It all started with Nicolas Appert in early 19th-century France. At the time, Napoleon, knowing that his army marched on its stomach, offered a handsome cash prize for anyone who could come up with an improved apparatus for preserving food.
Appert won the competition with a system of precooking, air-tight sealing and final processing in a newly designed glass canning jar. His wide-mouthed pint “bottles” were filled with hot cooked foods, stoppered with hand-cut corks fitted to the irregularities of the blown glass, sealed with a compound made of lime and skim milk and then finished in a boiling water bath.
Appert declared that the meats, vegetables, fruits, soups, and gravies thus prepared would last for at least a year in the same excellent state. And he thus inspired a new industry.
In France, in 1810, François Nicolas Appert came up with a canning method using glass jars. These were the ancestors of the mason jar.
Food preservation has always been essential to human survival. Before modern refrigerators and freezers, mason jars were an important part of many family pantries. The term “mason jar” has now become a generic name for several kinds of home-canning jar
In the days when families depended on the fruits and vegetables from their bountiful gardens for year-round survival, preserving food was a necessity. Today, with easy supermarket access to fresh fruits and vegetables, people are choosing time-honored food preservation to preserve the best flavors of the season and to carry on a tradition.
The concept of canning is simple: When food is processed in jars at extremely high temperatures for a long period of time, the heat kills microorganisms and inactivates enzymes that could cause the food to spoil. The heating process also drives air from the jar, creating a vacuum seal as the food cools. This prevents air, and the microorganisms it contains, from entering the jar and recontaminating the food.
There are two types of canned foods: raw pack — uncooked food put into jars and processed; and hot pack — food that is heated before it is put into jars.
While some store food for religious purposes, it all boils down to the fact that we all need to eat! Having a little food put away in food storage is no different then having money put aside in a savings account.
If the jars and fruit don’t come out even when you are canning, better sit down and do some figuring before you start to can. Here are some tips to help you…
FIVE TIPS FOR SAFE CANNING
1. Make sure you have all the supplies you need, and enough time to complete the canning project. Start small if you’re a beginner.
2. Clean your kitchen thoroughly before you bring in the produce you’re going to preserve.
3. Always follow the canning recipe to the letter. Do not leave out or substitute any ingredients.
4. Check your jars of preserves before you open them. If the contents are discolored, don’t taste—do call a food safety hotline for advice.
5. Be scrupulous about how you dispose of any spoiled food
Approximate Canned Yields per Bushel
|Apples – 16-20 Quarts
Apricots – 20-24 Quarts
Peaches – 18-24 Quarts
Pears – 20-25 Quarts
Plums – 24-30 Quarts
Tomatoes – 15-20 Quarts
All Berries – 12-20 Quarts
|Asparagus – 11 Quarts
Beans, lima – in pods – 6-8 Quarts
Beans, snap – 15-20 Quarts
Beets, without tops – 17-20 Quarts
Brussels sprouts, 1 pound – 1 Pint
Carrots, without tops – 16-20 Quarts
Corn, in husks – 8-9 Quarts
Okra – 17 Quarts
Peas – 12-15 Quarts
Spinach – 16-20 Quarts
|Approximate Pounds per Bushel|
|Apples 1 bu.= 48 lbs
Apricots 1 bu.=50 lbs
Cherries 1 bu.=56 lbs
Peaches 1 bu.=48 lbs
Pears 1 bu.=50 lbs
Plums 1 bu.=56 lbs
Tomatoes 1 bu.=53 lbs
|Asparagus 1 bu.=45 lbs
lima beans 1 bu.=32 lbs
snap beans 1 bu.=30 lbs
Beets, without tops 1 bu.=52 lbs
Carrots, without tops 1 bu.=50 lbs
Corn, in husks 1 bu.=35 lbs
Okrs 1 bu.=26 lbs
peas, green, in pod 1 bu.=30 lbs
pumpkin 1 bu.=50 lbs
spinach 1 bu.=18 lbs
summer squash 1 bu.=40 lbs
Sweet potatoes 1 bu.=55 lbs
- Helpful items for home canning and preserving:
- Jar lifter: essential for easy removal of hot jars.
- Jar funnel: helps in pouring and packing of liquid and small food items into canning jars.
- Lid wand: magnetized wand for removing treated jar lids from hot water.
- Clean cloths: handy to have for wiping jar rims, spills and general cleanup.
- Knives: for preparing food.
- Narrow, flat rubber spatula: for removing trapped air bubbles before sealing jars.
- Timer or clock: for accurate food processing time.
- Hot pads
- Cutting board
There are also many specialty utensils available like apple slicers, cutting spoons for coring and pit removal, corn cutters and fruit skinners.
Strawberry Pie Filling.
Quantities of Ingredients: For 1 Quart 7 Quart
Following are some methods used to cure and preserve high-acid and low-acid foods. High-acid foods can be easily preserved and are therefore, favored.
- Inspect your equipment i.e. boiling water-bath cooker, jars, lids spatula etc.
- Gather all the ingredients that are mentioned in the recipe, go through the recipe and keep in mind the time needed to process the food items. Choose the jars of the correct dimensions to store the food prepared.
- Inspect your jars and lids for scratches and dents, while also making sure that once sealed, they will remain so. Discard unsuitable jars and lids. Use hot water and soap to rinse them.
- Place all the jars along with their lids in water, and heat it to 180 degrees Fahrenheit to sterilize them. After doing so, keep them in hot water, to be ready to use.
- Prepare the food that you have planned on. Fill the jars with the food prepared one at a time.
- Take the jar out of the hot water as and when needed. Taking all jars out of the hot water at the same time will defeat the purpose of sterilization.
- Don’t fill the jar with food up to the brim. There must be space between the underside of lid of jar and its contents.
- Use a non-metallic spatula to stir the contents of the jar to let the trapped air out.
- Clean the rim and threads of the jar to remove food residue. Apply sealing paste along the rim of the jar and fix the lid. Seal the jar, using a sealing band but make sure you do not fasten it too tight. This will allow the air to escape, during the next step of processing.
- When you have sufficient number of jars to fill the boiling water-bath cooker or when you have exhausted your foodstuff, place them on the rack in the boiling water-bath cooker.
- Fill the cooker with water and immerse the jars in it. Close the cooker and maintain heat at medium.
- Start counting the processing time, when the water starts boiling. Allow for extra time, if you are canning the food 1,000 feet above sea-level.
- After it is done, turn down the heat and open the cooker. Allow the boiling water to cool down and then lift the jars out of it, while taking care not to tilt any of them.
- Place them in a locked room, undisturbed for 24 hours. Check the cooled jar’s lids, for perfectness of the seal. If you press down on the center of the lid, and it does not budge, then it is sealed well. Store the jars with faulty seals in the refrigerator, or repeat the process.
- Store the jars with the perfectly sealed lids in a cool place and consume the contents within a year.
Garden Tomato Relish
- 10 pounds tomatoes
- 3 large sweet onions, finely chopped
- 2 medium sweet red peppers, finely chopped
- 2 medium green peppers, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 4-1/2 cups white vinegar
- 2-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons canning salt
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- In a large saucepan, bring 8 cups water to a boil. Add tomatoes, a few at a time; boil for 30 seconds. Drain and immediately place tomatoes in ice water. Drain and pat dry; peel and finely chop. Place in a stockpot. Add onions and peppers.
- Place mustard and celery seed on a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and tie with string to form a bag. Add spice bag and the remaining ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 60-70 minutes or until slightly thickened. Discard spice bag.
- Carefully ladle relish into hot 1-pint jars, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles; wipe rims and adjust lids. Process in boiling-water canner for 20 minutes. Yield: 10 pints.
Note: The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. For altitudes up to 3,000 feet, add 5 minutes; 6,000 feet, add 10 minutes; 8,000 feet, add 15 minutes; 10,000 feet, add 20 minutes.
Put 1 teaspoon of plain salt in each quart jar. Do a ½ teaspoon for each pint jar.
Then cut your beans into 1”-2” pieces.
Fill your jars with green beans. This is where the canning funnel will come in handy. It makes loading your jars a lot easier.
Pour hot water into each jar covering the green beans. Leave about a one-inch head-space (space between water and rim of the jar).
Lid Sealing – How do you know if your lid sealed?
The lids will seal as they cool. You’ll hear a popping sound when they seal. This is good.
After the jars cool, check the lids for a seal by pushing down in the center of the lid. There should NOT be a popping sound now. If you can push it up and down, or if it makes a popping sound, the lid did not seal.
If the lid did not seal, check the rim of the jar for dings and nicks. Once in a while you will get a jar that does not have a level rim. Check for this by turning the jar up-side-down on the table. Look to see if there is a gap between the table and the top of the jar. If so, mark this jar and only use it for storing dehydrated food.
The lid won’t seal if there is food on the rim. This could happen if there was food on the rim before you put the lid on, or if the ring was not screwed on tightly and food boiled out of the jar during processing.
If the lid did not seal, you can reprocess the food within the first twenty-four hours. Remove the food from the jar and put it in a clean jar. Reprocess the food just like you food that hasn’t been processed yet.
1 1/2 cups (1 lb) sliced onions
2 largs cloves garlic
1/3 cup pickling salt
2 trays of ice cubes (I figure about 50 ice cubes — one version says 2 qts or 8 cups, don’t skimp)
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp tumeric
1 1/2 tsp celery seeds
2 T mustard seeds
3 cups cider vinegar
Combine the cucumbers and onions. Add the garlic cloves and pickling salt and mix. Cover with ice and let stand 3 hours.
Rinse and drain. Remove the garlic.
Combine the sugar, tumeric, celery seeds, mustard seeds and vinegar in a large pot. Stir, then add the drained cucumbers and onions. Heat for 5 minutes.
Pack the pickles into hot, sterilized pint or quart jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Seal. Process in boiling water bath canner 5 minutes for pints, 10 minutes for quarts. Cool on a rack (air circulation will help them cool faster).
To keep the processing time as short as possible, have the water boiling as you pack the jars, put all the hot jars in at the same time, and count the time as soon as the water returns to a boil. (I got this recipe from Cooking Light a favorite recipe of mine….)
Do not store your jars with the rings still on. Remove rings so that if you have a bacteria problem the lid can come away from the jar exposing the problem. (ie. smell, lid comes off easily)
If you don’t have an insert use a dish cloth on the bottom of your water bath canner or pot. Never let the jars sit directly on the bottom.
Only use 6 cups of fruit when making a batch of preserves or jelly with pectin or it may not set properly.
Add 2 Tablespoons of vinegar to the water bath and sterilizing water if you have hard water to avoid hard water spots and hard water film on your jars.
Once you remove your jars from the water bath or pressure canner do not move, shake or tilt until the next day when they are cool.
Always label your jars with the contents or name of recipe and the date they were sealed.
Make sure you always clean the rims of your jars. An improper seal can cause a jar to open during pressure canning. For water bath canning it will cause your jars not to seal after you remove them from the water bath. If they don’t pop you can re-water bath them or put them in the refrigerator, they are ready to eat.
Recognize food that has spoiled in jars – Remove the Ring look for mold, cloudy white liquid in your pickling jars, or jar lids that are bulging. Once you’ve opened the jars smell the contents – If it doesn’t smell right immediately pour it out.
It is important to not use just any jar for canning. You must use a proper canning jar with the proper 2-piece lid to ensure an air tight seal. Discard any jars that are nicked on the thread or are cracked
The 2-piece lid consists of a sealing cap and a screw cap. The screw cap can be reused but always use new sealing caps to ensure an air-tight seal. Boiling the lids is no longer required. Heat to 180*F/82*C only. They must be placed on the jar hot for a proper seal. There is no preparation needed for the screw cap as it doesn’t come in contact with the food
I want to emphasize that you should ALWAYS use the head-space that is prescribed in your safe recipes, but if it is omitted this is the basic rule of thumb:
Home Canned Peaches…
When canning peaches in syrup you will want to select firm and fully ripe peaches. They should be a healthy golden color with no green colors.
This recipe will make about 8 pint jars or 4 quart jars and uses the Raw Pack Method.
– 10-12 lbs of peaches
– One batch of hot syrup (shown below)
1. Prepare jars and lids
2. The Peaches should be peeled, halved and pitted.
3. You are now ready to pack the peaches in to the jars with the cavity side down in overlapping layers. You want to make sure that you leave at least a 1/2 inch of space from the top of the jar. You can now ladle the hot syrup into the jar covering the peaches.
Again, make sure that you leave at least 1/2 inch of headspace when adding the syrup. You want to make sure that you remove air bubbles and add more syrup in necessary.
It’s very important that you wipe the rim of the jar to make sure that no particles interfere with the sealing process. You are now ready to put the lid on the jar. The next step is to screw the band down and finger tighten.
4. Put the jars in the canner and make sure they are completley covered with water. Cover with lid and bring the water to a boil. Process the pint jars for 25 mintues and quart jars for 30 minutes.
5. Remove the canner lid and let it cool for about 5 minutes. Remove the jars and let cool.
Fruit Syrup Recipe(Medium) – Home Canned Peaches
We are using a Medium Syrup for Canning Peaches.
– 3 1/4 cups of Granulated Sugar
– 5 cups of water
Note: This yields about 7 cups of syrup.
A sweetened syrup helps to maintain the fruits flavor, color and texture. It has been tradition to use heavy syrups when preserving fruit, however if a person needs to watch there sugar intake it might be desirable to use a lighter syrup. Again this recipe is for a medium syrup. You can certainly make it lighter or use unsweetened juice or water as alternatives.
How to make the medium syrup:
1. Combine the water and sugar in a stainless steel saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
3. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
4. Reduce heat and keep warm.
In general you will need about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of syrup for each quart jar.
Grape Juice Recipe (Homemade Grape Juice Tastes So Good!) I have another recipe listed on my Just Grapes page that I have done for years. Go and check it out as well!
– Extract the natural juice of grapes with the power of steam. Just boil water in the bottom container and place grapes in the top container. Natural concentrated grape juice drips into the center pan where it can be extracted.
– Wipe rim of jar.
– Center lid on jar.
– Screw band down until resistance is met.
– Place jars in canner
– Make sure the jars are completely covered with water.
– Put lid on canner
– Bring water to a boil and process for 15 minutes.
– Remove canner lid and wait 5 minutes.
– Remove jars and let cool.
The Recipe below needs a Juice Steamer Below……
Boiling Water Method. The fresh preserving method used to process high-acid foods. Heat is transferred to the food product by the boiling water, which completely surrounds the jar and two-piece closure. A temperature of 212°F (100°C) is reached and must be maintained for the time specified by the recipe. This method is adequate to destroy molds, yeasts and some bacteria, as well as to inactivate enzymes. The boiling water method must not be used to process low-acid foods.
Botulism. Food poisoning caused by the ingestion of the toxin produced by spores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botulism can be fatal. The spores are usually present in the dust, wind and soil clinging to raw food. They belong to a species of bacteria that cannot grow in the presence of air, and they do not normally thrive in high-acid foods. The spores can survive and grow in any tightly sealed jar of low-acid food that has not been processed correctly. Using the correct processing temperature and time to preserve low-acid foods will destroy toxin-producing spores.
Candy or Jelly Thermometer. A kitchen thermometer that usually comes with adjustable hooks or clips to allow it to be attached to the pan. During the preparation of soft spreads without added pectin, it is used to determine when the gel stage is reached (this occurs at 220°F/104°C, or 8°F/4°C) above the boiling point of water). Always insert the thermometer vertically into the jelly and ensure that it does not contact the pot surface.
if you don’t want to invest any additional work in that jam, all you have to do is change expectations. If it’s just sort of runny, call it preserves. If it’s totally sloshy, label it syrup and move on with your life.However, if you’re committed to getting a nice, firm, jammy set, there is still hope. Here’s what you can do.
- If it still hasn’t set, it’s time to open all the jars back up.
- Pour the jam into your widest pot.
- First, you wait. Give the jam 24-48 hours to set up (because truly, sometimes it can take that long for pectin to active).
- heat to high and begin to bring the jam to temperature.
- Whisk in one tablespoon of powdered pectin as it heats.
- Cook vigorously until jam appears visibly thickened. Test set using plate or sheeting test.
- When jam has reached the desired thickness, remove pot from heat.
- Pour jam into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply brand new lids and screw on the same old bands.
- Process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
- When processing time is up, remove jars from bath. Let jars cool and then test seals.
Yields: 6 (½ pint) jars
In a large saucepan over high heat add blackberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir frequently while bringing to a rolling boil. Stir in pectin and continue boiling for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim any foam from the top if necessary.
Sterilize jars and lids directly before using for 10 minutes in simmering water or in the dishwasher. Remove one at a time when ready to fill. While blackberry mixture is still hot, ladle into the hot sterilized jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the top. Wipe rims with a clean damp cloth and seal jars with lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath (making sure water level is 1 inch over the top of the jars) for 10 minutes. Remove from water bath and allow to cool on the counter.
One of the most important rules of food storage is to “store what you eat, and eat what you store.”
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