Dry Pack at Home: Did you know that the LDS Cannery has dry pack canners that can be scheduled for home use? You can schedule the canner for about 3-4 days and have the flexibility of canning at home. Dry packing at home is ideal if you'd like have your kids help, if your schedule conflicts with the dry pack facility hours, if you'd like to do a little at a time over several days, or if you have product at home that the LDS cannery is currently out of.
Photos: Here are some pictures of our latest dry packing experience, done at home:
Step 1: If you want to dry pack at home, you need to prepare by buying commodities in bulk. Prices are great at the LDS cannery, but you might find cheaper product elsewhere. Gather the items ahead of time. Be advised that not every commodity is suitable for long-term storage due to high water content or oily components.
Step 2: Estimate how many cans you'll need, which is based on the pounds of product you have. Here are some estimates to guide you in your planning:
Beans: 5 cans per 25 pounds
see a complete list here
Step 3: Buy your #10-sized cans & other supplies from the LDS Cannery. Don't forget the metal lids, oxygen packets, labels, and boxes. You will need one oxygen packet for every can, except those cans that contain sugar (it turns the sugar rock hard). Six cans fit into a box (called a case). The LDS Cannery gives out free labels. Get one for every can and one for every box (that way each case is labeled on the outside).
TIP: Spend the time to calculate before you go to the cannery. That way you'll know exactly what you need and how much.
Step 4: The canner weighs about 40 pounds, so two people should lift it. I got it out of the tub on my own, but it was a battle. It is secured to the countertop with two C-clamps. Use a double-folded towel to prevent damage to the countertop.
Step 5: Fill the cans within 1/4 inch from the top (we topped these cans off later). You don't want to leave the oxygen packs out too long because they are activated after about 30 minutes. So, get the cans all ready for sealing and put the oxygen pack in at the last minute (remember, no oxygen packs for sugar!)
Step 6: Seal and label each can. I let kids help fill the cans, but an adult should use the machine.
Step 7: Label the box with a product sticker, the number of cans in the box, and the year. If you have a case with, for example, 3 wheat cans and 3 sugar cans in it, use a sticker for each product. That way you'll know how many of each you have in the box.
Tip: if you decide ahead of time where and how your boxes will be stored, you can put the label in the correct spot. It helps!