You may think that raspberry jam can only be enjoyed in winters when you buy it from a store. Think again! The art of home canning lets you preserve food not just with your personal taste but also in an economic manner. Food prepared in large batches, bought on sale or grown in home gardens can be easily be available for a longer duration, if you can it at home. With canned food prices soaring high, you can manage it in your own kitchen with negligible costs. You can celebrate the flavor of one season all the year round if you can it the right way.
Once you see the markets over flooding with the smell of fresh and colorful fruits and veggies, all you want is to take them home and indulge in delectable fun. You need not be a seasoned expert or a kitchen pro for making food an everlasting delight. All it takes is a few basics, right equipment and some effort to make homemade canning successful.
I. What you are able to can
Well, the answer is that every food item can be canned, if you know the right tricks. People may preserve vegetables, jams, fruits, sauces or even premade meals. One must remember that every edible item requires a different technique for storing.
II. Special precautions to take while canning
Handcrafting your own delicious food preserves can be done using some of the following techniques. Depending on your food item, you need to alter your methodology to capture the right flavor.
Sure-Jell are standard pectin readily available to preserve jams and jellies. It turns your filling to jam and is appropriate for fruits like raspberries, mango, apples or pineapples.
Salt is known to be a preserver since forever. Pickles, gravies, vegetables, meat and tomatoes can be effectively canned using canning salt (coarse granulated salt).
3. Pressure Canner
Pressure canning is useful for low acid foods like meat, stews, stocks, soups and vegetables. You can use a pressure canner to heat the food at a temperature of 240F.
4. Water bath
If your food item has high acid content like tomatoes, pickles, vinegars, fruits or salsas, then water bath canning is the best alternative.
5. Focus on altitude
The altitude you live at substantially affects your home canning. If you are living at an altitude greater than 1000 feet, then the pressure is reduced and water boils at a lower temperature. One must ensure boiling food at the right temperature, if delicious, fresh tasting food is to be enjoyed.
6. Focus on type of food
The science of food preservation teaches us that each food item has a different composition and needs to be canned accordingly. Whether you want to relish jellies or have savory sauces, your food choice will determine the methodology of the storage.
7. Focus on Acidity
It is essential to understand the acidity of the food items before they are preserved. There goes some knowledge and thought to know the acidity and decide the appropriate technique.
III. Every item has its own method
1. How to can vegetables
Once the market is overflowing with ripe and plum vegetables, it’s time to stock them using a pressure canner. As vegetables are low in acidity, this method is best suited.
2. How to can fruits
Let the juicy and pulpy fruits stay in your kitchen all year round by using a water bath canner. Fruits and tomatoes are high in acidity and needs to be preserved by this method. You may also convert them to jellies using Sure-Jell.
3. When to use a Pressure Canner
Pressure Canners are easy way to store low acidic foods like vegetables, meats, seafood, poultry, stews and soups.
4. When to use a water bath
A water bath is handy when you plan to can high acidic foods like pickles, vinegars, fruits and tomatoes.
5. When to use a preservative
When you are not using any extensive canning technique, you could just add some artificial preservative to keep your food fresh and edible. Salt is perhaps the most common preservative but is not compatible with every food item.
6. Canning Sauces
For canning sauces, you must cook them thoroughly so that they reduce to half the quantity and put them in canning jars.
7. Canning Premade Meals
You can preserve chicken curries, spaghetti, gravies or any meal using the pressure canner. For shorter duration, simply adding salt and oil layer on top before freezing should be fine.