Monday, April 4, 2011

“C” is for Canning

I thought I’d talk a little today about canning and what it is. In the strict definition of the word, it is the process of preserving food by sealing it in cans or jars. The idea came to fruition when Napoleon conducted a contest for creating a method by which food could be preserved longer. He needed a way to better provide for his troops. The winning method is remarkably similar to the water-bath method still used today.
Canning Methods
There are two accepted and recommended ways of canning: the water bath and the pressure canner. The method used depends on the acidity of the food being canned. Most foods have a neutral pH or are only slightly acidic. A food with a PH of 4.6or lower is considered to be highly acidic while foods with a pH above 4.6 are considered low-acid at least in terms of canning.
Because the bacterial organisms that can cause spoilage in food can be easily destroyed by heat when high acid is present, these foods can be canned in boiling water or using the water bath method. Water must be held at 212 degrees (boiling) for a specified period of depending on the type of food in order to kill the bacteria. Foods recommended for this type of processing are fruits, fruit juices, jellies, jams, preserves, pickles and pickled products.
To safely preserve vegetables, red meat, poultry, fish and wild game, temperatures higher than 212 degrees are needed. Temperatures of 240 or higher are needed to destroy bacteria in these foods and can only be achieved by using a pressure canner.
Depending on the type of food canning you are canning, you will need a water bath canning pot with a jar rack or a pressure canner. You will need jars, usually pint or quart but there are also smaller and larger jars. Most come with either standard openings or “wide moth” openings. Wide mouth jars are easier to use if you are canning whole fruits or vegetables. Make sure you purchase lids and collars to fit the jars you have. While the jars and collars are reusable, the lids are not and should be replaced with each use.
You also need the following:
Jar tongs
Jar funnel
Once you have acquired the supplies, all you need is the food to go in them! Keep checking back as I will be posting recipes and tips for canning frequently.


Morgan said...

I will have to bookmark this! :)


Loki Morgan (

PK said...

Great information for someone like me! ;)

Deirdra Eden-Coppel said...

I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Creative Blog Award.
Go to and pick up your award.

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