Saturday, February 5, 2011

Can Sealer

As I mentioned recently, we have a can sealer.   Our thought was that it would be prudent to have foods canned not only in jars, but in cans also.  If an earthquake devastates our jars of food, we will have a back-up of home canned foods in metal cans.  If TEOTWAWKI overcomes us, we will have things canned in disposable cans to give as charity, rather than handing out our supply of glass jars.  Also, we would like to seal things in metal cans for long term storage.  Garden seeds, sprouting seeds, first aid kits, survival kits (both of which would be canned in cans with pop-top lids - not requiring a can opener), bouillon, loose leaf tea and whatever else we can think of.

We bought our can sealer used, from Craigslist.  It was in great condition, and appeared to have all its parts.  After much procrastination, we ordered a case of cans from Wells Cans in British Columbia (where you can also buy the can sealer we have), and attempted our first can sealing project - canning loose tea.  It was a failure.  It turned out that we had the wrong chuck for the cans that we were attempting to seal.  We ordered a new chuck in the correct size, thankful that we had used our equipment before we needed it, otherwise, we would have had cans and a can sealer that were completely useless!

Our first "crunched" can - using the
wrong sized chuck
After changing out the chuck and readjusting the roller spacing, we were ready to can.  Once again, out came the cans, lids and tea.  After a little tweaking (we had to adjust the spacers before the handle would lock correctly), we had a perfectly sealed can of tea.  Now that we have the kinks worked out, we are ready to order sprouting seeds, bulk bouillon and a number of other to seal and add to our long term storage.

The can full of tea
Putting the lid on the can
Adjusting the can in the sealer
Sealing the can
Newly sealed can
Isn't it beautiful!?
Tea, ready for long term storage
(I think I will have to have some pretty labels!)
As with everything else, we have once again found that in order to be truly prepared, you have to use it, use it, use it.


  1. Is there any sort of vacuum inside?

  2. Good idea

    I will look into doing my own canning.

  3. You bring back memories of working in the summer for a cannery at the local JC. athletes at the school would get summer jobs and local citizens would bring their fruit and vegetables in for canning. Sometimes the lids would get temperamental. Dipping the peaches in lye to take off the fuzz was also a time to make sure not to get burned.

    Wonder if any places still provide this service?

    Steve in Central CA

  4. Save the Canning JarsFebruary 6, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    Oh this is so true...set it up and use it before a crisis!

    I decided to try hand washing outside this autumn. I set up my 3 tubs (one wash, two rinse), hand pumped water from the well, got out my new toilet plunger which is my agitator, poured in my detergent, set up the hand wringer, and got out my new scrub board. I was having the best time washing outside in beautiful weather and then it all came to a stop.

    My Lehman's Best Wringer ($189) was missing one part, and the wringer would not work properly. I jumped in the car and drove to the hardware store and bought the 11 cent piece I needed. Then drove home, installed the part and finished the job. (By the way, I really like my hand wringer!)

    One little glitch can bring everything to a halt. NOW is the time to assess what you have and learn to use it. In hard times, that little missing part might not be available.

    On another note: Our local 10 pm news last night started the broadcast with a weather update THEN the first story was about a local supermarket chain that was having trouble keeping shelves stocked. We just finished one 12 inch snowstorm, and another is on the way so people were trying to stock up from grocery shelves that were not completely re-stocked from the last storm. Plus, people needed to restock since it was the first of the month. Plus people were out purchasing SuperBowl party foods. It was a madhouse!

    The store employee was saying there was more food in the back and they were trying to get it out and shelves restocked...and all the while he was saying this, his head was shaking back and forth "No". Someone into psychology would have had fun analyzing this as his mouth and his gestures did not say the same thing. The reporter asked to see the stock in the back and the crew was denied access. My daughter and I came to the same overwhelming conclusion: The store does not have enough food to meet the demand!

    Customers were interviewed and one said she had not bought this much food at one time since Thanksgiving. I'm seeing how so many people do not keep food reserves in their home.
    May people wake up quickly!

  5. I enjoy your blog and look forward to your posts. I am learning so much!

  6. I have borrowed a #10 caner from the LDS food warehouse. They are too easy to use! I would really like to be able to metal can smaller amounts so I'm looking into buying my own.

    Someone asked about vacuum sealing and, no, you need to put Oxygen absorbers in them if you want vacuum to them. Also, you may "wet" pack this way. Just stack the cans in your pressure or water bath caner and process. I like the idea of non-breakable.

  7. As one who asked for more info the other day, THANKS. I read your blog daily and love it.


  8. Good info! I put a link to this on my blog. I would love to read more about what you actually end up canning in the future.

  9. Enola,
    I have a question about reusing tin cans and resealing them with a new lid.
    As you know, the tin cans are quite expensive! I want to reuse my tin cans.

    I want to know if you have tried reusing your old veggie cans or #10, or, any can size for that matter, and re-canning a fresh NEW lid onto them?

    I searched the web and Survivalblog actually mentioned that this is something that can be done, Rawles also wrote that the can simply gets a little shorter everytime you re-can it! This implies you can reuse them MULTIPLE times for recanning. But, it sounds like the top of the can perhaps is cut?? This is the part where I'm stuck and not sure how to proceed.

    I want to reuse my tin cans for cost savings and self-sufficiency. And what a great way to keep all that metal out of the landfills!
    I have can sealers in several sizes that I process my metal cans with.
    There is not a "cutting" feature on any of them.

    The brand new cans I have bought from Ball, have a slight bend lip, over, on the tops of the can, where the lid fits onto it.

    When you use a can opener, to open a new can, that "crimped ring", REMAINS on the outside rim of the opened can.
    Is it possible to re-can and get a good seal by just applying a new lid over that old crimp ring on the used can? or, Do I need to cut that crimp ring off somehow to apply a new lid?

    Help please.


  10. It is an informative post