BOILING WATER BATH CANNING
Fresh, perfect, uniformly sized vegetables should be selected for canning. For many vegetables, uniform size is important for even, thorough processing. Tomatoes should be red ripe, firm, and free from blemishes. A few years ago, there was concern that some varieties were too low in acid for save processing in a boiling water bath.
However, recent studies show that firm, ripe, and fully colored tomatoes can be processed by the boiling water bath method. Over ripe tomatoes shouldn't be canned at all, so pass over those that are soft and deep red, and have wrinkled skins. If you add any low acid ingredients to the tomatoes you're canning, then the mixture must be processed in a steam pressure canner.
Water and salt, or a salt sugar mix, are the only other ingredients normally used in the recipes that aren't for sauces, pickles, or relishes. Since the salt called for in simple canning is for flavoring only, you may omit it without affecting the canning process in any way.
BASIC STEPS FOR BOILING WATER BATH CANNING 1. Select foods that are perfect, just mature, very fresh, and free from blemishes or decay.
Sort by size and maturity.
2. Set out all the ingredients and equipment. Wash and dry all the equipment, counter tops, working surfaces, and your hands. Check jars for nicks and cracks. Wash and rinse the jars, lids, and screw bands, then keep them hot in a pan of hot water or in the dishwasher on the dry cycle. Prepare the lids as the manufacturer directs (usually by simmering at 180 degrees F and keeping them in hot water until needed.
3. Wash the vegetables very carefully, using several changes of washing and rinsing water and scrubbing them with a brush before breaking the skin. Remember that botulism bacteria are in the soil, and only thorough washing will eliminate them from the vegetables. Be sure that you lift the vegetables out of the rinse water to drain.
4. Prepare the vegetables as each recipe directs; cutting, peeling, or precooking only enough for one canner load of jars at a time.
5. Completing one jar at a time, pack food into jars as the recipe directs, leaving head space as the recipe specifies. Stand the hot jar on wood or cloth while filling it.
6. Pour boiling water, cooking liquid, juice, brine, or pickling solution into the packed jars to the level given in the recipe.
7. Run a slim, non metal tool or plastic bubble freer down along the inside of each jar to release any air bubbles. If necessary, pour in additional boiling water to bring the liquid back up to the level specified in the recipe.
8. Wipe the tops and threads of each jar with a clean, damp cloth.
9. Put on lids and screw bands as the manufacturer directs. Tighten bands firmly by hand. Never use a jar wrench or any other device to tighten them.
Continued in Basic Steps For Boiling Water Bath Canning B Source: Vegetable Gardening Encyclopedia Typos by Dorothy Flatman 1995 Submitted By DOROTHY FLATMAN On 10-04-95
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