Don't get me wrong, I love big batches, too.
There are advantages to small batches which include trying a new recipe or being short on time or being short on produce.
Today I canned 2 quarts of rhubarb. That's it, just 2 quarts. I didn't have to get out my big pots, which is also a nice benefit to a small batch.
2 Quarts of rhubarb took me about 1 hour 20 minutes, including harvesting the rhubarb.
We'll be using this for pie at Thanksgiving so we don't really need that much. If I had more, I would have bottled more because the pot I used would have held another quart or two and it wouldn't have added more than 5 minutes to my time.
|Here is the recipe I used. It is from the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning and is found on page 2-22. You can find the entire guide at the above link. It's a great canning resource, and it's free!|
|Here is my pile of leaves ready for the trash. Here is a great tutorial on how to harvest rhubarb.|
|Washed stems ready to cut into 1" or 1 1/2" sections.|
|Chopped and ready for the pan. This is about 8 cups of rhubarb, which will be about 2 quarts.|
|Add 1/2 cup sugar per quart of rhubarb. Let it sit until juices appear. That will take about 30 minutes or so. After the juices start flowing, slowly bring the pan to a boil.|
|Since this isn't my normal canning pot, I use an old cake stand in the bottom of the pan to keep the jars from touching the bottom.|
|As long as the pot is deep enough to cover the jars with 1"-2" of water, you can use the pot for canning. I use my headspace measurement wand to make sure that the water is at least 1" above the top of the jars.|
|This is the pan I use for small batches. It is filled with water that is already at 140˚F.|
Pull the jars out with a jar lifter and sit on a towel on the counter. If your kitchen is cold, then cover the jars with a towel so they will cool slowly and not crack.