Canning

    Canning

    As with all preservation methods, select firm ripe fruit that is free of blemishes for optimum results. Adding syrup to canned fruit helps to retain its flavor, color, and shape. It does not prevent spoilage of these foods.

    Applesauce 

    An average of 21 pounds of apples yields 7 quarts or an average of 13 1/2 pounds yields 9 pints.

    Select apples that are sweet, juicy, and crisp. For a tart flavor, add 1 to 2 pounds of tart apples to each 3 pounds of sweeter fruit. Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Gala, Mutsu and Fuji varieties are scored as well liked in applesauce.

    Wash, peel, core and slice apples. If desired, slice into ascorbic acid solution to prevent discoloration. Place drained slices in an 8 to 10 quart pot. Add 1/2 cup water. Stirring occasionally to prevent burning, heat quickly until tender (5 to 20 minutes, depending on maturity and variety). Press through sieve or food mill, puree in a food processor or skip the pressing step if you prefer chunk-style sauce. Sauce may be packed without sugar. If desired, add 1/8 cup sugar per quart of sauce. Taste and add more, if desired. Reheat sauce to boiling. Stir thoroughly and be sure that mixture is uniformly boiling hot. Fill jars with hot sauce, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process.

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    Sliced Apples

    Approximately 19 pounds of apples yields 7 quarts. An average of 12-1/4 pounds yields 9 pints. Wash, peel, and core apples. To prevent discoloration, pre-treat with ascorbic acid (see previous section). Raw pack canning yields poor quality product; therefore instructions are for hot pack only. Place drained slices in large saucepan and add 1 pint water or light to medium syrup per 5 pounds of sliced apples. Boil 5 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Fill jars with hot slices and hot syrup or water, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process in a boiling water-bath canner.

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    Quantity:

    16 pounds of apricots will fill approximately 7 quart jars

    10 pounds of apricots will fill approximately 9 pints

    A bushel weighs 50 pounds and yields 20 to 25 quarts

    An average of 2-1/4 pounds of fruit are needed per quart.

    Quality: Select firm, well-colored mature fruit of ideal quality for eating fresh.

    Procedure: Apricots may be peeled before canning or canned with the skins on. To remove the skins dip the apricots in boiling water for 30-60 seconds until skins loosen. Then immerse the apricots in cold water and remove the skins. Cut the apricots in half and remove and discard the pits. To prevent darkening, place peeled fruit in an ascorbic acid solution (see directions above). Prepare and boil a very light, light or medium syrup. Apple juice, pineapple juice, white grape juice or water may also be used as the syrup in canning apricots. Hot packing produces the highest quality apricot, but apricots may also be raw packed.

    Hot pack - In a large saucepan place drained fruit in syrup, juice or water and bring to boil. Fill jars with hot fruit and cooking liquid, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Place halves in layers, cut side down.

    Raw pack - Fill jars with raw fruit, cut side down, and add hot juice, syrup, or water, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process using the processing times on the table below.

    Remember to use the processing time for local altitude (see chart below). Process either by boiling water bath or by pressure canning.

    canning apricots

    All varieties of berries, with the exception of strawberries, may be canned. Strawberries become very mushy and lose their color and flavor when canned. Berries may be canned in sugar syrup, water or juices such as apple, white grape, or berry juice. They will hold their shape best if canned in syrup. Canning the berries in juice provides added nutrients and unique flavors. 

    Quantity: An average of 12 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts. An average of 8 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A 24-quart crate weighs 36 pounds and yields 18- 24 quarts—an average of 1 3/4 pounds per quart.

    Quality: Choose ripe, sweet berries with uniform color.

    Procedure: Wash 1 or 2 quarts of berries at a time. Drain, cap and stem if necessary. For gooseberries, snip off heads and tails with scissors. Prepare and boil preferred syrup if desired. Add 1/2 cup syrup, juice, or water to each clean jar.

    Hot Pack: Dip berries in boiling water, syrup or juice for 30 seconds; drain. Fill jars and cover with hot liquid, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Adjust lids and process in boiling water canner or pressure canner.

    Raw Pack: Fill jars with raw berries, shaking down gently while filling. Cover with hot syrup, juice, or water, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Adjust lids and process in boiling water canner or pressure canner. Note: There will be more floating fruit using the raw pack method.

    berries canningAfter processing is completed, remove jars from canner with a jar lifter and place on a towel or rack. Do not retighten screw bands. Air-cool jars 12 to 24 hours. Remove screw bands and check lid seals. If the center of the lid is indented, wash, dry, label and store jar in a clean, cool, dark place. If lid is not sealed, examine and replace jar if defective, use new lids and reprocess as before. Alternatively, jars with lids that failed to seal may be held in the refrigerator and consumed or may be frozen.

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    Wash jars. Prepare lids according to manufacturer’s directions. Stem and wash cherries. Remove pits if desired. If pitted, place cherries in water containing ascorbic acid to prevent stem-end discoloration (1 teaspoon of ascorbic acid or 3 grams in 1 gallon water). If canned unpitted, pricking skins on opposite sides with a clean needle will prevent splitting. Cherries may be canned in water, apple juice, white grape juice, or syrup.

    If syrup is desired, select and prepare preferred type as directed above. Medium syrup works well for sweet cherries and heavy syrup for sour cherries.

    Hot pack– In a large saucepan add cherries and 1/2 cup water, juice, or syrup for each quart of drained fruit and bring to a boil. Fill jars with cherries and cooking liquid, leaving 1/2" headspace. Wipe the sealing edge of the jar with a clean, damp paper towel. Adjust lids and process in a boiling water bath or pressure canner. Process in either a boiling water canner or a pressure canner as described below based on the altitude in your location.

    Raw pack– Add 1/2 cup hot water, juice, or syrup to each jar. Fill jars with drained cherries, shaking them down gently as filled. Add more hot liquid, leaving 1/2" headspace. Wipe the sealing edge of the jar with a clean, damp paper towel. Adjust lids and process in a boiling water bath or pressure canner. Process in either a boiling water canner or a pressure canner as described below based on the altitude in your location.

    To process in a boiling water canner, fill canner halfway with water and preheat to 180/ F for hot packs or 140/ F for raw packs. Load sealed jars onto the canner rack and lower with handles. Add water if needed to a level of 1 inch above jars. Cover. When water boils vigorously, lower heat to maintain a gentle boil and process for recommended time according to the following table.

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    To process in a pressure canner, place the jar rack, 2 inches of water, and sealed jars in canner. Fasten lids, and heat canner on high setting. After exhausting steam 10 minutes, add weighted gauge or close petcock to pressurize the canner. Start timing the recommended process time when the desired pressure is reached.

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    Regulate heat to maintain a uniform pressure. When processing is complete, remove canner from heat. Air-cool canner until it is fully depressurized. Slowly remove weighted gauge or open petcock, wait 2 more minutes, then unfasten and carefully remove canner lid. Remove jars from canner with a jar lifter and place on a towel or rack. Do not retighten screw bands. Aircool jars 12 to 24 hours. Remove screw bands and check lid seals. The center of the lid should be indented and make a ping sound when tapped. Wash, dry, label, and store jar in a clean, cool, dark place. If lid failed to seal examine and replace jar if defective, use new lid, and reprocess as before within 24 hours.

    Canned chile peppers. Chiles may be canned whole or cut into smaller pieces. Peel and flatten chile into pint or half-pint canning jar. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to each pint jar, if desired. Fill jars loosely with peppers and add boiling water, leaving 1-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process. Altitude adjustments need to be made as shown on the following tables. Chiles MUST be processed in a pressure canner to be safe. 

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     Corn can be canned as whole kernel or cream style. Slight differences in preparation result in very different processing times. When canning you must follow tested recipes, such as the following, for a safe product.

    Whole Kernel

    Select ears containing slightly immature kernels, or of ideal quality for eating fresh. Canning of some sweeter varieties or too immature kernels may cause browning. Can a small amount. Check color and flavor before canning large quantities. Husk corn, remove silk, and wash. Blanch 3 minutes in boiling water. Cut corn from cob at about 3/4 the depth of kernel. CAUTION: Do not scrape cob. Hot pack – To each quart of kernels in a saucepan, add 1 cup of hot water. Heat to boiling and simmer 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt per quart to the jar, if desired. Fill jars with corn and cooking liquid, leaving 1-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process. Raw pack – Fill jars with raw kernels, leaving 1-inch headspace. Do not shake or press -3- down. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jar, if desired. Add fresh boiling water, leaving 1- inch headspace. Adjust lids and process.

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    Cream Style Corn

    Select ears containing slightly immature kernels, or of ideal quality for eating fresh. Husk corn, remove silk, and wash ears. Cut corn from cob at about the center of kernel. Scrape remaining corn from cobs with a table knife. Hot pack – To each quart of corn and scrapings in a saucepan, add two cups of boiling water. Heat to boiling. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to each jar, if desired. Fill pint jar with hot corn mixture, leaving 1-inch headspace.

    Note: Do not can cream style corn in quart jars.

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    Select fruit and prepare. Water bath processing is recommended for fig canning. Hot Pack - Prepare light syrup. Wash and drain figs. Do not peel or remove stems. Cover figs with water and boil for 2 minutes. Drain. Gently boil figs in syrup for 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice to each quart jar, or 1/2 tsp citric acid. Fill jars with hot figs and cooking syrup leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rims. Adjust lids and process.

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    Grape Juice

    Quantity: An average of 24 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 16 pounds per canner load of 9 pints. A lug weighs 26 pounds and yields 7 to 9 quarts of juice – an average of 3 pounds per quart.

    Quality: Select sweet, well-colored, firm, mature fruit of ideal quality for eating fresh or cooking.

    Procedure: Wash and stem grapes. Place grapes in a saucepan and add boiling water to cover grapes. Heat and simmer slowly until skin is soft. Strain through a damp jelly bag or double layers of cheesecloth. Refrigerate juice for 24 to 48 hours. Without mixing, carefully pour off clear liquid and save; discard sediment*. If desired, strain through a paper coffee filter for a clearer juice.

    Add juice to a saucepan and sweeten to taste. Heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Continue heating with occasional stirring until juice begins to boil. Fill hot, sterilized jars immediately, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process according to the following chart.

    *If sediment remains in juice it will result in large crystals forming in the bottom of jar. These crystals, primarily tartaric acid, are not harmful but are unappealing. Tartaric acid is used in the making of cream of tartar. 

    *Note: If processing time is less than 10 minutes, jars need to be sterilized before filling.

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    Pretreat pears as described in the previous section on “Preparing Pears.” Prepare a very light, light or medium syrup or pack pears in apple juice, white grape juice or water. To prepare a light syrup: Bring 2 cups sugar and 4 cups water to a boil. Boil drained pears 5 minutes in syrup, juice or water. Fill jars with hot fruit. Pack hot pears in jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace, then cover with boiling syrup. Remove air bubbles and adjust lids. Process in hot water bath OR a pressure canner as follows, based on altitude.

    To water bath can: Place jars and rack in hot water adequate to cover jars by 1 inch. Begin timing when water begins to boil.

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    To pressure can: Place jar rack in 2 inches of water, add prepared jars of pears. Fasten canner lid, and heat on high setting. After steam exhausts 10 minutes, add weighted gauge or close petcock to pressurize the canner. Start timing when the desired pressure is reached, according to chart below:

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    Regulate heat to maintain a uniform pressure. When processing is complete, remove canner from heat. Air-cool canner until it is fully depressurized. Then slowly remove weighted gauge or open petcock, wait 2 more minutes, and unfasten and carefully remove canner lid.

    After processing is completed, remove jars from water bath or pressure canner with a jar lifter and place on a towel or rack. Do not retighten screw bands. Air-cool jars 12-24 hours. Remove screw bands and check lid seals. If the center of the lid is indented, wash, dry, label and store jar in a clean, cool, dark place. If lid is not sealed, examine and replace jar if defective. Use new lids and reprocess according to the processing instructions above. Alternately, jars of pears with unsealed lids can be refrigerated or frozen. To freeze in narrow neck canning jars, remove a portion of pears and liquid so that the jar will not break.

    Pole or bush beans and other vegetables are low-acid foods. They do not contain enough acid to safely be canned in a boiling-water canner. Pole or bush beans must be pressure-canned for a safe period of time to avoid the possibility of the foodborne illness botulism.

    Use pint or quart jars. Unfortunately there are no safe processes determined for larger size jars. Wash jars in soap and water, then rinse. Prepare lids according to manufacturer’s directions. Harvest, wash, and cut beans as described above. Beans meant for canning do not need to be blanched. An average of 2 pounds of beans is needed per quart jar or 1 pound of beans for a pint jar.

    Raw Pack: Fill pint or quart jars tightly with beans leaving 1 inch of headspace. Add boiling water over the beans, again leaving a 1 inch headspace. Attach two-piece metal lids.

    Hot Pack: Beans can be boiled for 5 minutes in a pan and then packed hot with the boiling liquid into pint or quart jars. Leave 1 inch headspace and attach two piece metal lids. For either method you may add canning or pickling salt at ½ teaspoon per pint or 1 teaspoon per quart. Salt may also be omitted completely.

    To process in a pressure canner, place the jar rack, 2 inches of water, and the sealed jars in the canner. Fasten the lid, and heat the canner on high. After exhausting the steam for 10 minutes, add the weighted gauge or close the petcock to 3 pressurize the canner. Start timing when the desired pressure is reached. Process the jars according to the chart below for your altitude and style of pressure canner. 

    asWhen the processing time has completed, remove the canner from the heat. Air-cool the canner until it is fully depressurized. Then slowly remove the weighted gauge or open the petcock, wait 2 minutes, and unfasten and carefully remove the canner lid. Remove the jars from the canner with a jar lifter and place the jars on a towel or rack. Do not retighten the screw bands. Air-cool the jars 12 to 24 hours. Remove the screw bands and check the lid seals. If the center of the jar lid is indented, wash, dry, label, and store the jar in a clean, cool, dark place.

    Pomegranate Juice 

    Canned juice may turn brown and lose its flavor. Adding two tablespoons of bottled lemon juice to each quart of juice helps retain color and flavor. Bring juice quickly to a boil, pour into hot jars, adjust lids, and process. 

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    *Jars that will be processed for less than 10 minutes should be sterilized before filling. Sterilize by heating jars in boiling water for 10 minutes.

    Quality. Select only disease-free preferably vine-ripened firm fruit. Do not can tomatoes from dead or frost-killed vines. Green tomatoes are more acidic than ripened fruit and can be canned safely with any of the following recommendations.

    Acidification. To ensure safe acidity in whole, crushed, or juiced tomatoes, add 1/4 teaspoon citric acid or 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice to pints and add 1/2 teaspoon citric acid or 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice to quarts. Add acid directly to jars before filling. A small amount of sugar can be added to offset acid taste, if desired. 3.

    Quantity: An average of 21 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 13 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints.

    Crushed Tomatoes

    Procedure: Wash tomatoes and dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split. Then dip in cold water, slip off skins, and remove cores. Trim off any bruised or discolored portions and quarter. Heat one-sixth of the quarters quickly in a large pot, crushing them with a wooden mallet or spoon as they are added to the pot. This will exude juice. Continue heating remaining quartered tomatoes, stirring constantly. These remaining tomatoes do not need to be crushed. They will soften with heating and stirring. Continue until all tomatoes are added. Then boil gently 5 minutes. Add bottled lemon juice or citric acid to jars. See acidification above. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart jar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pint jar if desired. Fill jars immediately with hot tomatoes, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process according to one of the charts below. 

    werWhole or Halved Tomatoes (Packed Raw Without Liquid)

    Procedure: Wash tomatoes. Dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split, then dip in cold water. Slip off skins and remove cores. Leave whole or halve. Add bottled lemon juice or citric acid to jars. See acidification above. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart jar or 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pint jar if desired. Fill jars with raw tomatoes. Press tomatoes in the jars until spaces between them fill with juice. Leave 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process according to charts below.

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    The heat required to can squash results in the squash flesh turning into mush and sinking to the bottom of the canning jar. The compacted flesh will not heat evenly. Therefore, all process times and temperatures are unsafe. Winter squash varieties can be safely canned under limited circumstances. Please visit this site for science-based safe canning procedures for winter squash. 

    Venison is a low-acid food and when canned, it must be processed in a pressure canner for safety. Salt adds flavor, but is not necessary for preservation. Venison can be packed either raw or cooked (raw pack or hot pack). Hot pack is preferred. Raw pack is faster, but when finished processing, the jars are often partially filled with liquid leaving some of the meat uncovered. Raw packing also leaves some air in the jar resulting in meat darkening during storage. Hot pack takes longer, but you can: (a) fit more meat into the jar, (b) remove more air from jars, and (c) have less liquid loss, all leading to better quality. Canning Strips, Cubes or Chunks of Venison

    PROCEDURE: Choose fresh, high-quality, chilled meat. Remove all fat (fat from venison has a very strong “game” flavor). Any fat left on the venison may also affect lid sealing. Remove all bones, gristle and bruised spots. Cut trimmed venison into strips, cubes or chunks.

    Hot pack – Precook venison until at least rare by roasting, stewing or browning in a small amount of fat. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jar, if desired. Fill jars with pieces and add boiling broth, meat drippings, water, or tomato juice (recommended for venison as it helps cover “game” taste), leaving a 1 inch headspace.

    Raw pack – Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart jar, if desired. Fill jars with raw meat pieces, leaving a 1 inch headspace. Do not add liquid. Adjust lids and process (see Table 1 on page 3).

    Canning Ground or Chopped Venison

    Choose fresh, high-quality, chilled meat. If desired, add 1 part high-quality pork or beef fat to 3 or 4 parts venison before grinding. Grind and shape chopped meat into patties or meatballs or cut cased sausage into 3 to 4 inch links. Cook until lightly browned. (Note: Ground meat may also be sautéed without shaping.) Discard any free fat and fill jars. Add boiling venison broth, tomato juice, or water, leaving a 1-inch headspace. If desired, add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart. Adjust lids and process (see Table 1).  

    vHelpful hints:

    Have dial gauges checked annually. Don’t be creative in home canning ̶ follow instructions exactly! A common complaint is that liquid siphons out of jars during processing. This can be because of (a) too much liquid added, and not enough headspace, or (b) too much variation in temperature when the pressure canner cools down too fast or when pressure is not held steady. To avoid this problem when processing, turn burner down from high to medium when it reaches about 8 lbs pressure. By the time it reaches the correct pressure it is easier to keep the canner temperature constant.

    After allowing pressure to drop to zero, remove jars from canner and place on cooling racks. When jars have sealed and are cool, remove rings and store in a cool, dark place. Never leave processed jars in pressure canner overnight. “Flat sour” spoilage can occur and ruin the flavor of the food. As canned venison is used from the food storage shelf, boil meat for 10 to 15 minutes before using as an extra safety precaution if desired. (Check jars for signs of spoilage such as bulging lids, spurting or bad odor and discard contents. Realize that botulinum toxin does not always have an odor.)

    Recommendations for canning cubed or sliced zucchini (considered a summer squash), have been withdrawn due to uncertainty about the determinations of safe processing times. Squashes are low-acid vegetables and require pressure canning for a known period of time that will destroy bacteria caused by botulism. Science-based documentation for the previous processing times cannot be found, and reports that are available do not support the old process.

    Due to this, IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED THAT YOU HOME CAN ZUCCHINI. However, there are tested and safe recipes for zucchini-pineapple and pickled bread-and-butter zucchini. The added acid in these recipes help in making them safe.  

    USDA Home Canning Guidelines and Recipes:

    Other Canning Resources