Canning: Solving the Siphoning Problem
Canning is a necessary part of homestead life for anyone who has an interest in preserving enough food to get the family through the winter. When you create your own canned goods (and do it correctly) you are guaranteed that food will keep better, for longer. It is the perfect answer for preserving partially cooked or softer foods until spring!
Unfortunately, canning comes with its own set of issues. One you have fond a few successful canning recipes, this does not guarantee your success. Some of the main canning problems include undesirable color changes of foods, fruits that float and, arguably the biggest problem of all: that liquid is lost during the process of pressure canning.
Why Does Canning Result in Liquid Loss?
Liquid can escape from the can during high pressure canning. This is because the force of the air pressure moves the liquid outwards and we get seepage. Similarly, air bubbles can be trapped between the food and the can which can result in a loss of space. Why is this such a bad thing? Well you are losing produce – but you are also losing can space. More air bubbles and liquid loss means less fresh goodness when you open the can in December.
Let’s talk about how we can solve these two issues and get you back to full canning strength!
Air Bubbles during Canning
Air bubbles can form when you aren’t canning at high pressure. You can even get them in jars. It doesn’t mean that the food has gone bad but it does mean it is costing you in effort, produce and money.
To stop air bubbles forming in your can slide a knife between the food and the can and move it back and forth a few times before sealing. This should move the air to the surface and allow it to escape before it is finally sealed up.
Liquid Loss Prevention
When you are using a high pressure canning system you risk liquid leaking out if you fluctuate the pressure too much at one time. Try to ease it up and down again steadily, as jolts are likely to cause liquid loss. Liquid loss is sometimes referred to as siphoning – and this is the problems we want to solve!
So how can we prevent siphoning? Here are a few of our top tips for preventing liquid loss during canning:
- Heat your jars – siphoning happens because of temperature and pressure changes. Try heating your jars or cans a little and seeing if it has a positive impact.
- Let the Jars sit – letting your products rest a while after they have been canned can solve the problem of liquid loss.
- Leave enough space – if you don’t leave a few inches at the top of the can you’re likely to have extra seeping.
If you follow these canning tips, keep your temperature steady, and allow the pressure to change smoothly – then you should stop losing so much liquid from your jars.
And remember! If you are losing more than half each time then there is something else going wrong! Go back to the drawing board and start again.