|Started May 2020
- you have to start sometime!
You will find canning projects on this page for both
Pressure Canning and Water Bath Canning. I am not
going to reinvent the wheel and explain the basics of
canning - that is already done very well all over the
web. This website is about the next step - useful and
sometimes unique canning projects - and recipes
to use those foods after they are canned.
However, I did realize that the instructions all over the
internet didn't talk about the questions that come up when
you are new to canning, so here is my personal
canning routine - with lots of tips and comments -
that may help you in your canning journey.
Why go to all the work to home can food? The obvious
reason is to have a ready supply of food - for insurance and
for convenience. If you have a medical issue you are
dealing with, canning is also a way to completely control
what is in your food - no additives, no preservatives, no
chemicals - just wholesome food.
You will find that I am not always in agreement with the FDA
or the 'current correct practices' - for more on that,
please check out my General
Philosophy about Canning.
|General Philosophy About
We've all heard someone say "That's the way my Grandmother
did it . . ." --- but that is NOT a good reason to
continue to do something - anything - in the same manner
-- and it's certainly not a good excuse for not getting
informed about canning. There IS a SAFE way (I did
not say 'right way') to do canning and it is CRITICAL that
YOU accept the responsibility to get informed and practice
safe methods - you are feeding yourself and your family
and your/their health is your responsibility.
That being said, the FDA says many things are "not
recommended" - they do not say you can't do them - just
that it "is not recommended". Why might that
be??? Here are a few possibilities . . . . . .
- The texture/color/taste of foods change when they
are pressure canned - corn will caramelize and turn
brownish, milk will thicken and be more beige than
white, etc. Maybe the FDA thinks you will find
the change unsatisfactory - I prefer to make up my
- Some foods with higher acid content may have a much
shorter shelf-life and thus be less desirable (mostly
pertaining to citrus and tomatoes and waterbath
canning). So use them up quicker!
- Maybe the FDA feels that a consumer will not accept
the responsibility required to learn and execute a
craft safely --- I am betting that if you are reading
this, you will be a responsible individual - get
informed - and make your OWN decisions regarding
canning and other methods of food
- Some foods are too dense to can safely - the inside
of the food may not get hot enough long enough to be
safe for home canning - examples are any grains (rice,
quinoa, etc) or vegetable purees (think canned
- To be fair (to the FDA) there is a budget
issue. In order to put their name on a process
(i.e. canning mushrooms) they have to have the budget
and time to perform the necessary tests. There is only
so much time and so much money. Each year new
recipes become available that the previous year were
labeled "not advised". I clearly remember about
12 years ago having a large grapefruit tree - there
was NO approved information online -- but now in 2020,
there are approved recipes/methods everywhere.
FYI, I found a recipe from the 1930s and happily
canned 60 quarts of grapefruit sections - they were
Here are a few facts that should make it easier to
When you bring a pressure canner up to pressure, the
inside temperature is 240degrees (or more). Remember
that water boils at different temperatures at different
altitudes, so you need to adjust the # (pounds) of
pressure of your canner based on your altitude. Bad bugs are killed
at this temperature, provided the temperature is held for
a specified period of time.
Any low acid foods (meats, broths, vegetables, beans,
other proteins, etc) MUST be pressure canned. You
must reach that magic temperature of 240degrees inside the
canner and hold that temperature for the required amount
of time to kill any bad organisms.
High acid foods (fruits and tomatoes, etc) may safely be
waterbath canned. Higher acid content allows for
lower processing temperatures.
What about the dreaded 'botulism'? Botulism
is found everywhere in our world - in the soil - on the
skins of fruits/vegetables - even in your Botox
treatment. To develop, botulism spores require warm
temperatures, moisture, and an oxygen-free, low-acid,
low-sugar environment. Botulism gives off a gas as
it is developing and it is the gas that will push on the
seal of a jar and compromise the seal. Botulism is
invisible and has no taste - if a jar's seal is broken do
NOT taste test the food - throw it away. ALWAYS
check the seal before using.
SAFETY - If I were to find a jar unsealed, I
would safely dispose (away from children or pets) the
contents and sterilize the jar ---- that being said, I
have been canning for over 25 years and I have NEVER lost
a jar of my home canned food - NEVER.
Growing up, we used the waterbath/upside down method and
back then we had a LOT of loss and you had to be more
careful. Pressure canning is the Bomb!
If you are new to canning and uncomfortable with the
botulism/safety issue, here is a very detailed article you may find
Here is an awesome article on botulism as it pertains to
canning from Off The Grid News. Read this -
it's got a lot of very useful information. Then come
back to Brensan's Kitchen and check out unusual
canning/dehydrating projects and recipes using your