You are wondering is it really worth the time and effort to can and preserve my garden's bounty this year? Even for that matter you are down at the local grocery store and see a bunch of in season fruit and vegetables on sale. Buying some and enjoying it at home sure is satisfying. What if you could enjoy these fruits and vegetables all year around? Wouldn't that be nice?
Remember visiting you grandma's house and looking in her pantry and seeing rows of mason jars filled with tomato sauce, green beans, peppers and more.
Back in the day, Grandma would be in the kitchen in the middle of the summer, pealing, blanching and canning away. Taking the garden's harvest preserving them in glass mason jars using a large pot of boiling water. Now a-days known as the water bath canning method.
Water bath canner
The water bath canning method uses boiling water to kill off bacteria and serialize the jars and lids. This method is good for high acid foods like tomatoes and fruits. The canned food reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit, if you are sea level that is. The higher up in altitude you live the lower the boiling point of water is due to the lower air pressure, remember your high school chemistry and physics classes? That is why water bath canning recipes have different processing times based on your altitude.
The problem with using the water bath canning method low acid foods will allow the deadly bacteria to grow in an oxygen free environment. Later when you open up the jar and have bite it can be very risky if not deadly. How do I preserve low acid foods safely?
Pressure cooker canner
Pressure cooker canning uses a specially made pressure cooker to raise the air pressure in the vessel which in turn increases the temperature at which water boils. Water is an incredible agent for absorbing and transferring heat.
Most pressure canning recipes call for 15 pounds of pressure in the canner which typically translates into 240 degrees Fahrenheit temperature. At this temperature even the most nasty of bacteria are killed off including the spores. Even high acid foods such as garlic and red pepper jelly [http://www.canningperserving.com/canning-red-pepper-garlic-jelly-150.html] and canning applesauce [http://www.canningperserving.com/making-and-canning-applesauce-146.html] can be canned using a pressure canner instead of a water bath canner.