Have you decided that you would like to start canning? You can take fresh, flavorful ingredients and preserve them in jars for extended periods. Not only does canning extend the life of different fruits, vegetables, and preserves, but it also helps you prepare for emergencies. You’ll love learning more about pressure canning vs. water bath canning.
Many people enjoy canning because it helps them save money while putting food on the table for their loved ones. If you are ready to get started, it is vital to understand the different canning methods.
Once you know what the process is like, you can take steps to follow that process while preserving different foods. You will need to use both canning methods if you plan to store various foods, including meats, veggies, and fruits.
What is Pressure Canning?
Pressure canning is a food preservation method that involves placing canning jars full of specific foods in a pressure cooker made for canning. You would need to make sure your pressure cooker reaches a specific temperature before adding the jars of food to it.
While you would use boiling water when completing a water bath, the pressure cooker’s water reaches a higher temperature. It prevents the food in the jars from spoiling. The heat used in the pressure cooker will also kill unwanted germs.
It is the best method to use when you plan on storing foods with a higher pH level. Now let’s talk about pressure canning vs. water bath canning.
What Is Water Bath Canning?
Water bath canning is a simpler process involving boiling hot water to seal jars and preserve food. You would start this process off by filling your jars with different foods and sealing them shut. Once you have placed the lid on your jars, you would add them to a large pot full of boiling water.
Some ingredients need to stay in the boiling water a bit longer than others, but be sure to follow the direction for each of the different foods you decide to add to your jars. While it is a more straightforward process, you should only use this method with acidic foods that contain a lower pH level.
Which Foods Work Best With Pressure Canning?
There are certain foods that you should always be processed in pressure – using the pressure canning method. The purpose of using this method for these foods is to keep them fresh, kill off bacteria, and prevent them from growing mold. Some of the foods that are best to preserve via the pressure canning method include:
- Chicken. Preserve roasted, grilled, or baked chicken in a jar and preserve it through pressure canning to avoid botulism.
- Tuna. Prepare tuna in jars instead of buying canned tuna at the supermarket. You can preserve tuna and other types of seafood through the pressure canning method to keep these kinds of seafood fresh.
- Stews. Whether you make beef stew or chicken stew, you can store the prepared dish in jars and add them to your pressure cooker for several minutes before adding them to your food storage shelves.
- Bone Broth. Why purchase bone broth when you can make it and store it? If you are going to prepare it fresh at home using bones from different meats, be sure to use the pressure canning method.
These are only a handful of the dozens of foods you will need to preserve using the pressure canning technique. Make sure to research the different foods you plan on saving to ensure that you use the proper canning method.
When Is Water Bath Canning the Most Suitable Option?
While pressure canning is the ideal method of canning for preserving many foods, you can use the simpler water bath canning method for the following foods:
- Fruits. You can preserve some of your favorite fruits this way, including sliced peaches, strawberries, and cherries.
- Jams and Jellies. Prepare your jams using fresh fruits, sugar, and a few other ingredients. You can enjoy these jams on toasted bread with regular butter or peanut butter. Jams also taste great on breakfast biscuits.
See my Jalapeno Jelly Recipe.
- Pickles. Instead of buying pickles from the store, make your own using cucumbers, vinegar, and other ingredients. Once you prepare your pickles, you can save them in glass mason jars and preserve them through this canning method.
- Pie Filling. Prepare fresh, homemade pie filling to use in different recipes throughout the next several months. You can preserve homemade apple pie, blueberry pie, and even cherry pie filling to use when you need it.
These are only a handful of the foods you can preserve via water bath canning. Some of the other foods to preserve include fresh tomatoes, homemade applesauce, relish, and fresh plums.
The Advantages of Both Canning Techniques
No matter which canning technique you must use, both options are relatively easy to complete. While you need a particular pressure cooker for pressure canning, these pressure cookers are affordable and easy to find online.
If you have some extra time on a day off, you may want to spend the day canning some of your favorite meats, fruits, vegetables, and jams via these two effective methods.
Once you begin canning, you will notice how fresh the food tastes compared to canned food items at the grocery store. You may also see how much money you can save in the long run by preserving most of your foods at home.
Pressure Canning vs. Water Bath Canning
Canning is a process used by millions of people over the past several centuries to preserve food. Sure, you can buy canned food at the supermarket, but it is not the same as canning your own foods made with fresh ingredients.
When you are canning different foods, you know what you put into those jars without all the preservatives that many canned foods contain. Although canning might seem slightly complicated, both methods are easy to get the hang of and will help you save money.
You will need to use both ways to preserve as many foods as possible. So, what are you waiting for? If you are ready to get started, be sure to get the right cans to use, along with all the best equipment to begin canning assorted foods.