I've not been feeling well for over a month, so I've had lots of time to be on the Internet looking for new ideas. When I saw this particular idea, my mind was blown! I love, love, love canning and to find another way to do it is like a HUGE deal to me. And even though I have basically been couch ridden, the instructions were easy and quick enough that I was able to be up a few minutes at a time and do a couple batches.
I found a couple of pins on Pinterest where I gathered all the information I needed to start. You can find them on my Pinterest Preserves board.
Never heard of dry canning? Neither had I. What it is, is canning dry ingredients, such as oats, flour, corn meal, dry beans, some lower fat nuts, etc in the oven. Once sealed these jars of food are supposed to last up to 30 years. (I wouldn't want to be the one to test that theory!) I'd like to use mine up within 5 years.
The process is easy. Take clean, dry jars. This is a great way to use up those 1/2 gallon and pickle jars you have laying around. Just be sure they are not too wide. I don't think the heat can reach the middle if it's too wide. I used some jam jars from the grocery store, cheese whiz type jars and lots of canning jars.
Now fill them up to 1/2" head space with whatever you are canning. I canned oats, barley and multi grain cereal I had gotten from a bulk order and I canned the bag of pecan halves I bought from Costco before Christmas and didn't end up using.
Put these jars on a cookie sheet and place in oven. Do not put lids on them yet. Now all the instructions I found online said to bake them at 200deg for 60 mins. But, as I read all the comments, I found a lot of women saying they had condensation in their jars after they were sealed. This meant they had to do it all over again. But one lady left a comment that she baked the jars at 225 for 90 mins and has never had a moisture issue. So, I chose her method and didn't have any moisture build up.
So, you put them in the oven on the cookie sheet and then turn the oven on to 225. This ensures the jars have a slow heat increase and lessens their chance of cracking.
After the 90 mins is up, take the jars out one at a time and wipe the rims with a barely damp cloth, place the lid or snap lid on and tighten. Place on a tea towel on the counter. As they cool, the lids will seal with a pop. I read that for this type of canning that you can reuse your old snap lids as long as the rubber is all still intact. So, that is exactly what I did. Here are some of the lids I used.
After they have all cooled, check that they have sealed, write the year on them and store in a cool, dark place.
Even though I really am only going on the word of other women that have been doing this for years and have never had any problems, I feel safe using this method of "canning" because these are just dry food. The worst that can happen to them, is they will get rancid or stale, which would happen anyway. But with the absence of bugs and air, it really should last longer. Just remember to use your own judgement.
This post is linked up to; The Homesteading Hippy So Much at Home Wake Up Wednesday Home to 4 Kiddos