Canning food is a great way to preserve food and prevent it from spoiling. The idea of canning is to kill all microorganisms that can make food spoil and seal the jar tight enough to keep them out. This is what people did before refrigerators and even today it is still a technique that many people practice for the sake of preparedness and self-sustainability.
Anyone with the right tools and the know-how is capable of learning the canning method. Here are a few tips if canning is a skill that you would like to acquire:
What to Can
You should can a food you like as well as one that is easy to can. Some foods require more work than others when it comes to canning. For instance tomatoes are fairly simple while if you were to can cherries you would have to â€œpitâ€ them all first. Also consider the quantity of what you are canning. If you are just starting out then there is no need to start with a big project such as, 30 pounds of apples. Just practice with a small batch of food to get your feet wet.
Tip: Make sure the food you can is firm and ripe and doesnâ€™t have bruises.
Sanitation is one of the most important aspects of canning. Should bacteria make its way into a can then it could spoil the contents and make you seriously ill and without food. For that reason, make sure that you wash your hands before you begin and continue to wash them should you get them dirty in the process. Also make sure that your work area has been properly sanitized beforehand.
For some great tips on keeping a sanitary workspace check out this article from Wikihow.
You will also need to sterilize the jars by boiling them in water for at least 10 minutes. To sterilize the jar seals simply boil about an inch of water in the bottom of a pan and press the seals down.
At this point it is time to can your chosen food, so make sure that you have diced the food accordingly and have prepared the preservatives as necessary for that particular food.
When you are placing the food in the can make sure that you leave a little bit of head space at the top (about an eighth of an inch to an inch) so that you have enough room to add your preservatives and syrup.
After adding the syrup there will be air bubbles which you need to do away with. You can get rid of them by simply running a plastic knife all around the inside of the jar. At this point you are ready to seal your jar so place a softened lid on top (making sure you wipe any residue on the rim with a damp cloth), then take a clean ring and tighten it over the seal with your hand pressure.
After all is said and done feel free to enjoy the works of your hand whenever you like!
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