Home canning is an amazing way to ensure the food you have lasts for longer than normal. But safe canned foods aren’t always guaranteed when preparing your own.
Following specific steps during the canning process will reduce the likelihood of suffering nasty food poisoning, some of which have potentially fatal results.
There are a number of ways to can foods at home. While water bath canning is one of the most popular methods, both pressure canning and atmospheric steam canning are also very popular. It all comes down to the types of foods you wish to can in the first place. While some foods are more suited to water bath canning, other foods are only suitable for pressure canning.
Canning has been around for a very long time, proving a real win for those willing to put in the work. The reasons for home canning are as varied as the suitable food people choose for the process. Maybe we should check out some of the reasons why people choose to can in the first place.
Why Canning is Popular
These days, money is tight, regardless of where you live in the world. It’s tight for a number of reasons, one of which is the ever-increasing price of food. But while food prices continue to rise, their shelf life doesn’t. Fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, seafood, and other varieties still last just as long as they ever have.
With food costing more, most people prefer to purchase food in bulk, the costs vastly reduced when purchased in greater quantity. But buying a crate of apples might mean you get more for your money; how many do you realistically eat before they spoil?
You might also love foods with a very specific season in which they grow. Fruits like cherries or foods like morel mushrooms grow during their seasons with limited supplies. This means unless you find a way to store the foods, there’s little chance of having them available during other times of the year.
It’s because of reasons like this that canning is proving so popular for prolonging food.
- By saving money when purchasing the food in bulk.
- To save the foods purchased in bulk long enough to spread their shelf life out.
- To enjoy specific foods outside of their normal growing seasons.
Are Canned Foods Safe?
Canning food is safe as long as you follow the key instructions for each type of food. If you are new to canning, then there are certain things that you’ll need to adhere to in order to safely can food. Home canning is not that different to the cans you buy in the store. While they more than often come in tins, the process is relatively the same.
There are options to use tin at home, although the price of actual tin canners are quite pricey when compared to the cost of other home canning options. Given that water bath canning uses nothing more than a saucepan and some mason jars, it is not hard to see why people lean more towards the glass jars than metal cans.
There are some tried and proven methods to follow in the paragraphs below. These are the ways best followed to ensure your canned food is safe and ready to eat when you need it, without being compromised by harmful bacteria that can turn your jars toxic. Are canned foods safe to eat is a common question and one that I hope to answer by giving you the following information.
Just how safe is canned food is a question only you can answer with how well you follow the instructions. There’s a simple step-by-step process to follow which I have already provided HERE for you.
How To Ensure Your Canned Food is Safe
Method #1: Understand When Conditions Aren’t Safe
Knowing how to make sure the food is safe is just half the equation, the other half being to understand how it isn’t. Botulinum spores already live on most fresh food surfaces, therefore are almost impossible to remove. But by giving these spores a near perfect environment sets them up to grow.
Method #2: Preparing Food in the Right Manner
Because the bacteria lives on the food’s surface, peeling it before canning is a great way to remove the bulk of the problem. It is a great way to make sure your food has the best chance of turning out perfect for when you eventually need it.
Method #3: Ensuring Jars Seal Properly
If you follow all the instructions precisely, there is no reason why all of your cans shouldn’t properly seal. But if you happen to find one or two that haven’t sealed, simply use them first by popping them in the fridge.
Method #4: Understanding Different Foods
When it comes to canning food, different types will require different methods. Meat, for example, cannot be canned using the water bathing method. Temperatures needed to kill the harmful bacteria is much higher than the temperatures you reach with boiling water.
The acidity in food also determines which canning method you use. Low acidic foods like vegetables need to be pressure canned, just like meat. This also includes seafood.
Method #5: Where You Live
While you might not realize this because it doesn’t affect you, many people who can food at home, live at higher-than-average altitudes. This affects home canning dramatically, regardless of which method.
Water bathing is thrown off because water boils at a higher temperature at higher altitudes. Pressure canning is directly affected because the pressure involved changes the higher you live up the mountain. It’s important to adjust times and pressures according to your own specific location.
Home canning really is a great way to prolong the life of food. It isn’t a very hard thing to do, provided you follow the simple advice in this and the other articles on this website. There’s an abundance of information that points out the dos and don’ts to follow. If you’re keen to learn, I’m keen to show you how.