CANNING 101 – HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY JAM


This video is based on canning the Keto Strawberry Jam published here about 2 weeks ago (see this link – https://youtu.be/2Lsw6LRuG5E )

There are 2 types of canning i.e. Hot Water Bath and Pressure Canning.
Hot Water Bath Canning is suitable for high acid food such as fruit jams, jellies or pickles. But not all fruits contain high acid. For e.g. mango jam, the acid is not high enough so I ended up doing pressure canning for most of my products except Strawberry Jam, Mango Chutney and Mango Chili as their acid level is higher so I could still use hot water bath canning.

We can also add acids such as lemon juice, vinegar, unflavored vitamin C, ascorbic or citric acid powders to increase the acidity level so that hot water bath canning can be applied. But you have to consider whether they will alter the taste of the jam. The added acids also make the color more vibrant and prevents darkening at the top of the jam.

For low acid food such as meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables, we must use pressure canners as they require much higher heat for canning.

So how does canning preserve the food?
Basically, canning destroys the enzymes and prevent the growth of bacteria, yeasts and molds and help to form a high vacuum in the jars. So if the jar has a good vacuum with tight seal, it will keep the liquid in and prevent the air and microorganisms from getting in.

How long can we store the jams after canning?
Up to 12 months for the best quality and flavor.
OR up to 18 months but the quality and flavor will be reduced. The longer food is kept; the more flavor will be lost but it is still edible.
Store at a cool and dry area.

List of things required for canning the jam;
1. Jars and caps preferably with safety button (lids and rings for some countries)
2. Stock pot which is at least 4 to 6 inches higher than the jars.
3. Jar lifter
4. Tong
5. Funnel
6. Ladle
7. Plastic or wooden spoon
8. Towel to wipe the rims
9. Tray with towel to rest the canned jars

Canning Process
1. Wash and clean the jars, lids, rings or caps. If there are any cracks on the jars, do not use it.
2. Place a wire or rack inside the stock pot for the jars to sit on.
3. Place the empty jars inside the stock pot standing on the wire rack.
4. Fill the stock pot with water about 2 to 3 inches higher than the jars
5. Bring the water to a boil then let it simmer while you start to cook the jam. This is not to sterilize the jars but just to keep them warm for the hot jams to avoid any cracks. It is not necessary to sterilize jars as the bacteria will be killed during the canning process.
6. Do not boil the lids, rings and caps. Just let it air dry after washing.
7. Once the jam is cooked, remove the empty jars from the stock pot. Drain the water first.
8. Fill the jams into the jars leaving a head space of ½ an inch or fill just up to the neck of the jars.
9. Use a plastic or wooden spoon to stir the jam to remove any air pockets.
10. Wipe the rim clean then cap the jar. If you are using lids and rings, place the lids on the rim then cover with the ring. Just close the cap finger tight and do not use any force. They will expand during the canning process.
11. Place the filled jars into the stock pot with water. Make sure that the water is about 2 to 3 inches higher than the jars. Cover and bring to a boil with high heat.
12. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, process the jars for about 15 mins for smaller jars and about 20 mins for bigger jars.
13. After the processing time, turn off the heat and remove the cover of the pot. Let the jars rest for 5 mins in the pot then only remove them.
14. Let the canned jars rest on a tray with a towel.
15. Check whether the jars are properly sealed.
16. If there are any unsealed jars, just refrigerate or reprocess within 24 hours.

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