Tips for Canning
Canning today, is as easy as it ever has been. It’s nothing like the old
days when it took a whole week to can one section of vegetables from your
garden. Today, a whole garden can be completed in a day or two. While
industrial canning can take place in a matter of minutes, there are still
some standard precautionary measures to take while canning at home. Here
are some things to remember when canning this year:
High Acid vs. Low Acid
It is important to know the acidity of the foods you are trying to can.
Some foods have a high acidity, while others are extremely low. Knowing
the acid level of your food gives you the knowledge of how to make sure
they are safely canned. High acid foods can be safely canned in a boiling
water canner, while the low acid foods can only be canned safely in a
Low acid foods, strangely enough with a pH higher than 4.6, cannot stave
off the harmful bacteria at low temperatures, like those found in a
boiling water canner. These low acid foods are things like vegetables,
proteins, sauces and soups. These must be canned in a pressure canner
that reaches at least 240 degrees Fahrenheit.
High acid foods, with a pH lower than 4.6, can safely be canned in a
boiling water bath because their natural acidity helps to kill and
prevent the bacteria that can form. The lower temperature is enough,
combined with the natural acidity of the food, to be safely preserved.
These types of foods include fruit, jams, jellies, relishes and acidified
It is important to follow the instructions on the recipe exactly. Any
deviation in technique could lead to spoiled foods or food that doesn’t
taste right because too much salt or acid was used. Things to remember
are times in the pressure canner or boiling water bath, how much acid to
add to the can and the right amounts of spices to be added. This will
preserve the taste so the foods taste the way you want it to when opened
Use Proper Materials
Make sure the can is properly cleaned, the flat has not been used and the
band is not rusted or warped in any way. It is important to use proper
techniques when canning, otherwise the seal may not hold or certain
bacteria may be incorporated into the food. Using the right types of
canner for the job is also important. For example, having a pressure
canner, which does not hold a proper seal, may make it difficult to get a
proper seal on the can or can keep the food from reaching the proper
temperature for it to preserve correctly.
Canning is much easier today, but there are still certain rules you must
follow in order to properly preserve your favorite foods. Knowing your
food, following the recipe and instructions and using the right materials
is a great way to make sure your canning will work the way it should.
Keeping it simple is the easiest way to make your canning as quickly as
possible because it helps reduce the amount of mistakes being made that
can spoil your food.