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Old 07-23-2010, 03:38 PM   #1
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Red face Canning question

Hi,

I was wondering if you put alot of high acid ingredients in with a low acid ingredient if it would balance out?

I'm new to canning.

Thanks

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Old 07-23-2010, 03:44 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Brie View Post
Hi,

I was wondering if you put alot of high acid ingredients in with a low acid ingredient if it would balance out?

I'm new to canning.

Thanks
Brie, welcome to DC.

I'm new to canning too, so I bought the Ball Canning Guide. Several people recommended it as a good place to start. Most places and people with whom I spoke stated that one should be very careful when playing with the acidity of the foods that are canned. I'm sure there must be a formula, but I've not found it so I do hope you get a good answer to your question. I would be curious whether there is a way to check the acidity without a pH kit in order to know how much is 'enough.'

~Kathleen
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:04 PM   #3
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Hi KathleenA

Thanks for the welcome, this is a very handy site.

I have a family anti-pasto recipe that my aunt makes every year. She has never used a pressure canner, but it does have tuna in it. My only guess is that she puts so much ketchup/vinegar etc. that it brings the acid up to a safe level?? There has to be some logic reason why this works?

Brie
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:10 PM   #4
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There has to be some logic reason why this works?
The answer is simple, but you are not going to like it. the reason is luck. It is the same as saying that you have driven in a car for 40 years and never once worn a seat belt and never had a problem. Yes it is absolutely possible, but it is a dangerous game to play. I would also recommend getting the Ball Blue Book. It is inexpensive, but LOADED with great important information. You are a new member here. We would like you to be around long enough to enjoy the site
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:13 PM   #5
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Hi KathleenA

Thanks for the welcome, this is a very handy site.

I have a family anti-pasto recipe that my aunt makes every year. She has never used a pressure canner, but it does have tuna in it. My only guess is that she puts so much ketchup/vinegar etc. that it brings the acid up to a safe level?? There has to be some logic reason why this works?

Brie
There are some people around who can probably tell you why, but I agree that there has to be a logical reason why it works. I'd love to know the rule.

My problem with canning is that I have a fear of pressure cookers. Though I know the pressure cookers of today are not the danger machines of yesterday, I cannot forget the image of the chicken my mother set in flight from one. The cooker broke a seal and had more ommph than the Nasa rockets of the time. We were cleaning up chicken from the ceiling, the walls, the floors, and every crook and cranny for months. *shudders* If there is a way to avoid pressure canning, I want to know!

~Kathleen
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:00 PM   #6
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haha, yes I've heard horror stories about the pressure canner that makes me think I should stick with Pickles. Someday I would like to get one, but they are really expensive.

I guess dumb luck is good answer. Although its interesting to think of how many people make recipes like this for years without incident. I will check into that book, and thanks again.

Brie
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brie View Post
I have a family anti-pasto recipe that my aunt makes every year. She has never used a pressure canner, but it does have tuna in it. My only guess is that she puts so much ketchup/vinegar etc. that it brings the acid up to a safe level?? There has to be some logic reason why this works?
Brie
Unfortunately, as previously stated, it has been pure LUCK that someone has not gotten sick or perhaps someone has and has shrugged off that 'tingle' in the stomach, flu-like symptoms, or that case of diarrhea as just something else. It is especially dangerous with the tuna in it. Reminds me of a few picnics where people do not remember to keep homemade salads on ice, or perhaps that ground meat for the burgers.

Bacterias are very opportunistic and can easily hide and grow in a single drop of water or oil and a little bit of ketchup or vinegar means nothing if the bacteria spores are present.

For businesses, even the "hint" of improper handling or processing causes an immediate recall, even without knowledge of actual bacteria presence. Its serious.
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:21 PM   #8
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haha, yes I've heard horror stories about the pressure canner that makes me think I should stick with Pickles.
Maybe 30-40 years ago when the canners did not have safety valves and other advances that canners and cookers have today. A decent Presto brand pressure canner can be purchased at Wal-Mart for under $50 and is recommended for most since it is a "rocker" pressure weight and not a "dial gauge" like the bigger ones. The dial gauges MUST be tested all the time and that is difficult in my cities.
Quote:
how many people make recipes like this for years without incident.
Actually if you research the history, there were a lot of food poisoning cases and deaths, but the problem with such is that food poisoning has the same symptoms as the flu, so many doctors never reported it correctly since they had no way of knowing. Botulism was a different story and people were scared enough to boil ALL canned food, even commercial products, for 10 minutes before eating. In the 1990's all books and recipes were rewritten once they understood the C. Botulinum and other bacteria spores better.

Food Poisoning is on the increase again as more people get into canning foods again -- 44% allegedly never bother to follow safety guidelines according to a study. That's why food experts are so adamant about doing things the right way.

Canning is fun, but it demands respect.
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:32 PM   #9
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The answer is simple, but you are not going to like it. the reason is luck.
A friend of ours says that beginners have an empty bottle of experience and a full bottle of luck. The trick is to fill the first before the second runs out. By beginners, I'm sure he means children, but it works never the less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brie View Post
haha, yes I've heard horror stories about the pressure canner that makes me think I should stick with Pickles. Someday I would like to get one, but they are really expensive.

I guess dumb luck is good answer. Although its interesting to think of how many people make recipes like this for years without incident. I will check into that book, and thanks again.

Brie
I love pickles. As for the book, you can get it dirt cheap on Amazon and even cheaper used. You will not regret getting it.

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Bacterias are very opportunistic and can easily hide and grow in a single drop of water or oil and a little bit of ketchup or vinegar means nothing if the bacteria spores are present.
One day, Frank's mother went to a restaurant and opened a bottle of ketchup that had been setting on the table. When she opened it, gas that looked like smoke rose out of it. After that, I'm much less thrilled by the open bottles of ketchup and would totally prefer the packets.

~Kathleen
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