By canning vegetables, you can preserve their flavors and nutritional benefits for months. You should use a mason jar to preserve vegetables, because they are a low-acid food and it is important to prevent bacterial contamination. In this post, we will provide some tips that will help you learn how to can vegetables in mason jars.
Why can vegetables?
Home canning has long been a popular method of preserving different types of food items. Canning is a way to preserve the flavor and quality of foods. It helps you save money and build self-reliance.
Canning your vegetables is a good way to get seasonal produces any time of the year. You can enjoy vegetables in times when they are not growing. You can easily get summer vegetables in winter and winter vegetables in summer.
Canning lots of vegetables is not as expensive as purchasing pickled vegetables. Yes, you have to buy jars, but that is a one-time expense.
There are also health benefits of canning. If you can vegetables, you are fully in control of what you are eating. If you are a health conscious person, you will not add colorings and preservatives to your food items. You know exactly what you are eating.
Before you learn how to can vegetables in mason jars, let us try to understand how to process works. You will be confident in the kitchen if you understand the mechanism of canning.
READ : Process of canning food
How canning works
You will be confident in the kitchen if you learn a bit about the science behind the process of canning vegetables. Canning stops harmful bacteria from growing and thus preserves food. The process, in a sense, works by freezing time.
Water bath canning is the simplest method of canning. In this method, you have to fill jars with cucumbers, berries, tomatoes or other acidic food items in vinegar.
Air is forced out of the food by heating. Bacteria can not thrive because it creates a vacuum. Water bath canning is a great way to make pickles, jams and jellies.
Pressure canning is an advanced method of canning. To can vegetables in this method, you need some specialized equipment and a little more skill. But if you manage to do it, you will be able to preserve many more types of vegetables.
Your will find the job a lot easier if you invest in a high quality canning kit. You won’t have to worry about piecemealing something together from your own kitchen gear, and you’ll have tools that will last you for years.
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How to can vegetables
Now we will provide some step by step instructions that will teach you how to can vegetables in mason jars. If you follow the steps, hopefully you will be able to preserve a wide range of vegetables.
Prepare the vegetables. When selecting vegetables, make sure they are fresh and ripe, without bruises, dents or blemishes. Wash them properly. If necessary, remove peel and seeds. Cut them into small cubes or slices. Preparing the vegetables is an important part of the process.
Clean the jars with soap and hot water. You have to be careful when cleaning the jars because unclean jars may contain harmful bacteria. It is a good idea to keep the jars hot until you fill them with vegetables.
To do that, first, pour some hot water in a pot and then place the jars upside down on hot water. You can also keep them in dishwater.
Now you have to combine the vegetables in the pot. Pour water, and make sure the pieces are covered. Then boil them for about 5 minutes. Put the cooking liquid and the vegetables into the clean jars. Add some canning salt to the jars.
Use a clean cloth to wipe the rims. Remove the air bubbles by stirring it gently. Put metal lids on the jars. Now you have to use the pressure canner. Fill it with some hot water.
The jars must not be placed on the bottom. The steam will flow freely if the jars do not touch each other. So keep some space between them.
Then the cover should be placed on the canner. Boil the water by heating gently. Before you place closing vents or canner weights, make sure the steam vents from the canner. Put on weights or close vents after 10 minutes.
Now you have to use the pressure canner again to process the jars. Do this for 90 minutes to a couple of hours. Once the device has reached the necessary pressure, make sure that the pressure is constant. You may need to frequently check the gauge.
The pressure has to return to 0 PSI, so turn off heat. Open the vent or remove the weights. Then wait for a couple of minutes. Then allow the steam to leave by removing the lid. To learn how to can vegetables in mason jars, you must know the right way to use the pressure canner and release the steam.
Now the jar has to be removed from the canner. Use a jar lifter to do that. Place the jars on a thick kitchen towel or a wooden board. The goal is to keep them in a draft free area so that they can cool down properly.
Between the jars, keep a couple of inches of space so that air can circulate properly. You will hear a small “ping” sound when the lids of the jars are sealed. It may take some time—up to 12 hours. Now you are done. You can label the jars if you need to.
You can use vegetables other than those suggested in this post. Just avoid dried beans, leafy greens, winter squashes, cream-style corn and sweet potatoes. You will find different types of fresh vegetables if you visit a local farmer’s market.
To learn how to can vegetables in mason jars, first you have to know that things can go wrong if you are not careful when you are doing it. To make sure that the reading is accurate, the pressure gauge should be on the canner.
Have a rack or trivet ready for the hot pot. To remove jars, you can use canning jar tongs. Your recipe requires a certain amount of headspace. Use a ladle to fill the jars. For this step, use a canning funnel.
To remove air bubbles, use a plastic knife or a small nonmetallic spatula. Clean the rims of the jar with a paper towel or a damp clean cloth. Do not over-tighten when screwing the bands. You will find it easy to remove lids if you use a magnetic lid lifter.
Be careful when processing filled jars. Once you have removed the jars after turning off the heat, leave the jars in the water for some time. Do not tilt or turn when placing the jars on a heavy towel or a rack.
Follow the instructions carefully. Take your time and do everything slowly. It will help you avoid bacterial contamination, which can lead to life-threatening issues. Discard the vegetables immediately if they smell sour when you open the jars.
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Last update on 2021-01-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API