The Cold-Pack Canning Method

The most popular canning method today is the "cold-pack" method of canning. It is very efficient, economical and satisfactory process for busy housewives to can everything that grows. This is the method that we mostly refer to in this cookbook, and even when we omit the phrase "cold-pack" and use simply canning you will know that we are referring to it.

The phrase "cold-pack" simply means that the products are packed cold in their fresh and natural state in the glass jars or containers. To the fruits hot sirup is applied; to the vegetables hot water and a little salt are added. The sterilization is done in the glass jars or tin containers after they are partly or entirely sealed, making it practically impossible for bacteria or spores to enter after the product has once been carefully sterilized or cooked.

In following this method vegetables should first be blanched in boiling water or live steam, then quickly plunged into cold water and the skins removed. The products are then packed in containers and sterilized according to the instructions and recipes.

When we use the term sterilizing we simply mean cooking the product for a certain period of time after the jar has been filled with food. It is sometimes called processing. Sterilizing, processing, boiling and cooking are all interchangeable terms and mean one and the same thing.

By this "cold-pack," or cold-fill, method of canning, all food products, including fruits, vegetables and meats, can be successfully sterilized in a single period with only one handling of the product in and out of the canner.

All the flavor is retained, the product is not cooked to a mushy pulp, and the labor and time needed for the canning are less than in any other method. The worst canning enemy, mold, is eliminated and all bacteria and bacterial spores which cause vegetables and meat to spoil are destroyed.

Real Cooking

Did You Know?
Pickling is a method of preserving food in an edible anti-microbial liquid. Pickling can be broadly categorized as chemical pickling (for example, brining) and fermentation pickling (for example, making sauerkraut).

In chemical pickling, the food is placed in an edible liquid that inhibits or kills bacteria and other micro-organisms. Typical pickling agents include brine (high in salt), vinegar, alcohol, and vegetable oil, especially olive oil but also many other oils. Many chemical pickling processes also involve heating or boiling so that the food being preserved becomes saturated with the pickling agent. Common chemically pickled foods include cucumbers, peppers, corned beef, herring, and eggs, as well mixed vegetables such as piccalilli, chow-chow, giardiniera, and achar.

In fermentation pickling, the food itself produces the preservation agent, typically by a process that produces lactic acid. Fermented pickles include sauerkraut, nukazuke, kimchi, surströmming, and curtido. Some chemically pickled cucumbers are also fermented.

In commercial pickles, a preservative like sodium benzoate or EDTA may also be added to enhance shelf life.