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Old 07-15-2010, 01:13 PM   #1
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Boiling water bath for jam and jelly or not?

Why do people do this? My mother and I never have. Never had a jar that did not seal or spoiled jam.

If the acidity is right, which it will be if you follow the instructions, nothing can survive. Not the botulinus toxin or anything else.

I just make sure the mixture is boiling hot, work fast to pour it into the jars, seal right away, turn it upside down for 15 minutes, and Bob's yer uncle.

Snap-snap-snap down the line go the lids. Never a more satisfying sound.

Are my mama and me from another planet?

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Old 07-15-2010, 02:35 PM   #2
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Word for word, from the USDA's labs:

"Some other methods of sealing jars call for inverting a closed, filled jar of hot product for anywhere from thirty seconds to one hour. (Inverting is turning the filled jar upside down on its lid.)

While this inversion process can be successful in producing a sealed jar, it works best with very hot product. Individual variation in practicing this process or unexpected interruptions can result in delays between filling jars, getting lids screwed on, and inverting the jars. If the product cools down too much, the temperature of the product can become low enough to no longer be effective in sealing jars or preventing spoilage.

When the inversion process does work, the vacuum seals of filled jars still tend to be weaker than those produced by a short boiling water canning process. A weak seal is more likely to fail during storage.

In addition, the headspace of the jar may retain enough oxygen to allow some mold growth if airborne molds contaminated the surface of the product as the jar was filled and closed. More complete removal of oxygen from the headspace also offers some longer protection from undesirable color and flavor changes with some types of fruit products. The canning process is therefore a more foolproof method of making jams and jellies that will not spoil.

Also, although no cases of burning have been reported in the news media, experience has shown that some people will experience leaking of the hot product from the jar when it is turned over if the lid wasn't put on just right. If hot enough, someone could get burned. Even if it doesn’t cause burns, leaking means product is lost."
Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D., Professor and Extension Food Safety Specialist. The University of Georgia and Ft. Valley State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and counties of the state cooperating.
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Old 07-15-2010, 02:45 PM   #3
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You're not from another planet, though you haven't kept up with advances in research and understanding of bacterias, yeasts, etc. In earlier years this information was not known or understood completely, though they knew there was "something" there.

The whole purpose of "canning", whether it is in a Boiling Water Bath for high-acid foods or Pressure Canning for low-acid foods, is to pasteurize the food so that any bacterial spore that causes spoilage will be destroyed and have it done while no air is present that could recontaminate the food, so that the food can be stored at room temperature for a long period of time.

Home preserved foods also have no preservatives in them, so there is a higher probability of adverse growths in the product over time, if steps are not taken to prevent or slow down that growth.

Not a big problem with jams and jellies, but the molds and other things that can grow in them can make people sick. Of course not every jar is grossly contaminated and, if sanitary conditions are maintained and the food is stored in cool places like cellars, luck may continue for years.

The real problem was low-acid foods and the Botulism Toxin, which really became more understood in the 1990's and caused the reprinting and testing of all books and recipes.

The pasteurization process is a VERY serious issue and we see it regularly in the commercial food industry where there is required testing. Even a "hint" of a problem causes a recall and often the bankruptcy of companies involved. Unfortunately such testing and inspection does not occur in the household.
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Old 07-15-2010, 05:46 PM   #4
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I would not dream of doing carrots or peas without boiling water bath. At home, we never used a pressure canner, just a regular boiling-water bath. When you think about it, it is a small miracle that we never got sick from this food.

Thanks for the info. However, sugar + acid ARE preservatives.
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:59 PM   #5
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Yikes--carrots and peas MUST be pressure canned, Daizymae. I know--you and your mom have done them the old way for years and you haven't died yet, BUT. . . the possiblility IS there.
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparrowgrass View Post
Yikes--carrots and peas MUST be pressure canned, Daizymae. I know--you and your mom have done them the old way for years and you haven't died yet, BUT. . . the possiblility IS there.
Of course you are correct. Thanx! I expressed myself all wrong. Nobody in our area (everyone was poor poor poor) had pressure canners so we did as we were able. All nonacid vegetables need the pressure canner or you would just have to do without canning.

I don't have a pressure canner, so I freeze the vegetables. It is easier, too.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:57 PM   #7
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Mods please delete this thread. This is a stain on DC reputation as being an intelligent place to go for cooking information. These kinds of ignorant suggestions just don't belong here.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:38 PM   #8
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Jams & jellies have a lot of sugar, + acid from the lemon juice, which act as a preservative. I spoke to the owner of a pectin mfg company, who said that you do not have to do a boiling water bath but of course you can if you wish.

My previous post stated:


I would not dream of doing carrots or peas without boiling water bath. At home, we never used a pressure canner, just a regular boiling-water bath. When you think about it, it is a small miracle that we never got sick from this food.

So I can't see why any of this should be deleted. What "ignorant suggestions" are you referring to?




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Old 07-26-2010, 11:45 PM   #9
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velochic is concerned that folks might get the wrong impression about canning. Its very important to follow all the approved methods of canning. What was once done is not necessarily safe anymore. She's had a very bad experience and wants us all to avoid this if possible.

I'm going to adjust the title a bit, and I'm leaving this thread up as its important for folks to see the comments throughout about the more modern methods of canning.
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:19 AM   #10
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Thank you, Alix. Your message is much more diplomatic than my knee-jerk reaction.
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