I keep seeing an article about 7 mistakes people make while canning, so I wanted to give my two cents on this topic since I have been canning for quite some time!
The first mistake listed is about how oven canning is not safe and I agree. The oven can’t get the food in the jar hot enough to kill the bacteria and should not be trusted.
The next mistake is flipping jars to seal them. This is also not a good idea. The seal with not be strong enough and using a water bath or a pressure canner is necessary in order to kill the bacteria in the jar.
Another mistake is using Paraffin waxto seal the jars – this does not provide a proper seal and will allow bad bacteria to grow.
They also talk about inventing your own recipe. While I have to admit, I make up recipes all the time, the concern with this is the amount of acid needed to safely preserve food might be off (a pH of 4.6 or lower is advised). Another issue could be the temperature might not get high enough to adequately destroy bacteria and mold spores that are present.
The next mistake is if it’s canned at the store, it’s ok to can it at home. This is a problem. You cannot can certain foods at home, such as puree pumpkin ,because they are so low in acid and/or dense that you cannot kill all the bacteria in the jar with your non-commercial equipment.
Next they talk about not needing to boil the lids. They started making new lids a while ago saying just wash in hot soapy water and dry and set aside until ready to use. I tried that and half of my jars do not seal – I was not happy. So I always dip the lid in hot water right before I put it on the jar. This softens the rubber on the lid and I have a high success rate with this method.
The last mistake they mention is canning butter. I have never heard of anyone canning butter but it’s much easier to just freeze it as a way of preservation.
Although I agree with all of these “mistakes”, the article does not mention the most important aspect of canning – CLEANLINESS. If you have a dirty vent above your stove PLEASE do not can. Here is why: when you can you have a big pot of boiling water on the stove. The steam from the pot rises and will release the grease from the vent. This grease can fall into your pot of jam and now you have bacteria in your jars which can cause food borne botulism. And of course your kitchen should always be clean when starting to can.
Instead of worrying about these mistakes, come take a class with me so you have none of the stress and all of the fun!
See you in class