Pressure Cooker Canning and Waterbath Canning

April 4, 2013 at 10:55 am Leave a comment

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ANC Home Food Preservation Classes will will meet in the Statehouse Hall Governors Ballroom kitchen on the ANC Blytheville campus. Debbie Baker will instruct the classes and Pam Pruett will assist.
Want to save money on your grocery expenses? Have access to homegrown vegetables and fruits? If your answers are yes, then we have the classes for you. Friday, April 12th is the Home Food Preservation: Reducing the Risk for Pressure Canning Low Acidic Foods class and on Friday, May 10th is the Home Food Preservation: Reducing the risk of Water Bath Canning of Acidic Foods class. Both classes will meet from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Preregistration is required for each class along with a $10.00 fee per class for supplies (less than 6 enrolled may increase cost slightly). Each participant will learn through hands on experience and will take home some canned products prepared in class.
Debbie Baker, Clay County Family and Consumer Sciences Agent and Canning Specialist, will conduct the classes Pamela Pruett, Mississippi County Family and Consumer Sciences Agent will assist Mrs. Baker. Deadlines for preregistration are April 4th for the Pressure Canning Class held April 12th and May 1st for the Water Bath Canning Class held May 10th.
Safety has long been the main concern when it comes to home food preservation. Food poisoning can occur if proper procedures and supplies are not used during the process. Here are a few basic tips to get you started.
First, be sure to use a recipe that has been tested for safety. Many recipes have been passed down through generations and while no one may have had food poisoning from it yet, it simply is not safe. One resource for recipes that have been tested for safety would be the National Center for Home Food Preservation housed at the University of Georgia. Visit their website at http://nchfp.uga.edu/ for recipes, step by step food preservation instructions and tips for success. The Ball Blue Book is another resource for recipes and can be found at many retailers in the community.
It is also important to leave the recipes just the way they are. Adding or removing ingredients can alter the acidity levels and therefore cause an unsafe product. Altering the amount of acid in a recipe is not recommended. When recipes call for vinegar, you can safely substitute bottled lemon juice for the vinegar. However, this does not work vice versa. Lemon juice cannot be replaced by vinegar as this will decrease the acidity level and potentially cause an unsafe product.
Use only the recommended materials and make sure that they are in good condition. The jars should be free of nicks and cracks. They should also be the type of jar that you will find in the canning section at the store. These jars, such as Ball or Kerr brand come with two-piece lids including the flat and ring. Old mayo jars and others of that nature should not be used. If used in a pressure canner they could crack or even explode under the pressure. Jars specifically made for home food preservation can withstand the pressure and heat. The jar rings should not be bent and should be free of rust. While the rings can be reused if in good condition, the flats can only be used one time. Each and every canned item should have a new flat.
Be sure to know which method (and which equipment) to use before you begin to insure a safe product. Most people seem to be fearful of using a pressure canner and opt to water bath can their foods. However, it comes down to one main point: Follow the directions/procedures step by step! Many pressure canners come with directions for use. It is also important to understand that high acid foods may be processed in a water bath canner and low acid foods such as green beans and potatoes must be processed in a pressure canner. Low acid foods are not safe to eat if processed in a water bath canner.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
To reserve your spot.call or for more information contact Lena Ellington, Arkansas Northeastern College Department of Community Education, 870-762-3167, email lellington@smail.anc.edu or call the Mississippi County Cooperative Extension Service, 870-762-2075.

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