As the popularity of eating more organic foods grows, so does the interest in home canning. Canning is an age old tradition that families all over the world participate in on an annual basis and is a staple competition at state fairs all over the US. Canning allows people to take full advantage of the fruits and vegetables they have worked so hard to grow all year long and produces wonderful snacks, side dishes and even condiments that can be enjoyed for several months after the harvest season is over.
When choosing the foods you want to can, there are few guidelines you will want to follow in order to make your canning season a success. Choose foods that you and your family like and will realistically eat later on in the year. To get the best value out of your canning process, select foods you have excess amounts of in your garden and choose foods that are ripe, free of mold and don’t have any major dents or bruises as this can alter the flavor of the food. For those that are new to canning, choose recipes that are less complicated and easy to make such as pickles, relish, and jams.
The most commonly used preservation method is called water bath canning. This process is used to preserve pickles, relish, jam and marmalades and acidic fruits. The following steps will guide you through the process of canning using the water bath method of food preservation.
Pressure canning is the process used to can low acidic vegetables, meats, fish and poultry using a regulated pressure canner. In order to prevent the formation of any bacteria contained in low acidic foods, a pressure canner will raise the temperature inside the pot to 240F (116C) and eliminate the bacteria; making it safe to eat at a later date. The following steps will guide you through the process of using the pressure canning method of food preservation.