How To Properly Can Food?
The internet is full of canning recipes, but using methods that have scientific testing guarantees the reliability of food safety. Food can be canned at home using either the water bath canning method or the pressure canning method. These are the safest ways of home canning.
The method you choose for your foods will depend on the acid levels of the foods. Water bath canning is ideal for high-acid foods, and pressure canning is ideal for low-acid foods. You can also use the atmospheric steam method for canning.
Know These Basics Of Home Canning
While home canning can be easy, you should be aware of the basics of home canning before you begin. Check out the following points for more.
Select The Right Jars And Lids
You must use the correct canning jars to store food at home. Pint jars and quart jars are most commonly used for home canning. This is because they are suitable for every kind of food item, from fruits to meat and more.
Do not use commercially used jars to can at home, as they are meant for single use. You will find specially designed canning jars in any store, they are quite easy to find. Also, remember to use specific canning lids with your jars to seal the food properly.
Hot Pack Or Raw Pack
Some foods need to be hot packed, while others need to be raw packed. Food that is not processed before canning, is raw packed. They usually float in the jars after being packed and might alter color due to the air trapped within.
On the other hand, hot-packed food stays better when canned because they have been cooked or boiled before canning. Also, you can pack more food in a jar as cooking shrinks the food. Whatever you decide, both of them will keep the food safe for consumption.
General Canning Guidelines
Here are a few general canning guidelines that are necessary to know before you begin canning at home. Check them out below.
- Always use trusted canning recipes. Refer to authentic articles, as they are all based on research and are therefore safe.
- If you pressure canning food at home, use a mason jar. This is because they have better capability to withstand the higher heat of a pressure canner.
- Always use sterilized jars for canning. This will reduce the chances of contamination and thus keep the food safe.
- Never forget to leave a headspace of at least an inch in each canning jar while filling them with food. This will help in sealing the jars while processing them.
- Remove the air bubbles from food by using a spoon or a straw. Gently run the spoon through the food item and it will be done.
How To Avoid Food Spoilage?
Food spoilage is a threat to stored food items. It is just a synonym for food wastage, and you would not want your to go to waste unnecessarily, would you? Spoilage can also happen due to canning failures or improper storage.
Whatever the reason is, none of us would like this to happen, right? Here are some ways to avoid food spoilage for home canned foods. Check them out:
- Use fresh produce for canning. Discard the unblemished ones or overripe ones.
- Wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water to remove all the dirt.
- Use the right methods and techniques of canning.
- Sterilize the jars before canning to avoid food contamination.
- Store your canned food in a cool and dry place away from heat and light.