What Is Hot Bath Water Canning?


Quick Answer

Water bath canning is a method of preserving food that uses boiling water to seal sterilized jars of fruits or vegetables. Prepared food is put into lidded jars that are submerged into a large pot of boiling water for a processing time of about 10 minutes.

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Full Answer

Jars, lids and rings are sterilized in hot, but not boiling, water. The jars are filled while still hot, and air bubbles are removed with a non-metal spatula. The canning pots are deep enough that the submerged jars have at least an inch of constantly boiling water above them. After the processing time, the jars are set aside to cool completely before the seals are tested. The jars are correctly sealed if the flat lid does not spring back when pressed down. Sealed jars can be cleaned and stored in a dry place; jars that do not become sealed can be refrigerated and should be used before sealed jars.

The water bath method can be used to preserve fruits, jams, jellies, pickles and most vegetables or sauces. Tomatoes can be preserved this way, though lemon juice is typically used to add acidity. Special canning tools, including shaped wire racks and jar lifters, can be used for lifting and submerging jars and keeping them still and upright while in the water.

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