Canning is an age old art. There is nothing like having fresh fruits and vegetables year round. Families have been canning and preserving foods for generations. In fact, the early 4-H clubs were made of corn and canning clubs, but our methods of canning have certainly changed over time.
Before you begin the process of canning, you need to make sure that you come to the Extension Office to have your canner lid tested. This is FREE of charge. Please call Kinsey Hixson for an appointment.
There are no Canning College classes scheduled at this time
There are two canning methods: Water bath and pressure canner.
Water Bath Method: High acid foods are processed in a boiling-water canner. The heat is transferred to the product by the boiling water which completely surrounds the jar and two piece cap. A temperature of 212 degrees F is reached and it must be maintained for the time specified.
This method is adequate to kill molds, yeasts, enzymes and some bacteria. This method never reaches the super-high temperatures needed to kill certain bacterial spores and their toxins, which can produce botulism, therefore, this method cannot be used for processing low-acid foods.
What foods are considered “Acid Foods”? Fruit butters and spreads, fruit pie fillings, sauerkraut, pickles and pickled vegetables, jams, jellies and marmalades are all considered to be acid foods and can be safely processed by boiling water bath canning.
Pressure Canner Method: Pressure canning is the only method safe for canning low-acid foods according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
The bacteria, Clostridium botulinum, produces a spore that makes a poisonous toxin which causes botulism. This spore is not destroyed at 212 degrees F. In addition, bacteria thrive on low acids in the absence of air. Therefore, for a safe food product, low-acid foods need to be processed at 240 degrees F. This temperature can only be achieved with a pressure canner.