not a Christian at the time), these engineers spent one-and-a-half-million dollars doing research on the best and most convenient place to have the microchip inserted.

Guess what? These researchers found that the forehead and the back of the hand (the two places the Bible says the mark will go) are not just the most convenient places, but are also the only viable places for rapid, consistent temperature changes in the skin to recharge the lithium battery. The microchip is approximately seven millimeters in length, .75 millimeters in diameter, about the size of a grain of rice. It is capable of storing pages upon pages of information about you. All your general history, work history, criminal record, health history, and financial data can be stored on this chip.

Brother Sanders believes that this microchip, which he regretfully helped design, is the “mark” spoken about in Revelation 13:16–18. The original Greek word for “mark” is “charagma,” which means a “scratch or etching.” It is also interesting to note that the number 666 is actually a word in the original Greek. The word is “chi xi stigma,” with the last part, “stigma,” also meaning “to stick or prick.” Carl believes this is referring to a hypodermic needle when they poke into the skin to inject the microchip."

Mr. Sanders asked a doctor what would happen if the lithium contained within the RFID microchip leaked into the body. The doctor replied by saying a terrible sore woul (...)

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