Monday, July 27, 2009

Canning Processing Methods Follow-up

I should have mentioned that canning low acid foods in a water bath canner is dangerous. The links in yesterday's post should answer any questions about this.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Canning Processing Methods

The canning season is in full swing now. I've canned cherry jam, cherry pie filling, infused cherries, blueberry jam and apricot jam. I'll be canning apricot pie filling this week. Now that tomatoes are good and cheap, I'll be moving into several tomato sauces in the next week or two. Tomatoes are really good here this year!!!

We've had a number of inquiries about when to use a pressure canner. One of which was from a user who had problems with applesauce batches that did not seal during processing. The applesauce should have been processed in a hot water bath, but she had thought that it would be better to do it in the pressure canner.

It's very important to process using the correct method (hot water bath or pressure canner) and headspace. Most of you know that things expand when heated. The hot water bath, used for high acid content foods, processes at 212 degrees Farenheit, while the pressure canner processes at 240 degrees. The additional heat of the pressure canner is what caused our inquirier's applesauce to expand beyond the allotted headspace, between the cap and the jar, inhibiting a good seal on the jar.

There are four easy to read pages at that explain the differences between the two methods and are highly recommended reading. For seasoned canners, you might find it helpful to review these pages at the beginning of each canning season plus your pressure canner manufacturer’s instructions.
Canning using the Hot Pack or Cold Pack Method
Processing with a Water Bath
Processing with a Pressure Canner
Altitude Time Adjustments

In addition, our free videos are designed to teach you how to can in a progressive manner in terms of canning difficulty. We highly recommend mastering Video 1 before moving onto Video 2, etc. Once you’ve mastered all six videos, you should be able to can just about anything that is safe to can at home.

Video 1, Canning Jams is the simplest and focuses on the use of a hot water bath. Videos 2 and 3 teach how to can fruits and tomato sauces, also using the hot water bath. Video 4 is the introductory video for the pressure canner and Videos 5 and 6 will teach you how to can more complicated foods with the same pressure canner method.

All recipes at refer back to the appropriate video and contain a link to the appropriate page with a reminder of the method.

Happy Canning!