Canning & Preserving
New for 2016:
Canning isn't just something your mother or grandmother used to do. The art of preserving food is making a serious comeback as more people are paying closer attention to what they eat and where it comes from. Whether you get your produce from a local farm stand, or grow it it in your own backyard, canning and preserving is a great way to take your self-sufficiency to the next level! The process only requires a few simple steps, and is a great way to enjoy your harvest throughout the year.
Canning is the process of preserving cooked or uncooked food in an airtight glass container using heat, and sometimes pressure, to seal in freshness and preserve taste. There are two main methods of canning: Pressure Canning and Water-bath Canning.
Pressure canning is primarily used for the preserving of low-acid foods, such as vegetables, soups, stews, stocks, meats, poultry and seafood. These foods are a natural part of family meal planning, so preserving them ensures an economical and well-balanced diet throughout the year.
Low-acid foods are easy to preserve, yet require special handling to eliminate the risk of spoilage caused by the bacteria Clostridium Botulinum and its toxin-producing spores. In order to prevent this type of spoilage, low-acid foods MUST be heat processed at a temperature of 240°F for the established processing time in a tested fresh preserving recipe.
The pressure method is the only way to fresh preserve at 240°F. (Boiling water canners heat to only 212°F which is the temperature of boiling water.) Because Clostridium Botulinum spores do not grow in the presence of acid, high-acid foods can be safely processed in a boiling-water canner.
Recipes that combine high-acid foods, such as tomatoes, with low-acid foods, such as vegetables or meats, are considered low-acid foods.
For a step-by-step pressure canning guide read more from Ball: How to Pressure Can
This common technique of preserving is ideal for high-acid foods. So if you’re looking to can fruits, fruit juices, jams, jellies and other fruit spreads, salsas, tomatoes with added acid, pickles, relishes, chutneys, sauces, vinegars and condiments, this is the method for you!
You can use a water bath canner or a deep sauce pan with a rack.
For a step-by-step guide to water bath canning read more from Ball®: How to Water Bath Can
Ball Fresh TECH Automatic Jam and Jelly Maker
You can make jam, jelly or even pasta sauce in 30 minutes with the Ball® Fresh TECH Automatic Jam and Jelly Maker. Just follow the easy recipes, add the ingredients when cued by the Jelly Maker’s beeps, and then let it do the work for you! When the jelly is complete you can either use it right away, store in in your refrigerator, or process it in a water bath and it will be preserved for one year!
An important thing to keep in mind when preserving is to follow the recipe “to a T”. A great resource is the Ball® Blue Book Guide to Preserving.