keithjennison November 24, 2009

People, who are serious about storing and preserving their own food, choose different ways to do that. Some of them like drying food naturally in the sun or using food dehydrator, others prefer freezing all kinds of food. Another popular way of preserving food is canning. There are two types of canning, which is water bath canning and pressure canning. This article is focused on the second type of canning.

Pressure canning involves using pressurized container for canning with the temperature of 240F degrees. This way of canning is good for low-acid foods like vegetables like carrots, corn, green beans, okra and squash. You can also process meat and poultry using this method of canning. Pressure canning is better for these types of food, because they have harmful bacteria that can cause botulism, and not all such bacterial can be killed during water bath canning. These microorganisms need higher temperatures to die. That is why pressure canning is safer in such cases.

Before starting, your pressure canner has to be totally examined. Make sure you use only tested and reliable canning recipes. At the beginning, have all the necessary ingredients handy as well as all equipment and utensils. Use good canning jars with bands and lids and always leave enough headspace in every jar. Get rid of all the air bubbles in the jar, if there is any left, use rubber spatula to remove them. To ensure the food safety and freshness, proper jar seal is very important. If the canning was done right and the seal is good, canned food will be fresh and safe to eat for a very long time, but it is also important to store the jars in dry and cool places. After a couple of days, check if there are any changes in the seal or the food inside the jar, to make sure it is safe to eat in the future.

It is important to follow all the precautions in canning. Your pressure canner has to be in good working condition. Do not use the pressure canner if there are broken parts present. Don’t try to open your pressure canner using a lot of force right after cooking. You should let it cool down to prevent injury and burn. If you are in a hurry, it is ok to place the pressure canner vessel under the cool running water to let it cool down. This way of cooling the vessel will let you release the pressure very quickly. Take care about your safety and always follow all the pressure canning precautions.

You can achieve good quality canned food if you follow the right steps on pressure canning. All the rules are easy to follow, so there is no reason to be intimidated by it. You just take care of your family, its good and health, if you learn the pressure canning.

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