Author Topic: Retort Canning  (Read 2660 times)

Offline FrugalFannie

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Retort Canning
« on: January 19, 2016, 12:11:03 PM »
Anyone have any experience with retort canning?

For those unfamiliar - The little flexible packets that tuna and chicken come in now that you can buy at most grocery stores, those are retort packages.

So here's the basic system. You get a vacuum sealer capable of sealing the thicker retort packages. In order to package wet and powders you need a vacuum chamber machine. You can package raw/cooked meat, stews, meals ready to eat, etc. Anything you could can and then some. After sealing the retort packages you "can" them in your pressure canner. These are now shelf stable and no glass jars. Easier to carry in a backpack, let's say, and supposedly takes up less storage space.

If you have any experience I would like to hear your feedback.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Retort Canning
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2016, 12:19:08 PM »
I have three in my BOB as MRE (tuna and salmon). I so would not trust anything except powdered stuff doing it at home.

Cedar

Offline David in MN

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Re: Retort Canning
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2016, 02:47:56 PM »
I've worked (albeit briefly) in industry with retort systems. But that was on lines that made Mexican canned goods and soups.

I'm not sure I'd try this kind of thing at home. It's a pretty hardcore industrial setup. And I'd be nervous about QC.

Offline r_w

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Re: Retort Canning
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2016, 03:18:20 PM »
I had a friend that does it.  Vacuum seal and then pressure can.  He is extremely detail oriented and has no problems.  If you aren't meticulously detailed, then maybe not for you yet.

Financially, it is a toss up between canning in jars and using these--it really depends on the quantity you are doing and sizes. 

Offline FrugalFannie

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Re: Retort Canning
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2016, 03:47:18 PM »
the cost of the chamber vacuum is really pretty prohibitive. $900 for "home versions" and I'm not sure how large a package you can do on those. $4K for a commercial version. The retort packages aren't too bad. Comparative to other packaging. 1 issue I see is the size of the retorts seem to max out at 16oz which limits you to 16 oz of food. Not a problem for single servings but I like to vary my canned goods between family sized and individual sized. Not sure if 16oz would work for the family sized. Guess I have to start weighing my meals. LOL

Offline r_w

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Re: Retort Canning
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2016, 05:07:53 PM »
You can do much better used, Craigslist or eBay or even commercial restaurant supply that does used.

I think I remember a 32 oz package, but I also think two 16's were cheaper.


Offline FrugalFannie

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Re: Retort Canning
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2016, 09:14:11 PM »
You can do much better used, Craigslist or eBay or even commercial restaurant supply that does used.

I think I remember a 32 oz package, but I also think two 16's were cheaper.

I would love to find a used one. Keeping my eyes open.