Canning has become a lost art in many families, and this is really sad because of how prevalent it used to be in the past. Fortunately you can still learn to do this even if the family recipes are long gone. Those who still can, swear that their food and sauces’s favor far exceeds those in the store. As long as you follow simple directions, canning is very safe. The bible of canning is the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. This gives very clear instructions on how to can safely. The main thing to remember is a microorganism like bacteria, yeast, and fungus are your enemy when it comes to canning.
There are two types of canning, to be aware of. The two types are hot water and pressure canning. Hot water canning uses a large pot of boiling water to submerge the cans in for a certain amount of time. Once the cans are removed the jar seals and is ready to store. Hot water canning is great for jellies, jams, pickles, and any acidic food. Tomato based spaghetti sauces for example is perfect to be canned using a hot water bath. Acidic foods work well with hot water because the acid helps to inhib bacteria growth which preserves the food.
Pressure canning is a must if you are not canning acidic food. For example peas, beans, potatoes, carrots, or meats, you will need to pressure can. Pressure canning uses a combination of pressure and heat to process the canned food at a higher temperature and this keeps the bacteria down. Make sure you have your pressure canner tested every year before you use it though to insure it can reach the correct pressure and temperature. You can normally get tested or find out more information from state university extension offices.
Canning can be completely safe as long as it is done to the correct temperature, for the correct time, in the correct manor. Not to mention it is a great way to preserve food and sauces for future use.