Learn How To Can Your Vegetables - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Learn How To Can Your Vegetables

Home canning gives a great feeling of pride and accomplishment. It brings family members together in creative activity. It provides security in having food within an arm's reach. It offers a supply of food prepared according to family preferences and special dietary needs.

Make sure your canner is very clean. Wash it if you have not used it for some time, but don't put the cover in water. Wipe it with a clean, damp cloth and dry it well.

EQUIPMENT

Spoilage and botulism are always threats to home canning. To produce home canned foods that are safe to eat, always use the right equipment.

Steam Pressure Canners --

  • For common vegetables except tomatoes, use a steam pressure canner. Processing these low-acid foods safely in a reasonable length of time takes a temperature higher than a boiling water bath. Before you use a steam pressure canner, be sure to check out all parts for safe operation during canning. Also, have the pressure gauge checked for accuracy to be sure your processing temperature is high enough to keep the food from spoiling.

Water Bath Canners --

  • You can buy water bath canners for canning fruits and other high-acid content foods. However, you can use any big metal container as long as it is deep enough for the water to be 2-4 inches over the tops of jars and still boil freely. The canner must have a tight-fitting cover and a wire or wooden rack. If the rack has dividers, the jars will not touch each other or fall against the sides of the canner during processing. Be sure that all glass canning jars and closures are in perfect condition. Discard any with cracks, chips, dents, or rust; defects prevent airtight seals. Wash the glass jars, lids, and bands in hot, soapy water and rinse well. Metal lids with sealing compound on them may need boiling or holding in boiling water for a few minutes.

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

The golden rule of home canning is, "The quality of the foods preserved will only be as good as the quality of the foods when they were fresh." You should use only fresh, firm fruits and young, tender vegetables for preserving.

Raw Pack --

  • For raw pack canning, pack cold raw fruits or vegetables tightly into the container and cover them with boiling water, hot syrup, or juice. Tight packing is necessary because the foods shrink during processing. A few foods, like corn, lima beans, and peas, should be packed loosely because they expand.

Hot Pack --

  •  Pack hot food fairly loosely. It should be at or near boiling temperature when you pack it. To use the hot pack method, preheat the food in syrup, water, extracted juice, or steam before packing.

You may reuse screw bands that are in good condition, but metal lids with sealing compound are for one-time use.

Sterilization of Empty Jars --

  • Jars that are to be processed longer than 10 minutes, either in a boiling water bath or a pressure canner, do not need to be sterilized.

 

BEANS, SNAP

Raw pack -- Wash beans. Trim ends; cut into 1-inch pieces.

In glass jars -- Pack raw beans tightly to 1 inch of top. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to pints; 1 teaspoon to quarts. Cover with boiling water, leaving 1-inch space at top of jar. Adjust jar lids.

Process in dial gauge pressure canner at 11 pounds pressure or in a weighted gauge pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure:

Pint jars 20 minutes

Quart jars 25 minutes

Hot pack -- Wash beans. Trim ends; cut into 1-inch pieces. Cover with boiling water; boil 5 minutes.

In glass jars -- Pack hot beans loosely to 1 inch of top. Add ½ teaspoon salt to pints; 1 teaspoon to quarts. Cover with boiling-hot cooking liquid, leaving 1-inch space at top of jar. Adjust jar lids.

Process in a dial gauge pressure canner at 11 pounds pressure or in a weighted gauge pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure:

Pint jars 20 minutes

Quart jars 25 minutes

 

TOMATOES

(whole or halved)

Packed in water -- Wash tomatoes. Dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split; then dip in cold water. Slip off skins and remove cores. Leave whole or halve. For hot pack products, put tomatoes in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover the tomatoes. Boil them gently for 5 minutes. Fill jars with hot tomatoes or with raw peeled tomatoes. Add 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice or ½ teaspoon citric acid to each quart jar. For pints, use 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice or ¼ teaspoon citric acid for each jar. Add ½ teaspoon of salt per pint or 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jars, if desired. Add the hot cooking liquid to the hot pack, or hot water for raw pack to cover, leaving ½-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process by one of the following methods:

Boiling water bath: (raw or hot pack)

Pint jars 40 minutes

Quart jars 45 minutes

Pressure canner: (raw or hot pack)

Process in a dial gauge pressure canner at 6 pounds pressure or in a weighted gauge pressure canner at 5 pounds pressure:

Pint jars 15 minutes

Quart jars 15 minutes

Process in a dial gauge pressure canner at 11 pounds pressure or in a weighted gauge pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure:

Pint jars 10 minutes

Quart jars 10 minutes

Process in a weighted gauge pressure canner at 15 pounds pressure:

Pint jars 1 minute

Quart jars 1 minute

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