Open kettle canning has not been recommended for 30+ years. Open kettle canning involves heating the food to boiling, pouring it into the jars, applying lids, and allowing the heat of the jar to cause the lid to seal. The food is not heated adequately to destroy the spoilage organisms, molds and yeasts that can enter the jar while you are filling the jar, and it does not produce a strong seal on the jar. This method is not safe! Just because the lid seals, doesn’t meat it’s safe. The time saved with open kettle canning is not worth the risk of food spoilage or illness.
Oven canning may sound simple, but oven heat is not the same as heat from a boiling water bath or from steam in a pressure canner. Placing jars in the dry heat of the oven may cause the glass to crack and shatter causing injury to you. Dry heat is not comparable to the moist heat of a boiling water bath. Processing in an oven will not heat the contents in the coldest part of the jar in the same way as boiling water. Oven heat will not increase the temperature inside the jar above boiling to be adequate to destroy botulism spores in low acid foods. Oven canning is not safe!
Peaches are perfect this time of year! Savor the flavor now, and save it for later by preserving them in a variety of ways. Kick up the flavor of peaches by making a jam with peaches and jalapeno peppers. Try this recipe from Colorado State University.
Peach Jalapeno Jam
3 cups crushed peaches
(about 2 lbs, or 4 large peaches)
1/2 cup jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (about 1/4 pound, or 4-5 peppers)
1 cup water
3/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 – 1 3/4 oz. package powdered pectin
4 cups sugar
Wash, pit, and crush peaches. Wash peppers, remove stems and seeds, and chop finely. Combine peaches, peppers, water, vinegar, and lemon juice in a 5-6 quart pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching.
Add pectin to the peach/pepper mixture. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add sugar, stirring well to dissolve completely. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and skim foam, if needed.
Ladle into sterile, hot, half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust two-piece lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes at 1000-6000 feet above sea level. Yield: 4-5 half-pint jars.
There are several reasons. First, the beans may be too mature which makes them too starchy. The starch settles out of the food during canning. Second, minerals in hard water can give a cloudy appearance. Third, using table salt instead of canning salt. Table salt contains anti-caking agents that can cause cloudiness. With any of these three causes, it is a quality issue. Finally, it could be spoilage due to improper heat processing. Do not consume them in this case.
This is an example of creating your own recipe can be a dangerous practice. While bacon and green beans are both low-acid foods, there are no processing recommendations for canning bacon. Therefore, can the beans by themselves. Then when ready to eat the beans, add the bacon just before serving.
Adding any fat or butter to home-canned products, unless specifically stated in the recipe may slow the rate of heat transfer during processing. This will result in an unsafe product. Additionally, the fat could seep in between the lid and jar rim and the lid will not seal properly.
Spices or herbs may be added in small amounts before processing.
In an ongoing effort to make home food preservation easy and to appeal to those who can foods in small quantities, Ball® now has six new mixes for pickles and tomato products.
They are a recipe card with six seasonings attached to the card. On the back are instructions with additional ingredients to add and processing instructions. Each recipe card makes two quarts or four pints.
The recipe cards include three types of pickles, two types of salsa, and a pasta sauce.
When it comes to canning, foods are divided into two categories. Low acid foods have a pH 4.6 or above and high acid foods have a pH of 4.6 or below. In general, fruits fall into the high acid category. But, there are some exceptions.
Melons, including watermelon, honey dew and cantaloupe, are examples of low acid fruits. They have an average pH of 6.2. So, to can them, significant amounts of acid and sugar must be included to safely can them in a boiling water bath canner. In March of 2011, there was an outbreak of botulism linked to watermelon jelly sold in Canada.
So, it is important to choose recipes from trusted resources in all canning, and especially with low acid foods. A good recipe for Watermelon Jelly can be found in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving or at www.bernardin.ca/recipes/zesty-watermelon-jelly.htm?Lang=EN-US. Bernardin is the Canadian brand of Ball canning products.
Remember, while tomatoes are classified as a vegetable, they are botanically a fruit. Acid, either lemon juice, vinegar, or citric acid, must be added to tomatoes for safe canning. Details can be found at www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF1185.PDF.
There’s now an app for that! Oregon State University has created a free app for your mobile device for instructions on canning vegetables, fruits, meats and fish.
This app is intended for people with previous canning experience. It has reminders for essential steps in the canning process. It also includes altitude adjustments and a built-in timer for the product you are canning.
Food preservation classes are for anyone! If you are a new FCS Agent, a 4-H Foods leader or member, or just want to learn about food preservation, sign up! The current list of classes I have scheduled are as follows:
April 12—Olathe, KS, contact Crystal Futrell, 913-715-7000
May 1– Lincoln, KS, contact Ashley Svaty, 785-524-4432
May 23—Osawatomie, KS, contact Franny Eastwood, 913-795-2829
May 24—Lawrence, KS, contact Susan Johnson, 785-843-7058
June 28—Grantville, KS, contact Cindy Williams, 785-863-2212, or Susan Fangman, 785-232-0062
Soup is a tasty winter meal. But not all types of soup can be safely canned at home. Here’s some cautions for creamed soup.
Creamed soups are best preserved by freezing for safety.
Creamed soups are thickened with flour or other thickeners. These slow the heat transfer through the jar. This could lead to botulism. The safest choice is to add thickening agents when preparing the soup to eat.
All dairy products are low acid foods and should never be canned. Add these to soups just before serving.
Noodles, pasta, rice, dumplings, barley, etc. should not be canned. These foods interfere with heat transfer through the jar. Add these just before serving.
Thickened or creamed tomato soup should not be canned. Instead, can tomato juice, tomato vegetable juice blend, or crushed tomatoes (without added vegetables). When ready to make the tomato soup, add seasoning, vegetables, and thickeners, as desired.