52 Method Jar Info

Both of my food storage cookbooks are available on Amazon.
I originally wrote them for a company called Honeyville Farms, but I am no longer their chef. Any purchases of these books bless my family greatly and help support the production of this blog. Moreover, I recently launched my own food storage freeze-dried food website Thrivelife.com/cheftess .  That being said, I still provide almost all the information from the books here on my website and teach classes for local churches and preparedness groups to supplement my family's income. I am still the sole breadwinner for my family.
Please feel free to contact me: Stephanie@cheftessbakeresse.com for more information. 

Basics and Frequently asked questions. 
There are many recipes yet to come.

52 Method Meals in a Jar Convenience Meal Planning In A Jar and Mylar For Emergency and Every Day Food Storage FAQ's

Do you have to use an Oxygen Absorber?
Oxygen “eater” packets are used to make meals shelf stable. These will cause a vacuum seal and an oxygen-free environment that will not allow the growth of mold and spores. Packing of the jars should be done in a DRY jar on a day when the air is very low humidity. That becomes especially important when re-packing freeze-dried meats. Note...it is important if you are doing these jars to open the freeze-dried meat and bottle it again within 24-48 hours in a very dry environment. I. It is not a good idea to seal these meals in just a plastic storage bag or one that is not designed for long-term storage if you are using the real meat. I’m especially conscious of that. Please don’t risk getting your family sick. I can’t be held liable for your bad choices.

It doesn’t all seem to fit in the jar? Many times, I include a lot more ingredients than what one would think could fit in a jar. The dry powder ingredients I “shake” into the other vegetable, grain, pasta or meat. In this way, I’m not only able to reduce the amount of air in a jar, which will help with the shelf life, but I also can make the meal more compact for long-term storage. Shake the jars, with the lids on, if necessary. You’ll be surprised how much will actually fit into the jars.

What size Jar to use? These recipes can easily be cut in half and used for smaller families.    We've done pint size jars for families with just two adults and had enough for dinner and left-over to take to work the following day. Single people can make the meals in a half pint jar and each recipe will make 4 meals with plenty of food! You will have to adjust the cooking time and amount of water to adjust for these changes. I generally use a wide mouth quart size mason jar.
Can I use a Mylar bag or a Ziploc bag for these meals? 
Yes, you can store them in Mylar bags with an oxygen absorber. These bags are designed for longer-term storage and will be fine for 3-4 years. Ziploc bags are not designed for long-term storage and are not recommended for the re-packing of the freeze-dried meats and cheeses, as they are too porous for these purposes alone. The only time I use Ziploc, is within the jars to keep some products separate for later use when I prepare meals. I also use them for short term when I make mixes like the hamburger skillet meals (without freeze-dried meat!). The only disadvantage to using mylar bags is that they are not rodent proof. They are, however, great for earthquake zones.
Can you use your own dehydrated vegetables in these recipes? Yes and no. I use different products for different cooking times and applications. Generally, freeze dried products cook completely differently and use a lot less water to hydrate than dehydrated items. Should you use dehydrated products you do from your own home, you will have to adjust cooking times, amount of water needed and also how much of each vegetable you use in the recipes. I cannot promise you will have the same results. Be aware that not all food storage is created equally! Some other companies use added sugars, preservatives, and cut their products differently. This will also affect the cooking time and quality of the finished recipes. In all cases, I am very product specific. To the degree that you follow my recipes, is the degree to which you will have the results. I am, without fail, completely impressed with the consistent quality I find with Thrive Life Foods. ) These recipes use all  their products for a reason…because they’re outstanding! I am still a chef and I do not make money when you purchase any of these products from anywhere else besides my website.  
What do you serve with the meals? Generally we plan on a side dish to go with a meal during good times and there is always enough grain figured into my food storage to plan on 2-3 loaves of bread a day. This is in addition to the jars. My family is used to baking bread from whole grain and we eat pretty modestly. I also try to add fresh garden produce in the form of a salad whenever I can. However, in an extreme emergency, the meal is more than enough for my family. You’ll need to try the meals yourself and plan accordingly. I’m sharing with you what has worked for us. We have 2 adults, One teen boy and one pre-teen boy. We also have my husband’s parents with us and they eat pretty light. Is there really enough to serve 4-6 people a real amount of food? Yes. The jars will make between 6-9 cups of cooked food, depending on the recipe.
©2012 Chef Stephanie Petersen. Copies permitted ONLY with contact information included. Cheftessbakeresse.com for more recipes and safety tips for home vacuum packing. Stephanie@cheftessbakeresse.com Chef Tess on Facebook and Twitter

My family is greatly blessed by the extra money brought in by sales tracked back to my freeze-dried food website You also have the option of joining as a consultant/member and getting the commission on anyone who buys from you! I'd love to have you on my team! Thank you so very much for your support. Xoxo!

Basic Posts:
Emergency Preparedness and Everyday Convenience COMPLETE Meal- in-A-Jar Mixes (7 day Menu)
Hamburger Stew,
 Taco Soup, 
Cheeseburger skillet,
 Stroganoff Skillet, 
Turkey Noodle Casserole,
 Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole, 
Turkey noodle Skillet
Recipes (in order of most recent):
  • Spaghetti Marinara, 
  • Creamy Pasta Primavera, 
  • Oriental Noodle veggie stir-fry

Peanut Butter Cup Cereal

Homemade Condensed Cheesy Soup Mix and a Meal in a Jar

My NEW Homemade Bread in a Jar! 52 Method 7 Day 9 Grain Bread Mix

Chef Tess Country Sausage, Hash Brown and Pepper-Cheese Scrambled Egg Breakfast Skillet...(The 52 Jar Method Continues)

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham Au Gratin Skillet Meal in a Jar (52 Method continues)

3 Skillet Meals in a Jar. Revised, Revisited, and More Natural.

  • Cheeseburger skillet, 
  • Stroganoff skillet, 
  • Turkey noodle skillet

Yankee Pot Roast Gravy and Butter-Garlic Mashed Potatoes (52 Method Continues)

White Chicken Chili Verde...Meal in a Jar (52 Method Continues)

Polynesian Sweet and Sour Chicken Baked Beans (52 Method Continues)

Guest Post. Meals in a Jar. The Breakfast Ham and Zucchini Quiche Casserole

Vegetable Fried Rice in a Jar (52 Method Continues)

Chef Tess Thai Chicken in Spicy Peanut Sauce over Rice (52 Method Continues)

6 Grain Carrot Cake Breakfast Pudding ( In a Jar...52 Method Continues))

Hawaiian Style Teriyaki Beef and vegetables with Rice (In a Jar...52 Method Continues)

Classic Chili...Meal in a Jar ( My 52 Method Continues!)

Dallas Style Chicken Noodle Soup In A Jar (52 Method Continues)

Southwest Sweet Potato and corn Fritatta and Southwestern Corn Chowder {Meals in a Jar}

4 New Convenience Meals in A Jar Recipes! 

  • Baked Ziti, 
  • Beefy Spanish Rice, 
  • Bean and Rice Fajita Casserole, 
  • Golden Cheesy Potato Sausage Casserole.
Creamy Chicken veggie Casserole...In a Jar!

Emergency Preparedness and Everyday Convenience 

COMPLETE Meal- in-A-Jar Mixes (7 day Menu)
  • Hamburger Stew,
  •  Taco Soup, 
  • Cheeseburger skillet,
  •  Stroganoff Skillet, 
  • Turkey Noodle Casserole,
  •  Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole, 
  • Turkey noodle Skillet