Canning Food Using the Water Bath Method

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What Is the Objective of Canning Food? 

Canning is a method of food preservation that utilizes Mason jars to prolong the shelf life of specific ingredients and meal accompaniments. Botulism-causing microorganisms are destroyed by heating the jars with hot water. The canning process also entails creating a vacuum seal to remove all air from the canning jars, thereby eliminating the enzymes that cause food to spoil. Tomato sauces, jams, jellies, salsas, and soups are typical recipes for home canning. Two primary canning techniques are boiling water bath and pressure canning. However, pressure canning is only recommended for experienced home cooks. 

How to Can Food With a Water Bath 

The water bath canning method is ideal for acidic foods with a pH of 4.6 or less. Add lemon juice or citric acid to slightly less acidic foods if you wish to use this method. 

  1. Collect your supplies. Canning supplies consist of wide mouth canning jars, two-piece metal jar lids (flat metal discs and rings), measuring cups, a canning funnel, a jar lifter, a large stockpot, and a wire rack that fits in your stockpot. 
  2. Sterilize your jars. Before filling your canning jars, boil them for at least 10 minutes in hot, soapy water. Glass jars mustn’t touch the bottom of the pot when cooking them, as the high heat could shatter them. Place a wire rack in the pot’s bottom to keep the vegetables elevated. Allow the jars to air-dry before filling. 
  3. Prepare the food to be canned. Follow the instructions for preserving jam, jelly, or whole fruits or vegetables. 
  4. Fill canning jars with food. Use a canning funnel to fill your canning jars, leaving the amount of headspace specified by your recipe between the food and the top of the jar. Avoiding residue on the jar’s rim is essential, as this can prevent the lid from properly sealing. Tap the filled jars gently on the counter to remove air bubbles before applying the two-piece lids. 
  5. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. The pot should be large enough for at least an inch of water to cover the jars’ tops. 
  6. Place the containers in water. Submerging glass jars in boiling water will heat the contents to a temperature that makes them safe to store and consume later. Wipe the jars’ rims clean and screw on the lids tightly. Utilize a pair of tongs, a soup spoon, or a jar lifter to lower the filled jars into the water. Leave the jars submerged for as long as the canning recipe specifies. 
  7. Remove the bottles. Remove the hot jars with a jar lifter and set them on a cooling rack. 
  8. Examine the seals. Press down gently in the center of each jar’s lid. It is not vacuum sealed if the lid presses down and snaps back. Remove the ring and lid, then clean the jar’s rim. Replace the jar’s lid and repeat the process until a vacuum seal is achieved. 
  9. Store your jars. Remove the ring from the lid before storing it. Leaving the rings on the jars may result in rust or mold growth. Keep jars in a cool, dark location for up to one year. 

Pressure Canning: What Is It? 

Under pressure, canning low-acid foods, such as meat, seafood, and soups, is an effective technique. This method can also preserve low-acid vegetables such as green beans, beets, and potatoes. The pressure-canning of low-acid foods effectively eliminates the possibility of botulism spore growth. Botulism spores are destroyed in canned foods under ten to fifteen pounds of pressure per square inch at sea level. Although effective, pressure canning is a potentially hazardous process only recommended for experienced home cooks. 

What’s the Difference Between Raw and Hot Pack? 

Raw or hot foods can be packed into jars, allowing uncooked and cooked foods to be preserved. There are distinctions between these two processes. 

When raw packaging food, place raw foods at room temperature in a jar. Pour enough boiling water into the jars to cover the raw foods, leaving the specified amount of headspace per the recipe. Since air is not removed from raw foods during cooking, they are likely to become discolored within two to three months. Raw packaging is an acceptable method for vegetables to be processed in a pressure canner. 

Hot packaging is preferred because it tends to produce better color and flavor. When hot packing, cook the food for the required time and place it in the jars with the hot cooking liquid. 

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