Thursday, July 17, 2014

Outdoor Canning Station

Since it's raining today I get one of those things called a day off!  What it really means is that I've got time to show you guys the "new" outdoor kitchen site Mars put together.  He moved it off of the old houses porch and back behind it instead because it gets shade there most all day long. The back side of the old porch also works to help as a windbreak from the southern winds we get in the summer.  I was having problems with keeping the stove lit when the winds were blowing even with the "windbreaks" he added to the stove.  Those are the sheet metal parts hung on the front, back and side of the stove.
He used some of the  bricks left from the old house to make a pad for the stove. 
Leveling out the ground to get started
 This way not only is the stove level but it won't be sinking into the dirt in the long run.  
 The black mat came from the bed of the diesel truck I wrecked
It makes it easier to walk on if for example it's been raining and the grounds a little wet. 
 
 I've been needing a table for some workspace for awhile.  I've looked around several places for tables and even the camping tables many places carry now, but on an income of $900 a month even though they really aren't that expensive there was always something that we needed more.  

Mars decided to make a work table from one of the pallets he'd been saving.  Notice the whole top has slats unlike most pallets.  The legs are part of one of the old cedars that we cut down here a couple of years ago.  He set the posts and also used the top of the porch for even more stability.
   I just love this stove.  With the high pressure BTU's it heats to boiling in no time at all and stays at pressure like it should.  The old set up I had worked but it took forever to heat to boiling and then I was constantly adjusting the fire to try and keep it at the correct pressure for canning. 

   Oh and the table is totally level too! (Mars wouldn't have it any other way) The table makes the whole canning process SO much easier!  I just get everything prepped and ready, get all the jars, lids, rings, etc lined up and it's good to go.  
We use a tarp to cover the stove in the summer when it's not in use and move it to the barn during the winter. 
 The outdoor sink is just a few feet away but  there is also a hose I can use to fill the canners, wash my hands, rinse off stuff, etc... so I set up a hose right by the table.  

 There is talk about building a clay oven someday.  That would be cool!

44 comments:

  1. I like it! I am working on a similar cannery using a wood burning cook stove in the cellar but that will be next year most likely. It is a good thing to get all the heat outside like you are doing. You can even can if the power is out.

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    1. It's pretty cool isn't it? I can't wait to see pictures when you start working on your set-up.
      You are sure right about keeping the heat out. I haven't really done any canning indoors in quite a while. Even the one burner set up was to keep the heat out of the house. Especially when your house is an RV! I figure if the power goes out if SHTF or for long enough to worry about the stuff in the freezer I can still save the goodies in the freezer!
      Sci

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  2. Great job! I use a much smaller version, with a campstove, and glass patio table. Right off the kitchen, nice and easy to get to everything...

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    1. Nancy,
      I used an old one burner propane set up until we got this stove (Thanks Mom & Sandy!) It sounds like you have a great set up. Outside and easy to get to everything.
      Sci

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  3. That's impressive. Obviously a lot of thought went into the set up, and a lot of work.

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    1. Harry,
      He's pretty good at figuring things out. He can "see" things that I would never even think of. And this project didn't cost anything except his time. Which doesn't come cheap! lol He does think things through and I've only seen him have to "re-do" something maybe a half dozen times in the past 20 years. Not a bad track record.
      Sci

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  4. Looks good! I will have to show it to hubby to get his creative juices fermenting.

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    1. Thanks Judy! I had to laugh at juices fermenting! For some reason it made me think of bubbles just working away. A little prodding couldn't hurt huh? lolllzzz

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  5. Brilliant! Good job and well done to both of you for thinking out the box.

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    1. Thanks Dani, although I'll have to give him all the credit for this one. Moving the stove down there was an excellent idea especially since it really is in the shade all day. And even though this summer so far has been pretty "coolish" it usually isn't! Seeking shade in the summer is an art form sometimes.

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    1. Thanks so much DFW. It's going to make canning much easier. And I DO love me some "easier"

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  7. SCI,

    What a beautiful job on the table and stove, way to go Mars!!!
    When I need a table, I know where to go :-)
    I can picture you there canning all those lovely tomatoes, and beans.
    Building a clay oven in the future......how cool!!!! I bet Mars already has plans for making this oven too.

    Plenty of rain where were at, I hope you're not getting to much there.
    Sending hugs to you and Mars.
    Sandy


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    1. Sandy,
      I'm so proud! Now I have no excuse for dragging my feet when canning. He pretty much took care of all the little things that irritate me. Like having a table to work on, running water on hand and having the winds blowing out my flames every few minutes. Hey, I could picture you helping me do some of that canning too! lolllzzz
      He's been "thinking on" an adobe/clay oven for awhile now which is a good thing because it usually ends up getting done!
      As for the rain, we got a steady light rain all day today. Hey we haven't had to water much at all this year
      Hugs to you and your two wonderful guys (oh and a little belly rub for The Bean!)
      Sci

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  8. That is an impressive setup. Now, I need my own Mars to make it happen. I love his precision and pride in craftsmanship. Slipshod work drives me nuts.

    As much as I like that setup, how do you keep flies from sitting on everything? I would not have a moment's peace or a sterile item around it I were canning outdoors.

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    1. Linda, it IS pretty cool isn't it? And he really does take pride in doing a job well without cutting cornersl
      You know I just knew someone would ask about the flies.If they get bad I end up doing most all the prep work in the house. And I use a lot of towels to cover things that are outside. I also make sure I have lids on everything that I have lids for. Sometimes you just have decide what is worse and live dangerously!
      Sci

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    2. Okay, so you do have flies. I just wondered. For a picnic , a fan blowing toward the food table works wonders at keeping flies away. I could probably use a fan if things got bad with flies. I am so glad to see he didn't just prop things to make them work. My father was a precise worker and leveled things, even my doll bed and cabinet...no wobbly things left to annoy, mitered corners. You should see stuff he made. . And the windscreen is great. I suppose I could use my gas grill to can outdoors since I don't have a cool stove. I am going to be on the lookout for something like that.

      Gee, sometimes I have to use towels to keep flies off in the house. I could do the same outdoors. Is the table heavy?

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    3. Linda,
      I give most all the credit for what's been accomplished here on our little acre to Mars' insight. He knows what he wants and I'm his #1 fan (and the hander of tools, water, tea or whatever)
      I'm betting that if you already have a way to can outside you could rig up a nice "cooking" station. Just need the stove, a table, and a water source!
      Sci

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  9. I know your fondness for rabbits, but you're not planning on canning the cat too, are you?

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    1. Well Joy,
      I can't even think of offing the cats. They do their job around here. Besides, what would I warm my feet on come winter? Of course if BB The Dog continues to bark all night every nigh I might start fattening her up, Just in case ya know?

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  10. Love it! Looks efficient! Looking forward to the day for now I use the bbq and fish cooker for my outdoor canning.

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    1. Thanks M.E. So far it seems to be really convenient and SO much easier than it was before. Hey the fish cooker works like a champ. As I've said before I used a one burner set up for a long time. It's the table that's made the real difference with that fancy stove from my folks!

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  11. Some gals might be wooed by flashy diamond jewelry. I'm impressed by things like your outdoor kitchen. Looks like diamonds to me:) Your jars of goodies look great too.

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    1. Lady Locust,
      I do believe we must be cut from the same cloth. What in the world would I do with diamonds except worry about loosing them? Shiny jars of goodness are much more rewarding. This canning station will someday hold secrets that only those who can see into the future. Good meals are waiting to be made for the future!
      Sci

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  12. Gurl - i'm with Lady Locust - give me an outdoor canning station built for free and i will take it over jewelry everytime! Mars did an amazing job and when i showed jambaloney this morning he said to give Mars a fist pump for connecting the 3 propane thingies...or something...i can't remember exactly what he said but he said something good about it. jam uses beach rocks that we get from the beach to lay down to level things out. you have a great set-up and as far as flies and such, it just takes precision to get one towel onto something and move to the next thing. i make all of my kimchi outside too. and a bunch of other stuff. this year, at harvest time we will have a flimsy canning station set up because there are so many other jobs to do. but eventually we will have an awesome set up like yours. i am really glad that you have such a great station to do all of the work that you do! a big KUDOS to Mars!!!

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. kymberz,
      Isn't free just a beautiful thing? This canning station holds the keys to many lovely things throughout the years. Message sent to Mars. He nodded. I think that means thanks in "man talk" The three propane thingys are the stove my mom and Sandy gave us as a Christmas in July gift last year. He added the sheet metal parts to serve as wind breaks since I was having trouble keeping the fires lit.
      Being raised on the Texas coast I have an affinity for all things "sea". There aren't really many beach rocks there though. I'll bet they lay out beautifully though.
      I'm with you on the fly thing. Towels and timing! And shoot, if they get too bad I put everything together in the house and carry it out to the stove. Minor irritation but not really a problem!
      I'll bet your garden is going gangbusters by now. We've had yet another weird season here. It's already the middle of July and we've not been to 100F yet. I love it but I'm not sure just how the garden will react. We are getting ready to start planting for the fall garden. If of course it stops raining long enough to get them in the ground.. Isn't this time of year awesome? We had a feast last night for dinner. The only thing that was bought were the pork chops. The corn on the cob, purple hull peas, sliced tomatoes and peppers all were grown right here. I wish I'd have taken a picture but it seems lately I end up eating up everything before I think that I should have taken some food porn pictures! Very unlike me, yeah? OH I almost forgot. We had homemade ice cream for dessert!.
      Hugs to you and jambz,
      Sci

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  13. I'm curious about the burners on your stove, do you know what BTU they are? If not does the stove have a manufacturer on it or was it homemade. I have a Bayou Burner that I use to make beer with and I tried using it for canning but the BTUs are so high on it I can't get a low enough flame to stop building pressure, so I'm looking for other options

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    1. Anony,
      This stove is callled a King Kooker. You can look it up at kingkooker.com and see if it that is what you might be looking for. I do have to keep an eye on the flame but it's not a major problem. If the pressure starts going up to high just release a bit on the regulator on the canner. I've been having really good results with it.
      Hope that helps some.
      Sci

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  14. Love your outdoor kitchen. That is one of those items that are on my wish list.

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    1. Thanks PCH - I've been canning outdoors since I first started canning mainly because of the heat and the fact that I don't think folks were actually meant to cook indoors in an RV in the summer! lolllzzz

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  17. Sci, My grampa taught me to cook on a kerosine cook stove.I've cooked on camp fires and charcoal. Believe me your setup is much better.Mar's did a fine job setting it up! Times coming when people realize smaller spaces are easy to heat and cool.The land will be needed to grow food or starve.
    We have so many people that will want to take what they need,not work to survive.There has been too many takers and not enough givers, and the are too ignorant to want to learn!I've heard to many young folk say they just don't have time to learn and we are old fashioned.They don't care what they eat or what was done to the food. They just want it cooked and put in front of them! They don't care that a hungry family worked there-selves to death and were paid next to nothing to get that food to them! I feel sorry for them, I do.
    But don't come to me when you get hungry! Go back to your big stores and pay a weeks wages for food that won't last a week...Because I have a family to take care of.If you want to learn,and are willing to work I'll help you.If not, just keep on going I don't have time to play.
    Sorry for the rant,but not too sorry! LOL. I just wish people could see whats happening around them.It must be hard to keep your head in the sand for this long. I really pity them!

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    1. Donna,
      Thanks for the rant. It's a good one. I think that there are a lot of us just getting pretty tired of trying to open folks eyes. I've been "ringing the bell" for years now and it really doesn't seem to help much. I'm thinking though that the beast has finally started waking. Figures too cause I'm about tired of preaching it to the choir. I need a serious rejuvenation though lately. It's hard NOT to see things crashing around us.
      Again, thanks for the rant!
      Sci

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  18. I too can outside. My DH bought a RockyMoutain Range from Cabelas four or five years ago. It works marvelous. However, I don't have quite the station you have, but it still works!

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    1. Kelly,
      I learned to can outdoors. So it seems kind of unnatural to me to can indoors. Sounds like you have a great stove and shoot... Isn't that like half (at least) of the battle? I'm just lucky that I've found a man like Mars to "see" what hasn't been done yet but needs to be.
      I hope you have a wonderful crop this year!
      Sci

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