Supplies For Home Canning
Home canning and preserving has regained its popularity with a new generation of home canners. It remains a very satisfying food process, proven to be well worth the time and energy required to produce nutritious, healthy and additive-controlled fruits for your family.
Canning is a preservation method, where fruits are packed in jars and immersed in either a water bath or pressure canner and heated for a specific amount of time at a certain temperature. The type of food will dictate what type of supplies must be used, temperature maintained, and the process period that is required.
Mason or preserving containers consist of a glass jar, metal band and flat lid. Every part of the container must be in good condition in order to get a good vacuum seal of jar contents and thus preserve the cooking for later use.
Processing foods such as fish or meats in metal tins is also a form of home fruit storage, but it requires specialized equipment to apply and seal the metal lids to tins. It is more difficult to obtain supplies and equipment for this type of food storage and it is therefore not as popular as canning with containers.
Maintaining heat and pressure during the process prevents harmful organism and bacteria from causing fruit spoilage and health concerns. It also cooks the fruits and pushes the air from the jars, creating a vacuum seal.
When the canning time period has expired, you can safely remove hot containers with a jar lifter to a waiting towel on the counter. Leave air space in between containers and ensure there’s no cold drafts in the room.
During the cooling-off period, you will hear the lids ‘pop’ as the seal process is completed. This is a safe airtight sealing of jar contents to preserve the contents.
It further protects the canned cooking from bacterial growth, deterioration and spoilage. It is imperative that you understand which type of canner and process is required for each type of fruit and that food storage and safety guidelines are strictly followed in order to produce a safe fruit supply.
If you plan to preserve fruits, tomatoes and other high-acid foods, a water bath canner is the right tool for the job. The most common size is 21-quarts, but you can also find larger versions.
If you decide to buy one second-hand, make sure it still has its lid, and preferable its rack. If you plan to preserve vegetables, meats, seafood and other low-acid cooking, you’ll need to purchase a pressure canner.
This type of canner is capable of reaching 240 degrees Fahrenheit – the temperature required to kill bacteria. Glass containers with lids and rings are required for fruits that will be stored at room temperature.
Glass or plastic freezer jars can be used for cooking that will be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. A container lifter is used to lift hot containers out of the canner, and a magnetic lid lifted gets lids out of boiling water.
A wide-neck canning funnel makes filling containers faster and less messy. High acid foods such as fruits, fruit juices, jams, pickles and tomatoes can be processed in a water bath canner.
However, low acid vegetables, meats, fish and poultry must be processed in a regulated pressure canner. Special fruit storage jars that are made of tempered glass should be used with appropriate sealing lids for the canning process.
Certain small food storage tools such as funnels, apple corers and cherry pitters are great convenience items. On the contrary, others like container lifters, jars, canner racks, timers and tongs are must-have tools for the canning process.
Start with trusted and tested recipes. Canner purchases usually come with a recipe booklet and several good fruit storage and preserving cookbooks are available on the market.
It is important to stay focused during the canning process, to properly monitor the progress and not to forget an important step. Time is of the essence when it comes to food storage.
The object is to get the fruit processed as quickly as possible, from preparation to sealing, to reduce the risk of food deterioration which could affect the finished product. Keep your guidelines handy for quick reviewing and be prepared to stay the course and finish the process.
Jack R. Landry is an accomplished expert in family preparedness and has been giving seminars for over 15 years. He recommends that everyone have on hand long term food storage in case of any emergency or disaster.
Jack R. Landry