Wednesday, August 12, 2009

General Canning Rules

General Rules

1. Always use up-to-date, scientifically tested canning recipes. Handed down recipes from Grandma may not be safe anymore.

2. Only use approved, up-to-date canning methods (boiling water-bath or pressure).

3. Follow canning directions exactly. Do not substitute or change quantity of ingredients.

4. Make altitude adjustments by adding more time to water bath canning or increasing pressure for pressure canned products.

5. Make certain canned products have a proper lid seal.

Note: Unless you are sure that the above general rules were followed, boil low acid foods for 10 minutes before eating them to inactivate botulism-causing organisms (clostridium botulinum).

Exceptions to the General Rules

Changing salt level in anything except pickles. Salt acts as a preservative and adds flavor and crispness to pickles. In other foods, it is mainly used as a flavoring agent and is added as a personal preference.

Changing sugar level in syrup used for canned fruit. Sugar helps fruit retain a bright color and firm texture, but is not necessary for safety.

Add EXTRA vinegar or lemon juice. Bottled acids help obtain required pH (acid levels) in tomatoes and pickles. If a more tart or sour flavor is desired, more vinegar, lemon or lime juice may be added.

Decrease any vegetable except tomatoes in salsas. Salsa recipes have been tested to ensure that they contain enough acid to be safely processed in a boiling water-bath canner. This acid is provided by the correct amount of tomatoes. The addition of vegetables has also been calibrated to balance the acid level. While it is dangerous to add more vegetables to salsa recipes, fewer may be used for a milder flavor.

Substitute bell peppers, long green peppers or jalapeƱo peppers for each other in salsa recipes. So long as the total amount of peppers remains the same (or fewer) as what is listed in the tested recipe, peppers may be interchanged.

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1 comment:

  1. Great advice, thanks. My family loves to can together – great bonding time! Just finished pears, moving on to corn…

    Have you seen this t-shirt? It says “Yes, we canned!” Check it out at:
    http://www.cafepress.com/pooplespile

    ReplyDelete