While some people might think of the practice as old-fashioned or impractical, it is seeing a resurgence as more people become interested in growing their own food, saving money, and broadening their skills in the kitchen. If you're considering trying your hand at canning, having a good stock of home-produced food to choose from is important, as is buying the right equipment. However, choosing the best canning recipes is also crucial to how much you enjoy your foray into home canning. Here are some tips for finding the tastiest and safest recipes.
Stick to Proven and Current Recipes
If you're interested in canning, you probably at least enjoy cooking, which means that you know the value of experimenting and improvising with time-tested recipes. However, with canning, the risks inherent in swapping ingredients or preparation methods are obvious if something goes wrong, the best case scenario is that you've wasted the last of a fruit or vegetable that you won't see in a fresh state again for months. If you want to experiment, make sure that you at least reserve some of your food to be canned following a proven canning recipe, in case your experiment isn't a success.
It's important to be careful, though, because in the worst-case scenario, testing out new or self-produced recipes could actually make you sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that the leading cause of botulism in the U.S. is home-canned vegetables. If the acid levels in a jar are too low or if heating isn't sufficient during preparation, the spores that cause botulism may survive and grow. If you take out a can during the off-season months and notice that it is cracked, leaking, bulging, or otherwise in doubtful condition, you should always just throw the can out instead of eating the contents to check if they are okay.
On a related note, you should try to use home canning recipes that are fairly modern the USDA guidelines for home canning were revised in 1989, so older recipes may not live up to those standards. Recipes that have been handed down from family or friends may open the door for health problems. Our understanding of the contaminants that can grow in canned foods has improved in recent years, giving rise to better recipes that minimize the risks of home canning.
Know What Type of Canning You'll Be Doing
You should make sure that any recipe you are planning to use is intended for the method of canning that you use. Boiling water canning and pressure canning are the two main methods that you can choose between. In boiling water canning, the can is prepared and then submerged in boiling water that comes 1 to 2 inches over the top of the can. Pressure canning involves heating water, placing the can inside the pressure canner, and then stopping ventilation so that the can is treated under high pressure for as much as 10 minutes. Many canning recipes may not focus on the specifics of preparation as much as the ingredients, so if you're new to canning or you only practice this hobby sporadically, make sure to review the guidelines published by the National Center for Home Food Preservation, available at http://www.freshpreserving.com/recipes.aspx, to ensure safety during cooking as well as consumption.
If you're choosing between a pressure canning and boiling canning setup, there are a few key differences to consider. Boiling water canning can typically be done with equipment that you already have in your kitchen you can just boil water in a large pot that has a rack at the base to support the canning jar but it is not a safe way to preserve animal products or vegetables that are not acidic. This is because the temperature of the water never gets high enough to destroy the spores that cause botulism. Pickled vegetables, plain fruits, and tomatoes can be canned through boiling. A pressure canner is a specialized piece of equipment that you have to buy, but it gives you more options in terms of recipes. If you do use boiling for canning, be very careful of the recipes that you try. Although any home canning recipes for animal products, plain vegetables, or soup stock should clearly indicate that they are not suitable for a boiling canner, it is best to know for yourself what the limits of this method are.
Choose Recipes from Trusted Sources
There are a number of readily available resources where you can find a variety of canning recipes. Some of the most commonly canned foods include tomatoes, pickles, jalapenos, beets, salsa, peaches, berries, and figs; spaghetti sauce and vegetable soups are also very popular. However, you're sure to find a number of recipes for these foods and whatever else you want to can if you look online.
Sites such as http://www.freshpreserving.com/recipes.aspx and http://www.homecanning.com share recipes from both professionals and everyday people. Both websites allow you to search for recipes based on skill level, preparation method, primary ingredient, or type of food produced at the end. Broader websites like that of Better Home and Gardens or The Taste of Home also offer a tested, if more limited, selection of recipes. Although there is no shortage of home canning recipes online, it is best to stick with websites that are devoted exclusively to canning, and make a point of monitoring recipe quality, or to websites that are affiliated with magazines, television shows, or chefs and have a stake in producing top recipes.
Once you've found recipes that suit the foods that you have, the only thing left to do is try and enjoy. With canning, you don't have to feel obligated to try outlandish new recipes or & quot;spice up & quot; the standard fare canned goods offer a delicious treat during the off-season months, and some of the most basic preparations are the most delicious. When you are choosing canning recipes, just be sure that you follow them carefully and choose recipes that use the correct preparation method, since safety is a top priority when you are preparing food this way on your own.
The Advantasges of Canning Foods
Canning foods are the perfect way to preserve them so they can be kept for longer. There are a multitude of different foods that can be stored in this way and everyone will have products in their home that are in jars. It is possible to buy food in this way or to preserve foods yourself at home. In order to be able to do this successfully you need to know how to prepare the food you wish to preserve to start with. You also need to know how to prepare the jars you will be storing the food in so that they are clean and hygienic. Finally you will also need the correct type of caning lid to create an airtight seal on the jar.
It is essential that you know how to preserve and can foods correctly or you could risk contaminating what you have produced. In order to help you with this there are many websites that will give you plenty of information on the subject. As well as knowing how to preserve foods safely you should also know where to buy your equipment from. When you know this you will be able to buy bilk canning lids and jars for the best price.
Home Or Commercial Use?
When you are buying canning lids you need to think about what type of goods they will be used for. If you are a home produce maker who will be selling things to friends and family or giving them as gifts your needs till be different to a commercial seller. People who can products at home tend to want to buy bulk canning lids but in reduced numbers than a commercial venture. With this in mind many of the websites that sell these lids will sell them in packs of 12. This is a manageable number which means someone at home does not have to buy hundreds of lids each time.
Commercial canning companies will buy bulk canning lids in their thousands. Many of these companies will have regular orders with lid suppliers. However when these types of companies are starting out they still need to be able to source bulk canning lids. When you are canning foods you need to make sure that the jars and lids you are using are right. They need to be clean and able to create an airtight seal when closed. It is essential that they do this as the food inside needs to be package correctly to prevent it from going & lsquo;off & rsquo;.
On the Simply Canning website which is here http://www.simplycanning.com/canning-jar-lids.html you can get plenty of practical advice on canning and the lids you will need. If you are new to the world of preserves you will find this website has plenty of useful information.
There are several different types of lids that can be used when canning food but home preserves will tend to use a metal lid. This comes in two parts a screw band and a flat lid that fits inside it. When the lids and screw bands are placed onto the jar and then either pressure sealed or sealed using boiling water they create a tight seal.
It is important that you change the lid of the jar every time you preserve new food. The screw band can be retained providing that it is still in good condition. If you notice any dents or buckling on the screw band you must discard it.
Tips To Buy In Bulk
Buying canning lids can be made much easier if you know a few tips on the subject. For information on the canning process take a look at the Canning-food-recipes.com website located here http://www.canning-food-recipes.com/canning.htm which is filled with tips. On this website you can also take a look at the kind of equipment you will need as well as finding great recipes.
People who are canning goods at home should make sure that they don & rsquo;t buy too many lids at one time. While buying bulk is certainly a way to save money it is not so good if you buy more than you can store. To help you to work out how many lids you will need think about how much food you plan to can in a year. Maybe order 5 10 more lids that you estimate and you should have enough.
You should also think about the size of lids that you will be using. Most people will use different sized jars depending on the food they are storing. Food such as jelly will be stored in a smaller jar to foods such as preserved tomatoes so think about this. You might want to buy a few different sized lids to start with and see how much food you produce.
If you and a friend like to preserve food why not think about buying bulk canning lids together? This can save you money and ensure that you are getting all of the lids that you need.
To give yourself the pick of the stores that sell canning lids you need to shop online. When you do this you can quickly find the products you need and compare prices.
To be able to find bulk canning lids at a price that is right for you visit the Nextag ® website which is here http://www.nextag.com/canning-lids/compare-html. This website is so easy to use and you can simply scroll down the page to take a look at the lids that are available. You can compare the prices side by side and buy directly from this site if you find something you need.
Another website that offers bulk canning lids is Goodman & rsquo;s. This website which is located here http://www.goodmans.net/d/603/ball-canning-lids-caps-bands.htm is excellent for anyone who cans goods at home. Many of the lids can be bought in packs of 12.
Maybe you need jars as well as canning lids. If this is the case take a look at the Dutch Valley Foods website which you can find here http://www.dutchvalleyfoods.com/food/VendorItem.aspx/Vendor_No/f3e0287c-89ac-4934-a0be-b6d09bf0cc66.