Learn to can the old-fashioned way with a boiling-water canner,like our grandmothers did, before the days of pressure canners.
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How to Can Vegetables Using A Boiling-Water Canner

Part 3 of "How to Can Fruits and Vegetables From Your Garden."

Canning Vegetables with a Boiling-Water Canner
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In the past, before the days of the pressure canner, people canned their vegetables using a boiling-water canner. This is nothing but a great big pan. The pan has to be big enough for your jar to fit well inside and be covered with several inches of water. It should have a rack in the bottom and a well fitting lid. The rack should hold the jars at least 1/2 inch off of the bottom of thhe pan to allow the water to circulate.

This method of canning is not as safe as canning in a pressure canner because the high temperatures necessary to kill all harmful bacteria inside the jar cannot be achieved in a boiling-water canner. Vegetables processed in a boiling-water canner simply do not get hot enough to destroy all bacteria, and the food may spoil, no matter how long you process it. The only food that is really suitable for canning with this method are fruits. They have an acidic value to them that prevents certain bacterias from growing in the first place. Keeping all of this in mind, you should decide what method of processing your vegetables is best for you.

I am constantly getting e-mails on how to can certain vegetables the old-fashioned way--the way Grandmother did it--in a boiling water canner, so I am including this section on canning vegetables in a boiling-water canner in this series. Just be prepared...this method of canning results in a long processing time.

Steps in Canning With a Boiling-Water Canner.

Beets:Harvest beets cut off the tops leaving 2 inches of top on the beet. Leave the root attached. By leaving the top and root attached, will prevent your beets from "bleeding" and turning white. Scrub the beets and parboil until skins slip off, about 15 minutes. Dip the beets in cold water and peel.Slice the big beets, and leave the small ones whole. Pack into jars leaving a 1-inch headspace. Add 1/2 tsp. salt to pints;add 1 tsp. to quarts.Cover beets with boiling water. Seal. Process for 120 minutes.


Carrots:Wash and peel carrots.Slice large carrots or leave small one whole. Bring carrots to a boil and pack into jars, adding 1/2 tsp. salt to pints;1 tsp. to quarts. Pour boiling water over carrots leaving a 1-inch headspace.Seal. Process 120 minutes.


Corn-Whole Kernel:Remove husks and silk. Blanch the corn, if you do not want corn juice spraying across your kitchen when you cut the kernel off of the cob. Bring to a boil and pack corn loosely into jars, leaving a 1-inch headspace. Add 1/2 tsp. salt to pints and 1 tsp. salt to quarts. Process for 210 minutes.


Green Beans:Break beans into 1 inch pieces. Wash and precook beans for 5-10 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp. salt to pints;add 1 tsp. salt to quarts. Pack into jars leaving a 1-inch headspace. Process for 180 minutes.


Peas:Shell and wash. Boil for 5 minutes, and pack into jars. Cover with boiling water leaving 1-inch headspace. Add 1/2 tsp. salt to pints;add 1 tsp. to quarts. Process for 180 minutes.


Potatoes,white:Peel and wash potatoes. Leave small ones whole and cut up large ones. Pack into jars. Add 1/2 tsp. salt to pints and 1 tsp. salt to quarts. Cover with boiling water, leaving 1-inch headspace. Process for 180 minutes.


Potatoes,Sweet:Wash potatoes. Boil until skins slip off easily. Peel and cut into pieces. Pack into jars and add 1/2 tsp. salt to pints and 1 tsp. salt to quarts. Cover with boiling water. Leave 1-inch headspace. Process for 180 minutes.


Tomatoes:See How to Can FruitPage 4 of "How to Can Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about canning fruit.


Zucchini:Wash and trim ends. Cut into 1/2 inch slices. Do not peel. Bring to a boil and pack into jars. Add 1/2 tsp. salt to pints and 1 tsp. to quarts. Cover with boiling water, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Process for 180 minutes.




Other Links You May Find Helpful

Introduction on Canning Fruits and VegetablesPage 1 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about what you should know before you begin to can.

How to Can Vegetables Using a Pressure CannerPage 2 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This talks about canning vegetables using a pressure canner.

How to Can Vegetables Using a Boiling Water CannerPage 3 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden. This page talks about canning vegetables using a boiling water canner.

How to Can FruitPage 4 of "How to Can Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about canning fruit.

How to Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden.Page 5 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about freezing basics and "how-to's."

How to Make Jams and Jellies Page 6 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about the tips and tricks of making homemade jams and jellies.

How to Make Pickles and RelishPage 7 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about pickling.

How to Dehydrate Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden.Page 8 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetabes frm Your Garden." This page talks about drying and lists dtying times for fruits and vegetables.

How to Make lye Soap and Other Homemade Concoctions Page 9 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about making lye soap and other old-fashioned, homemade concoctions and remedies.

Home Processing Troubleshooting GuidePage 10 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page answers your questions about canning and freezing garden produce.

Other Home Canning Links This site lists other links that you may find helpful.