Using food processor to prep for canning?

coralb(7)July 26, 2012

Hi all,

Sorry if this questioned has been asked and answered. I did a search and did not find it. I am new to canning and wondered if it was possible to shorten my prep time by using a food processor to chop some veggies. Specifically, I was wondering if it is alright to use for Annie's salsa, Ellie Topps chunky basil sauce, Ball's sweet pickle relish, and Sure Gel's pepper jelly? I would not use for tomatoes for the salsa or pasta sauce since it seems it would liquefy them. I know this might seem like a silly question but I was wondering if the food processor might release too much liquid, especially with the peppers and cukes. Also, not sure if the fact that some pieces are different sizes would be a problem.

Thanks in advance. I have been a long time lurker and have learned a lot from the experienced canners who take the time to answer basic questions like this!

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You can use a food processor. I rarely do only because it's a PITA to clean, I can't seem to get the size I want (even with a whole collection of slicing and dicing blades that DH HAD to have) and my DH is whiz with a knife and loves to chop vegetables (no, he is not for rent :-)

When I do, I drain the vegetables well - you are right that it does create a lot of extra liquid. For most things, different sizes are not a safety problem unless they are really huge or really tiny. For me, it's more of a quality issue with the finished product using the food processor as opposed to hand chopped vegetables.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 1:28PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Agree that there is no reason you can't use it if you are happy with the results. I never am and find many other manually operated kitchen tools give better results as I have much more control over the end texture and size so much less gets wasted.

The only prohibition is you cannot puree anything and if you finely chop or grind as with the pickle relish you must take extra care not to over-pack the jars. Keep the contents loosely packed for better heat penetration.

Personally I can't imagine using it for Annie's Salsa however. It would be soupy mush.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 2:01PM
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Thanks so much! I will probably stick to hand chopping. Just seems that I am a very slow canner. Can't really do more than one recipe a night and things are piling up on me!

Once again, a huge thanks to folks who patiently answer all the newbie questions. It is because of you I have the confidence to safely can.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 2:27PM
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david52 Zone 6

With practice, I've been able to get decent results chopping onion and peppers in a food processor - its a question of not putting in too much and 'pulsing' the blade. Even then there are always a few larger pieces that need to be chopped again.

They also work well with mushing up garlic - but you have to be doing enough - like 10-20 cloves.

When I'm making a batch of 12 quarts of tomato/onion/pepper/garlic sauce, and cutting up a dozen onions and 18 or so peppers, the food processor saves an awful lot of time. I have enough nerve damage in my hands that it would be impossible to chop that much up w/o a food processor.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 2:50PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

We use a couple of these with good results.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 3:31PM
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Always use my food processor in canning.
The trick is to pulse and leave things BIGGER than you think they should be as they will cook smaller.
Always use the chopping blades and not the plates. I can control the metal blade size final product.
Jim in So Calif

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 8:02PM
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busylizzy(z5 PA)

Agree with Jim, using the food processor is an art form.
I instructed my asst in the kitchen to shred the un used country style ribs for pulled pork. He had watched me previously using the food processor for shredding chicken, beef and pork. I returned to the kitchen and the pork he tried to use the processor was the consistency of dog food paste. An expensive lesson learned.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 8:29AM
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