Canned food is enjoying a surge in popularity, with families all across America learning how to can pickles or how to can salsa together. Here are some tips to use with your favorite canned food.
- Select overripe fruits or vegetables. The idea is to preserve vegetables at the height of their freshness and quality. Also, the quality will likely decrease with time if you begin with low quality ingredients.
- Add too many spices and seasonings. A sterile environment is incredibly important when canning, and these ingredients contain bacteria that can become dangerous when used in very large amounts.
- Add butter. Butter and other fat can result in an unstable environment, increasing the risk of spoilage and slowing the rate of heat transfer
- Pour boiling hot liquid into cold jars. The quick change in temperature could cause the glass to shatter.
- Clean, clean, clean your equipment. If you will be processing your jars for less than 10 minutes, you must sterilize your jars. Unsterilized canning equipment puts you at risk for botulism, an extremely dangerous form of food poisoning.
- Only use flat tops once. But feel free to recycle the screw bands.
- If directed, add acid like lemon juice, vinegar, and citric acid when canning tomatoes or tomato products. This will reduce the risk of botulism.
- Check for perfect closures and jars. Jars won’t seal correctly if they are cracked or broken. Always check the seal of your jar for tautness.
Also remember that with canning, it is better to be safe than sorry. Educate yourself as much as possible and study canning and pickling recipes before you begin. It is important to stay diligent and committed to safe canning practices. With a little preparation, soon you will be enjoying your own canned fruits and vegetables.
- “How Do I?… Can”, The National Center For Food Preservation
Better meals begin with better planning. We can help.