Originally Posted by KathyJ
Ball Blue book also.....
Buy a new one, though. They changed some of the guidelines for water bath canning vs pressure canning. The older books won't be right - they can still have/give you botulism. well, not all the recipes, but some. I'm thinking the changes are mostly having to do with canning meat and anything with tomatoes in it, both have to be pressure canned. I can't remember the year, but I think if it's after 1986, you're ok.
Please, anyone, correct me if I'm wrong about any of this.
I'm new at canning also, but have done a ton of research. Just picked up a used water bath canner, but will probably buy the pressure canner new.
This is true. They have changed methods on canning tomatoes and also don't recommend canning methods before 1982-3.
The thing with the tomatoes is the variability of the acid content. I think the many new varieties along with the resurgence of heirloom tomatoes has caused their attention in this.
Of course, one can always test strip the canning mixture, adding acidity if needed, with citric acid, or something like lemon juice or vinegar. The acidity level should be below 4.6 and should be even throughout (not just concentrated in one area). This is why salsa recpes for canning use water bath (lots of vinegar).
Meats require pressure canning as do many vegetables.
I do enjoy Ball books but info can also be had from many university extension centers with online info.