Let me tell you, home canning takes a lot of work. However, the benefits that come with it make all of the work well worth the effort. For me, I like to experiment with unusual recipes. When I started canning it wasn’t entirely for the conventional jams and jellies you can find just about everywhere. As soon as I found recipes which incorporated hot and spicy elements I figured I’d found the perfect market to work with. I was not disappointed.
But before I began to do any home canning I had to decide what canning method to use. In any case, the recipes I chose weren’t the kind that required a pressure canner.
Water Bath Canning In Short
In a word, for me, canning with a boiling water bath is simple. Even if I did not have a genuine canner I really could use a large stock pot with a rack on the floor to put jars. The science involved is all about boiling water and the amount of time that the water is boiling.
Also, acidic foods, which I conserve, are secure to process in a bath of boiling water. Including fruit, pickles, sugar preserves and tomato-based salsas since the acid content of these items – along with the heat produced by the boiling water bath – preserves the contents .
I have my canner full of boiling water to sterilize my jars. In a different pot I’ve the jam, jelly or salsa cooking. In still another pot of boiling water I have the sealing lids. I eliminate a sterilized jar from the pot, fill it with hot contents leaving some head area, and then place a sterilized sealer lid on top. I add a twist top (only finger tight). Once time is reached (time varies with recipes and Holly Hill Rat Removal) I removed the jar and put it on a countertop to cool.
Pressure Canning In Short
Quite honestly, I can not bring myself to use a pressure canner. I’m sure I’m not the only man with a childhood canning story that starts with the sentence,”One day when my mother was using a pressure cooker…” and recounts an incident where there was an explosion of some sort. The thing to notice here is that is my expertise.
Canning under stress is the only way to preserve many items – usually non-acidic foods. The reason for this is that the heat produced by the steam in the pressure canner will be much higher in temperature than boiling water and that safely processes these foods. Normally vegetables canned in water or a salt water mixture and animal products (fish, for instance ) should be pressure canned.
Why Home Canning Requires Heat
When canning is done properly, there is nothing to be concerned about. When it isn’t lots of bad things can happen. So far as I am concerned, those batches are failures. The more serious effects from improper canning would be the potential of bacteria growth, particularly botulism.
Boiling water kills botulism germs but spores can bear that warmth. There are two ways to eliminate them in canning. By using temperatures higher than boiling water (like in pressure canning) or by developing a high pH level with sweet preserves or pickled foods with a high vinegar content (as can be processed with water bath canning).
The Only Sound I Wish to Hear
I find it quite satisfying to finish a mini batch or a number of batches of merchandise for sale and am careful to follow the instructions carefully with each recipe. The only variations I will make are to maybe change one ingredient to another similar one. I never change anything associated with processing as no two recipes that I use are the same. What works for my Hellish Relish may not work for my Vegetable Salsa so I am a stickler for not messing around with the details.
I buy the vast majority of my produce ingredients fresh and utilize many which are locally-grown in the region where we live. In a way it allows me to celebrate the great growers and the crops they produce for us. Additionally, it is become a rewarding hobby for me. I really like the sound of freshly processed jars of merchandise popping in my kitchen telling me they have properly sealed. In fact, nothing says home canning to me over the sound of a popping jar late at night.