Reviews and Recommendations

Water Bath Canning.

Most people use water bath canning to can various foods at home. You can choose to purchase a water bath canner or simply use whatever you have at home. Water bath canning is recommended for high acid foods.

Essentially, a water bath canner is a very large pot that has dimensions to hold at least 7 jars. The canner usually has a rack that makes it safer for you to put in and remove the jars.

The water bath canning process is actually quite simple and can be done by anyone. It simply involves preparing your jars, preparing whatever you want to preserve and packing it in your jars and finally the canning process itself which you will need to use a water bath canner.

Water bath canning can also be done without using any special equipment. However, you will have to be extra careful and follow all the steps for the best results.

Water bath canning tomatoes

Equipment needed:

  • Water bath canner
  • Jars, lids and sealing surfaces
  • Bottled lemon juice
  • Tomatoes
  • Canning salt
  • 2 large saucepans
  • Spatula
Instructions:
  1. Fill a large saucepan with two-thirds of water and bring it to boil.
  2. Halfway fill your water bath canner with boiling water and put your canner on heat.
  3. Wash your jars and sealers in hot soapy water and rinse them well. Leave them in hot water until you are ready to use them.
  4. Place your lids in a saucepan filled with water and simmer until needed.
  5. Wash your tomatoes and drain them. Put them in a wire basket and lower them into boiling water and remove after a minute or when the skin begins to crack.
  6. Dip the tomatoes in cold water then remove the skin.
  7. Cut the tomatoes in half and boil them for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove the jars from your hot water and drain them. Place them on a kitchen towel.
  9. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to each jar.
  10. Place your tomatoes in the jars making sure you leave ½ inch headspace in each jar.
  11. Use a spatula to remove any trapped air bubbles from the jars and wipe the rims with a damp cloth.
  12. Remove your lids from the simmering water and place them on the jars. Screw the bands down evenly and firmly.
  13. Place the sealed jars on the rack in your canner. The canner should have hot water that covers the jars by 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil.
  14. Process quarts for 40 minutes at a gentle steady boil.
  15. Remove the jars from the canner and place them on a kitchen towel. Allow them to cool for 12 hours.
  16. Remove the bands and test the seals. Store them in a cool dark place for future use.

Water bath canning salsa.

I love using my excess garden tomatoes to can salsa that I can enjoy throughout the year. I mostly use it as a dip with tortilla chips. My entire family loves salsa so it normally runs out pretty quickly.

I use a simple recipe for my salsa. I use specific ingredients and always make sure I balance the non-acidic ingredients with the amount of added acid needed to make the recipe safe.

Here is how you can make your salsa

Equipment needed:
  • Water bath canner
  • Kitchen towels
  • Canning jars and lids
  • Jar lifter
  • Spatula
  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 onions
  • 5 pounds of tomatoes
  • 1 pound of Anaheim green chilies
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 jalapeños
  • Oregano
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • Sugar
Instructions:
  1. Wash your jars and lids with soapy water and rinse well.
  2. Sterilize your jars in a water bath. Heat the water and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Place the lids in a pot full of water and let it simmer. Keep the jars and lids hot until you are ready to use them.
  3. Roast your Anaheim green chilies until they blacken all over. Do it directly over a stovetop or gas flame. Once roasted, place them in a covered bowl and let them steam in their own heat for a few minutes.
  4. Rub off the outer skin, chop them up and set them aside.
  5. Place your tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes until the skin loosens. Place them in cold water and remove the skin.
  6. Place all the ingredients in a large pot and bring them to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Adjust the seasoning to your liking by either adding more sugar or vinegar.
  8. Remove the canning jars from hot water and place them on a kitchen towel then r and ladle the salsa into the jars. Remove the lids from hot water and use them to seal the jars.
  9. Place the sealed jars on the rack in the canner and cover the jars with at least 2 inches of water.
  10. Bring the water to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Once processing time is over turn off the hit and let the jars sit in the water for 5 minutes.
  11. Use a jar lifter to remove the jars and let them cool down for 12 hours. The lids should pop.
  12. Label the canned salsa and store it in a cool dark place. It should be used within one year.

10 Canning mistakes you may be making and don’t even know. Click here to read.

Water bath canning green beans.

Since I grow my own vegetables, green beans always feature in my garden. They grow on trellises and always make a space-efficient addition. The good thing about green beans is the fact that they are suitable for a variety of recipes.

Preserving green beans using the water bath canning is an option but it comes with a caveat. The only safe method for hot water canning green beans is using the pickling method. This way you can do it without a pressure cooker.

When deciding on which green beans you want to can, choose the ones that are fully mature and crisp. Always check them to ensure they are free of pests and diseases so that you only use the healthy ones.

The rule of the thumb is that 1/2 pound of fresh beans makes 1 quart of dilly bean pickles. This will help you decide on the number of beans you will need.

What you will need:

Equipment
  • Water bath canner
  • Canning jars with lids and rims
  • Kitchen towels
  • Jar lifter
For pickling
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 bright dill blossoms
  • 1/4 cup canning salt,
  • 2 1/2 cups each filtered water
  • White vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper flakes (optional)
Instructions:
  1. First, sterilize your jars, lids and securing rings in your dishwasher’s sterilize cycle. Alternatively, you can use hot water for the same. Simply heat the jars by putting them in a basin with warm water for a few minutes. Your jars should remain hot. At the same time, boil your lids in water and let them simmer until you are ready to use them.
  2. Rinse your green beans in cold water and trim the ends. Place them in a bowl with water that has a few ice cubes then cut your green beans to the preferred size keeping in mind that you will need to leave some headspace in your jars.
  3. Remove the jars from the hot water and place them on a kitchen towel. Pack the beans into each jar.
  4. Pickle your beans by putting two bundles of the dill and two cloves of garlic in each jar. Heat the water, salt and vinegar until it boils and pour the liquid mixture into the jars leaving ½ inch headspace.
  5. Remove the lids from hot water and place them on top of the jars. Screw them down and tighten them as much as you can.
  6. Place the sealed jars on the rack in your canner. The canner should have hot water that covers the jars by 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil.
  7. Leave the jars in the boiling water for 10 minutes.
  8. Use a jar lifter to remove the jars from the canner and place them upright on a kitchen towel on the counter.
  9. Let the jars cool for about 12 hours. You should hear the lids pop to indicate sealing.
  10. Store your green beans in a cool, dry dark place and use within a year.

Check out a Review on the Healthiest Canned Chili. Click to read.

Water bath canning pickles.

Most pickles have high acid making water bath canning the perfect method for preservation. Here is how I use my water bath canner to can pickles.

Items needed:
  • Water bath canner
  • Jars, lids and sealing surfaces
  • Bottled lemon juice
  • Vegetables
  • Canning salt
  • 2 large saucepans
  • Spatula
Instructions:
  1. First, you will have to prepare your jars and lids. Thoroughly wash them in soapy water and then heat the jars by putting them in a basin with warm water for a few minutes. Your jars should remain hot. Place your lids in a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Prepare your vegetables and then remove the jars from hot water and place them on a kitchen towel. Pack your vegetables into the jars making sure you leave enough headspace. Prepare your pickling solution and pour it over the vegetables. Leave ½ inch headspace.
  3. Use a damp cloth to wipe the rims of the jars so that the seals are not compromised and consequently cause spoilage.
  4. Use a spatula to remove any air bubbles that may be trapped in the jars.
  5. Remove the lids from hot water and place them on top of the jars. Screw them down and tighten them as much as you can.
  6. Place the sealed jars on the rack in your canner. Pour water into the canner and make sure that the water covers the jars by at least 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil.
  7. Process for the amount of time recommended in your recipe.
  8. Turn off the heat and then use a jar lifter to remove the jars from the canner. Place them on a kitchen towel and allow them to cool for 12 hours. The lids should pop to indicate proper sealing.
  9. Once the jars are cool, remove the rings. You should be able to pick up the jar from the lid without the ring. In case your lids do not seal properly, reprocess using the same method you used before. Otherwise, you may have to consume or store your jar in the refrigerator to avoid spoilage which may in turn lead to food poisoning.
  10. Store the jars in a cool dark place and use your canned pickles within a year.

Water bath canning apple sauce.

Whenever I have fresh apples, I always make a point of making some applesauce. The recipe I use is quite simple.

First, I peel, core and cut my apples. I then cook my apples in a large pot until they are soft enough to mash. I then mash the apples with a potato masher or put them in a food processor and mash until they are soft. Finally, I sweeten the apples with brown sugar. You can choose not to sweeten them and just leave them as they are.

To can the apple sauce using a water bath canner, I follow these simple steps.

Items needed:
  • Water bath canner
  • Jars, lids and sealing surfaces
  • 2 large saucepans
  • Spatula
Instructions:
  1. First, prepare your jars by washing them thoroughly in soapy water. Sterilize the jars by heating them by putting them in a saucepan with warm water for a few minutes. Your jars should remain hot. Place your lids in a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Remove the jars from the water and place them on a kitchen towel. Pack the jars with the apple sauce you made but make sure you leave enough headspace in each jar.
  3. Use a spatula to release any air bubbles trapped in the jars.
  4. Wipe the rims with a damp cloth
  5. Remove the lids from hot water and place them on top of the jars. Screw the leads down as tightly as you can.
  6. Place the sealed jars on the rack in your canner. Pour water into the canner and make sure that the water covers the jars by at least 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil.
  7. Process in your water bath canner for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove the jars from the canner and place them on a kitchen towel. Allow them to cool for approximately 12 hours
  9. Check the seal and make sure it is intact. If intact, label it and store your canned applesauce in a cool, dark place. Use it within 12 months.

Water bath canning without a canner.

You would be glad to know that you can still can your food even without a canner. Simply put, you do not necessarily need to spend money on buying a water bath canner for you to be able to can your food in order to preserve it.

Preserve your food in glass jars without using any canning equipment by following these simple instructions.

Equipment needed:
  • 2 large pots (One should be wide and deep)
  • Mason jars with lids
  • A ladle
  • Hot mitts
  • A wide-mouth funnel
  • A spoon
  • Kitchen towels
Instructions:
  1. First, prepare the food that is suitable for water bath canning. This includes high acid foods. There are various recipes on the internet for the same.
  2. Thoroughly wash your jars and lids in soapy water
  3. Heat the jars by putting them in a basin with warm water for a few minutes. Your jars should remain hot.
  4. Boil the lids in water.
  5. Place a towel across the bottom of your large pot. Partly fill it with water and bring it to a boil.
  6. Take your jars out of the warm water and place them on a kitchen towel. Use a ladle and hot mitts for this step if necessary.
  7. Fill the jars with food you previously prepared. Use the wide mouth funnel and a spoon so that you do not create a mess in the kitchen.
  8. Using your hot mitts, remove the lids from the boiling water and place them on the jars. Tighten the lids as much as you can.
  9. Place your closed jars in the large pot of boiling water and make sure they are upright and not touching each other or touching the sides of the pot.
  10. Pour water in between the jars and make sure the water covers the jars by at least 2 inches.
  11. Bring the water to a rolling boil.
  12. Turn off your fire and ladle the boiling water into another container.
  13. Remove the jars from the pot and place them on a kitchen towel.
  14. Leave the jars undisturbed and let them cool down for 24 hours.
  15. Check the seal. If it is as it should place your jars away in a cool dark place and use the food within 12 months

Clearly, water bath canning is quite cheap and you do not need a lot of equipment for it. I use this method all the time. Try it and let me know how everything turns out.

Water bath canning vs pressure canning.

Canning is quite intimidating. Doing it wrong may end up giving you and your family a rare type of food poisoning that is very dangerous. For this reason, you first have to consider which type of canning suits you best.

There are two methods of canning that you will have to choose from. One is water bath canning and the other is pressure canning. Other methods of canning like kettle canning are not recommended by the USDA. So you really should not use it no matter how smart you think you are. It is very essential that you know the difference between water bath canning and pressure canning.

Generally, water bath canning is quite simple. You will use a water bath canner for this. Simply place your jars of food in the canner surrounded by boiling water. The boiling water kills microorganisms and harmful bacteria. After processing while the jars cool down, a vacuum seal is formed. You can never go wrong with water bath canning.

On the other hand, pressure canning requires one to have a pressure canner. It is important to note that a pressure canner is not the same as a pressure cooker. A pressure canner normally heats the food in the jars at a temperature that is way higher than that of a water bath canner. Pressurized steam is way hotter than the temperature of boiling water.

Normally, low-acid foods are canned with the pressure canner while high-acid foods are canned with a water bath canner. This is because low-acids food requires that the bacteria in them be adequately destroyed at a temperature of 240 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes the pressure canner more adequate. On the other hand, a water bath canner can quickly and safely preserve high acid foods. You can decide to use a pressure canner for high acid foods but it will take way longer than necessary.

To make your work easier I came up with a list of high acid foods that should be preserved using the water bath canner and another list of low acid foods that should be preserved using a pressure canner.

Low acid foods – pressure canner
  • Seafood
  • Beans
  • Corn
  • Carrots
  • Stocks and stews
  • Dairy products
  • Meat and poultry
  • Potatoes
High acid foods – water bath canner
  • Ketchup
  • Apple sauce
  • Meatless spaghetti sauce
  • Jams and jellies
  • Marmalades
  • Pickles
  • Tomatoes
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Fruit butters

Take note:

Tomatoes can be either high acid or low acid. Lately, most tomatoes have been bred to be less acidic.

The reason for this is to adhere to consumer demands. If you are using this type of tomatoes, you should opt for pressure canning.

However, if you properly acidify them using lemon juice or citric acid, just can them in the water bath canner like you normally do. Salsa is also similar to tomatoes and the method you use will depend on the type of salsa you have.

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