Why do I need to Use a Canner?
|Temperature(s)||Water Bath||Home Pressure Canner||Effect|
|Can't do it||Can't do it||Canning temperatures for very low acid or non acidic vegetables, dairy, oils, pesto, pumpkin puree, pumpkin butter, etc. These can not be safely canned at home, and require the higher temperatures of commercial equipment.|
|240 to 250°F
|Can't do it||OK||Canning temperatures for low acid vegetables (like green beans, corn), meat, and poultry in a pressure canner. You can also can borderline and high acid foods like tomato products.|
(full rolling boil)
|OK||OK||Temperature water boils at sea level. Canning temperature for acid fruits, tomatoes (with added lemon juice), pickles, and jellied products in a boiling-water canner.|
|180 to 212°F
|OK||OK||Canning temperatures are used to destroy many common bacteria, yeasts, and molds in acid foods. Time required to kill these decreases as temperatures increase.|
|140 to 165°F||Warming temperatures prevent active growth, but may allow survival of some microorganisms.|
|40 to 140°F||DANGER ZONE. Temperatures between 40°F - 140°F allow rapid growth of bacteria, yeast, and molds.|
|95°F||Maximum storage temperature for canned foods.|
|50 to 70°F||Best storage temperatures for canned and dried foods.|
|32°F||Temperature at which water freezes.|
|32 to 40°F||Cold temperatures permit slow growth of some bacteria, yeasts, and molds.|
|-10 to 32°F||Freezing temperatures stop growth of microorganisms, but may allow some to survive.|
|0 to -10°F||Best storage temperatures for frozen foods.|
There are advantages and disadvantages of Pressure and Boiling Water Bath Canners. Which is best for you depends upon what you want to can and your budget.
Water bath canners are faster for higher acid foods
Although pressure canners may also be used for processing higher acid foods, boiling-water canners are recommended for this purpose because they are faster. A pressure canner would require from 55 to 100 minutes to process a load of jars; while the total time for processing most acid foods in boiling water varies from 25 to 60 minutes. A boiling-water canner loaded with filled jars requires about 20 to 30 minutes of heating before its water begins to boil.
A loaded pressure canner requires about
But Water Bath Canners cannot be used for meats, dairy, sea food, poultry, vegetables and many fruits.
And the food quality and storage time is better with a pressure canner. Because they get hotter (240F vs 180F-212F) pressure canners result in a better flavor and the ability for to store for a longer time.
A pressure canner can be used as a boiling water bath canner, just remove the gauge and weight. That way you have 2 canners in one!
Conclusion: Pressure canners cost more to buy, but ultimately, you can "can" more foods in them, store the foods longer, and use the same canner as a pressure canner or without sealing the lid, as a boiling water bath canner.
You can also find free information about canners from the USDA in this PDF file (it will take a while to load!) about selecting and using canners here!
Q. I have never been able to get a straight answer about whether adding lemon juice or vinegar is necessary if canning salsa in a pressure canner. It would seem to me that you would not need to add the vinegar or lemon juice because you would be bringing up the temperature and maintaining it at high points that would kill off any botulism spores. This would seem to me to be similar to what you do when you safely can your own tuna in a pressure cooker. Can you please provide an answer to this question?
A. Yes, it is necessary! It's more complicated than that!! No process, of any kind, kills ALL spores, so part of the equation is; to what extent is the population of spores diminished, and what will be the replication rate of those that survive? Pressure canning, using high temperatures destroys more spores than water bath canning, and commercial conning equipment destroys a far, far greater percentage of the resident spores than any home method. The addition of acid inhibits the remaining spores growth, keeping the levels of bacteria (which are always present) to a level that is effectively, undetectable and not a threat. Of course, if you store ANY canned food (home or commercial) long enough, it WILL spoil! That's why they're stamped with expiration dates!
See this page for more Answers to Common Questions About Home Canning, Freezing and Making Jams!
Who Invented the Canning Jar? Does Ball still make jars? - See:
Canning & Preserving for Dummies
The Ball Blue Book of Preserving
This is THE book on canning! My grandmother used this book when I was a child. It tells you in simple instructions how to can almost anything; complete with recipes for jam, jellies, pickles, sauces, canning vegetables, meats, etc. If it can be canned, this book likely tells you how! Click on the link below for more information and / or to buy (no obligation to buy)
Home Canning Kits
This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also s simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if your want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!
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