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Friday, March 3, 2017

c-oven 2 ( and can butter bonus )


CONVECTION OVEN 2 ( with canned butter bonus )
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note: guest article tomorrow.
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Since my birthday gift Air Fryer still had the New Toy appeal, it got quite a workout the first week.  A Shake N Bake pork chop ( we just use bread crumbs for a quarter of the price ) turned out better than from the regular oven.  Of course, the one draw back on the convection oven is the small size.  For two people it is perfect, but for a family it might be problematic.  The basket can only hold so much.  Next, it was time for raw French fries.  The recipe called for soaking in water for a time ( if you soak and change the water and soak again, you eliminate some of the starch which improves the taste in theory ) but I’ve been making regular oven fries by just nuking the cut potatoes for three to four minutes.  They go in a ceramic pot with glass lid, are nuked, then when they come out I put one pat of butter inside ( seriously, you only need one pat, even for three potatoes.  Any more just coats the pot instead of the fries ), wrap the pot with a towel to protect my skin, and shake vigorously.  They go in the regular oven for however long to brown, usually twenty to thirty minutes.

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As you might imagine, these are better than no fries at all ( I can only use butter-no liquid or hydrogenated oils at all.  If I eat out and I go to a place that cleans their oil religiously I can sometimes eat their oil.  But since I eat out at most four times a year I don’t over indulge ).  They are decent, but certainly not great.  But putting them in the convection oven, they come out tasting just like regular fried potatoes.  Heck, sometimes you can’t even find raw potato fries anyway ( In N Out Burger has tasty ones, but they are West Coast only.  Our local mom and pop store that made them went out of business.  As is our bookstore.  Yet, a SECOND luxury ice cream place is opening.  People have their priorities screwed up ).  You eat healthier than deep fry and save a butt ton of money ( one pat of butter verses a pot of oil ) AND it tastes good.  I’m a bit butt hurt that I didn’t discover convection ovens earlier. 

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( I don’t know if it is just me, but it seems potatoes are starting to really suck.  I didn’t think they were genetically modified, but some damn thing is going on.  Perhaps a weird chemical used to store them longer?  Anyway, they aren’t always cooking like they used to, as well as having even less taste than before.  Word from any Idahoans on this? )

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Not that I’m sure it would have done all that good.  Living off grid seven years it was propane and propane accessories only.  If a convection oven makes the food taste better, uses far less energy, is cheaper and more compact, why are you using a regular oven unless you have one of those giant families that you created just so you could give the finger to Paul Ehrlich?  What, you think they are going to provide for you in old age?  With what jobs?  Hell, we were the worlds superpower in resources a hundred years ago and there were no jobs until we turned our economy into a Military Industrial Complex.  When that bit the big squishy, we went Consumerism Economy by monetizing middle east oil.  Now that that is gone, we have no economy left.  So, will they farm to provide for you?  Again, good luck with that.  The Senatorial Class controls all that land.  Your big family is useless unless you enjoy buying extra Christmas and birthday gifts.  Anyway, that is about all I’ve got for convection ovens ( just remember to check out the thrift store first prior to paying full retail ).  I think I’m going to have to use a filler subject here to pump up the word quota. 

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Which brings us to canned butter ( it kind of sorta fits in with the above discussion ).  We talked previously about canning butter while discussing cheaper protein storage foods.  Turning butter into ghee sucks because you go from a animal protein to an oil.  Here’s where I got my instructions to can real butter:


There might be other sources for the recipe, but I like this guy and his site is an invaluable resource.  What follows assumes you read the above instructions.

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I tried one can to start, and after the butter melting I spent one and a half friggin hours getting up every five minutes to shake the can.  This was almost my last can of butter I even made.  But, considering that a pint jar will hold three quarters to 9/10ths of a pound of butter ( when I canned three jars, I took three pounds of butter and withheld a single one quarter pound stick-for me, that was the perfect amount.  YMMV ), and cost a whopping $3.33 filled, taxes included ( I buy the heck out of generic butter when on sale for $2.50.  The pint jar after tax, lid and ring included, is eighty cents ), and that a pound of butter gives you three thousand calories and is the best storage protein value out there ( even better than dried hot dogs which don’t taste as good and are choke full of crap ), I forced myself to try again.  This time, I kept the butter at a roiling boil for fifteen minutes, rather than the previous minimum of five ( medium temp until completely melted, medium high until it starts to boil, back to medium for fifteen minutes ).  Then, instead of starting to shake at the lids “pinging” after about twenty minutes, I left them alone for double that.  I shook them once or thrice every five minutes and they were then cool enough for the fridge.  Then I waited fifteen minutes between shakes until they hardened.  The end results were the same, with a heck of a lot less shaking.

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I’m only canning three or four jars at a time, and so I put the jars in boiling water rather than a hot oven ( you’ll need to oven heat them if doing a dozen at a time, obviously ).  I made the mistake of starting that water too early, then turning it off too quick.  I should have waited until the butter started boiling to boil the jar water, then taken them out at the last minute.  I don’t know if the jar needs to be really hot along with the butter to assure a good seal-don’t chance it as this is your health here.  Also, I found microwaving the butter a minute, one pound at a time, drastically hurried up the pre-boil process.  Only one minute, as you don’t want to cook the thing only start getting it melted.  Canned butter-a modern miracle.  Don’t trust your freezer!  Can that butter.
( ps-there might be safety issues with canning butter.  You might decide it is too risky.  See the comment below by Idaho Homesteader )
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14 comments:

  1. I don't know, Jim........ food poisoning is nothing to mess around with -- especially in a survival situation when medical care might not be available.

    As a longtime canner (over 25 years of experience), I'm not sure I would trust home canned butter. Botulism loves low acid environments and butter is low acid.

    Here's some articles to check out

    http://nchfp.uga.edu/questions/FAQ_canning.html#33

    http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=178540#/topics/178540?page=1&_k=v4362b

    http://extension.usu.edu/foodstorage/htm/what-not-to-store

    For my personal use, I bought a few cases of Red Feather Butter that I bought on sale for $5 a can (with free shipping) and called it good. Yes, it's more expensive than home canning but truthfully, how much butter does a person really need? I figure a can a week for my family of five as a special treat.

    Things like butter are like icing on the cake, anyway. A good basic food storage plan is wheat, white rice, beans, dried milk, pasta, etc.....stuff you write about and do already. When you reach the level that you can stockpiling some of the luxuries of life, why not do it right.

    Remember, sometimes cheap is more expensive in the long run.

    Idaho Homesteader

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    1. I hear what you are saying, and I've read some of the articles you talk about. Keroscene Survival Dude has been eating five year old canned butter and is still alive, and that works for me, but you are probably correct to err on the side of caution. I'll add a caveat to the above article as warning.

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  2. Never thought of butter for 'storage protein value'... but, but, butter it sure as hell tastes better than lard or Crisco on ww tortilla/flatbread... or anything else, really. How does your home-canned butter cost-compare to the other fats?

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    1. Cost wise, shortning is far cheaper. Taste wise and nutricion wise, stay with butter. Also, see comment below about the "protein" part.

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  3. Huh? What am I missing? This is the second time I've noticed you suggesting butter as a source of protein. Most butter lists less than 1% protein by weight, and half that by calories. Butter in the US is basically 80% fat with the balance mostly water. As such butter is a great concentrated source of necessary calories and fat, but definitely not a significant protein source. Check the nutritional data on your butter package. Most don't list protein at all, but this is usually because the selected serving size is so small. If you check data for larger quantities about 1% protein usually shows up.

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    1. Okay, you are correct, and now that you mention it I remember you bringing it up before. What I should have said was that butter is a protein substitute. To me, eating bread and butter satisfies my animal protein craving. So, you might be correct but my body disagrees. I would suggest that minions do their own testing and see if this applies. Otherwise, they should heed your valid point.

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  4. Your process is low-tech water-bath. If you have a pressure-canner, you can get temps of near +240F (instead of maxing at just under 100C/212F). This shortens process time and increases food safety. It's difficult to pressure-can/cook on a wood stove that needs batch fueling to keep the pressure at spec. Modern fuels like propane/liquidfuels (which don't have to be high-tech, like alcohols or veg-oil) with high-controllability, allow better/safer pressure canning. A screw-fed coal-burning stove is the same tech as a wood pellet-burner, and has higher heat content. You would need to screen/sort the coal pieces for size, but the mechanism could be child-powered/clockwork/spring/solar/direct-hydro/etc. to move the bits of coal to the grate to burn. Same kinds of tech might turn the blast-air fan to increase temp (thus increased Delta-T & efficiency) of the fuel burning. Lots of oxygen also makes less smoke, which is good lots of ways.

    If you are using a wood stove for cooking and you need very-steady heat from your wood stove or rocket stove that doesn't have a lot of mass (but has a flat top okay for a pan or griddle), you might look for a thick piece of copper that weighs 15+ pounds that fits the space/shape. Copper is backyard castable, if you are inclined to that. The slab of copper will heat up from the fire and act like a heat flywheel. If you want to use it to heat your pan/pot, keep the edges smooth and find some high-temp fire-proof insulation (fiberglass, aerogel, dry sand, even an enclosed air-gap)to make the copper slab safer and heat the room less. If you WANT the copper slab to heat the room more and be a smooth-top heating surface, you could mill grooves in the edge that act like heatsink fins. You could also use high-temp heat-conductive (silver powder) epoxy to attach a repurposed heatsink casting (maybe even with a fan) from an amplifier or other heavy-duty electronics (now useless or broken)to the smooth copper edge. Copper is curiously cheap right now, so much that the usual drug-motivated metal salvagers are not bothering unless it's pre-piled by the curb. When copper was paying near $4 for scrap, those guys were on serious patrol in the streets/construction sites/airconditioners,backyards. I wouldn't use aluminum as a stovetop heatsink (even though it's an excellent heat conductor) due to the low melting temp. I know about low-temp aluminum alloy (AlcoMax- aluminum-zinc-copper) for casting, but a high-temp aluminum alloy? Aluminum is much more available than copper as scrap from cars (tiny wires vs. wheels/block/heads/housings) and there will be many cars suitable for scrapping.

    Most cars are only suitable as barricade containers now. Roll into position, empty fuel tank, remove wheels, fill engine compartment/trunk and passenger compartment with soil (gravel if you have it), repeat with next vehicle. It is now cover instead of marginal concealment from small arms fire and looks like a parked car (paint cardboard wheels) instead of a fighting position.

    pdxr13

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    1. Love the last paragraph. Good idea.

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    2. Butter is a good quality fat, like bacon grease, tallow, lard. It's going to be scarce post-grid refrigeration because it goes rancid pretty quickly at room temp. The opposite of butter in a food-grade fat is canola/rapeseed or GMO soy oil that is some evil mass-poison to be avoided in food. Unused Canola/soy oil is fine for burning in idi Diesel engines in warm weather at low percentages mixed with real Diesel fuel to extend fuel supply. DI Diesel engines are the rolling dead when the fuel-of-perfection ends. pdxr13

      pdxr13

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    3. I just read one of my regulars, can't recall who right now, ranting against gasoline and for diesel. Hey, I was sold back in the early '90's after owning a VW Rabbit. Anymore of course they gay them up with electronics and additives and etc.

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  5. go to 'ask jackie' at 'backwoods home magazine' for many butter and ghee canning recipes.

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    1. I can't believe "home" went to all digital. The story of print economics smelled a bit fishy to me-plenty of others in the same genre are still printing.

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    2. I'm thinking it's to get people to read their new magazine, Self-Reliance.

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    3. And why even start with the other one? Unless new material was being crowded out by the old stable of authors, perhaps? Anyway, small loss. To me, Home was never too realistic of a publication. A stroke book for unaffordable land ownership.

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