Preserving Food at Home: Canning Method

First things first, what is canning? Simply put, canning is the process of preserving food by sealing it in sterilized canning jars which have a two part top, the band and a lid. By sealing it, the food can last up to months and even years without storing it in the refrigerator or fridge. The canning we may be familiar with is store bought canned food, but canning can actually be done at home. There are two types of home canning; pressure and water bath canning. 

Water bath canning is the most accessible way to can at home, requiring only a large pot and canning jars. These canning jars create a seal when in contact with high temperatures for a certain amount of time . By boiling the canning jars long enough, these seals will lock and your food will be ready to store. This method is used for high-acid food since the water bath canning method is enough to kill bacteria that it contains. Examples of high acid-food include fruits and vegetables like mangoes, strawberries, pickles, beans, and more. 

Pressure canning can be said to be a step above water bath canning because it requires another equipment known as a pressure canner. A pressure canner removes more potential toxic bacterium known as Clostridium botulinum, this does not grow on high acid food but is mostly found in low-acid food, such as poultry, meat, and other produce as such.  thus making pressure canning the only safest method when canning low acid food. The way this method works is by keeping steam inside the pot which then builds up pressure, pressure canners can go up to high temperatures of 240 degrees (higher than water bath canning), which kills bacteria as well as forming a tight seal. 

Although home canning is more popular in America, any food can be canned, an example that is more relevant in Indonesia is sambal, chili is high in acid making it easier to can and only needs the water bath method. The reason we’d want to can sambal is to preserve its freshness, hence keeping the quality of taste, it would also be practical to can sambal instead of having to go through the hustle of making it each time. Another example can be canning lemon slices so you can have lemon slices on hand makes it practical when putting it in your glass of water or afternoon tea. Making big batches with canning is not a problem since it lasts up to years and you can store it on a shelf, or you can even gift your home canned goods to your family and friends. Whether you’re looking for a way to preserve seasonal produce, a new hobby, or a thoughtful homemade gift for a friend, canning can be a great solution.

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