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!


Jennifer said...

"The additional heat of the pressure canner is what caused our inquirier's applesauce to expand beyond the allotted headspace"

Aha! Well, that makes certain past events a little more understandable. *thinking wistfully about a certain load of peaches*

Thanks for sharing that!

Mitchell Webster said...

I would like to comment here. We have been canning now for close to 40 years, and have not used a water bath in that 40 year period. We have always solely used only a pressure canner to do it ALL.

Just today I canned apple sauce, at 5lbs. for 10 minutes, they all sealed beautifully the way they have done for decade.
I also did a bushel of peaches 5lbs. for 5 minutes.

In an average year we can nearly 1500 quarts of food, fruits included in the pressure caner without a hitch.

Now the person that processed the applesauce, I wondered if she processed it for the same length of time that she would have in the water bath, and if that may have been the problem.

I don't know 1500 qts a year, for 40 years with very few problems, all in a pressure canner seems like a pretty good track record to me.

David Blackburn said...

Mitchell Webster's comment makes a very good point! A pressure canner may indeed be used; however, the time must be adjusted for the augmentation in temperature.

Christine said...

I just found your website and subsequently your blog after doing a search for canning rabbit. I have to say, this is one of the best and helpful sites I've come across. Thank you so much for all you guys are doing!

We will be processing our own rabbits on Monday or Tues, probably Tues to make sure everything is completely ready. I can't wait to try your rabbit pate!

I do have a question there some other fat I might use besides duck fat? I can't get my hands on any in time for this. And also, is it feasible to use a little wine in the mixture at all? Fresh herbs, would you suggest a tiny amount? I have mountains of herbs and would love to really utilize as much as I can in the canning process.

Sorry to bombard you with so many questions, I'm just very new at this and was so tickled to run into your website.

Thanks again!


sigma psi said...

for the canning USA whole meal recipe, Marinara Sauce with Meat,

do you think leaving the peppers out of this recipe will cause a problem?

I know you are supposed to follow the recipes exactly, but sometimes there are optional ingrediants.

Chef Jay said...

Canning is really one of the best ways to preserve food. In fact, I do it myself and have my own canning salsa recipes . Happy canning! :)

Rhiana said...

This is great to know. Thank you so much. I thought you could use a pressure canner for everything, no I know better!