Back before everyone had a freezer/refrigerator in their home, canning was the preferred method for food preservation. At the time, the USDA’s Bureau of Home Economics didn’t like freezers all that much. The experts felt freezing was the lazy way out, and that canning produced better results. Today, the debate between canning and freezing is one of taste, consistency, time, and nutritional value rather than shelf life and safety.
Choosing Your Containers
Ball® and other canning jars can often be used for both canning and freezing items. All Ball jars are okay for canning, but only specific “no neck” ones are freezer safe. With other brands, be sure to check that the jar is freezer safe. Unlike canning, freezer-safe bags and wraps are also an option for preserving foods.
Both Canning and Freezing are Ideal
While the University of Alaska did find that canning was the most cost-effective method of preserving food, they also found that freezing was the best way to retain nutrients.
Let’s be honest, almost everyone has a dedicated freezer. And even the most die-hard canner will still store meats and other items in that freezer. But there is something cathartic about canning food and storing it for later use. Some of the pros and cons for each are listed below:
Coastal Tip: Try freezing or canning vegetables together, such as a stir-fry mix. It will make meal prep quick and easy.
When canning, experts agree that fresh, high-quality foods produce the best results. Be sure to prepare your food carefully and follow the canning directions exactly to ensure a proper seal and shelf life.
Choose bags and containers that are moisture and vapor resistant. Quality bags and containers should not absorb oils, grease, water, or odors. Freezer-safe jars are a great option for optimal freezer storage. When freezing, pack items into small quantities to limit the amount you need to thaw later. Always choose firm, ripe produce and quality meats and poultry.
Help is a Click Away
The National Center for Home Preservation can help you freeze and can your food like a pro. Just visit their website at www.nchfp.uga.edu. There you’ll find info on canning, freezing, drying, pickling, and more. There’s even a section on how to make jams and jellies.
Coastal Knows Canning and Freezing
Stop by your Northwest owned and operated Coastal Farm & Ranch for all of your canning and freezing supplies. Tell us what you plan to preserve and we’ll introduce you to the cookers, steamers, as well as jam and jelly makers, jars and bags you need to get it done right.