The Bayou Gardener

General Category => Homesteading Skills => Topic started by: Oxbow on May 04, 2017, 02:24:56 PM

Title: Blanching Large Quantities of Veggies
Post by: Oxbow on May 04, 2017, 02:24:56 PM
For the last couple years I have been using a 7.5qt blanching pot to blanch my yellow squash and green beans before freezing.  Using the 7.5qt pot it would take around 2-3 hours to blanch a 5 gallon bucket of sliced squash.

Since my garden this year has increased substantially, I was looking for ideas on blanching large quantities.  One idea I had is use a crawfish pot and do one large load, and then cool them off in a big cooler full of ice water. 

Any other ideas?

Thanks,
Oxbow
Title: Re: Blanching Large Quantities of Veggies
Post by: Maggie13 on May 04, 2017, 03:17:11 PM
Make sure you have a lot of you have lots of ice.


 I only harvest in small quantities so it is easy to get the water back up to a boil quickly I am not sure how long it will take with a big batch like you are talking about doing. I will be interested in hearing what others have done.
Title: Re: Blanching Large Quantities of Veggies
Post by: Zook on May 04, 2017, 04:42:24 PM
Oxbow a crawfish boiler is exactly what was planning on and used late last year to blanch a big batch of mustard greens..

Had some leaves get stuck in the basket but other vegies like green beans and squash would work perfectly i would guess.. that will be my plan once things start rolling any this year anyway.. 
Title: Re: Blanching Large Quantities of Veggies
Post by: Double B on May 05, 2017, 06:43:23 AM
The larger the pot that is used, the more burner you will need to bring it back to a boil. A high pressure burner like you use for crawfish cranked up high to boil quickly should be employed so that your veggies don't sit in hot water for ten minutes while you try and bring it back to a boil.  I use a couple three gallon stainless steel pots and they work good.

Once the veggies come back to a boil, you are going to have to be able to drain and strain your veggies fast so you can get them into the ice water.  Like Maggie said, have plenty of ice in your water so the enzymes are killed. We freeze water in milk jugs and they also work better for us because you can re-use the big chunks of ice on the next batch. Best of luck.
Title: Re: Blanching Large Quantities of Veggies
Post by: LakeRat1 on May 05, 2017, 12:37:50 PM
We do as Double B  >< we have a small crawfish pot, with basket, we get the water up to boiling, then drop in the basket of peas, the basket will be about 1/2 full of peas, when the time is up we pull the basket and drop it into a large crawfish pot that has lots of ice and ice water, that chills the peas down real quick, them we bag them up and place in the freezer

on of our freezers has the coils in each shelf, that's where we place the peas first, it freezes them real fast, them we move them to a chest freezer

I guess the small crawfish pot is about 5 gal. maybe a little bigger,  the basket from it fits down inside the big crawfish easy with room to spare

Rat

Title: Re: Blanching Large Quantities of Veggies
Post by: tbird on May 05, 2017, 01:52:28 PM
  I used to blanch 20 quarts of veggies (green beans, wax beans, squash, peas, etc) in my 23 quart pressure cooker pot.  Place it on the 40,000 BTU burner and when it hit a hot rolling boil put the veggies in.  After 4 minutes I would dump the water out and throw them into a iced water ice chest.  Worked great.  Lots of ice but it worked great.  For lots of veggies processing I would use a basket that fits my canner  and reuse the water for another batch.

  It took me a few times to get the water/veggie amounts right,  but other than that it is a workable system with no investment other than ice.  20# here is $1.75.   
Title: Re: Blanching Large Quantities of Veggies
Post by: Oxbow on May 05, 2017, 02:48:27 PM
Thanks for all of the tips- I will definitely try using a crawfish pot to blanch this year.

Luckily I have access to free ice, so having plenty of ice won't be an issue. 8)
Title: Re: Blanching Large Quantities of Veggies
Post by: stumpjumper400 on May 05, 2017, 08:47:37 PM
I needed more hot water because the quantity that I blanch when I'm doing corn. My 7 gallon pot just wasn't cutting it. I had a keg lying round that was destined for brewing. Oh well, it is now my big boiler. It does take a healthy burner but once I dump in some veggies, it returns to boil pretty quickly.

(http://i1335.photobucket.com/albums/w667/Rrmar/8488d87d49d8092f14bc039bf68b6839_zpscc526f12.jpg) (http://s1335.photobucket.com/user/Rrmar/media/8488d87d49d8092f14bc039bf68b6839_zpscc526f12.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Blanching Large Quantities of Veggies
Post by: nuggethound on May 07, 2017, 03:47:12 PM
I have an unused keg also. What did you use to cut it?

JB
Title: Re: Blanching Large Quantities of Veggies
Post by: stumpjumper400 on May 07, 2017, 07:52:07 PM
I used a mini grinder with a cutoff wheel to get the rough shape and then a dremel cutoff wheel to get close around the handles. make sure to sand/grind the edges well as they will be very sharp. you have to come in right at the top seam because you can't get close enough to the edge from the top. Leave enough metal for the handles. You'll have to sand those too. On mine there is enough there to not bend or flex when you pick up an almost full boiler. Good luck.

Steve
Title: Re: Blanching Large Quantities of Veggies
Post by: Tazzy Turfer on May 23, 2017, 07:05:21 AM
Now that is what I call a hard core blancher, Well done Steve . I am now on the hunt for a stainless steel keg !!!!
                               Regards Pete
Title: Re: Blanching Large Quantities of Veggies
Post by: stumpjumper400 on May 23, 2017, 07:12:01 PM
Try the scrap yards. Lots of times they are turned to scrap when they are no longer useful for beer. Otherwise they are the property of the brewers. They do not sell them so if you find one from someone, it was stolen from the owner or gotten from a scrap yard. Good luck,

Steve
Title: Re: Blanching Large Quantities of Veggies
Post by: Tazzy Turfer on May 24, 2017, 04:06:31 AM
Thanks Steve,  Your advice is greatly appreciated,
Regards Pete
Title: Re: Blanching Large Quantities of Veggies
Post by: Oxbow on June 09, 2017, 02:16:34 PM
Well I ended up buying a 36qt pot with strainer, and I am able to blanch 20-30 squash in two loads.  I fill a cooler about 2/3's full of ice and add a little water to cool the veggies down after boiling.

It has really cut down on the time spent blanching, and I highly recommend it.  The main thing is make sure you have a high power propane jet cooker to keep your water boiling when you drop in your veggies.
Title: Re: Blanching Large Quantities of Veggies
Post by: Daniel Grant on June 09, 2017, 05:44:56 PM
If I am going to pressure can beans and peas do I need to blanch them first?
Title: Re: Blanching Large Quantities of Veggies
Post by: Double B on June 12, 2017, 01:21:19 PM
There is no need to blanch if you are pressure canning. I put the beans or peas in the sterilized jars, fill with boiling water and can.