Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Basics of Canning - "Raw Pack" vs "Hot Pack"

"Raw Pack" vs "Hot Pack"

Now, here we are talking about "packing" our garden produce into Canning Jars and there are 2 different ways to do this.

1.  Raw Pack or Cold Pack is just what it sounds like it would be - placing your vegetables or fruits into your sterilized canning jars raw.  I want to be clear - these fruits & vegetables have been cleaned, dried and any blemishes or wormy spots removed.  Examples of "raw pack canning" are pickles, green beans and whole tomatoes.

2.  Hot Pack is of course placing your garden produce into your sterilized canning jars after it has been cooked or lightly warmed (while it is still hot).  Now you are also able to "hot pack" pickles, green beans and whole tomatoes but I always do those 3 "raw pack."  Examples of only "hot pack" canning are: jams, jellies, tomato sauce and apple sauce.

There is a controversy as to whether "raw pack" is safe - I have been "raw packing" my pickles, green beans and whole tomatoes for decades and (thankfully) I have never had a problem.  But remember - even when "raw packing" there is always a boiling liquid brine that is poured over top of the cold vegetables/fruits.

Cleanliness is the key to safe canning!

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