When pressure canning corn, do I really have to process that long?

Canning Corn processing question.

Hello, I'm a long time canner/freezer/preserver type of girl. In the past I've always put my corn up in the freezer, because that's the way mom and gran do it.

But the garden is gang busters this year and even with a new freezer, there isn't going to be room for all of it.

Anyway I called gran and borrowed mom's steam pressure canner and canned up the first few batches of corn. I followed the directions in the Ball Blue Book and let the thing chick-chick for 55 minutes.

However the corn has darkened quite a bit and some of the water in the jar is gone as well. So I've gone on-line to get more info.

Both gran and mom say 55 mins is too long and they only ever steam theirs for 25 minutes.

I'm filding conflicting directions on line too, I've found websites indicating times anywhere from 25 to 55 minutes. I don't want to poison my family, but I would love it if that 25 minute time was a possibility.

Hi Amy 

This is a hard question. And I have been asked it in a myriad of ways. Can I do it the 'old' way? Many of the questions posed to me point out that either moms or grandmothers did things different. And I certainly don't like contradicting our elders... often they have great wisdom!

However, The answer is: You take a risk by doing it the 'old' way. You have to make that decision yourself. Personally I decided to just follow the recommended guidelines and have that peace of mind. The processing times I give on my site are all taken from safe sources.  My most used source is the National Center for Home Preservation.  Some directions are from the Ball Blue Book. 

The good news is.... it is not unusual for canning corn to turn golden colored. Mine often is a darker color. From my research it is because it is a very sweet variety. My corn never tastes over cooked.

As far as the liquid loss. That is ok too. You want to avoid it, but it will not hurt your corn unless it is extreme. Liquid loss is often caused by taking your jars out of the canner too quickly.

Leave the jars in your canner for a couple of minutes before removing. Open the canner and then wait 3 or 4 minutes. This gives the jars a chance to cool slightly. When it is cooling the contents will be shrinking and not swelling so that may help you keep more liquid in your jars.

Read more on this here; Home canning and liquid loss.

I hope that helps. 


Another reader question.

I was reading canning corn and noticed that it takes 1hr-25min to do a batch. Why does it take so much longer with corn and beans to process. Thank you.

Answer - It all has to do with the acidity of the food. I've used the times recommended by the USDA. They test the foods and determine the length of processing necessary for eliminating the risk of botulism. Corn is more starchy than other vegetables so I'd assume the acidity levels are different as well. Also corn has more natural sugar.

Here are a few pages that might interest you.

Botulism A severe, sometimes fatal food poisoning caused by ingestion of food containing botulin.

Canning methods Which Canning methods to use? Is my food high acid or low acid? Should I process in a water bath canner or pressure canner? Why? That is a common question ~ and a good one....

More Ways to Preserve Corn

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