Which Canning Methods Should I choose?
Do I choose a Water Bath Canner or a Pressure Canner? and Why? That is a common question ~ and a good one. The canning methods you choose are the most important factor in canning safety.
First, you need to choose the food or product you intend to can. When
selecting your food, it is important to keep the following things in
Once you decide what food you’d like to can, you must choose a canning
method to match the food type. The two recommended, safe methods are
pressure or hot water bath.
Are You Preserving Low or High Acid Foods? Do you know the difference?
The canning methods you choose will depend on the acidity of the food you are preserving. If you are like me, you have absolutely no idea of the pH levels in your foods. So just remember two easy things:.
Low Acid foods contain very little natural acid. They will have a pH of 4.6 or higher. Vegetables, meats, dried beans and all soups are low acid foods. These will need to be preserved using a pressure canner.
High Acid foods contain enough acid to have a pH level of 4.6 or lower. All fruits and fruit products, jams, jellies, and fruit spreads such as apple butter are included in the high-acid group. These will need to be preserved using a water bath canner.
Pickles also may be safely water bath canned because of the added vinegar or fermentation. This adds to the acidity of the food.
Tomatoes are a special case. The most recent recommendations indicate that you should add lemon juice to acidify tomatoes before canning.
There are also unsafe methods that you should avoid. Methods that your grandmothers may have used with no problems and taught you about. You have to decide if you want to take the risks associated with these.
Botulism is a type of food poisoning that thrive in low acidity. This is why it is important to process low acid food by pressure canning. A pressure canner obtains the high level of heat necessary to kill botulism spores.
The black canner you see here is inexpensive and
can often be found used. Personally I love my stainless steel waterbath canners they are beautiful as well as useful. But if price is holding you back. Try the less expensive route to get started.
Waterbath canning is less intimidating. Plus, the results are so yummy! Achieving
a delicious product will encourage you to continue canning.
Once you’ve gotten your feet wet, you’ll realize canning is a fun, satisfying and valuable hobby. Or a way to bring healthier foods into your diet.
I don't even like to use the phrase ambitious because it makes it sound so scary and hard. It is not! For those who are ready to plunge in... start pressure canning. Really, it is not hard, just do it right and you will be filling your pantry in no time at all.