Friday, September 17, 2010

Food Preservation: Part 2

Food Preservation: Part 1
Again, this is just a summery of the full guide here.

Boiling Water Canning: Heat kills germs (and zergs too).  This type of canning is perfect for fruit with natural acidity or added lemon juice.  Canning requires clean, intact, and sensitized mason jars.

Here are the basic steps:
1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil. Place a insulator on the bottom, such as a plate. (be creative)
2. Lids are placed in a pan of hot water (to soften the sealing compound).
3. Fill the jars with food prepared for canning, remove bubble, and adjust head space.
4. Seat the lid and screw on the band.  Don't screw it on too tightly.
5. Load the jars into the boiling pot of water without tipping it.  Make sure there is at least an inch of water above the jar.  Cover and boil for for 15 minutes.
6. Remove jars from the pot without tipping it and allow to cool at room temperature undisturbed for 12-24 hours.

Terminology: 
Headspace: gap between the top of the container and the level of the liquid of the food.  It allows the food the expand for freezing and for vacuum seal to form properly for canning.
Raw Pack Canning: Canning raw food such as pickle.  This method allows the food to retain its shape and flavour better. However, it is challenging to ensure no trapped air.
Hot Pack canning: Food are cooked twice to ensure less air inside the jar.

I used two layers of chopsticks as my insulator. 

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