Country Living Series

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Canning mushrooms

I'm winding down my canning for the year -- and doubtless you're all sick to death of my canning posts -- but I wanted to can up a few more things to round out my pantry. This included mushrooms.

We enjoy canned mushrooms (sauteed in butter and lemon juice, yummmm!), but I got totally turned off buying those little cans of mushrooms in the grocery store a few years ago when I noticed they were canned in China. I dunno, that just struck me as something I didn't want to eat. (I've since been told there are American-canned mushrooms available, but our local store doesn't carry them).

Mushrooms are easy to can anyway, so why not can my own? That was my conclusion.


Last week I asked our regional wholesale grocery store (Cash & Carry) to order me 20 lbs. of sliced mushrooms. When I went in this week to pick them up, I learned that someone had bought two of my four flats, so I ended up with only ten lbs. of sliced mushrooms. I already have some jars canned up in the pantry and this new batch was merely to add to my existing inventory, so I didn't mind so much.

Each flat holds 5 lbs. of mushrooms.


Mushrooms must be hot-packed -- they're one of those foods that shouldn't be cold-packed.


So I put all ten pounds in my biggest pot...


added water...


...and brought them to a boil. My girls hate it when I can mushrooms because they don't like the smell of them cooking. I always tell them, tough patooties.


While the mushrooms were cooking, I washed the jars.


Then I started filling the jars, using a slotted spoon.


I quickly realized this was inefficient, so I drained the mushrooms into a colander instead. However this wasted the cookwater, something I didn't think about until it was too late. Oh well.


On the other hand, there's no question the drained mushrooms were easier to put in the jars.


I added a half-teaspoon salt to each pint...


...then topped each jar with clean boiling water.


I could have added some ascorbic acid to each jar as well, to preserve the color, but I don't have any in stock. (Make a note: get some.)

Scalding my Tattler lids.


Wiping the rims (and checking for nicks).


Lids and rings on...


...and into the canner.


I ended up with 13 pints out of the ten pounds of sliced mushrooms. The two flats of mushrooms cost $22, which comes to $1.70/pint. I haven't checked the price of canned mushrooms in the stores lately -- did I save money?

61 comments:

  1. I am totally not sick of your canning posts! Thanks for this reminder that canned mushrooms are a good thing to have in my larder.

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    Replies
    1. How long to boil mushrooms and how long to jar cook in canner?

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    2. Once the mushrooms are heated to boiling, they only have to boil for a few minutes. For canning, process for 30 minutes (for either 1/2 pints or pints) at 10 lbs pressure, adjusted for your elevation.

      - Patrice

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    3. I'm new to this, so... What does that mean 10 lbs of pressure? Did you use a pressure canner vs. hot water bath?

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    4. Anon 10:53, in a nutshell high-acid foods (i.e. many fruits) can be water-bath canned, but ALL low-acid foods (such as mushrooms) MUST be pressure-canned. A lot of people think they can get away with water-bath canning low acid foods “because Granny always did it that way,” but that is dangerous thinking and can lead to botulism poisoning.

      Pressure canning “superheats” the food above boiling, which destroys botulism spores. I highly recommend getting a good reference canning book before embarking on pressure canning so you have a clear understanding of what you’re getting into. I also have some inexpensive ebooklets available on canning at this location:

      http://selfsufficiencyseries.com/

      A pressure CANNER is not the same thing as a pressure COOKER. See these links for the two types of pressure canners currently on the market:

      http://www.allamericancanner.com/
      (this is the type I have)

      https://www.gopresto.com/products/products.php?stock=01755

      A pressure canner has a pressure gauge on the lid. The minimum pressure to can food is 10 lbs. pressure at sea level, but that goes up with elevation (you need to add half a pound of additional pressure for each thousand feet in elevation; we’re at 2700 feet, so I can my foods at about 13 lbs. pressure). The food must be maintained at the proper pressure for the amount of time designated in your reference canning book.

      Canning food is a science and an art, and is tremendously fun and satisfying – but it MUST be done correctly. Hope this helps.

      - Patrice

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    5. Coming in months late, thank you for such a complete answer! I have ten pounds of beautiful portobello that I wanted to can, and I've been trying and trying to find a site that gives instructions on hot water bath canning. Now I understand why I couldn't find it. I'll have to invest in a pressure canner for next season. Thanks again!

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  2. Patrice,

    I for one am glad to do offer so much info about your canning activity. And especially thanks for this one on mushrooms. I, too, have done a lot of canning in my time, but had never considered mushrooms.

    Totally agree with you about those mushrooms from China. Given how many times they have served up toxic products I too do not like buying anything that comes from there.

    Winston

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  3. PLEASE do not stop posting about your canning. Where do you think I get all my ideas? :o) Never thought about this one, but I sure love mushrooms - fresh, sauteed, canned - doesn't matter.

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  4. I love reading the canning posts, too. I think it's interesting especially because it's something I've never seen or done and it's good to be prepared. I don't even like mushrooms, but I liked reading this post anyway.

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  5. I canned mushrooms for the first time a while back AFTER buying a flat of mushrooms from the store on sale. . . and then noting they were from China. Nope. Sent them to the food pantry. I'm sure some don't care about the China thing. Home canned mushrooms taste soooo much better. . . and no tin taste, even a different texture. I was able to reaffirm this after finding a lone can of store bought the other day. I sampled them. . . yuck. I did mine in half pints.

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  6. Ditto to love canning posts. Our pear tree produced enough pears this yr for canning. Your post on pears came just days before our started ripening. One group down, 12pints, tomorrow round two. I think I 'll get double the first amount, maybe more. There is nothing more fulfilling than canning the fruits of my husbands labor of gardening. I have a brown thumb :-( He grows it, I can, cook, dehydrate it. True team work! Please don't stopping the post thinking your readers aren't enjoying them. This one is at least!

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  7. Could a person use the water that the mushrooms cooked in to put into the can jars?

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    1. I don't see why not, though the water is cloudy from the cooking (though it can be argued that it's also rich in whatever nutrients might have cooked out of the mushrooms). If you don't mind cloudiness, go for it.

      - Patrice

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    2. Patrice,
      I used the broth off of the mushrooms to fill the jars. My husband said the mushrooms were the best he has ever eaten! he ate a 1/2 pint I didn't have room for in the pressure cooker. I am not a mushroom eater. I will can more for him! He is one happy man!
      Thank you for your post on mushrooms! I have never canned them before. I can everything else.
      Peggy

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  8. I never much liked mushrooms, but then my wife fried them up in butter with a couple of steaks ones day and... Wow! They were actually as good as the steaks! Now we have mushrooms in a lot of things. We always buy them fresh and cut them up. Canned mushrooms are ridiculously expensive! Not sure how much you saved, Patrice, but $1.70 a PINT? If I remember correctly, you pay that much for a little bitty can of mushrooms! --Fred & Deb in AZ

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  9. hi ditto the above posts. i found your site when looking for canning recipes.
    giorgio used to have a brand of mushrooms in tins that were product of usa. they are the only ones we buy (other than fresh) when we find them.
    it seems that the chinese, in spite of being overall the smartet people on earth, think that if a thing smells or looks like the proper ingredient it may be used as a substitute. e. g. yellow road paint, melamine, antifreeze, et c..
    i have no pressure canner but am interested as it opens up a whole realm of possibilities. two friends lost all freezer and fridge contents when the big power outage occurred in West Virginia. we should all take a lesson from these power outages.
    thanks for all canning posts. don't hold back if you get the urge to write more.
    thanks.
    deb harvey

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  10. I look forward to all of your canning posts. Please continue with them. It's that season and we can all use good ideas and safety reminders.

    Just this morning, I went back and read your post on canning apples before I started here at home. I put up 34 pints of apples today and still have 76 lbs to go.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Patrice,
    Why don't you use your crock pot to keeps your lids and rings hot. Just add boiling water to the crock pot and keep on low. Just fill it up with lids and rings and they are always ready. I'm never sure how many jars I'll end up with and this way I don't run out lids in the middle of canning.

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  12. yes you beat the socks off the price for canned mushrooms around here. I've gotta find a place to buy a flat of them now that is usa grown.

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  13. When i can mushrooms i put in some Beaujolais-Villages/ Louis Jadot red wine.. OH MY!

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  14. Please continue posting about your canning experiences!

    I just bought an 8 oz. can of mushrooms at the store for 1.39, so 16 oz. would be 2.78. You definitely saved money and your mushrooms will taste better too. Thankfully the label on the can said Product of USA; I don't want to eat food packed in China.

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    1. That could be considered "Racist".

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    2. Given their rep. with food handling, I think the comment here is very acceptable lol

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    3. Given their rep. I believe here it is acceptable lol

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  15. To me, the cost of store-bought canned mushrooms could never compare to having your own on hand. You can also have more mushrooms in your dishes and it is once less shopping ingredient to have to rush to the store to buy for a recipe or and you won't ever have to put mushrooms on the grocery store list because you will have plenty on hand.

    I am so eager to start canning!

    Lana

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  16. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. I have bookmarked it. :o)

    Have a blessed week!

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  17. Humm .. very interesting about canning such a large amount of mushrooms. Do you happen to have canning times for tomato paste (I'm making paste in the oven and would like to can it). I've searched the internet .. but want to get your advice since you are a master canner(?yes?) I'd be using 1/2 cup mason jars. Thanks if you are able to direct me to a sight or give canning times (I have a pressure canner and a water bath canner .. and live @ 2,300 ft above sea level).

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    1. My canning book suggests canning tomato paste in 1/2 pint jars, water bath, hot pack only, for 35 minutes. Since you're above 2300 ft, you'll want to add another 5-6 minutes processing, so water-bath the jars for about 41 minutes. You'll need to add 1/4 teaspoon citric acid (or 1 tablespoon white vinegar) to each jar (be sure to mix it in) in order to increase the acidity. Don't add anything else such as onions, bell peppers, etc. -- this is JUST for tomatoes.

      - Patrice

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    2. Thank you Patrice. I really need to invest in more extensive canning book .. I've just got the Ball Blue Book of Preserving. THANK YOU, THANK YOU :)

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  18. What brand and size is your large pot? I want one :D

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    Replies
    1. This large pot was given to me several years ago by an elderly lady cleaning out her garage. It has no size or brand name on it. However I'm sure if you headed to a restaurant supply store or a kitchen store, you'll be able to find some large pots. I'm guessing this one holds about four gallons, but that's just a guess.

      - Patrice

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  19. My husband and I grew mushrooms for 2 years. Although it was fun to see them "sprout" on the side of the logs, we never harvested that many. But we did have enough to dehydrate. Then the logs rotted and we never tried again. Please don't stop posting about canning!

    Kelly in Kernersville

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  20. Patrice,

    Something I wanted to ask for awhile about canning . . . is it okay to hot pack all the food into the jars at one time, even if it takes a while to process them in the canner (due to not enough space - even running two canners at a time)? Do you put the lids on and they just wait their turn in the canner, or is it better to keep the food hot in the pot and put into jars to process as you have canner space available? Thanks a bunch!

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    Replies
    1. You can do either. If your full jars will be sitting on the counter for hours, waiting their turn in the canner, then yes - I would keep the foot hot in the pot. But if it will be a relatively short wait, I always fill my jars and let them wait their turn.

      - Patrice

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    2. I sometimes go ahead and fill/cap all the jars and put a few "on hold" into a pan of hot water (not boiling). It keeps the food and jars hot while they await their turn (for up to about an hour).

      I've had three canners going nearly non-stop for 3 of the last 4 days. Canned 135 lbs chicken, unknown lbs of beef, and face a ton of pork loin today.

      LOVE the cool weather.

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  21. Hi Patrice,
    We used spawn dowels in some logs and are canning Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms this fall.
    http://www.fungi.com/
    Love your site,
    Dennis

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  22. I never buy food processed in China. Some foods I've found as "product of China" are: generic apple juice frozen and in bottles, generic apple sauce, and all del monte brand canned fruits. Yuck!

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  23. If you are looking for canned mushrooms that are a product of the USA look for Giorgio's ORGANIC pieces and stems products. Unfortunately they are usually almost double the price.

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  24. You did good with the price on those mushrooms and with what you canned, the price per jar was good too. I never thought about heading up to cash and carry for the produce but you convinced me now.
    As with everyone else, I agree about keeping up the canning post. When the weather changes and canning slows down some, there will be time for all the other things to blog about.

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  25. Patrice, I love reading your canning blogs - they inspire me. Thank you for sharing.

    Jenny

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  26. I've never canned mushrooms before. I'll have to try it. I don't grow mushrooms, and you're absolutely right, they are pricey at the store, so when I find a good sale I buy as many as I can and dehydrate them. I wash them and pat them dry, and while they are still a bit damp I arrange them on the dehydrator racks and put garlic powder, onion powder and a little salt on them. I'd like to tell you they reconstitute well or are good in soup, but I've never found out because the kids think they are the best chips on the planet, and they've never made it to a recipe!

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    Replies
    1. Have you tried freeze dried mushrooms? They are sooo goood. We get ours from www.srmarketplace.com along with powdered scrambled eggs and freeze dried ground beef. They really have some fantastic items that you can't find in the regular grocery store.

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  27. Just canning some now. A small jar at the grocery store that we saw today was 5.99! Were saving money by canning anything!

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  28. How long did you process the mushrooms?

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    Replies
    1. 30 minutes for either 1/2 pints or pints, at 10 lbs pressure (adjusted for elevation).

      - Patrice

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  29. Don't have pressure cooker. Can I do this in a canning pot and for how long.

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  30. I don't have a pressure cooker. Can I process the jars in a large pot of boiling water and for how long if so.

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    1. NO!!!! Absolutely not. Low-acid items like mushrooms should NEVER be water-bath canned -- it's an open invitation to botulism.

      If you don't have a pressure canner, consider dehydrating the mushrooms instead. They dry beautifully and can be either rehydrated and sauteed, or the dried mushrooms can be added to soups or stews.

      - Patrice

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  31. Pretty old post, but I'll chime in. I've canned mushrooms for several years. One of my favorite parts is saving the left-over broth they're cooked in. I then pressure cook the leftover broth in pints and use that to cook rice. Really brings out a great flavor in the rice.

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    Replies
    1. GREAT idea as I start to can my mushrooms!!!!

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  32. Oh my God! You're doing everyone a great service! My Mother ( may she rest in peace ) used to can. My Sister got all her canning equipment. My Wife wants to begin canning, she wants to learn. Please continue posting your canning recipes and methods, you are really helping people. Thank you so very much for taking the time and effort to do your posts.

    Thanks again, Richard & Mary Jo.

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  33. I agree for the convenience of canned food.But I do not dare to eat canned mushrooms.I suspect the guarantee food safety for the fungus like this.

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  34. So I just pickled mushrooms. I never tried pickling mushrooms or canning them for that instance. The only thing is is that I cold packed them. Should I not eat these mushrooms?

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    1. I can't answer that question for you. However I'll direct your attention to this link from the National Center for Home Food Preservation, where it says even pickled mushrooms should be hot-packed:

      http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_06/marinated_mushrooms.html

      It might be worth touching base with them to inquire about the safety of your mushrooms. Just FYI.

      - Patrice

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  35. Would 30 mins in a water bath be long enough?

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely NOT!!!!!! Mushrooms are low-acid and MUST be pressure-canned. Don't make the mistake of believing a longer water-bath will substitute for the higher temps of pressure canning. You will be setting yourself up for food poisoning if you try to water-bath low-acid foods. Please, be safe.

      - Patrice

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  36. Are there any canning recipies available for Mushrooms in a butter sauce??? ������

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    1. I don't believe so, because butter is a dairy product and dairy products are not recommended for home canning. Best to just open a jar of home-canned mushrooms, and then prepare the butter sauce at that point (sounds delicious, by the way).

      - Patrice

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  37. Are there any canning recipies available for Mushrooms in Butter Sauce?? ๐Ÿ‘

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for the reply ๐Ÿ˜€

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