BOILING WATER BATH CANNING AND JAR STERILIZATION
The washing of your jars in hot water and detergent after using for boiling water bath canning will clean your jars for future use but will not STERILIZE your jars. Incidentally if your are going to wash and clean your jars after removing your canned food,it would be wise to use a vinegar solution like 1 cup to a gallon of water and this will remove hard water films on your jars and they should be soaked for several hours. This can be done after washing your empty jars and make sure you rinse them since a detergent may cause unnatural flavors or colors in your next boiling water bath canning process.
Your jars must be sterilized even if this is the first time in their use. In order to sterilize your jars in preparation for boiling water bath canning,you need to place your empty jars right side up on the rack in your boiling water bath canning as noted in the picture to the right.
You fill the canner with hot water not boiling water to one inch above the top of the jars. The reason to use hot water to place your jars in the canner is for the fear that boiling water may crack or damage your jars coming from room temperature to immediate boiling water. You should boil for ten minutes at altitudes less than 1000 feet as elevations increase add an additonal one minute for each 1000 feet of elevation. Elevation is an important factor in processing your boiling water bath canning. The chart below will provide you with the processing time for your boiling water bath canning:
HIGH ALTITUDE PROCESSING TIME
|Attitude in feet||The increase in Processing time required|
|1,001 to 3,000 feet||10-12 minutes|
|3,001 to 6,000 feet||12-14 minutes|
|6,001 to 8,000 feet||14-16 minutes|
|8,001 to 10,000 feet||16-18 minutes|
You can check your local library or cooperative extension service to information on your specific elevation. The use of empty jars for vegetables,meats and fruits to be processed in a pressure canner and fruits,tomatoes,and pickled or fermented foods that will be processed for more than ten minutes or longer in the boiling water bath canning need not be presterilized.
Assemble all of your required equipment into one area and including the above pictured make sure you have a nonmetallic spatula to free air bubbles.The boiling water bath canning rack should be outside of your kettle at this time.You need a tea kettle or saucepan used to reserve additional boiling water. You should keep this boiling at all times.
Now that you have all the canning equipment assemble it is time for your food preparation to begin. Since this method of canning is only recommended for high acid foods,you maybe processing apples,berries,cherries,tomatoes,tomato juice,peaches etc. I would advise unless you have fruit trees on your own property to avail yourself of the local farmers market as the fruit comes into season. This will certainly be better choices then the local supermarkets which often have underripe fruit or more often than not overripe fruit. By however means you obtain your fruit,it can be stored for a few hours or even overnight just make sure it is refrigerated. Now you are ready for the final "cut",no pun intended and even a little paraphrased Shakespeare,to cut or not to cut that is the question? It is really determined by the fruit that is picked for boiling water bath canning. For example it would be extremely difficult to stuff whole apples into a mason jar so peel them and slice into smaller pieces. You can leave small fruit like berries in their whole state.
NOW WE HAVE THE QUESTION OF DARKENING OR DISCOLORATION
This is a problem with apples,apricots,peaches,pears and so on. You can protect the fruit from oxidizing by using an antioxidant mixture. You can make this mixture with 1 teaspoon of lemon or lime juice in 1 cup of cold water. There are are also commerical products available that perform the same function. Then dip your sliced fruit into this solution and remove. The other method involves three ingredients vinegar,salt and water. This includes 2 tablespoons of salt,2 tablespoons of vinegar and a gallon of water. Your fruit should not remain in this mixture for more than 20 minutes as this mixture will remove nutrients from your fruits and have an impact on its flavor.
I tell you there is a lot to this boiling water bath canning if you are not discouraged yet keep on reviewing. You can raw pack or hot pack your fruit. The raw packing is simply packing raw fruit into hot jars for fruits that seem to be on the delicate side after cooking such as peaches.Hot packing simply heats the fruit in a hot liquid before packing the fruit into your prepared jars. You actually can squeeze more fruit into your jars making use of less jars.
LIQUID INTO YOUR JARS
It is always necessary to add some kind of liquid to your boiling water bath canning jars. There are several selections to choose from including sugar syrup,fruit juice or water. This is a decision made solely by the canner which is you. It depends on the final usuage of the product you are home canning. you maybe canning apples for an apple pie in which case I would use water since you will be adding sugar to the apple pie. The water incidentally must be boiling. If your are going to eat your apples directly from the jar then use a sugar syrup or fruit juice.
As soon as you pour this boiling fruit juice,water or syrup over the fruit positioned in your jar and have filled it to within one-half inch of the top,run your nonmetallic spatula along the inside of the jar to remove any air bubbles. If the headspace drops(the distance between your fruit and the jar lid about one half inch,add more liquid to maintain the proper headspace or add more fruit if the fruit level drops. The syrup I am talking about here is simply a mixture of sugar and water and depending on the concentration you may desire dictates the proportions of each to mix for your syrup liquid. I have constructed the chart below to give you some assistance in the mixing of the two ingredients.
DIFFERENT INTENSITIES OF SYRUP SOLUTIONS
|syrup intensity||sugar||water ||yield|
|VERY LIGHT||ONE QUARTER CUP||5 AND THREE QUARTER CUPS||6 CUPS|
|LIGHTER||1 AND ONE QUARTER CUPS||5 AND ONE HALF CUPS||6 CUPS|
|LIGHT||2 AND ONE QUARTER CUPS||5 AND ONE QUARTER CUPS||6 AND ONE HALF CUPS|
|MEDIUM||3 AND ONE QUARTER CUPS||5 CUPS||7CUPS|
|HEAVY||4 AND ONE QUARTER CUPS||4 AND ONE QUARTER CUPS||7 CUPS|
The very light will of course give you less calories be closer to the real sugar taste of a fruit. The lighter I think would suit a very sweet fruit maybe in the realm of a fig. The light mixture would be excellent for your apples to be used in pies or berries to put milk on maybe even strawberry short cake. The medium could be used on tart fruits to improve or enchance their flavor. The heavy syrup I would be inclined to use on sour fruit such as a grapefruit. In any case you can see there are many variations to satisfy different tastes.
STEPS TO FOLLOW IN PROCESSING YOUR BOILING WATER BATH CANNING
The boiling water bath canners must have a removeable racks and a fitted lid like the drawing below. The canner depth must be enough to allow for one inch of fast boiling water over the tops of the jars or correct processing. There are canners without flat bottoms. A flat bottom canner must be used on an electric stove. The gas stove can accommodate either a flat bottom canner or one with ridges. When using an electric stove make sure the canner exceeds the burner element by only four inches or you will not attain an unformity in processing. Some jars may not receive the proper heat.
Here are your steps in water boiling bath canning:
- Your canner should be filled half way with water
- The water should be preheated to 140 degrees for raw packed foods and 180 degrees for hot packed foods
- Transfer the prepared food into your hot jars using the wide mouth canning funnel
- release any air bubbles with your nonmetallic spatula
- A hot lid should be placed on the jar rim with sealant side touching jar rim
- The jar rack picture above should now be postioned on the canner suspended by handles
- Place your fill jars on to the rack making sure the screw bands are tight
- CAUTION use jar rack handles to lower into the water very gently
- More boiling water should be added if the water level is not 1 inch above jar tops
- This activity may decrease the boiling water to less than the optimum requirement.
- Turn the heat up until you achieve a vigorous boil no spilling over the sides
- Set a timer for the minutes necessary for processing after boiling becomes vigorous
- Cover the canner at this time and lower your heat setting to maintain a gentle rolling boil through all the processing
- Check the water level occasionally you may need to add more BOILING water
- Using a Jar Lifter remove the jars at the end of the processing time
- Place the jars on clean towel away from drafts leaving several inches between jars
- NEVER ATTEMPT AT THIS POINT TO ADJUST BANDS OR CHECK SEALS
- The cooling period could be as little as 12 hours or as much as 24
- They must be completely cool
The sealant is proper if during the cooling period you hear a "plink"as the lid snaps while jar is cooling. You can also tap the lid using a spoon after the jar is completely cooled and upon hearing a clear ringing sound your lid is sealed. You can also take notice of the seal and if it is curved down it is also sealed. After the jar has completely cooled you may press on the center of the lid if the lid is sealed it will not move. Now you may remove the screw bands after complete cooling and these maybe reused if kept rust free. NEVER REUSE LIDS
This is your boiling water bath canning method. I know it seems long and drawn out but once you have mastered it you will enjoy having fruits and tomatoes just at your fingertips. You will also have the peace of mind knowing the ingredients contained in your jars. I do want to provide one last thing on this web page which is the processing time for some high acid foods.
PROCESS TIME FOR HIGH ACID FOODS IN A WATER BATH CANNER
|VEGETABLES AND FRUITS||PINTS||QUARTS|
|TOMATOE JUICE(HOT PACK)||35 MINUTES||40 MINUTES|
|TOMATOES(HOT PACK)||35 MINUTES||45 MINUTES|
|PICKLE RELISH(HOT PACK)||10 MINUTES||-----|
|PLUMS(HOT PACK)||20 MINUTES||25 MINUTES|
|PEARS(HOT PACK)||20 MINUTES||25 MINUTES|
|PEACHES(HOT PACK)||20 MINUTES||25 MINUTES|
|SWEET PICKLES(RAW PACK||10 MINUTES||15 MINUTES|
|CHERRIES(RAW PACK)||20 MINUTES||25 MINUTES|
|BERRIES(RAW PACK)||15 MINUTES||20 MINUTES|
|APPLES(HOT PACK)||20 MINUTES||20 MINUTES|
Now do you want to know all there is know about pressure canning then See pressure canning for complete details
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