why cant corn be canned without a pressure canner? - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 08/22/08, 12:40 PM
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Question why cant corn be canned without a pressure canner?

ok so i know about botchulism but why cant corn be canned without a pressure canner is it because of low acid? then add lemon or citric acid. maybe? is it a heat thing? i can get the pan boiling pretty rough and pretty darn hot, so what is the real reason? ive done dilly beans with no pressure canner, matter of fact never used one before,

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  #2  
Old 08/22/08, 01:30 PM
 
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physics my dear

or is it chemistry?

The hottest a boiling pot of corn can get is 212 F or so- a little higher since there is some salt and other stuff dissolved in the boiling liquid. This is not high enough to kill the beasties that can kill YOU in a can of corn.

Yes, you could prepare a pickled corn recipe- either follow a recipe that says you need only water bath canning or do the scientific testing to prove the recipe is as acidic as it needs to be to be safe to can in water bath only. Then the acidity plus the temperature is what makes it safe to eat.

Or you can use physics which says if you put a sealed lid on your pot- ie make it a pressure canner- and get the pressure up to a certain level so that the temperature can go even higher to some amount a good ways above 212F- then all the dangerous things that might be in there will be killed and it will be safe for you to eat it.

I don't know enough details to say how much acidity and temperature is needed but the reason we follow the rules is because people who didn't suffered illness and sometiems death.

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Old 08/22/08, 02:02 PM
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so is there a way of adding acid to the corn and you mention a test for acid? what about the oven i have heard of people doing that also. my niece asked why i dont can corn and i had to explain this one, so better yet ill let her read this. my answer was i didnt really know the true reason but i sure would find out. i guess to me it was just mom and grandma used to do it, so i was suppose to without questions, and i had been to school for my class on food safety passed the class and got my certificate. but i was not sure on the acidity part,

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Old 08/22/08, 02:13 PM
 
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Dunno. I - and thousands of others - have eaten corn canned in water bath, with no ill effects. Thats the only canner (water bath) Grandma and mom had.

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Old 08/22/08, 02:18 PM
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see there is 2 sides to every story.

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Old 08/22/08, 02:21 PM
 
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Because of the PH. Fruits with a high acidity level (low PH) prevent botulism spores from reproducing. Most vegetables do not contain enough acid.

A water bath canner WILL kill botulism. But it WILL NOT kill botulism spores. The spores themselves will not hurt you. Fruits have lots of acid which prevent botulism from growing. By water bath canning, you are killing any botulism but not the spores but they can't grow anyway because of the acid.

When you can something that has a low level of acid, if you were to water bath can, you would kill any existing botulism so if you used it within a short period of time it would be fine. But if there are any spores in there, over time they will develop into botulism because they have not been killed. If you pressure can it, the temperature can reach over 300 which WILL kill the spores.

Beth

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Old 08/22/08, 02:32 PM
 
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I grew up on water bathed corn....gramma boiled it in a water bath for 4 hours. In a pinch, I would do it, but in normal times I would not risk it.

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Old 08/22/08, 03:17 PM
 
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Wow...I have learned something new today.
Clove

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Old 08/22/08, 03:41 PM
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ok i did not do it,but i was thinking about it. thank you everyone. i believe there is pros and cons to everything. but is there a way to add acidity to it like pectin or lemon juice or something to that nature to bring the ph up? just asking?

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Old 08/22/08, 04:05 PM
 
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Quote:
is there a way to add acidity to it like pectin or lemon juice or something to that nature to bring the ph up?
Yes. Lemon juice or citric acid are added to increase acidity (lower PH).

Many recipes call for it IN CONJUNCTION WITH pressure canning.

Beth

Just a note: High PH is LOW Acid while Low PH is HIGH acid. Are you confused yet? lol
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Old 08/22/08, 04:21 PM
 
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You also asked about oven canning - same as with waterbath canning -the liquid in the jars will not get higher than 212 degrees. It doesn't matter what method you use - without pressure to increase the temp, it cannot get above 212. Just because folks did it for years, doesn't mean it was truly safe. Maybe the safety rate was 99%, but some folks DID get sick and/or die. All it takes is that ONE jar that you eat that DOES have botulism to take the safety factor from 99% to 0% for YOU!

Make room in the budget for a pressure canner. A used one isn't that expensive and can literally save your life. Post on Freecycle, and you may even be able to score a canner and the jars to go with it free! If you get a canner with a dial rather than a weight, make sure you get the gauge tested each year before you start using it, too. Your cooperative extension office will test it for you at very little cost.

Better that than messing around with adding acid to lower the pH enough to water bath it safely. Adding that much acid would likely make your corn rather unpleasant to eat, and how would you know if you've added wnough to penetrate all the way through each and every kernel? Corn is a dense food, which is why the processing time is longer than, say, green beans. Takes longer to get the corn up to the full 245 degrees thoughout than it does for the green beans.

I guess for me it comes down to wanting to feed my family the safest, best tasting food I can. Their lives, and mine, are worth that.

Oh, and remember, if you have a jar that has a bad seal, whether a water bath or pressure canned product, DON'T taste it "to see if it's good"! Dispose of it in a way that none of your animals will get into it - botulism is an indiscriminant killer.

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  #12  
Old 08/22/08, 04:24 PM
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yep you just did it. i thought i might be on the right track. but now?

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Old 08/22/08, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manygoatsnmore View Post
You also asked about oven canning - same as with waterbath canning -the liquid in the jars will not get higher than 212 degrees. It doesn't matter what method you use - without pressure to increase the temp, it cannot get above 212. Just because folks did it for years, doesn't mean it was truly safe. Maybe the safety rate was 99%, but some folks DID get sick and/or die. All it takes is that ONE jar that you eat that DOES have botulism to take the safety factor from 99% to 0% for YOU!

Make room in the budget for a pressure canner. A used one isn't that expensive and can literally save your life. Post on Freecycle, and you may even be able to score a canner and the jars to go with it free! If you get a canner with a dial rather than a weight, make sure you get the gauge tested each year before you start using it, too. Your cooperative extension office will test it for you at very little cost.

Better that than messing around with adding acid to lower the pH enough to water bath it safely. Adding that much acid would likely make your corn rather unpleasant to eat, and how would you know if you've added wnough to penetrate all the way through each and every kernel? Corn is a dense food, which is why the processing time is longer than, say, green beans. Takes longer to get the corn up to the full 245 degrees thoughout than it does for the green beans.

I guess for me it comes down to wanting to feed my family the safest, best tasting food I can. Their lives, and mine, are worth that.

Oh, and remember, if you have a jar that has a bad seal, whether a water bath or pressure canned product, DON'T taste it "to see if it's good"! Dispose of it in a way that none of your animals will get into it - botulism is an indiscriminant killer.
Excellent post, manygoatsnmore. Thank you for your thoughtful informative reply.
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  #14  
Old 08/23/08, 04:06 AM
 
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Yes, better safe than sorry I say! I got a pressure canner really cheap at a yard sale, and my county extension office tested it for free and even gave me a free pamphlet on canning safety. They even gave me a print out of what tests they ran and what the "scores" were for my particular canner.

Keep your eye out at yard sales, thrift stores, auctions, etc. You could also post on Craig's List or Freecycle and maybe get one that way. Pass the word to your friends and neighbors and church members, if you go, that you're looking for a pressure canner. You never know where one will turn up.

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