Home Canning Basics – All American Pressure Canner Cooker

Home canning is a popular method for preserving foods, particularly fruit and vegetables. It allows you to take advantage of the bountiful crops you experience in spring and summer from your home garden, and save them for the colder months when supply is considerably diminished.

But there are tricks and tips you need to know about home canning which can save you a lot of time and effort, and will save you from the risks of losing your valuable preserves through spoilage.

One of the major causes of concern in any food preservation technique is to ensure that the integrity of the food is maintained for as long as possible in the safest possible way.

Although you need to be careful and follow some basic safety rules, the actual process of home canning is quite straightforward. As you are going to be heat processing all food, it is important to make sure that the correct heating standards are maintained.

Here are some basic steps:

  • All food should be placed in jars that have airtight seals, preferably two-piece metal lids.
  • Choose an appropriate canner such as the highly recommended All American Pressure Canner Cooker, to heat the jars to the temperature stipulated in the recipe.
  • Choose the correct size jar appropriate to the food you are processing, and be careful to maintain space inside the jar appropriate to the expected expansion rate.
  • Make sure that the heat is maintained for the period of time specified in the recipe. This will ensure that no bacteria or other microorganisms and enzymes will spoil your food.
  • Allow the jars to cool slowly. This will allow the lids to form a strong vacuum seal.

The principle behind this process is that the contents will expand as the jar is heated. This causes pressure changes to take place inside the jars so that air is expelled from them. As the jars cool, the difference in outside and inside pressures causes the lid to clamp down tightly to form a vacuum seal.

The All American Pressure Canner

It is vital to have a good quality canner such as the All American Pressure Canner,  that will maintain temperatures and will heat the contents at a consistent temperature, whilst at the same time ensuring that the vacuum sealing method outlined above can take place as efficiently as possible.

High acid foods and low acid foods require different processes however, and for these you will need either a boiling water canner or a pressure canner respectively.

The bottom line is that you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and make sure that the equipment is clean and properly assembled before use.

Read our detailed review on the All American Pressure Canner Cooker.

Canning Before the All American Home Canner/ Pressure Cooker was Available

Long before the advent of the All American Pressure Cooker Canner, preserving food was a necessary task.  And the methods used in the past were often tedious.

The history of home canning can quite easily be traced to the early 1800s. But there are plenty of suggestions that man’s attempt to preserve food started well before that. The Egyptians used to place sealed jars containing food in the Pharaohs tomb for his use in the afterlife. The Romans certainly used sealed earthenware containers and buried them for future use. Although these early attempts were hardly successful that evidence of man’s obsession with retaining the bounties of a current harvest for the future.

It is also said that Napoleon authorized the use of sealed glass jars to preserve food for his troops during long campaigns.

As far as what we would currently term canning, the inventor of the Mason jar, John L Mason, first introduced his famous threaded jars in 1858. These jars became the central focus around which our modern approach to home canning developed.

In the early days, fruit was the most commonly preserved item. American women pioneered the increasing use of fruit preservation and extended it to vegetables. The idea was that the home orchard’s produce could be more completely harvested in that all excess fruit and vegetables could be preserved for use during the winter months when fresh produce became unavailable.

As sugar became less expensive and wood-burning stoves became a common household implement, preservation methods developed into a kitchen-based activity which all families could utilize.

The process involved placing the jars in a large bath like, water filled container on top of the wood-burning stove. The food was placed in the jars and went through a cooking process before being filled with hot liquids, usually sugar-based syrup in the case of fruit, to seal the food in, and then applying a screw top lid.

The jars had to be regularly inspected to ensure that there was no spoilage. From all reports, the food was often overcooked but still quite edible. Nevertheless, it fitted the bill for the times, and the cost of food purchases were reduced considerably. Salt and sugar were the main preservative elements of the canning process, so sauces and pickles were favorite products.

There were many other products apart from the Mason jars however. Over the years many manufacturers entered the market and provided kits to be used for home canning. Atlas jars and Bell jars were popular as were the lightning jars manufactured with a metal clamp and a glass lid.

Even if those products are no longer used in today’s home canning industry they are still popular collector’s items and can be found at second-hand shops around the country.

Thank goodness the All American Pressure Cooker Canner has made preserving your excess produce a simple task. Read our review on the All American Presser Canner and in no time at all you will have a pantry stocked full of  home preserved great tasting food  even when it is normally out of season.