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. C li I V
U, i, ' : .Ml -lit sf Agri.v
Canning, economical way to pre-
serve food 1
Correct processing for can-
ning success 2
Is food acid or nonacid 4
Canning equipment and methods. _ 5
Boiling-water bath — for acid
Steam pressure canner — for
nonacid foods 6
Steamers and ovens 9
The open kettle 10
Glass jars and bottles 11
Tin cans 14
Other utensils and supplies 18
Steps in canning 19
Canning fruits, tomatoes, and
other acid foods 21
Fruits with or without sugar 22
Packing and processing 23
, Apricots 24
Beets, pickled 24
Pimientos, ripe 26
Tomato juice 28
Fruit juices 28
Fruit purees 29
Canning nonacid vegetables 32
Packing and processing 32
Beans, fresh lima 32
Beans, snap 32
Beans, dried kidney or
Canning nonacid vegetables — Con.
Packing and processing — Con.
Beets, baby 33
Okra and tomatoes 36
Peas, green 36
Peas, black-eyed 37
Vegetable-aoup mixtures. 37
Camiing meats and chicken 37
Utensils and equipment 38
Packing and processing 40
Beef, fresh 40
Beef, ground (hamburger) 40
Beef, hash, and stew meat 40
Beef, heart and tongue 41
Beef stew with vegetables_ 41
Beef, corned 41
Chicken and other poultry 41
Chicken sandwich spread _ 42
Chicken-liver paste 42
Chicken-gumbo soup 43
Chile con carne 43
Lamb and mutton 43
Liver paste_ - 43
Pork and beans 43
Pork, fresh - 44
Pork, headcheese 44
Pork sausage 44
Rabbit, domestic 44
Soup stock and broth 46
Before eating, inspect aU canned
Signs of spoilage 47
Other bulletins on food preser-
Washington, D. O.
Issued September 1936
FOODS and NUTRITION
BUREAU o( HOME
HOME CANNING OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES,
LOUISE STANLEY, Chief, MABEL STIENBARGER,' associate specialist
and DOROTHY SHANK, specialist in home economics
CANNING, ECONOMICAL WAY TO PRESERVE FOOD
'ANNING is a method of using heat and airtight containers to
^ preserve food as nearly as possible in the condition in which it is
served when freshly cooked. It is a desirable and economical method
of preserving many foods so that their use can be distributed over
seasons and to places where they are not available fresh. Canned
foods thus make possible a better-balanced and more-varied diet
throughout the year.
The method of canning foods affects the vitamin content to some
extent. With the possible exception of vitamin C there may be no
serious loss during the canniug process, though of course when foods
are removed from the cans and reheated before serving, there may be
additional loss of vitamins. In order to preserve all the vitamins
possible in canned products, emphasis is placed throughout this
bulletin on canning foods very soon after they are gathered and on
carrying every step of the process through rapidly. Precooking
foods for a short time, packing them hot, and processing them in the
containers help to preserve the vitamin value.
None of the minerals in foods need be lost in canning, providing the
liquid in which they are precooked is used to fill up the containers and
provided the entire contents of the can is served.
A caiming budget prepared at the beginning of the season will
indicate what quantities of different canned foods are needed by the
family. In making such a budget, consider the mmiber of persons in
the family, the length of time that fresh foods are out of season, and
what foods are available for canning, as well as the cost of equipment
and containers, and the value of the time of the persons doing the
work. Assistance in planning a canning budget suitable to the locality
FARMERS' BULtLETIN 1762
and adapted to the nutritional requirements of the family may be ob-
tained from the State college of agriculture.
Correct Processing for Canning Success
Successful canning is based on an understanding of the important
causes for the rapid spoilage of fresh foods and on a knowledge of the
methods by which this spoilage may be prevented. The two agents
that cause food spoilage are enzymes and micro-organisms, including
bacteria, yeasts, and molds.
All fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats contain
"Two hours substances called enzymes. Up to a certain point
from garden these enzymes bring about desirable changes in
to can" foods. They cause fruits and vegetables to ripen
normally and the tissues of meats to become more
tender as they are held in storage; but if allowed to go on unchecked,
enzymes hasten the decay of foods. The low temperatures of cold
storage retard the action of enzymes, and the heat of cooking or can-
ning destroys them entirely.
To prevent undesirable changes due to enzymes, fruits and vege-
tables should be canned as soon as possible after they are gathered.
"Two hours from garden to can" is a good rule. If they must be held
they should be kept in small lots in a cool, well-ventilated place.
Meats should be refrigerated at 30° to 32° F. if they are to be held
for several days.
The second and more important cause of food
Trouble- spoilage is the action of three groups of minute
making organisms that are present in the air, soil, water, and,
organisms in fact, on everything. They are yeasts, molds, and
If all micro-organisms in food are killed and it is sealed steaming
hot in sterile airtight containers, it is said to be sterilized. The
application of heat to foods during canning in order to kill micro-
organisms is called processing. Food spoils when it comes in contact
with unheated air because of the bacteria, yeasts, and molds the air
contains. For successful canning, it is not enough just to destroy
the micro-organisms. After being processed, the food must be pro-
tected from the air by a hermetic seal.
Yeasts and molds are easily destroyed by heat in canning. Tem-
peratures below the boiling point of water (from about 150° to 180°
F. for varying periods of time) are effective in destroying them.
Yeasts rarely cause spoilage in canned foods, and molds never do
unless the container holding the food is faulty and permits the organ-
isms to gain entrance from the air.
In killing bacteria by heat, both the degree of temperature and the
HOME CAmsmSTG OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS 3
length of time it is to be applied must be considered. A very high
temperature may produce a sterile canned product that will keep
well, but this may be at too great a sacrifice of flavor and texture.
Therefore the temperature applied should ordinarily be the lowest
and the period of time the shortest necessary to accomplish the
desired result. This may not in every case actually sterilize the food,
but it does give "effective sterilization," by destroying the organisms
that are likely to grow and cause spoilage when the food is stored
under average conditions.
WMle bacteria are growing actively they are easily destroyed at
the temperature of boUing water (212° F.). But some kinds of
bacteria go through a dormant or spore form in the course of their
life cycle and in that stage are very resistant to heat. It may take 6
hours or more at bofling temperature (212°) to kill these spores, but at
240°, the temperature obtained in the steam pressure canner, they
may be destroyed in 30 minutes.
Whether foods are acid or nonacid also makes a difference in the
rate at which bacteria may be kUled. When the foods are definitely
acid, as, for example, fruits and tomatoes, all forms of bacteria are
killed within a reasonable time at the temperature of boUing water.
With the nonacid foods, such as meats and corn, peas, beans, and
practically all vegetables except tomatoes, these heat-resistant
bacteria can be killed with speed and surety only at the high temT
peratures obtainable in the steam pressure canner.
The types of bacteria vary with different foods, also with the year,
the locahty, and the conditions of production. For example, some
of the most heat-resistant forms of bacteria are in the soU. Con-
sequently a low-growing vegetable like spinach may be heavily con-
taminated and the fuzzy coating on snap beans may shelter such
bacteria^nd make them difficult to remove.
Bacteria may cause the following types of spoilage
Dangerous in canned foods,
bacteria Fermentation is one type of spoilage caused by
bacteria. During fermentation, acid and gas are
produced, causing the food to become sour or "cheesy." Tin cans
may bulge or seals on jars may be broken by accumulated gas.
Flat-sour spoUage is caused by bacteria that produce acid without
gas. They grow best at temperatures about 130° to 140° F. and some-
times cause spoilage in canned foods not properly cooled after process-
ing or held at too-high storage temperatures. Com, peas, and snap
beans are subject to flat-sour spoilage.
Another type of bacteria causes putrefaction in canned food. The
growth of putrefactive bacteria is marked by gas production, a bad
odor, and the softening and darkening of canned food. Putrefaction
FARMERS' BULLETIN 1762
usually occurs in foods low in acidity, such as meats, peas, and corn.
When the spores of botulinus bacteria are not de-
Botulinus stroyed in the canning process they may grow later
spoilage and produce a toxin in the food. Since a number
of cases of botulinus poisoning have been traced to
inadequately processed foods, the botulinus bacteria have been
studied in order to find the temperature and conditions necessary for
destroying them. They will not grow tn salt solutions when more
than 9 percent of salt is present. They are destroyed by processing
at 212° F. if the solution is sufficiently acid. With beans, com, peas,
and other nonacid vegetables and meats they may not be killed at
the temperature of boiling water (212° F.) unless the food is heated
for 6 to 10 hours or even longer, but the time may be decreased very
much if the higher temperatiu-e of the steam pressure canner is used.
Siuce various agents, such as birds and winds blowing dust, may
carry bacteria from one area to another, it cannot be assumed that
any particular locality is free from botulinus bacteria. The directions
in this bulletin for handling the various fruits, vegetables, and meats
have been prepared as a safeguard against spoilage due to this dan-
gerous type of bacteria.
Is Food Acid or Nonacid?
' For purposes of canning, foods are considered in two groups accord-
ing to the quantity of free acid they contain. The acid foods are
fruits, tomatoes, pickled beets, ripe pimientos, and rhubarb. The
nonacid foods include all other vegetables, such as asparagus, peas,
beans, and corn, and also meats and poultry.
The acid foods are processed at or near the temperature of boiling
water (212° F.) in a boiling-water bath, or in a steamer without
pressure, or in an oven. The acid products may also be canrod from
the open kettle.
Nonacid foods must be processed in a steam pressure canner at
temperatures of 240° to 250° F. obtained by applying 10 to 15 pounds
of steam pressure.
The addition of small quantities of an acid, such as viuegar or
lemon juice to a nonacid vegetable or meat does not change the acidity
of the food enough to permit processing in the boiling-water bath.
This can be done only if enough acid is added to pickle the food.
For example, beets are a nonacid vegetable and need to be processed
under steam pressure, but when they are pickled in vinegar they
may be handled as an acid product in the boiling-water bath.
The use of chemical preservatives, such as salicyhc acid, sodium
benzoate, and "canning powders," should be avoided in home can-
ning any kind of food. These chemicals vary in their effects on
the human body, some being more harmful than others. Therefore
HOME . CANNING OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS 5
the safe way for the home canner is to process foods adequately with
heat and not to use chemical preservatives.
CANNING EQUIPMENT AND METHODS
Prepare for the canning season by checking over in advance the
equipment and materials that will be needed. This may. prevent
delays when the food is ready to can.
Boiling- Water Bath — for Acid Foods
For processing acid foods, the water bath is the most generally
satisfactory method in the home. If water is boiled in an open vessel
or in one on which the top is not clamped down tightly, the tem-
perature reached is never higher than the boiling point of water.
All additional heat applied goes to changing the water to steam,
and the water boUs away. Therefore the temperature of the food in
the cans surrounded by the boiling water does not go higher than
that of the water.
Moreover, the boiling J)oint of water is not always
Time varies the same. It depends upon atmospheric pressure,
with altitude which changes with the altitude. At sea level, the
boiling point of water is 212° F., and it decreases as
the altitude increases. Allowance should be made for this in home
canning. In this bulletin the directions for processing in boiling
water are based on the boiling point at altitudes of 1,000 feet or less.
For altitudes above 1,000 feet the length of processing should be
increased 20 percent for each additional 1,000 feet.
(feet) ° F.
Sea level 212 100
1,026 210 99
2,063 208 98
3,116 206 97
4,169 . 204 95
Altitude boiling water
(feet) ° F. °C.
6,225 202 94
6,304 200 93
7,381 198 92
8,481 196 91
9,031 195 90
A water-bath canner may be made from a wash
Using the boiler, a bucket, or any vessel that has a tight cover
water-bath and is large enough to hold a convenient number of
canner cans of food and to permit covering them with 1 to
2 inches of water. It should be fitted with a rack
to hold the jars. A wire basket for this purpose can be made by a
tinner at small cost or at home from wire-mesh fencing, or it may be
In processing fruits and other acid foods in the water bath, be sure
that the jars or cans are far enough apart and that the rack on which
FARMERS' BULLETIN 17 62
they are supported is so arranged that the water can circulate freely
under and around them.
Have the water in the canner boiling before putting in the cans of
food. In order to keep the glass jars from breaking they must be
preheated in water or filled with hot food.
When all the containers are in the canner, see that the water comes
over the- tops at least 1 or 2 inches. Add more boiling water as needed
to keep this level.
Count time as soon as the water begins to boil vigorously. Keep
the bath boUing constantly during all of the processing period.
As soon as the processing time is up, remove the glass jars from
the water one at a time. Jars should be tightly sealed at this time if
necessary. Methods used for sealing the different kinds of jars are
described on pages 11 and 12. Tin cans are sealed before they are
placed in the water bath and need no further adjustment.
Steam Pressure Canner — (or Nonacid Foods
A steam pressure canner is required for processing meats, practi-
cally all vegetables except tomatoes, and other nonacid foods. It
is not safe to can such foods at home unless a pressure canner is
Since pressure canners are made of materials much
Share the needed in the war effort, not enough of these can-
canners ners are now being manufactured to supply the
demand. It will help in meeting this situation, for
owners of pressure canners to share their equipment in a neighbor-
hood. It is worth while to find out whether community canning
centers are set up within the community. At these centers resources
are pooled, and homemakers with less experience in canning may
have helpful guidance.
If no pressure cooker is available, nonacid foods should be preserved
in other safe ways. Ways of preserving vegetables and fruits are dry-
ing, pickling, quick freezing, storing. Meats may be cured or frozen.
The pressure canner is especially designed to heat foods to higher
temperatures than can be reached in a boUing-water bath or an ordi-
nary steamer. Foods cannot be heated beyond the boUing point of
water at a particular altitude unless the vessel has a tight-fitting cover
clamped down so the steam is held in under pressure. It is desirable
to have a thermometer set into the top so that pressure can be checked
against temperature. Pressure canners of usual household sizes are
not manufactured with thermometers, but on canners of larger size,
as 40-quart or more capacity, a reliable thermometer can be inserted
for a few dollars' additional cost.
If nonacid foods are being canned for sale the pressure canners
should be equipped with thermometers to make certain that the
HOME CANNING OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS 7
processing will be adequate. Pressure gages may become inaccurate
after a period of use. Those that have the indicator soldered or other-
wise attached permanently to the stem will remain in good condition
longer than gages in which the indicator is held in place by friction
The size of the pressm-e canner should be suitable to the kind of con-
tainers and the probable nvmiber to be handled at one time. For
home use, pressure canners of from 18- to 21-quart capacity have been
found most satisfactory. While lai^er canners are available on the
market, they are too heavy and too awkward for the homemaker to
handle. The smaller steam pressure outfits, of 10- to 12-quart
capacity, Are intended for cooking rather than canning. They hold
only a few cans at a time, and it is almost impossible to operate them
so that the pressure does not fluctuate during the processing period.
If home canning is to be done regularly, therefore, it pays to have a
good-sized pressure canner in perfect working order (table 1).
Tablb 1.^ — Approximate capacity of steam pressure canners of various
Size of canner (quarts)
No. 2 tin
No. 3 tin
Since the temperature obtained in the steam pres-
Pressure varies sure canner, as well as in the boiling water bath, is
with altitude aflFected by altitude, allowance for this must be made
in home canning. In this bxilletin processing periods
are based on the pressure-temperature figures at sea level. At alti-
tudes over 2,000 feet, add 1 pound pressure for each additional 2,000
feet (table 2).
Table 2. — Corresponding pressure and temperature figures, under
standard conditions at sea level
467464°— 42 2
FABMERS' BULLETIN 1762
In operating and caring for a pressure canner
Using the pres- follow the directions of the manufacturer. Certain
sure canner points need special attention.
Pour boiling water into the canner to a depth of
about 1 inch or until the level is just below the rack that holds the
containers. Add more water up to this level after processing each
load, so that the canner will not boil dry and be damaged.
Allow space between the containers for the circulation of steam.
Tin cans may be arranged in several tiers by using a wire rack or
metal strips to keep the cans apart and permit the circulation of steam.
After the canner is loaded, adjust the cover and fasten it securely.
If there are several clamps fasten moderately tight thoSe opposite
each other, a pair at a time; then go back over the whole set and
tighten each pair.
See that no steam escapes anywhere except at the pet cock .
Allow the pet cock to remain open imtil the steam escapes from it
in a steady stream for 4 to 7 minutes, indicating that no air remains
inside. Otherwise the pressure will be partly due to air, and the
temperature will fall short of the required degree. Then close the
pet cock and allow the pressure to rise until the gage registers the
Count time from the moment the desired pressure is reached.
Keep close watch on the canner whUe in use. Regulate the heat
carefully so as to maintain a uniform pressure during the processing
period, and do not allow drafts to blow on the canner. Fluctuations
in pressure, as from 10 pounds to 15 pounds and down again, should
always be avoided. This may cause loss of liquid from glass jars.
It is especially important to keep the pressm-e from going so high that
the safety valve releases the steam suddenly, nor should the steam
be allowed to escape suddenly by opening the pet cock.
At the end of the processing period remove the canner from the fire.
When using glass jars or No. 3 or larger tin cans, allow the canner to
cool until the gage registers zero before opening the pet cock, and then
open gradually. Remove glass Jars one at a time and seal rubber ring
jars tightly at once. Self-sealing types of jars should have no further
adjustment. Tightening at this time may break the seal. Adjust-
ments vary with the types of jar (p. 12) . If liquid has been lost, do not
open the jars to add more.
Do not hasten the cooling of a pressure canner by applying cold
water or wet cloths, or by placing it on a cold surface. To do so may
crack the canner.
If tin cans smaller than No. 3 are used, open the pet cock gradually
at the end of processing and allow the steam to escape slowly.
Wlien opening the pressure canner, tUt the cover so that the steam
emerges away from the operator.
HOME CANNING OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS 9
Wash the pressure canner after it has been used.
Care of the Keep the surfaces that form the closure between pot
canner and cover clean. This will reduce the tendency of
the cover to stick. Take care not to dent or roughen
these surfaces. Do not use an abrasive on thena. New pressure
canners sometimes leak steam slightly at this junction, but after being
heated several times the surfaces should adjust to each other to make
the closure tight.
Keep the safety valve in good working condition. If it is a valve
of the ball and socket type, wash it each day after using. A safety
valve that fails to operate properly may cause an accident.
Use a toothpick to keep the opening of the pressure gage clean.
Do not immerse the pressiirc gage in water.
Since the pressure gage is the only guide to the temperature reached
inside most home canners, it is essential that pressure gages register
accurately. They sometimes get out of order, hence should be checked
at the beginning of the canning season or more often if the canner is in
constant use. Simple ways to do this are with a master pressure gage,
or with a maximum thermometer of suitable range 100° to 300° F.
To make the test with a master pressure gage, first unscrew the pet
cock or safety valve from the lid of the pressure canner and replace
it with the master gage. Next pour water into the canner and heat
(p. 8) running the pressure up gradually. Compare the two gages.
If the difference is 2 pounds or less, tag the canner with the mmiber
of pounds its gage must register when processing food in order to
correspond to 5, 10, or 15 pounds on the master gage. If the differ-
ence is more than 2 pounds get a new gage. After the test is over,
reset the pet cock or safety valve with a steamtight closure by apply-
ing a paste of litharge and glycerin, such as plumbers use, to the
threads of the stem before screwing it into the lid.
Details of testing pressure gages with a maximum thermometer
can be obtained on request.
Manufacturers will check the gages if they are removed and re-
turned to the factory where they were made. It is also possible in
some States to get the State agricultural college to check gages.
Steamers and Ovens
In canning acid foods, heat may also be applied in a steamer or
In the steamer, where the steam circulates but is
For acid foods not held under pressure, the temperature surround-
only ing the cans of food may be the same as in the
boiling-water bath. It is necessary, however, to
maintain a good circulation of steam if this method is to be efficient
FARMERS' BULLETIN 1762
in processing. In actual practice the steamer is often used without
good circvdation of steam and for that reason is unsatisfactory. When
the steamer is properly operated, the processing periods for acid foods
are the same as in the water bath.
Oven canning refers to the processing of food in glass jars in an
oven. The temperatures generally used for the oven are from 250°
to 275° F. Even with the oven at these or higher temperatures the
food being processed inside the jars is little if any hotter than boiling
water. For as steam forms in the jars it forces its way out, and the
temperature remains near 212° F. Glass jars tising rubber rings can
be only partially sealed for oven processing. Otherwise, the accumu-
lated steam would break the seals or the jars themselves. When
caps of the vacuum or self-sealing types are used, screw the bands on
tightly before processing. Tin cans cannot be used in oven canning,
because of the danger of spreading or bursting the seams.
Since the temperature of the food in oven canning is only about
212° F., this method is no-t safe for nonacid foods. Oven canning is
used successfully for some acid products such as the small fruits.
Peaches, pears, and apricots, especially when packed without pre-
cooking, are likely to develop a brownish discoloration after oven
canning. Another disadvantage of oven canning is that some of the
liquid bubbles out of the jars and is lost.
Processing periods in the oven are about half as long again as in
the boUing-water bath because the air in the oven is not so good a
conductor of heat as is water. However, if the food is precooked and
packed hot into the jars, the processing period in the oven may be
shortened somewhat. Even so, it is still longer than that in the boil-
ing-water bath. For example, peaches packed hot require 15 minutes
processing in the water bath, but in the oven, 25 minutes.
The Open Kettle
In the so-called open-kettle method fruits or tomatoes are cooked
directly in an open vessel to kill the bacteria. This cooking takes the
place of both precooking and processing in the other methods.
Water or sirup is added if required, and the food is boiled for several
minutes or imtU tender. It is then quickly filled into sterilized jars
and each one is sealed unmediately. The jars should be filled to the
top to drive out the air.
In this open-kettle method though the food heats through evenly
and quickly the temperature does not go above the boiling point of
water, except as it may be slightly raised by added sugar or soluble
materials in the juices. Therefore this method can be used only for
fruits and tomatoes canned in glass. Disadvantages of the open-
kettle method are the necessity for sterilizing jars and caps before
using (p. 12) and the chance of contaminating them again during
HOME CANNING OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS 11
filling. Furthermore, there is always danger that air containing micro-
organisms will be incorporated when jars are filled in this way. If
they are sealed while boiHng hot, however, this danger is in part
avoided. Tin cans should not be used for open-kettle canning of
fruits and tomatoes because the lids cannot be sterilized before being
sealed on the can (p. 16). This method cannot be used safely for
canning nonacid foods.
Glass Jars and Bottles
Glass jars for home canning are being made in
Wartime types quart and larger sizes only, as a wartime economy
measure. By discontinuing small jars it is possible
to reduce the amount of rubber and metal used in home caiming.
Mason jars have several kinds of tops: (1) A one-piece cap lined
with porcelain; equipped with a rubber gasket between cap and
shoulder of the jar. This is called a shoidder rubber. (2) A glass
cap with rubber ring that fits between the glass cap and the jar top,
both of which are held in place with a metal screw band. This ring
is called a top rubber. (3) A metal disk with a flowed-on gasket, the
disk is held on the jar by a metal screw band. Types 2 and 3 are
sometimes called vacuum or self-seaUng types.
Another type of jar known as lightning-type has an all-glass top.
This uses a shoulder rubber ring, and the top is held in place with a
wire clamp. Some lightning-type jars may still be bought, but
manufacture of this type is being discontinued for the duration.
Home canning jars may be used repeatedly by
To use jars providing new rubbers, and in some cases new caps,
on hand If pint or quart jars that held mayonnaise, peanut
butter, or other commerical products are to be used
in home canning, be sure that the jar mouth is so threaded that it
wiU take one of the standard tops which will seal air tight.
Jars in which fruits and vegetables are packed now by commercial
methods cannot be reused for home canning because the closures
require special machinery not available in the home.
A word of warning: Check the types of jars on hand and see that any
new lids or rubber rings purchased will fit. See that the rubber ring is
right for the particular type of top, and that the screw band is exactly
the right depth to fit jar and lid.
Rubber rings are highly important to keep food
Rubber rings from spoiling. Kings should be of good quality to
withstand the heat of processing. The simplest
test is: Double the ring together and press the fold with the fingers.
The rubber should not crack when this is done. A good rubber ring
should also stretch to twice its length and return without changing
FARMERS' BULLETm 1762
Rubbers of especially good quality may occasionally be reused with
safety. They should meet the tests described in the preceding para-
graph. Also, each rubber considered for reuse should be examined
closely and used only if it shows no impressions from contact with jar
Since it is important to use metals economically,
Screw bands buy only as many screw bands as are needed. If
canning is done on more than one day, screw bands
on a set of finished jars may be removed and used in canning another
set. Do not, however, remove screw hands from any jar oj canned Jood
until the jar has completely cooled. Do not put away any canned food
with screw hand in place.
Examine glass jars and caps carefully before
Getting jars using, to make certain that they are in good condi-
ready to use tion. Discard any jars or caps that have cracks,
chips, or dents. Anything that prevents an air-
tight seal may cause food to spoil. Jar rims should be smooth with
no cracks or chipping. If lightning- type jars are used, they may need
some tightening of wire clamps. A wire clamp that has loosened in
use may be tightened by removing the top wire, bending it down in
the middle, and then bending the sides inward, if necessary, to fit the
Wash the jars and tops in hot soapy water and rinse. Place them
in a pan of warm water with a rack or cloth in the bottom to prevent
bumping. Bring to the boiling point and keep hot until required.
Jars and tops for open-kettle canning should be sterilized by 15 to
20 minutes' boiling. When jars are packed with food and then
processed they do not need to be sterilized first, but they should be
clean and hot when filled. Prepare jar caps that have a sealing compo-
sition by pouring boiling water over them. Allow them to stand
untU used. Dip rubber rings into boiling water and place on the jars
before filling them.
When food is processed in glass jars a head space
Head space ' is left at the top to permit expansion of the food.
Head space is measured from a straight edge laid
across the top of the jar. • AUow one-half inch of head space in all
jars except those containing starchy foods (com, peas, and lima
beans) ; they require 1 inch because of greater expansion. The solid
material in jars should be covered by liqxiid — water, sirup, or broth,
as the case may be.
AU types of glass jars can be adjusted to allow
Exhausting the exhausting, or passing out, of air from the food
and cooling during processing.
With the mason jar, the cap is screwed on until it
is tight and then turned back one-fourth inch. After processing, the
HOME CAmSriNG OP FETJITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS 13
cap is screwed down as tightly as possible on the jar. With the
lightning type of jar, the top clamp is snapped into place and the side
clamp is left up. After processing, the side clamp is pushed down.
In both of these jars the actual seal is formed by the pull of the
partial vacuimi in the jar dwing cooling. Hence, it is better if these
jars are cooled in an upright position.
With the vacuum- or self -sealing jars no special adjustment is used
for exhausting the air. The screw bands are put on tight or the clamps
adjusted. During the processing period the top is held in place by
the band or clamp, which allows the air to escape but holds the top
to the jar. When the jar starts to cool after processing, the steam
condenses, and a partial vacuimi is formed within. Greater pressure
outside the jar than inside presses the top down firmly and the seal is
formed between top, gasket, and jar. The sealing material hardens
as the jar cools, making the seal complete. If the screw band is
loose after processing, hold the lid in place so it will not turn, and
screw the band tight. Jar? of this type must be left to cool in an
upright position. When the jars have cooled, remove the screw
bands and clamps and save them to use again.
Cool aU glass jars in air, out of drafts. Special care should be
taken to protect jars that have just been taken from a pressure canner,
as the temperature of the food is still above the boiling point. This
places the glass under considerable strain, and breakage may occur
if a draft strikes the jars. Leaving the jars in the canner for 3 or 4
minutes after the canner has been opened will reduce the danger of
breakage. Use a jar lifter or tongs to remove the jars from the
Do not cover the jars with cloths or blankets while cooling as this
prolongs the cooking of the food. The processing period is adequate
to make the food keep, and cooling should follow at once.
After processing and cooling, aU types of glass jars iising rubber
rings should be inverted and observed for leakage. Tap with a spoon
the top of jars sealed with lacquered metal tops. A clear ringing
sovmd denotes a seal. If the sound is dull, a seal has not been formed.
First examine to see if the gasket is defective. Process the food a
second time, and replace the gasket if necessary.
When glass jars are processed in the steam pres-
Loss of liquid sure canner there is frequently a loss of Hquid.
While this may occur to some extent with all types
of jars, it is generally less with those of the vacuum-sealing type,
which have a separate rubber ring or sealing composition in addition
to the glass or metal cap and screw band. Mason and lightning-type
jars are partially sealed before they are put in the canner, and the
seals are completed as soon as they are taken out. Tight sealing of
these jars will not prevent the loss of liquid during pressiu-e processing
FARMERS' BULLETIN 1762
and may cause the rubbers to push out, thus making a tight seal
difficult to obtain. For adjustments of the different types of jars
see page 12. Steps can be taken to reduce the loss of liquid by
properly regulating the pressure canner (p. 8).
Never open the jars after processing to add more liquid.
To remove caps from the self- or vacuum-sealing ■
Opening jars jars, puncture the caps to release the vacuum and
lift up. For other types of jars pull out the rubber
ring with the fingers or with pliers. If this is difficult, invert the jar
in warm water covering the cap and allow the jar to remain for several
minutes. This will soften the rubber ring and make it easier to
Bottles are convenient to use for canning liquids.
Bottles Use the crown caps and a capping device, which may
be obtained at small cost. Bottles should be boiled
to sterilize them, but the caps are only dipped in boiling water just
before being fixed on the bottles. Boiling the caps may prevent the
formation of tight seals.
When liquids are processed in bottles it is necessary to leave about
2 inches of head space to permit expansion.
Tin Cans — If and When Available
Tin-can supplies for home canning are likely to be uncertain during
the war, because of the need of conserving metals. Sealing machines,
required for open-top cans, are scarce.
The following paragraphs give general information on canning in
tin for the benefit of homemakers who may have access to the materials
Canning in tin has some advantages; canning in glass has others.
Tin cans are easy to handle because there is no danger of breakage.
Also there is no loss of liquid from tin cans because they are always
tightly sealed before they are processed.
Plain tin cans are made of thin sheet steel plated
Plain and with tin. These cans are satisfactory for most vege-
enameled tables, fruits, and meats. Some foods, however,
change color when canned in plain tin because of
chemical reactions due to the metals. These changes do not affect
the wholesomeness of the food, but they do affect appearance. Red-
colored fruits and vegetables, including most berries, cherries, cur-
rants, plums, and beets, which owe their color to anthocyanin pig-
ments, fade when they are heated in contact with plain tin. Corn
becomes darkened in color when canned in plain tin. The high tem-
peratures necessary in processing corn cause hydrogen sulfide gas to
be liberated, and this reacts with the metals of the can and forms
dark-colored metallic sulfides that are deposited on the corn and on
HOME CANOTNG OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS 15
the can. Succotash and lima beans behave in a similar manner, but
to a lesser extent. With peas, some meats, and other foods the metal-
lic sulfides may merely cause the can to mottle or darken.
Enamel-Hned cans have come into use to preserve the appearance
of foods that discolor in plain tin or to prevent excessive darkening or
corrosion of the cans. Sanitary, fruit, or R enamel, of a deep-gold
color with a bright finish, is used to keep red-colored fruits and beets
from fading, and pumpkin and squash from corroding the can. C or
corn enamel, of light-gold color with dull finish, is used to prevent
corn, succotash, and some other products from discoloring. C en-
amel should not be used with acid foods or with chicken or meats
that contain much fat. The acid or fat may cause this enamel to
peel off and make the food unsightly, although harmless.
The following list gives the kind of enameled can recommended for
different foods; other foods may be satisfactorily canned in plain tin:
C enamel Sanitary enamel
Beans, lima (C enamel preferred; Beets (sanitary enamel preferred; C
plain tin also used). enamel also used. For pickled
Beans, red kidney (C enamel pre- beets, use glass only).
f erred; plain tin also used). Berries, all kinds.
Succotash. Cranberry sauce.
Under the rim of the can lid is a gasket of paper
Gaskets or rubber composition, which helps to make the seal
airtight. The sealing machine folds this into a
double seam between the can and lid. Whether a paper or rubber
composition gasket is preferable depends on the machine and th6 care
with which it is operated (p. 17). The paper gasket is generally rec-
ommended in home canning because it is a little more bulky and more
completely fills the seam made by hand-sealing machines. When the
better grade of hand-sealing machines and power machines are used by
experienced operators, the rubber gasket is preferred. Paper gaskets
also make a better seal when reflanged cans are used. Some dis-
advantages of the paper gaskets are that they must be kept dry; they
sometimes drop out of the cover; and they may wrinkle if wet or
imperfectly adjusted, and thus cause a faulty seal.
The usual sizes of cans for home use are No. 2,
Can sizes No. 2%, and No. 3. The larger sizes. No. 5 (half-
gallon) and No. 10 (gallon), are generally for hotel
and institution use. When No. 5 and No. 10 cans are processed under
pressure special precautions must be taken to prevent the cans from
FARMERS' BULLETIN 1762
buckling. Various practical points about the use of different-sized
cans are given ia table 3.
Table 3. — Capacity and use of standard sizes of tin cans
Products adapted to different-
No. 1, taU
3/16 by 4iyi6___
Concentrated soups, meat
3Jl6 by 4K6-..
Corn, peas, snap beans.
No. 2K "
4M6 by 41M6—
Fruits, vegetables, meats.
4^6 by 41^6—
Fruits, pumpkin, tomatoes.
Wash tin cans with soap and water, rinse in clear
Packing tin water, and drain. Lids may be wiped with a damp
cans cloth, but gaskets, especially paper gaskets, should be
kept dry to avoid difficulties in sealing.
Fill cans to obtain a reasonably tight pack of solid food without
cramming and add liquid to cover — water, sirup, or broth. The de-
sirable proportion of liquid to solids varies with different products.
Uniformity of pack may be obtained by weighing the solids and adding
enough liquid to cover, or by weighing both solids and liquid. Pack-
ing by weight may be desirable for large-quantity canning, as in a-
community center or for products intended for sale.
The liquid in the can serves two important purposes. It helps to
drive out air from the can, and also to conduct heat into the solid
material during processing. Foods packed without liquid require
longer processing because of the slower penetration of the heat into
Head space is needed to prevent the cans from
Head space bulging, because of the expansion of the food during
processing and storage. If a can is jfilled too full,
it does not have sufficient head space and cannot be properly sealed;
whereas too slack a fill, or excessive head space, leaves too much air
in the can. Head space is measured from a straight edge across the top
of the can. Since the cover goes one-eighth inch into the can, the ac-
tual head space is less after the cover is sealed on. For most foods
canned at home or in commvmity centers the following allowances are
recommended, although head space varies somewhat for different
No. 1 cans ;
No. 2 cans l^
No. 3 cans
HOME CANOTNG OP FKtTITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS 17
When tins are used, unless most of the air in food is
Exhausting removed by some means before the cans are sealed,
both food and can discolor, and the food loses flavor.
It has been usual practice to pack fruits, tomatoes, asparagus, and
meats raw. To save jar space, preheating fruits and tomatoes is
recommended. When food is packed raw, the air is exhausted in the
following ways: Place the packed cans in a bath of boiling water
deep enough to come within about 2 inches of the top of the cans.
Keep the water boiUng without bubbling into the food and cover
the bath to hold in the steam. Start coimting time when the space
above the cans is filled with steam, and continue to heat for the time
given for the various foods. Seal the cans as rapidly as possible
after the exhaust, while the food is still steaming and process at
once. This method is not suitable for glass jars because of the
slower penetration of heat.
The nonacid vegetables, such as beans, peas, com, and pumpkin,
are precooked to drive the air out of the tissues. They are then
packed boiling hot, and the tin cans are sealed at once and processed.
Fruits and tomatoes may also be precooked.
The food must be hot when the cans are sealed in
Sealing order to insure a satisfactory vacumn. It is good
practice to measure this sealing temperature at the
center of the can with a thermometer. For tomatoes, fruits, and other
foods that heat penetrates easily, the sealing temperature shoidd be
about 125° to 150° F. But for other products, such as cream-style com,
pumpkin, and squash, through which heat penetrates slowly, sealing
temperatures should be 180° to 190° F. For meats, about 170° F. is
A machine is necessary for sealing open-top cans. Sealing ma-
chines must be strongly built to be durable and eflSicient. It is poor
economy to purchase a machine too light in construction to do its
work well; such a machine is likely to break and to be difficult to
keep in proper adjustment for sealing the cans tightly. For home
canning a hand-operated machine is satisfactory, but for continual
use, as in a commimity canning center, power operation may be
Different makes of sealing machines vary in design, and the manu-
facturer's instructions regarding the care and operation of the machine
should be followed. With aU types, however, the actual seaming
process of the cans is the same. The filled can with cover is set on
the base plate and is raised by a lever until the chuck of the machine
fits closely into a countersink about one-eighth inch deep in the top
of the can lid. The can is rotated while the first seaming roll of the
machine folds the flange of the cover over the flange of the can.
The second seaming roU of the machine then presses the folded layers
FARMERS' BULLETIN 1762
together into a tight seam which is made airtight by the gasket of the
lid. The seaming rolls should be observed frequently to see that
they are in proper adjustment. Some machines are furnished with a
wire or other means of testing the adjustment of the seaming rolls.
The finished seam between lid and can should be smooth and even.
A way to try out the adjustment of the sealer is to test the tightness
of the seam on a can. Place a few tablespoons of water in a can, seal
it, then submerge it in boiling water for a few minutes. If air bubbles
come up from the can, the seam is not tight.
After processing tin cans of up to and including
Cooling the No. 2% size, open the pet cock on the pressure
canner to let the steam escape gradually, as the
pressure drops to zrero. With No. 3 cans and larger sizes, allow the
pressure gage to come to zero; then open the pet cock gradually.
Cool tin cans at once in cold water, preferably running water, until
they are lukewarm, or about 100° to 105° F. If the cans have paper
gaskets, use only water suitable for drinking. When the cans are
cool, wipe off any remaining moisture and examine for leaky seals.
Tin cans are sometimes reflanged for use a second
Reflanging time by means of special attachments on the sealing
machine both for opening the cans and for re-
flanging. Cans that are corroded or very much discolored should
never be used a second time. Also, unless the reflanging is properly
done and the sealing machine is adjusted to handle reflanged cans,
it is impossible to obtain a tight closure. The use of reflanged cans,
therefore, is not generally recommended.
Most of the utensils needed for home canning are in common use
in the kitchen. In addition to the containers and processing equip-
ment and a worktable and sink, the following utensils are generally
Special devices may be provided if desired for paring apples and
peaches; coring apples, pears, and tomatoes; pitting peaches and cher-
ries; shelling peas; and slicing, cubing, grinding, and sieving. food
The thermometer should be of the type that can be immersed in
Other Utensils and Supplies
Wire basket or cheesecloth.
Standard measuring cup.
Ladle or dipper.
Stainless-steel paring knives.
HOME CANNING OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS 19
liquids, and should register at least to 220° F. A candy or dairy
thermometer may be used, and ean usually be obtained through local
dealers for about a dollar.
When fruits are being canned for sale a sugar tester or saccharometer
is very useful to measure the concentration of sugar in the sirups. The
Brix and Balling saccharometers or hydrometers indicate directly
the percentage of sugar in the solution. The Baimi^ saccharometer
differs in the scale and does not indicate the percentage of sugar di-
rectly. The approximate percentage is obtained by multiplying the
reading by 2. A saccharometer costs about 75 cents.
Utensils for cooking foods for canning may be of aluminimi or a
good grade of enamelware or stainless steel. Do not use galva-
nized-iron utensils for cooking any food or for holding acid foods
with cut surfaces, as the foods will take up zinc and become poisonous.
Copper or copper-lined utensils may be used for cooking fruits and
vegetables, provided the utensils are kept bright and shiny so that
no copper salts accumidate and provided the food is removed from the
utensils at once after cooking.
The water used for various purposes in canning.
Water such as washing food and utensils, cooking, making
sirups, and cooling cans, should be suitable for
drinking. Very hard water may toughen vegetable tissues or make
fruit sirups cloudy. Such water can be partially softened by boUing
and straining through several thicknesses of muslin. Or the boiled
water may be allowed to stand until the fine precipitate settles and the
clear water then poured oflf for use.
STEPS IN CANNING
Safe canning requires careful attention to every step in the proc-
ess — from the selection of the raw food to the final check-up of the
canned products diiring storage. The following list gives the steps
• Select good materials. — The quality of canned products can be no
higher than the quality of the raw food that goes into the can. Use
only clean, fresh, sound foods in prime condition, and be sure that
the containers in which they are handled are clean. Any unneces-
sary infection of the raw food increases the difficulty of processing
and the liability of the canned products to spoilage.
With fruits and vegetables, grade for size and the same degree of
ripeness it a imiform product is desired. Wash thoroughly until
every trace of soil is removed. The most dangerous bacteria and
those most diflficult to kill are in the soil. A wire basket is a help in
washing but should not be loaded too heavily. Always lift the fruit
and vegetables out of the water rather than pour the water oS.
PABMERS' BULLETIN 1762
For special precautions about meats, see page 37.
• Prepare jars or cans. — Follow the directions for glass jars on page
12 and those for tin cans on page 16.
• Sirup. — Make the sirup for fruits in advance so there wiU be no
delay when it is required (p. 22) .
• Precooking. — Some foods are precooked for a short time before
they are packed into the containers. This precooking helps to remove
air from the tissues, shrinks them, facilitates packing, and speeds up
the processing because the foods are already hot when they are placed
in the canner.
• Packing.— When using glass jars, remove one jar at a time from
the hot-water bath where it has been held. Keeping the jars hot
helps to prevent breakage during packing and processing. If needed,
place a new wet rubber ring in position, resting flat on the sealing
shoulder of the jar.
Pack the containers quickly so that the precooked food remains
hot. Use a suflicient proportion of liquid to solids to prevent too
dense a pack, and work out the air bubbles with a knife blade or
Leave the proper head space in the containers (pp. 12 and 16).
• Exhausting and adjusting covers. — Food in glass jars is exhausted,
or the air partially removed during processing, because the jars are
not fully sealed. As each glass jar is packed, carefully wipe the
rubber ring and sealing edge of the jar to remove any particles of
food, and adjust the cap to seal the jar partially and permit exhaust-
ing (p. 12). Place the jars as finished in the canner or where they
will keep hot until processing begins.
Tin cans packed with precooked food should be sealed at once,
while the food is steaming hot, and placed in the canner. If the food
has not been precooked before packing, it shoiild be exhausted
(p. 17). Seal the cans at once after exhausting.
• Processing. — Process at the temperatiu-e and for the time indi-
cated in the tables on pages 30-31, 34-35, 45.
• Cooling. — Cool glass jars in air but protect them from drafts.
After they are cool, invert rubber-ring jars and observe for leakage.
Test lacquered metal-top jars by tapping (p. 13). Do not attempt
to tighten screw caps or screw bands after jars have cooled. . Cool tin
cans in cold water, using ruiming water it possible.
• Reprocessing. — If a container leaks, determine the cause. Process
the food again, using another container, top, or ring, as needed.
• Labeling. — Wipe the containers clean and label with the name, the
date, and the lot nvmiber, if more than one lot was canned on that
day. Glass jars may be labeled with a pencil that writes on glass or
with gummed labels. Use rubber cement to fix paper labels on tin,
HOME CANNING OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS 21
or if the labels are long enough, put glue along one end, wrap smoothly
around the can, and lap the glued end over the other. Or tin cans
may be marked with a glass pencil, rubber stamp, or canners' ink.
• Checking up results. — Hold canned products at room temperature
for a week or 10 days where they can be examined from time to time
to be sure that they are keeping. If any show signs of spoilage,
examine all of that lot carefully.
• Storage. — Store canned foods in a cool, dry place, and protect
glass jars from the light so that the food will not fade in color. The
quality is generally better if they are used within the first year after
CANNING FRUITS/ TOMATOES, AND OTHER
Fruits, tomatoes, and other acid foods are best processed at 212° F,,
the temperature of boiling water at sea level. Read carefully the
sections under Canning Equipment and Methods that relate to the
handling of acid foods. The boiling-water bath is the most successful
way of applying heat for processing foods of this type in the home.
The higher temperatures reached in a pressure canner are not only
uimecessary for these foods, but acid foods become overcooked when
processed under steam pressure.
Figiu-es in table 4 are a rough guide to quantities of raw fruit re-
quired in canning.
Table 4. — Amount of raw fruit needed for 1 quart or 1 No. 3 can of
Apples .- -
11/4 to lU
2 to 21/2
2 to 21/2
11/2 to 2
2V^ to 31/2
7 to 8 apples.
8 to 10 peaches.
6 to 6 pears.
24 to 32 plums.
8 to 10 tomatoes.
Plums .... .
The following figures based on extensive canning work in Texas
give the approximate number of pounds of raw fruit to a bushel:
Apples, 50; blackberries, 60 (a 24-quart crate of blackberries is 36
pounds); peaches (standard), 50; pears, 58; plums, 56; tomatoes, 56.
FARMERS' BULLETIN 1762
Fruits With or Without Sugar
Cane and beet sugar are equally good in sweetening fruit for home
canning. Brown sugar is not recommended for this purpose, as it
may contain spoilage bacteria or other imptirities.
Fruits naturally contain a great deal of water, and the most eco-
nomical way to use sugar when it is limited is to add a small amount
directly to the fruit. This is preferable to covering the fruit with a
thin sugar-and-water sirup, which means canning extra water. This
canning in juice makes the most of natural fruit flavor. Canned
fruits thus prepared may not look so attractive as products which
homemakers are accustomed to pack but have more fruit flavor and
Why pack hot! — Packing fruits hot into containers offers several
advantages. The precooking draws out juice for covering fruit when
packed in jars. Precooking shrinks the fruits, so that more generous
amounts may be packed in containers. Precooking cuts down the
time that packed fruits need to be processed in the water bath.
To draw juice out of the more juicy fruits, such as
Fruits in their berries, cherries, plums, ripe peaches and pears,
own juice sweeten the fruits to taste and bring to the boiling
point slowly. To avoid scorching, stir from time to
time, or set the pan in hot water, or cover the pan and place in a
moderate oven. If juicy fruits are cut or sliced, they will probably
form enough juice in this process for caoning liquid.
If juicy fruits are to be canned whole or in halves, some added
liquid may be needed. Fruit juice may be used for this instead of the
usual sirup. To provide juice, set aside the riper fruits at the start.
Crush and heat these to boiling point and extract juice. Sweeten
juice as necessary. Heat the firmer fruits in this juice, and pack the
fruit quickly into jars or cans, cover with the boiling hot juice, and
For shortcakes, frozen desserts, and pies, crush or make a sauce of
some fruit. Sweeten as desired and heat before packing into jars.
Apples and some kinds of peaches and pears may not yield enough
juice for canning liquid. To get the most possible juice, slice or cut
these fruits and add sugar before heating, as for juicy fruits. Add a
little water, if necessary, to prevent sticking. FUl into jars and cover
with the hot juice and process.
If fruits are to be canned in a sirup made with
In sirup water, prepare the sirup in advance, to be ready i
when needed. Standard proportions are shown in
table 5. The present sugar canning ration of 1 pound of sugar for
every 4 quarts of finished fruit can be used to make thin or moder-
ately thin sirup, allowing from % to 1 cup of sirup to each jar.
HOME CANNBSTG OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS
Table 5. — Proportions of sugar and water for thin, medium, and
moderately heavy sirups
Sugar to 1 gallon of water
Thin . -- - - -
Medium 1 -
Moderately heavy -
Boil the sugar and water for approximately 5 minutes to make a
sirup. Remove any scum that has formed. A heavy sirup may be
prepared and diluted with water to yield thinner sirups as required.
Honey may be used to replace up to one-half the sugar called for in
canning, and corn sirup up to one-third.
Without Fruits for pie making or for use ru diabetic diets
are commonly canned without sugar. Juicy fruits,
siigar such as berries, cherries, currants, and plums, should
be canned in their own juices when sugar is omitted. Water is not
required. Extract the juice from the riper fruits by crushing, heating,
and strainiag. Pack the remaining fruits closely into containers
without preheating, and add boiling hot juice to cover. Adjust caps
on glass jars; or exhaust tin cans and seal; then process. Or give the
fruits a short precooking, as 2 to 4 minutes simmering, pour into
containers at once, seal, and process.
The less juicy fruits, such as apples, peaches, and pears, when
canned without sugar require the addition, of water. To preserve the
natural fruit flavor use. only the smallest quantity of water necessary.
Follow the directions for canning given on pages 23 to 29, substituting
water iu place of the sirup.
Packins and Processing
Pare the apples and cut into pieces of desired size. To prevent
darkening of pieces exposed to air, place them in a mUd salt and
vinegar solution (2 tablespoons salt and 2 tablespoons vinegar to a
gallon of water). Precook by boUing 5 minutes, adding a little sugar
to draw out juice. FiU hot into jars or cans, covering with boiling
hot juice, or with sirup if there is not enough juice. If apples are
being canned for use in pies, pack the containers solidly, using as little
FARMERS' BULLETIN 1762
juice as possible. Allow head space (for jars see page 12, for cans
see page 16).
Windfall or green apples may be made into sauce. Pack boiling
Process apples as directed in table 6.
Same as peaches.
Select beets of uniform size, cut off the tops, but allow at least 1
inch of the stems to remain so that the beets wiU not bleed and lose
color and sweetness. Wash and cook until tender in enough water to
cover. For young beets this will require about K hour. When
tender, plunge into cold water and remove the skins, and when cool,
dice or cut into thia slices. Pack into jars and to each pint add K tea-
spoon of salt, rni with a boUing hot vinegar and sugar sirup of
desired sweetness. Make sirup by proportions in table 6, substituting
vinegar for water. Very strong vinegar may be diluted by using one-
fourth water. Process immediately as directed in table 6.
Blackberries, blueberries, dewberries, huckleberries, Logan black-
berries, raspberries — gather them in shallow vessels so as to prevent
crushing, and plan to can them as soon as possible. Wash carefully
and remove caps and stems. Sort out smaller and less perfect berries
to make a juice and sugar sirup of desired sweetness, use juice instead
of water (for proportions see table 5), and heat together to dissolve the
sugar. For the most economical pack, precook berries in this juice.
FiU carefully into the container and cover with the hot juice.
For use in pies where the appearance of the whole fruit is not impor-
tant, precook the berries with sugar added to sweeten lightly. Stir
gently and let the fruit boil 3 to 4 minutes. Pack boiling hot. Rasp-
berries and other berries of soft texture keep their shape better for
dessert purposes if packed raw, although they tend to rise to the top
of the container after processing. Cover them with the hot juice and
sugar sirup made from the softer berries; or cover with a hot sugar and
water sirup made by proportions in table 5.
If tin cans are used, exhaust them for 3 to 5 minutes before sealing.
Process berries as directed in table 6.
Cherries may be canned pitted or unpitted, depending upon the way
in which they are to be served.
If the fruit is pitted, save all juice. Cook the cherries 5 minutes over
low heat in this juice to shrink them. Add sugar to taste. Pack hot,
covering the cherries with boiling hot juice.
HOME CANNING OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS 25
If cherries are unpitted, pack the raw fruit in hot containers and
cover with hot juice obtained by heating other cherries with sugar; or
cover with hot sirup made by proportions in table 5.
If tin cans are used, exhaust for 3 to 5 minutes before sealing.
Process cherries as directed ia table 6.
Same as berries.
Precook in sirup to shrink. Fill ipto containers and cover with hot
sirup. If tin cans are used, exhaust for 3 to 5 minutes before sealing.
Or, add a small quantity of water to the gooseberries after they have
been sorted and washed and boil until they are cooked to a pulp. To
each quart of this pulp add sugar to sweeten lightly or up to K cup per
quart if needed. Heat until the sugar is dissolved and pack boiling
hot into containers. If packed raw, use the method suggested for
Process as directed in table 6.
To prepare peaches for canning, immerse them in boiling water for
about one-half minute or until the skins wiU slip easily, plimge at once
into cold water for a few seconds, remove the skins, cut the peaches
into Halves, and discard the pits.
If a bushel or more of peaches or apricots is to be canned at one
time, the skins may be removed in a lye bath. This method is not
justified with a small quantity, unless the peaches are so firm that
hot water will not loosen the skins. Be careful in using lye, especially
if children are around, for it is a powerful caustic, and serious accidents
To peel peaches or apricots with lye, prepare in an agateware or
iron kettle (never alumimim) a solution of one-fourth pound (4 ounces,
or about 4 level tablespoons) of granulated lye of a standard brand
in 2 gallons of water. Heat to boiling, and while the solution is
actively boiling, inunerse the peaches or apricots in it in a wire basket
until the skin is loosened and partially dissolved. This will usually
require 30 to 60 seconds. Eemove the fruit, wash it at once in run-
ning water,, if possible, until skin and lye are removed, and then
thoroughly rinse the fruit. If the lye is not thoroughly rinsed off,
the peaches may turn brown as a result. A 2-minute dip in a bath
with 2 tablespoons each of salt and vinegar to each gallon of water
also helps to prevent the fruit from browning. Lye-peeled fruit
should be canned immediately.
If a thermometer is available it is better to use a stronger lye
solution at a lower temperature. An 8- to 10-percent solution con-
FARMERS' BULLETIN 1762
taining 1 pound of lye to IK gallons of water heated to 135° to 140°
F. (not higher) is recommended.
Peaches may be packed raw but a better pack is obtained if they are
precooked for a few minutes. Precooking brings out juice which is
usually sufficient to cover the fruit. Juice is extracted more readily
from sliced peaches than from halves. If peaches are juicy, heat
slowly to boiling point and add sugar to help draw out juice. Be
careful not to cook peaches until they are soft. If peaches are of less
juicy varieties, a sirup may be prepared according to proportions in
table 5, and the peaches precooked like juicy peaches, but in the sirup.
Pack precooked peaches quickly. Sliced fruit takes up less jar space.
If the fruit is cut in halves, place them pit side down in overlapping
layers. Cover the peaches with boUing hot juice or sirup in which
they were precooked. If necessary, add a little boiling hot water,
since fruit must be covered by liquid.
If peaches are packed raw in tin cans, cover with hot sirup and ex-
haust the cans for 5 minutes before sealing.
Process peaches as directed in table 6.
Peel pears, cut them in halves, and core. Slice if desired. To
prevent discoloration place the pared fruit in a solution made in the
proportion of 2 tablespoons each of salt and vinegar to a gallon of
water. Cook in boiling water or sirup (for sirup proportions see
table 5) for 4 to 8 minutes, according to the size and firmness of the
fruit. When pears are very juicy heat slowly, without adding sirup,
to draw out juice for covering. Pack pears hot into containers and
fill with boiling hot liquid. If packed raw in tin cans, cover 4)ears
with hot sirup and exhaust for 5 minutes before sealing.
Process pears immediately as directed in table 6.
If Kieffer pears are to be canned, quality is improved by holding
the fruit for 2 weeks after harvest at a temperature of 60° to 65° F.
Select ripe, thick-fleshed pimientos, free from bruises. To remove
the skin, immerse the whole peppers in hot cooking oil (290° F.) for
2 or 3 minutes, or place them in a hot oven (450°) for 6 to 8 minutes;
then dip quickly into cold water. SUp the skins oflF, remove stems
and seed cores. The peppers are then soft and pliable. Fold and
pack them into the containers, and add one-half teaspoonfid of salt
to each pint. Add no liquid because the processing brings out almost
enough thick liquor to cover them. If tin cans are used, exhaust
them for 5 minutes before seahng. Process immediately as directed
in table 6.
HOME CANNING OF FKUITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS 27
Peel, core, and remove "eyes." Slice or cut in pieces; add sugar
to taste. Heat slowly for 10 to 15 minutes to draw out juice. Pack
into containers and cover with the hot juice. Process inmiediately
as directed in table 6.
Plums are ordinarily canned whole and should be gathered just as
they are beginning to ripen. Wash; prick each plum to prevent the
skin from bursting. Precook in small amount of sirup (see propor-
tions in table 5). Pack plums into containers and cover with boiling
hot sirup. Exhaust tin cans for 5 minutes before sealiug.
If preferred, prepare sauce by straining out pits and skins and
cooking pulp with enough sugar to sweeten hghtly. Fill into con-
tainers boiling hot.
Process plums as directed in table 6.
Select young, tender stalks; trim, wash, and cut into half-inch
lengths. Boil until soft with enough sugar to sweeten. Since rhubarb
corrodes tin cans, it is better for home use to pack it in glass. Pack
boiling hot into jars and process immediately as directed in table 6.
Sauerkraut should be well fermented before it is canned. Heat the
sauerkraut to simmering (about 180° F.), but avoid boiling. Fill hot
into the containers and pack closely. Cover with the hot sauerkraut
juice, leaving %- to K-inch head space. Process immediately as
directed in table 6.
Strawberries are usually more palatable preserved than canned.
In canning, this method gives best results: To washed and stemmed
berries add sugar to taste. Bring slowly to the boiling point and
let stand overnight in the kettle. In the morning bring quickly
to boiling and fill into the containers.
Or, place capped berries in shallow pans in a single layer. Sweeten
the berries to taste. Place in an oven that can be held at 250° F.
and leave for an hour. Pack hot in sterilized jars, covering with the
Process strawberries as directed in table 6.
Select firm, ripe tomatoes of medium size and uniform shape, free
from spots and decay. Put into trays or shallow layers in wire bas-
kets and dip in boiling water for about a minute, according to ripeness.
Then plunge quickly into cold water, drain, peel, and core promptly.
FARMEKS' BULLETIN 1762
Pack into the containers as closely as possible. Fill with tomato
juice and add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart. If using tin cans, exhaust
them 5 to 6 minutes before sealing.
Or cut the tomatoes in quarters, heat just to boiling, and pack hot.
Process as directed in table 6.
To preserve the natural flavor and color in canned tomato juice,
use knives of stainless steel and avoid utensils of copper, brass, and
iron. Use only fully ripe, firm tomatoes, preferably of bright-red
color, as freshly picked from the vines as possible. Discard any with
green, moldy, or decayed portions. Wash well, remove cores, and
cut into small pieces. The skins may or may not be removed. Handle
the tomatoes in quantities of 1 to 2 gallons and avoid delay at any
stage of the procedure. Precook the tomatoes at about 170° F. to
180° F., or if a thermometer is not available, simmer until softened.
Avoid boiling. Put the softened, hot tomatoes at once through a-
fine sieve, preferably a bowl- or cone-shaped sieve because it allows
the least air to be incorporated in the pulp. If the tomato juice is
for infant or invalid use, omit salt; otherwise add one-half to 1 tea-
spoon salt to each quart. Spices tend to darken the color of tomato
juice and change the flavor undesirably ; hence it is better to add them
at the time of serving.
Keheat the juice at once after putting through the sieve. If using
glass containers, heat the juice to 190° F. (or just to boiling), pour into
the sterilized containers, and seal. No processing is necessary.
Invert the bottles while cooling. If tin cans are used, heat the juice to
180° to 190° (or to simmering if no thermometer is available), pour
into cans, seal, and process the cans as directed in table 6. Do not
leave head space in either glass or tin containers.
Fruit juices for beverages may be extracted from berries, cherries,
currants, grapes, and plums. Use only soimd, well-ripened fruit in
such quantities that the process can be carried through promptly. To
avoid overcooking and to preserve as much as possible of the original
flavor and color, check the temperature with a thermometer as the
fruit is pre-cooked and the juice is pasteurized. Sugar also helps to
preserve color and flavor, but it may be omitted.
Wash the fruit, drain, and crush. Kemove the seeds from cherries
before crushing as seeds change the flavor of juice. Add water, if
desired, to thin the juice, about one-half cup to each pound of fruit,
except to berries which require no water. Heat to 170° to 180° F.,
and hold for several minutes, or until the juice can be separated from
the pulp. Extract the juice with a fruit press or strain through
several layers of cheesecloth. If a press is used avoid crushing the
HOME CAKNING OF FBXJITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS 29
seeds of berries. Crushed seeds spoil the flavor. A second straining
without pressure makes the juice clearer. Add sugar if desired, about
K to 1 cup of sugar to a gallon of juice. Heat the juice to 160° to 170°
F. and fill into hot, sterilized glass jars or bottles to within one-eighth
inch of the top. Seal at once, and lay bottles on their sides in the
water bath. Process immediately as directed in table 6.
For purees of almost any soft fruit put the cooked fruit through a
fine sieve; otherwise proceed as for fruit juice. Process as directed
in table 6.
Table 6. — ^Timetable for processing fruits, tomatoes, and other acid foods
The times given here for processing in the boiling-water bath apply only to places with altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. For all altitudes
above 1,000 feet, the time should be increased 20 percent for each additional 1,000 feet.
When half-gallon glass jars are used, add 5 minutes to times given for pint and quart glass jars.
Process the containers immediately after packing.
Cool the food in tin cans in cold water immediately after processing.
Style of pack
fBoil, pack in hot juice or sirup.
< Same as above but dry-pack —
LApplesauce, pack hot
Precook and pack hot
P(ick raw ; cover with hot sirup.
Precook and pack hot
Pack raw; cover with hot juice or sirup.
fPrecook and pack hot
\Pack raw ; cover with hot juice or sirup.
Processing period in boiling water
Pint and quart
No. 2 and No.
3 tin cans
/No. 2, 15......
\No. 3, 25
Type of tin can
Precook and pack hot
fPreoook and pack hot
(.Pack raw; cover with hot juice or sirup.
[Precook and pack hot
I Pack raw; cover with hot sirup
fPrecook and pack hot
I Pack raw ; cover with hot juice, water, or sirup
/Precook and pack hot
\.Pack raw ; cover with hot sirup
Precook and pack hot
Precook and pack hot . .
Precook and pack hot
/Precook 'and pack hot
Pack at 160° to 170° F. and process in water
* bath at 180°.
Pack at 160° to 170° F. and process at 212°.
/No. 2, 20-
INo. 3, 25-
/No. 0, 30-
INo. 1, 30.
No. 3, 30.
No. 2, 15.
No. 3, 30.
I Plain tin (preferred) ; or
/ sanitary enamel.
FARMERS' BULLETIN 1762
CANNING NONACID VEGETABLES
Nonacid vegetables require processing in the steam pressure canner
at temperatures of 240° and 250° F. If a pressure canner is not
available, then drying,, brining, or some method of preservation other
than canning should be used for these vegetables.
In estimating the approximate yield of canned products from raw
vegetables the figures in table 7 are a guide.
Table 7. — Approximate yield of canned products from raw vegetables
Beans, shelled, lima
Beets, baby, without tops.
2 pounds -
2Vi to 3 pounds-
4 to 6 ears
214 to 3 pounds-
2'Y2 to 3 pounds-
Tield as canned
1V4 pints or No. 2 can.
1 quart or No. 3 can.
114 pints or No. 2 can.
1 quart or No. 3 can.
Packing and Processins
Select fresh and tender stalks, sort according to size, and wash
thoroughly. Tie in uniform bundles, stand upright with tough por-
tion in boiliag water, cover tightly, and boU for 2 to 3 minutes. Or
cut in half -inch lengths, add enough water to cover, and boil for 2
minutes in an uncovered vessel. Pack boiling hot into containers,
cover with the water in which boUed, and add 1 teaspoon of salt to
each quart. Or pack raw in No. 2 tin cans, cover with boiling water,
and exhaust for 4 to 5 minutes before sealiig. Process immediately
as directed in table 8.
Beans, fresh lima
Only young and tender lima beans should be canned; older ones
may be dried. Shell, wash, and bring to a boil in water to cover.
Pack hot into the containers, cover with hot water, and add 1 teaspoon
of salt to each quart. Process immediately as directed in table 8.
Wash throughly and cut into pieces of desired size. Add boiling
water to cover and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes, or until
the beans are wilted and will bend without breaking. Pack hot into
the containers, cover with hot water, and add 1 teaspoon of salt to
each quart. Process immediately as directed in table 8.
HOME CANNING OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS 33
Beaiis, dried kidney or pinto
Pick over the beans, wash, and soak overnight in a cool place.
Drain. Blanch in boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes and drain. Fill
at once into containers to about seven-eighths capacity. Cover with
boUing water containing 2 ounces each of salt and sugar to the gallon.
The sugar may be omitted or replaced by molasses if desired. Small
pieces of salt pork may be added. Process immediately as directed in
Either green or dried soybeans of varieties suitable for table use
may be canned. The green soybeans make a better product, how-
ever, in both flavor and color. Follow the directions given above for
kidney beans, except with green beans omit the overnight soaking
and do not add sugar. Salt pork may be added if desired.
Select young, tender beets preferably of the turnip-shaped varieties.
Trim off the tops, but leave on at least 1 inch of the stems and all of
the roots to prevent bleeding. Wash thoroughly and scald in boUii^
water or steam for about 15 minutes until the skins shp easily. After
the beets are skinned and trimmed, pack into the containers, add 1
teaspoon of salt to each quart, and fill with hot water. Process
immediately as directed in table 8. Pickled beets may be processed
in the boUing-water bath (p. 24).
Yoimg tender carrots may be caimed in the same way as baby beets.
Use only tender, freshly gathered sweet corn, shuck, silk, and clean
Sweet com is canned in two styles — whole grain and cream style.
Whole-grain com is cut from the cob without scraping, while for cream
style the com is given a more shallow cut and the cobs are scraped.
Com for the whole-grain pack should be gathered 3 or 4 days earher
than for cream-style com. The whole-grain product, retains the
appearance and flavor of fresh corn more nearly than the cream style
because it can be given a lighter processing and therefore is not so
likely to be overcooked. When cream-style corn, which is thick and
viscous, is caimed in glass jars, it sometimes becomes brownish in
color because of the caramelization of the sugar by the heavy processing
required. Whole-grain corn has less tendency to discolor when packed
in plain tin cans than does cream-style com, though the C enamel cans
give better results for both.
For the whole-grain style, cut the corn from the cob deeply enough
Table 8. — Timetable for processing nonacid vegetables in the steam pressure canner
The processes given here apply to places with altitudes of 2,000 feet or less. At altitudes over 2,000 feet, add 1 pound pressure for
each additional 2,000 feet. Follow the directions on pages 8, 13, and 18 for operation of canner and removal of jars and cans after
processing. Cool tin cans in cold water immediately after processing.
Dried kidney or pinto.
Pint glass jars
Quart glass jars
So. 2 tin cans
No. 3 tin cans
250° F., or
No. 21/2, 60
Type of tin can
C enamel or plain tin.
C enamel or plain tin.
Okra and tomatoes .
Plain tin or C enamel.
FARMKRS' BULLETIN 1762
to remove most of the kernels without objectionable hulls. Do not
scrape the cobs. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to each quart of com and half
as much boiling water as corn by weight. Heat to boUii^ and pack
into containers at once. Process immediately as directed in table 8.
For the cream style, with a sharp knife lightly cut off the tops of the
kernels, and with the back of the knife scrape out the pulp. This gives
a thick, pasty mass with the minimum of huUs. Add 1 teaspoon of
salt to each quart, and half as much boiling water as corn by weight.
Heat to boiling, and fill into containers at once. Process immediately
as directed in table 8.
Pick over the greens, discarding any imperfect leaves and tough
fibrous stems. Wash carefully in running water or through a number
of waters, lifting the greens out each time. To precook, cover the
greens with water heated to simmering, not boiling, and cook in an
uncovered vessel for 5 minutes, or until the greens are wilted. Pack
hot into the containers, taking care not to make too sohd a pack and
to have sufficient hot liquid to cover the greens. Add 1 teaspoon of
salt to each quart. Process immediately as directed in table 8.
Greens should not be canned in No. 3 tin cans, because of the difficulty
of heat penetration.
Wash thoroughly, peel mature mushrooms, and drop into water
containing 1 tablespoon of vinegar per quart. Precook, place in a
wire sieve or colander, cover with a lid to hold the mushrooms under
water, and immerse for 3 to 4 minutes in boiling water that contains
1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt per quart. FiU into
containers at once and cover with freshly boUing water. Add 1
teaspoon of salt to each quart. Process immediately as directed in
Only young, tender pods should be canned; older pods should be
dried. After the okra is washed, cover with water, bring to a boil,
and pack hot into the containers. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to each
quart. Process immediately as directed in table 8.
Okra and tomatoes
Use only young, tender okra and sound, ripe tomatoes. Wash the
okra and slice crosswise. Wash the tomatoes, remove the skins and
cores, and cut into sections. Combine the okra and tomatoes and
heat to the boiling point. Pack while hot, and add 1 teaspoon salt to
each quart. Process immediately as directed in table 8.
Use only young, tender peas. Shell, wash, add hot water to cover,
and simmer for about 5 minutes. Pack hot in pint jars or No. 2 tin
HOME CANNING OP FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS 37
cans, cover with hot water, and add one-half teaspoon of salt to each
pint. If tender peas are packed in quart jars or No. 3 cans they be-
come overcooked and mushy. Process immediately as directed in
Same as lima beans.
Wash, peel, and cut the pumpkin into 1- to iK-inch cubes. Add a
small quantity of water and simmer until heated through, stirring
occasionally. Pack hot into containers, add 1 teaspoon of salt to each
quart, and cover with the water in which cooked. Process imme-
diately as directed in table 8.
Same as pumpkin.
Where sweetpotatoes can be stored successfully, only enough should
be canned to take care of the season during which the stored potatoes
are not available. Or if in harvesting more are cut with the plow than
can be used inmiediately, they may be canned in order to save them.
In that case, precook them slowly in order to develop the sugar.
Wash the sweetpotatoes thoroughly and boil or steam them imtil
the skins slip off readily. Peel quickly, cut into medium-sized sections,
and pack hot into containers. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to each quart
and enough boUing water to cover. Process at once as directed in
The combinations of vegetables for soups may include two or more
of the following: Tomato pulp, com, lima beans, peas, okra, carrots,
turnips, celery, onion, pimientos, and sweet and red peppers. Wash
and trim the vegetables and cut into small pieces or cubes. Keep
the diced carrots and turnips covered with water or weak brine to
prevent darkening. Seasonings should be .light, and may include
sugar, salt, white pepper, dashes of cayenne and garhc, parsley, thyme,
and bay leaf.
Bring the soup mixture to the boiling point, and pack hot, with
sufficient liquid to cover the vegetables and prevent too dense a pack.
Process as directed in table 8.
CANNING MEATS AND CHICKEN
Beef, veal, mutton, lamb, pork, and chicken may be canned
successfully in the home, provided they are processed under steam
pressure. The temperatures required for effective sterilization (240°
to 250° F., corresponding to 10 and 15 poimds steam pressure) can-
FARMERS' BULLETIN 1762
not be obtained inside the can or jar except by the use of the steam
pressure canner. The water bath, the oven, and the steamer without
pressure are inadequate for canning meats and cannot be used safely.
InsuflBciently processed meat may keep if stored at a low temperature,
but even when no visible signs of spoilage are observed there is no
certainty that the bacteria which cause food poisoning have not been
active. If a pressure canner is not available, other methods of
preservation should be used for meats.
While a variety of meat and poultry products may be canned, it
is more economical of can or jar space to put up the meat alone and
combine it with the other foods at the time of serving. This also
permits greater variety in the use of the meat, and combinations
with fresh, crisp vegetables as well as a wider choice of seasonings.
Onion, garlic, and spices should be used sparingly, and white pepper
retains a better flavor than black pepper in meat products.
All meats and poultry for canning should be slaughtered and
handled in a strictly sanitary manner. Unless the meat is to be
canned at once, chUling the carcass after slaughtering is necessary;
otherwise decomposition will start within a few hours. There is
little dift'erence in the flavor or tenderness of the canned product
whether the meat is chilled or unchilled. However, raw meat is
easier to handle after chilling and may be held for a few days until
convenient to can.
Frozen meat may be canned, but it does not make a high-quality
product. If meat has become frozen, do not thaw it out before
canning. Cut or saw the frozen meat into uniform strips 1 to 2
inches thick and plunge at once into boiling water. Simmer until
the color of raw meat has almost disappeared; then pack and process.
Utensils and Equipment
Utensils for meat canning are preferably of enamelware, aluminum,
returned metal, or stainless metal. Copper and iron utensils may
discolor canned meat and should not be used. Also meat must not
be allowed to remain in contact with galvanized iron more than 30
minutes, or it may take up harmful quantities of zinc. Wooden
utensils or surfaces require special care in cleaning to free them from
bacteria. They should be scrubbed with soapy water to remove all
grease and then rinsed with boiling water. If used for several days
at a stretch they should be disinfected with a hypochlorite solution
(calcium, potassium, or sodium hypochlorite) applied after the
scrubbing and scalding.
Plain tin cans and glass jars are used for the home canning of meats
and poultry. When canned in tin, chicken is more likely than other
meats to discolor the cans, and sometimes there is a deposit on the
chicken itself. If the directions given here are followed for packing
HOME CANNING OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS 39
the chicken hot and leaving proper head space in the containers, this
discoloration will be reduced to a mLoimum. The C-enamel cans used
for com and the R- or sanitary-enamel cans for certain fruits are not
suitable for chicken because the fat may cause the enamel to peel off
and make the product unattractive although harmless.
In canning meat and poultry the head space is particularly impor-
tant. If the liquid does not cover the meat it will discolor and lose
flavor during storage. In packing containers allow the following
head space: Glass jars, one-half inch; No. 1 tin cans, one-fourth inch;
No. 2 tin cans, one-fourth inch; No. 3 tin cans, one-half inch.
Pint containers are most suitable for canning meat, and it is sug-
gested that any of these small containers on hand may well be set
aside for meat. Do not can meat in jars or tin cans larger than quart
size. See table 9 for processing times.
When glass jars are used, meats should be precooked in the oven
or in water before being packed in the container. A better looking
pack results. And since heat penetrates glass slowly the precooking
is necessary to shorten the processing time. When tin cans are used
the meat may be precooked in either of these ways and packed hot,
or it may be packed raw and the cans exhausted before being sealed.
The latter method gives a little better flavored product, and the liquid
is all meat juice, but it takes more time and stove space. Frying is
not recommended as a method of precooking meat for canning, because
it makes the meat hard and dry and gives it a disagreeable flavor.
Cut the meat into imiform pieces weighing about
In the oven 1 povmd each, and cook in a moderate oven (350°
F.) until the red or pink color of the raw meat
almost disappears at the center. This requires about 30 to 40 minutes.
Cut the meat so that there are two or more pieces to each container,
pack at once closely, cover with the pan drippings or with boiling
water, leaving proper head space, and process immediately.
Chicken is handled in this same way except it needs only about 20
to 30 minutes because of the smaller size of the pieces. This is the
best way to precook chicken for canning in glass.
Cut the meat into uniform pieces weighing about
In water 1 poimd and place in boiling water. Partly cover
the kettle and simmer for 12 to 20 minutes, until
the color of the raw meat has almost disappeared from the center of
the pieces. At this stage the meat has lost about one-third of its
original weight because of the juice that has cooked out. At once cut
the meat into smaller pieces, pack into the containers, and press the
meat down closely with a wooden mallet or pestle. Cover with the
broth, leaving proper head space, and process immediately.
FARMERS' BULLETIN 1762
This method, commonly referred to as parboiling, is the quickest
way to precook a large quantity of meat. It is also used with chicken
except that the time is only about 8 to 10 miuutes.
Pack two or more pieces of meat into each can,
In tin cans and place the filled but open cans in a bath of boiling
water that comes to within 1^ to 2 inches of the
top of the can. Cover the bath to hold in steam and heat, being
careful that water from the bath does not bubble into the cans.
Continue heating until the meat in all the cans is steaming hot, or
170° F., at the center of the cans, and has practically lost the color
of raw meat. If no thermometer is available, turn out the meat
from a few of the cans to be sure it is heated through. The time
required is about 40 to 50 minutes for No. 2 cans of beef or pork and
somewhat less for chicken. Press the meat down and be surfe that it
is covered with broth and that there is proper head space in the cans.
Seal at once and process immediately.
Packins and Processing
Salt is added to cans of meat as follows: One-half teaspoon to a
pint jar, three-fourths teaspoon to a No. 2 can, and 1 teaspoon to a
quart jar or No. 3 can. When tin cans are used, place the salt in the
cans before packing them with meat. If the salt is placed on top of
the meat, the lids sometimes rust.
Select cuts of beef commonly used for roasts or steaks — roimd,
rump, loin, rib, and chuck. Cuts that contain more connective tissue
and bone may be canned as stew meat, hamburger, or other products
utilizing small pieces or used in soups. Wipe the meat with a damp
cloth, remove the bone and gristle, and leave only enough fat to give
flavor. If using glass jars, precook in the oven or in water (pp. 39 and
40), pack into containers, add salt, cover with broth, and process as di-
rected in table 9. If using tin cans, follow the same method, or pack
the meat raw and exhaust the cans (pp. 39 and 40).
Beef, ground (hamburger)
Prepare hamburger by grinding the meat through a plate with
J^-inch holes. Add 1 cup of salt for each 25 pounds of meat and mix
well. Pack the cold meat tightly into tin cans and exhaust the cans
until the meat is steaming hot (pp. 39 and 40). If canning in glass j
jars, form the meat into cakes, precook in the oven, pack hot, and
cover with broth. Process immediately as directed in table 9. ,.j
Beef, hash, and stew meat
One way of utilizing small pieces of meat is to can it for combining
later with potato in hash. Cut or chop the meat into imiformly
small pieces. Add sufficient water to cover, bring to simmering, and
HOME CANNING OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS 41
cook for several minutes. Pack hot and process as directed in table 9.
For use in making stew, cut the meat into 1-inch cubes, cover
with boiling water or broth, and simmer until the meat is shnmken
and heated through. This requires about 8 to 10 minutes. The
color of raw meat will have almost disappeared from the center of the
pieces. Pack the drained meat closely into containers, add salt, and
cover with boiling concentrated broth. Process immediately as
directed in table 9.
Beef, heart and tongue
The tongue and heart are generally used as fresh meat, but they
may be canned as follows: Wash the tongue, drop into boiling water
and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the skin can be removed.
Skin and cut into pieces that wiQ fit into the containers. Reheat to
simmering in broth, pack into containers; add salt and broth to cover.
Process as directed in table 9.
Wash the hearts, remove the thick connective tissue, and cut into
pieces suitable for packing. Drop into boiling water and simmer for
1 5 to 20 minutes. Pack at once ; add salt and broth to cover. Process
as directed in table 9.
Beef stew with vegetables
Sprinkle the stew meat with salt and white pepper and dredge with
flour. Brown the meat in hot beef fat; then add a small quantity of
chopped onion and brown. Remove from the heat. Prepare a mix-
ture of tomato pulp and equal parts of diced carrots, diced turnips,
and diced potatoes. Add hot water and bring to boiling. Add the
meat mixture and more salt and white pepper if needed. Pack hot
and process as directed in table 9.
Wash the corned beef, cover with cold water, bring to the boiling
point, and drain. Cover the meat again with cold water, bring to
the boiling point, then lower the heat and simmer until the meat is
thoroughly heated through. Remove the meat from- the broth a
piece at a time, and while it is still hot cut into smaller pieces, and pack
into the containers. Season the broth as desired, with bay leaves,
cloves, or nutmeg. Sometimes gelatin 9oftened in a little cold water
is added. Pour boiling broth over the meat to cover. Process as
directed in table 9.
Chicken and other poultry
' For canning select plump, 2-year-old hens, preferably when they
are culled from the flock during July and August. Young birds may
be canned, but the texture and flavor of the meat is not so good as
that from mature birds.
Dress the chickens as for cooking, and take particular care not to
break the gall bladder because the meat is then imfit for canning.
FARMERS' BULLETIN 1762
Also remove the lirngs, kidneys, and eggs. Cut the chicken into the
usual sized pieces for serving and separate iato three piles — the
meaty pieces (breasts, thighs, legs, and upper-wing joints), the bony
pieces (backs, wings, necks, and perhaps the feet after they have been
skumed), and the giblets.
The giblets shoxild not be canned with the other meat as they will
flavor and discolor it. Also it is better to can the livers alone, and
the gizzards and hearts together. Remove the chicken skiu or not
as desired, and trim off lumps of fat. Too much fat makes chicken
difficult to process.
Make broth with the bony pieces. Cover with lightly salted cold
water, simmer vmtU the meat is tender, and drain off the broth to
use as the liquid in canning the meaty pieces. Strip the meat from
the bones and can as small pieces or use in making sandwich spread.
If desired add 5 tablespoons of granulated gelatin to each quart of
broth. Moisten the gelatin first with a Httle of the cold liquid and
dissolve in the hot broth.
The meaty pieces of chicken may be canned either with or without
the bone. With the bone the product is better flavored. Precook in
the oven or in water and pack hot as described on pages 39 and 40.
Or exhaust in tin cans until steaming hot (p. 40). Add salt according
to the size of the container (p. 40), and process as directed in table 9.
Precook giblets in water and pack hot, or exhaust in tin cans, and
process as directed in table 9.
Chicken sandwich spread
This is a good way to utilize the small bits of meat stripped from
the bony pieces.
4 pounds cooked chicken,
chopped or ground.
l}i pounds olives, chopped.
1 pound pimientos, cut in small
1 quart chicken broth.
J4 teaspoon curry powder.
1 teaspoon ground mace.
1 teaspoon ground mustard.
Salt and white pepper, to taste.
Combine all of the ingredients, stir, and heat gradually to simmer-
ing. Pack hot and process immediately as directed in table 9.
Chicken livers may be made into a paste for sandwiches. Simmer
the Uvers for 10 minutes and drain. Mash with a fork and remove
any stringy tissue. Then add a small quantity of finely chopped
olives, mayoimaise, and dashes of tabasco sauce and paprika. Stir
while heating carefully to prevent scorching. Pack hot and process
as directed in table 9. '
HOME CANNING OF FKUITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS 43
Prepare chicken-gumbo soup by any tested recipe. Pack hot into
the containers and process according to the directions given in table 9.
Chile con carne
Use 2 pounds of chili beans or some other pink or red variety. Pick
over the beans, wash, and soak overnight in a cool place. Eenjove
thick connective tissue from 5 poxmds of lean beef, or beef and pork
mixed, and grind coarsely or chop. Add a little chopped garlic, 3 to 5
tablespoons of chUi powder, 3 tablespoons of salt, and one-half cup
of wheat flour, and mix well with the meat. Cook the mixture in 1
cup hot beef fat until the red color of the meat disappears. Add 2
quarts hot water, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain
the beans and blanch for 5 minutes in boUtng water. Drain. Fill
cans or jars about one-third full of the hot beans. Add the hot meat
mixture to about seven-eighths of capacity, then hot water to fill.
Process immediately as directed in table 9.
Lamb and Mutton
Select the fleshy parts and follow the same method as for beef, page
40. Can the smaller pieces as stew meat (p. 41).
Beef, calf, lamb, or hog liver may be used in this way.
3 pounds liver.
l}i pounds fat fresh pork.
2 tablespoons salt.
1 teaspoon white pepper.
% teaspoon ground cloves.
1 medium sized onion, chopped.
6 tablespoons fine dry bread
% cup water.
Wash the liver thoroughly and remove veins and membranes.
Grind the raw liver and pork twice through a plate with X-inch holes,
to make it very smooth. Add the seasonings. Beat the eggs well
and combine with the bread crumbs and water. Stir all ingredients
together until well mixed. Pack into No. 2 cans leaving 1 inch of
head space and exhaust until the paste is heated through to the center
of the cans. This requires about 40 to 50 minutes (p. 40). Remove
some of the paste or add a little hot water, if necessary, so that the
cans have the proper head space before sealing. Process as directed
in table 9.
Pork and beans
Pick over white navy beans, wash, and soak in a cool place for about
,16 hours, or overnight. Drain. Prepare hquid to cover the beans,
UsiE^ the proportion of 1 quart of water, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1
tablespoon of sagax (or molasses) to each pound of dry beans. Or
FARMERS' BULLETIN 1762
prepare an equal quantity of tomato sauce, using 3 cups of tomato
pulp to 1 cup of water. Add ground spices, cayenne pepper, and
chopped garlic or onion, as desired. Cook until thick.
Blanch the beans for 2 minutes in boiling water, and drain. Place
small pieces of salt pork in a bean pot or other container for baking.
Add the beans and additional pieces of salt pork, and cover with the
prepared Uquid or tomato sauce. Cover the pot and cook the beans
in a slow oven (about 250° F.) for 1% hoxas. Remove the lid and
combine all of the ingredients, stir, and heat gradually to simmering.
Pack hot and process immediately as directed in table 9.
The cuts of pork usually canned are the following: Loin; meat from
spareribs; head, tongue, and heart in headcheese; loin and lean trim-
mings in sausage ; and liver in Uver paste. While the ham and shoulder
may be caimed, they are generally preserved by curing.
Remove excess fat from the meat to be canned and precook by any
of the methods described on page 39. Pack hot and process as
directed in table 9.
Headcheese may be made from a hog's head, tongue, and heart,
according to any good recipe but omitting the sage. Pack the head-
cheese hot into containers and process as directed in table 9. It is
better to use tin cans so that the product can be removed in a single
Follow any tested formula for preparing the sausage, but omit the
sage for that gives the sausage a bitter flavor after processing. See
that the seasonings and meat are well mixed together.
If using tin cans, pack the raw sausage closely into the No. 2 size
and exhaust the cans until the sausage is steaming hot, as directed on
page 40. This requires 40 to 50 minutes. Process as directed in table
9. Before opening a can heat for a few minutes in boiling water, then
slip the contents of the can out in one piece, slice into rounds, and re-
heat in gravy or in an oven.
If glass jars are used, mold the sausage into cakes and precook in a
moderate oven (350° F.) for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cakes are
slightly browned and the color of raw meat has almost disappeared.
Pack into the jars and cover with the drippings or with hot water.
Process as directed in table 9. j
Precook and process in the same way as chicken (table 9).
HOME CANOTNG OF FKUITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS 45
Table 9. — Timetable for processing meats and chicken in the steam
At altitudes over 2,000 feet, add 1 pound of pressure for each additional 2,000
feet. Follow the directions given on pages 8, 13, and 18 for operation of canner
and removal of jars and cans after processing. Cool tin cans in cold water.
260° F., OE 15 POUNDS PRESSURE
Heart and tongue
Stew with vegetables
Chicken and other poultry :
Lamb and mutton
Broth with rice or barley
No. 2 can
No. 1, 56
No. 2, 90
/No. 1, 66
\No. 2, 90
240° F., OR 10 POUNDS PRESSURE
Chile con carne.
Fork and beans-- .
FABMBBS' BULLETIN 1762
Soup Stock and broth
Chicken or meat. — Broth containing small pieces of meat and sedi-
ment from coagulated proteins is commonly called soup stock. Clear
meat broths for canning should be fairly concentrated but avoid
prolonged boiling as it will cause loss of flavor. Also, if meat bones
are cooked for a long time under pressure to make broth or soup stock,
the broth will have a disagreeable gluey flavor. Remove excess fat
from broth or soup stock before canning.
Rice or barley may be added to the broth in the proportion of 1 cup
of the uncooked cereal to each gallon of clear meat broth. Wash the
cereal, boil for 15 minutes in salted water, drain, and rinse with cold
water. Bring the meat broth to the boiling point and add the cereal.
Season as desired. Process as directed in table 9.
Same as beef, fresh.
BEFORE EATING, INSPECT ALL CANNED FOOD
All foods should be inspected before being prepared for the table.
Canned food is no exception to this rule. If there is any evidence of
spoilage, the food should be discarded and nonacid vegetables and
meats should be burned.
Inspect the can or jar before opening. In tin cans both ends should
be flat and curved slightly inward. Neither end should bulge or snap
back when pressed. AU seams should be tight and clean, with no
traces of leaks. In glass jars there should be no bulging of the rubber
and no signs of leakage.
When the container is opened there should not be any sudden
outburst of air or spurting of liquid . The odor should be characteristic
of the product. Any different odor probably indicates spoilage. The
inside of tin cans should be smooth and clean or well-lacquered and
not markedly corroded. Food may be left in a tin can after it is
opened, provided it is covered and kept cold just as any other cooked
food. Acid foods and tomatoes may dissolve minute quantities of
iron from the can and acquire a slightly metallic flavor, but this is
harmless. The purple that develops in red fruits and sometimes in
peaches and pears canned in tin, is merely a change in the color pig-
ments and is also harmless.
The broth over canned meats and chicken may or may not be jellied,
depending on the quantity of connective tissue and cartilage in the
meat. If it is liquid, this is no indication of spoilage.
Never taste to discover spoilage. When spoilage has occurred in
nonacid foods there is always a possibility that even a taste may
cause serious illness. For this reason it is good practice to boil all
canned nonacid vegetables before using them. The processes recom-
HOME CANNING OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND MEATS 47
mended for meats are much longer than those for vegetables and
should destroy all dangerous bacteria.
Freezing does not cause canned foods to spoil \mless it breaks the
seal and permits micro-organisms to enter. All frozen canned foods
should therefore be examined for leakage. Sometimes freezing may
bulge tin cans and spread the seams enough to permit bacteria to
enter and yet not cause leakage. Bulged cans of frozen food, there-
fore, should be used as promptly as possible if they cannot be kept
Signs of Spoilage
Foods canned in tin sometimes show the following evidences of
Cans that have caved in, or collapsed, on the
Buckled cans sides are caUed buckled cans. This may occur when
No. 3 or larger sized cans are cooled too quickly
after processing. These large cans should be allowed to remain in the
canner until the pressure gage has reached zero to avoid too sudden
change of pressure. Cans of smaller sizes when slack-filled sometimes
buckle on cooling and break the seams. In this case the food should
be put into other cans and reprocessed, or used at once.
Springers are cans with bulged ends. The ends of
Springers cans generally become convex, or outwardly curved,
during processing because of expansion of the food
and the formation of steam. When the cans cool the ends should
snap back to a concave, or inwardly curved position. If a can is too
fiill, the ends may not snap back into proper position, and the can is
called a springer. Such cans should be marked so they will not be
confused with those that become bulged during storage.
When gas is formed within a can it may cause the
Swelled cans ends of the can to bulge. For example, some fruits,
such as prunes, apples, and some berries, react with
the metals of the can, and hydrogen gas is liberated. When this col-
lects, the can may become a "hydrogen swell." In this case the food
itself is not affected. However, in several types of food spoilage,
gases are produced that cause swelled cans. For this reason bulged
ends on a can are regarded as an indication of spoilage. When canned
fruits show such a condition, they should be examined for other indi-
cations of spoilage. When a can of meat or nonacid vegetables has
bulged ends the food in it should be disposed of by burning.
Some of the fuits that react with the metals of
Perforations the can to produce hydrogen swells may also cause
perforations and leaks. These result from the cen-
tering of the chemical reaction on a few points. If the can is dis-
covered soon after leaking starts the food may be used, but if the
FARMERS' BULLETIN 1762
leakage is not detected until later, fermentation or other types of
spoilage may have set in.
Canned foods are likely to develop perforations and hydrogen
swells rather quickly if stored in too warm a place; hence cool storage
is especially important for canned fruits that react in this way on
OTHER BULLETINS ON FOOD PRESERVATION
United States Department of Agriculture:
Faxmers' Bulletin No. 879, Home Storage of Vegetables.
Farmers' Bulletin No. 1186, Pork on the Farm — Killing, Curing, and Canning.
Farmers' Bulletin No. 1415, Beef on the Farm — Slaughtering, Cutting, Curing.
Farmers' Bulletin No. 1438, Making Fermented Pickles.
Farmers' Bulletin No. 1800, Home-made Jellies, Jams, and Preserves.
Farmers' Bulletin No. 1807, Lamb and Mutton on the Farm.
Farmers' Bulletin No. 1918, Drying Food for Victory Meals.
United States Department of the Interior:
Fish and WildUfe Service, Fishery Investigational Report No. 34, The
Home Canning of Fishery Products. 10 cents per «opy from Superinten-
dent of Documents, Washington, D. C.
n. S. OOVERHHEHT PRIHT1H6 OFFICBi IMl
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Wasbington, D. C.
Price 10 cents