For home canning, two distinct methods are generally used:
1. Cooking in a saucepan and then transferring the article to the sterilized cans, and
2. Cooking the product in the jar in which it is to be stored.
Cooking in the oven is sometimes given as a third way of home canning, but the food is cooked in the jar and manipulated in the same manner as when cooked in a canner, or steam cooker, and we see no reason for referring to it as a third method.
Bulky foods like spinach and collard greens, hard fruits like apples, and foods in which there’s considerable waste, such as beets, are canned easier if the process is begun at least in a saucepan. Berries, peaches, pears, peas, asparagus, carrots, tomatoes, and string beans retain their flavor better if canned in the container that they’re going to be stored in.
Canning With A Saucepan
When canning food with a saucepan, the food, prepared according to your recipe, is cooked until tender. Sometime before the food is set to cook, the jars, covers, and all utensils, as spoons, ladle, and funnel that are used, are set into a saucepan of cold water, on the bottom of which is a rack or several folds of clean cloth; the jars are filled with water, and the whole is brought slowly to the boiling point and kept at just about this point for ten minutes or longer.
When the food’s cooked and actually boiling, turn the water from a jar, set the jar on a folded cloth near the saucepan, and fill it with the hot food; dip the rubber ring (which must be new and pliable), in boiling water and set it in place; take a case knife from the boiling water and move it around in the jar to break up bubbles of air that may be present; add more boiling liquid to fill the jar to overflow; lift the cover from the boiling water, set it in place, fasten securely, and lift the jar to a board. Do not let a draft of air blow on the hot jar, or it may crack. Store when cold in a dark place.
Canning With A Steam Pressure Cooker Or Canner
A canner made for the purpose simplifies the process of canning. As the cooking is done under very high pressure, the time required is actually shortened. The work is carried out in the same manner with the three utensils mentioned above. Rinse the jars in boiling water, taking care to heat them gradually or they’ll break; fill the jars with the food to be canned, then set on the rack, put the lids of the jars beside them or in a pan of boiling water on the stove. Cover the large receptacle and let the water heat quickly to the boiling point, then open and fill the jars to overflow with salted boiling water or boiling syrup, as is required; adjust rubbers and covers but do not fasten them down, cover the receptacle and let cook as required, then seal and remove to a board out of all drafts.