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Posted: 9/11/2010 7:31:49 AM EDT
I'm thinking of a more or less SHTF scenario, like a hurricane, flood, tornado, whatever that causes a power outage, and a fair chance of extensive property damage.

Let's say, the only food/related items I could save are: a 2 gal. pot and a bunch of properly home preserved stews, chili, chopped brisket, pulled pork, smoked sausage maybe and various vegetables, beans, tomatoes, etc in pints.

Could I boil some (possibly contaminated) water (probably over a wood fire) and put two or three of the above items in, while still in the jar? I suppose I would keep the water level somewhat below the top of the jar, and loosen the band considerably.

What do you think? Will it work? Will it blow up and finish the job the hurricane didn't?

Any ideas, recipes, etc. are welcome.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 9:33:26 AM EDT
I would think using the pot directly only with the contents of the jars would be the way to go. I wouldn't expose good canned food to contaminated water. If you loosened the lids, you could be transferring chemical contaminates to your food through what is basically sloppy distillation. Maybe I'm being to anal about it, but I would try to go a different route.

Modern canning jars are tempered and handle heat pretty darn well. I certainly wouldn't set one IN the fire, but I'd feel comfortable setting one NEAR the fire. Kind of an indirect heat thing.

If you have a pot and a fire, it is really easy to make clean water. I keep some 5 gallon buckets on hand. Get you some playground sand and toss it in a bucket and run the water through it. That should catch most all the solids. Then boil. That wouldn't remove chemicals, but everything else should be good to go.

Distillation or reverse osmosis are the only effective means of removing chemical contamination from water.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 10:38:02 AM EDT
I wouldn't have any problem doing that. Put a something under the jars (rocks, etc.) to allow water to move around and don't put in much more than 2 or 3 inches of water in the pot. Take the rings off, barely break the seal on the lid and put the rings back on loosely. Put the jars in the water before you light the fire so that they will warm up gradually with the water especially in cold weather if the jars are cold.
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