Return to the Harvest Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
How do you speed up your apple canning?

Posted by naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 13, 13 at 21:40

Help! Can you educate me so I can be a faster, more efficient apple processor?

I have LOTS of apples picked and stored in a frost free garage. I've canned applesauce and frozen some, too. However, I'm slow and don't seem to be getting much faster. The apples are from my own trees and are not all "perfect" like store bought ones. Maybe I need to compost some of the odd shaped and smaller ones that take more time to prepare. And maybe I need to be less concerned with a few black spots in the finished product from cut pits or blossom ends. And maybe not try to use as much of each apple as possible when I have so many. What do you think?

What are tools and techniques you use? I'm open to buying some new things. Also, open to canning apple products other than sauce and using other preserving methods.

I think some of your ideas may speed me up with other fruits and veggies, too. At the speed I go now, it is hard to fathom how some of you put up 100s of quarts every year.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: How do you speed up your apple canning?

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 13, 13 at 22:34

How do you want to preserve them other than applesauce? Apple butter, pie filling, sliced plain, spiced rings, apple chutney, dehydrated?

What equipment are you currently using to peel? To slice? To core and remove bad spots?

Old style apple peeler Also available with slicing blade.

New style Apple Peeler/Slicer

Apple slicer Comes in various sizes of slices.

Apple Corer

All kinds of fruit and vegetable choppers for making chutney. Plus look at mandolines for slicing.

But often the most effective way to speed things up is in changing the layout of your work area - make an assembly line layout rather then moving from counter to counter. All the batch washed, then all peeled and dumped in a container of Fruitfresh and water, then all sliced, etc. rather than wash a few, peel a few, slice a few etc.

Dave


 o
RE: How do you speed up your apple canning?

I agree with Dave. Kitchen layout is key.
Also, I make sure I'm ready to get the first load into the canner as soon as it's ready. While that one is processing, I can keep prepping.

I couldn't live without my Victorio style mill for making sauces.
A good sharp knife and peeler.
My peeler/corer.

I can mostly sauce and apple butter, but a few quarts of sliced too.

The very best suggestion is to have help! Sounds silly, but it really does make things go faster and it's more enjoyable. I love it when my mom visits and we can together.

Keep at it and you'll find your own timesaving tricks.

Deanna


 o
RE: How do you speed up your apple canning?

Thanks, you reminded me of a few tools I haven't been using after having some problems with them. It's time to try them again and make adjustments if needed. Also, after looking over my set up/tools, I am going to get at least one more large stainless steel pot and try using my fryer for holding sauce, etc. at temp while waiting to get it into jars.

I hadn't considered apple slices. The simple corer/slicer looks like a way I could do a lot of apples quickly. And using the canned slices would sure speed up dessert prep later.

Is leaving the peel on an acceptable way to prep for any preserving? Can they stay on for dehydrated apples? Others?

Dehydrated sounds good. We like them and have a dryer and citric acid. No cooking sounds quick and would leave the stove free for other things. All good things.....

I have a Foley food mill and Roma food strainer. Both seem to require very well cooked apples to work well. Do you use either with your apples?

My old style apple peeler/slicer removes a very thick peel and leaves a very large core. Any suggestions on adjusting the peeler (or a brand recommendation if I give up on mine)? Could the trimmings be used for apple butter or sauce after going through a food mill?

Or do I need to get over the idea that there is a lot of "good" apple left when I throw out the trimmings.

I'm looking forward to experimenting with new ways when I have some time this weekend. We'll see how it goes....


 o
RE: How do you speed up your apple canning?

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Thu, Nov 14, 13 at 12:54

I hadn't considered apple slices.

My geuss is that is the most common method simply because they can then be used to make anything. The resulting texture all depends on the brand of the apple and the thickness of the slices. Some varieties remain firm, some turn quite mushy. Thicker slices hold their texture better than thin ones.

Is leaving the peel on an acceptable way to prep for any preserving?

The guidelines recommend against it because the peel is the primary source of bacteria and contaminants. Do some leave the peel on? Sure. So while it isn't recommended it is your choice.

We like them and have a dryer and citric acid.

You need ascorbic acid not citric.

Foley food mill and Roma food strainer. Both seem to require very well cooked apples to work well.

Yes they do. But if you only want very smooth applesauce then you need to use one or the other (or a blender of some kind). We use our Victorio/Roma. But many folks prefer chunky applesauce and for it all you need is cooking, no pureeing.

old style apple peeler/slicer removes a very thick peel and leaves a very large core. Any suggestions on adjusting the peeler

Need to know the brand. All of them I have ever seen are adjustable but how the adjustments are made differs with the brand. Blade position adjustment for the peel thickness should be fairly clear. If you don't have the book the manufacturer's website likely has the information or copies of the manual available.

Could the trimmings be used for apple butter or sauce after going through a food mill?

Depends on what you mean by trimmings? Peels? No. Cores and seeds? No. The only thing that goes into the food mill in our house is the cooked applesauce - they were peeled before cooking - to smooth out the texture so there are no "trimmings" left over.

Or do I need to get over the idea that there is a lot of "good" apple left when I throw out the trimmings.

If you can get your peeler/corer adjusted correctly then there shouldn't be any good apple left over. The "left-overs would just be peels, cores, seeds, and the cut out bad spots.

Dave


 o
RE: How do you speed up your apple canning?

I think you if you are peeling and coring the apples before cooking them you should be able to then cook those trimmings and then run them through the foley to make apple butter. I made peel jelly one time by cooking the peels and cores with water then straining for jelly. Plenty of pectin there.


 o
RE: How do you speed up your apple canning?

Ok, how we do up apples. Our trees don't make the 'perfect' apple either. We use a KNIFE, make sure it's sharp.

If we are wanting to make apple butter or sauce, then we remove the stems and blossom ends, quarter the apples and then put them into lemon juice water as we are slicing/quartering. As soon as we get a big bowl full, I take the bowl and dip out the apples, leaving just the water. I, then put the apples (quartered/cored, but not peeled) into a BIG stockpot. Let them cook til tender. I use a Kitchenaid stand mixer and the fruit/vegetables juicer/strainer. It can do up about a bushel is 10-15 minutes. We also run the 'junk' that comes out the end a second time. When we are done with the Kitchenaid, they apples go into a large 18-22 qt roaster to either keep warm or cook down more into butter.

If I want juice, I strain the applesauce and capture the juice, then put the rest of the pulp into the roaster. Don't forget to leave some juice so that it doesn't burn. I won't turn my roaster on more than 250 degrees. Stir every 15-30 minutes til done.

Hubby hand peels all the slices, we do thick slices, right into lemon juice water. Then I remove the apples, put into jars, add some fruit fresh and fresh warm water. Add lid and BWB them.

That's how we been doing up apples for decades, only thing we've added in recent years is the roaster (instead of the oven) and updated canning times. I still add about 10-15 minutes to the slices time, since they are raw packed. My mother and grandmother prepped the apples the same way,

1 extra set of skilled hands equal 3 times or more work done.

Marla


 o
RE: How do you speed up your apple canning?

Thanks for all the ideas. I only had time to cook one large pot of applesauce this weekend, and it did go quicker. I also bought another large pot and a few other things that should be of help in the future. DH is a good helper when it is time to fill jars and load them into the BWB. His help is greatly appreciated since that is when I feel most pressed to get things done quickly, yet carefully. I'm feeling more confident that the apples in baskets stored in the garage will get used before too long and not take forever to process.

I also found out that some people who bragged about all the jars they put up were doing lots of pints and even half pints. So of course my quart count would be much less. I felt better after realizing maybe I wasn't as slow as I thought. And I'll keep using quarts for most things as that is a size that works well for us. And now with the helpful hints from several of you, I think I will do better yet.


 o
RE: How do you speed up your apple canning?

My best advice is not a peeler or corer, but a very good quality chef's knife. I have a wustof and it is so wonderful, I have been known to take it along to peoples houses if I will be helping with meal prep! I freeze my apples in slices with the skins ON. I know some frown on this but it is much better for you and I use my apples with the skins for things like baking and even apple butter. For the dehydrator, the skins come off. Knife is best!


 o
RE: How do you speed up your apple canning?

Oh, and to prevent browning for freezing I soak cut apples Ina solution of water and dissolved salt. Works great and doesn't taste funny!


 o
RE: How do you speed up your apple canning?

I do up quarts for future jam/jellies, Pints are for just the 2 of us. 1/2 pint is a serving size, so I do some of those for my mother.

Experience will speed you up also.


 o
RE: How do you speed up your apple canning?

I did mine like Marla but with the roma strainer. It worked so fast and assembly line is the only way to go.
I wanted mine all done fast so I did 120 # in less than 2 days. hauling everything to where I have to can and setting it up took more time than anything. Someday I will have a canning kitchen !
kim


 o
RE: How do you speed up your apple canning?

I'm saving for that canning kitchen right now. I've already lined up 2 stoves and 2 double bowl sinks (all free and working) I already have 2 extra frigs. Now to get the shed part materials and built. Have 1/4 of the money for that part now and another 1/4 in the next couple of weeks. We are going to set it up as close to a certified kitchen as possible.


 o
RE: How do you speed up your apple canning?

I will be anxious to hear back from you on your kitchen!

I work in a commercial kitchen so I am spoiled. I do my canning there on the weekends when its closed. the stove i use has 10 burners! Its a lot easier and with the stainless steel tables cleanup is a breeze. the more I can the better ideas I have for the kitchen plan.
And reading here has helped me to be a more efficient canner.
kim


 o
RE: How do you speed up your apple canning?

I'm planning on 2 stoves. We like using Lifetime plastic tables. When we don't need them, they fold up. We use them for farmers market, family dinners, or just canning. We've had them for about 10 years or more and will never go back.

The kitchen will just be a 12x16-20 shed with the stoves and tables, perhaps the frigs. We will have easy to clean floors, walls and ceilings. That's about all we will need to get certified. Don't know if we really want to get certified. Certified means we'll have to be inspected on a regular basis and need to take a canning course. Home Based Vendors don't need that.


 o
RE: How do you speed up your apple canning?

I make applesauce with the peels on. I cut away the core and bad parts and use an immersion blender to puree it. It's pretty fast. See the link for details.

Here is a link that might be useful: Easiest Applesauce


 o
RE: How do you speed up your apple canning?

I've also made applesauce with the peels and cores on, just quarter them, cook them and run them through the Squeezo. That makes a lovely light pink and very smooth apple sauce, which can then be used to cook down for apple butter if you prefer.

I prefer to use my old style peeler and just toss apple slices into water with a couple of vitamin c capsules broken and stirred in, that prevents oxidation. Dip out the slices and put them into my big Nesco roaster. It'll hold at least a quarter of a bushel. Add some liquid, I use apple cider, put on the lid, and stir a couple of times when you think about it. When the apples are tender, mash them up with a potato masher for nice, chunky applesauce. Sweeten and season to taste, of course.

That same roaster is used to make apple butter, turn it on about 250F and just let it cook all day while you're doing other things. When it's as thick as you like, can the apple butter.

I've also done apple butter in the oven in a big roasting pan, much easier than doing it stove top as you don't have the constant watching and stirring and little volcanoes of applesauce popping up on your arms.

I've also used the peels and cores to make juice, which I then strained for apple jelly, but my old style apple peeler just doesn't leave me a lot of peel and we prefer the Apple Maple Jam, so I don't do that often.

The peeler/slicer also makes thin and even slices for the dehydrator, those slices also get put into the Vitamin C treated water. No lemon taste (my mother is allergic to lemons anyway), and far cheaper than Fruit Fresh.

Annie


 o
RE: How do you speed up your apple canning?

Annie, sounds like you and I do things alike. I strain the pulp some to get the juices, plus the pulp doesn't have to cook down so much.


 o
RE: How do you speed up your apple canning?

I have a Norpro Saucemaster -- got it from Johnny's Selected seeds.

It's really fast -- wash the apples, quarter them, cook them, run them through the saucemaster -- applesauce comes out into a bowl, peels and cores come out into another bowl.

It's MUCH easier than the Foley food mill.

I guess to do this I am going against recommendations against peels that I didn't know about until I came onto this forum a few days ago . . .


 o
RE: How do you speed up your apple canning?

Peels used to be recommended, but unless you know what your fruit has been exposed to, who knows what might be getting into your food.

I still use the peels, but my family doesn't have any problems with allergies and I use my own fruit as much as possible.

I've found that anything that Johnny's sell, is too expensive and usually can be found elsewhere cheaper.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Harvest Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here