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Information and discussion about canning and dehydrating tomatoes and other garden vegetables and fruits. DISCLAIMER: SOME RECIPES MAY NOT COMPLY WITH CURRENT FOOD SAFETY GUIDELINES - FOLLOW AT YOUR OWN RISK

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Old May 15, 2012   #16
Boutique Tomatoes
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I do use a PH meter when I'm working out new sauce and salsa recipes, as the common hot sauces that mostly taste like vinegar are far from my favorite. I want a sauce that tastes like the pepper first and foremost.

Ultimately if you're doing something for sale you have to get the recipe and the entire cooking/testing/bottling process approved by a 'process authority'. When I took the commercial acidified food processors course I asked about a 'rule book' and was told there would never be one because the research and therefore the rules are constantly changing.

The worry about changing ingredients for things canned in a BWB is that it may change the PH, using a meter alleviates that concern.
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Old May 16, 2012   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
The government lowered the temps pork should be cooked a while back from sawdust to something you can actually eat.

I have never cooked pork and poultry to these death valley temps.
I knew better.

Worth
America's Test Kitchen were the first to really point me in the direction of USDA pork temperatures being 20 degrees too high. Now I take pork to 145°F and let it rest til it hits 150°F. And chicken, I go for 155°F on the breast, and 175°F on the thigh. Of course steaks I practically want them to walk to the table.

And just to continue in this vein, if you have ever cut into fully cooked chicken and found blood around the bone and wondered why, there is an explanation. After reading that, you'll know why restaurants these days tend to torch chicken.
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Old May 16, 2012   #18
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that's an interesting article on the chicken, I had no idea.
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Old May 16, 2012   #19
Zana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
There was a guy on here for a while that washed his cucumbers in the washing machine before he pickled them.
I have 2 problems with this.
1 It is over kill.
2 I dont want to eat something that has been in the same place as the dirty socks and underwear.
Reminds me of the folks I heard about that mixed sausage in the bathtub.
Not gonna happen.

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Gee, Worth....

I'm the one that posted about washing cukes in the washing machine....when doing bushels and bushels of cukes in an assembly line fashion. Guess I didn't know that my hernia operation was a sex-change one.

And for the record. I do an organic bleach or vinegar rinse , followed by a serious hosing down of the washing machine before I do the cukes....and again afterwards.

Teasin' ya!

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Old May 16, 2012   #20
Zana
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I only hot water bath process my pickles if they don't seal on their own. Otherwise, I use what is referred to as the "European" method in a previous post. Boiling brine poured over the contents (and I make it with organic apple cider vinegar which has a high acidity than regular white vinegar - or what passes for white vinegar these days.) into hot sterilised jars and covered boiling hot sterilised lids. When we used to do 200-300 Litres of pickles in a day, I'd probably have to process in a hot water bath, less than 20 jars. Granted I made sure that all the lids were clean of any scratches too, so that I could get a good seal, and that any jar that either looked off when I took it from the cold cellar or smelled off when I opened it, were pitched. But most of our pickles didn't last long enough to test out how long the shelf life was. But when I did variations on the Tourshi (Armenian mixed pickles) not everybody liked all the combos so some of those kicked around in the cold cellar up to 2 to 3 years.....and were still good (except for the occasional one). So far in over 45 years of pickling and canning, I haven't managed to kill anybody or make them sick (ok, there were a few who ate waaaaaaay too many and were sick.....but that could've also been because they chose to drink the brine too. LOL)

So prepping of the actual canning jars, lids and rings is just as important in my mind as the contents to prevent spoiled food and botulism. Just my humble opinion.

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Old May 19, 2012   #21
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Feldon, that is a very interesting article! Makes sense to me, as the commercial chicken breed, the Cornish cross is basically bred to eat, not do much walking around and just grow like crazy (kind of like commercial turkeys). I would not be able to bring myself to eat the pictured chicken though...just too ingrained in me to think of red, bloody chicken as bad. My mom always overcooked pork chops so badly, I stopped eating them as an adult. Now I can enjoy properly cooked pork. :-)

Zana, while I am so glad you have never made anyone sick with your way of sealing cans w/o processing, the mods here would not make recommendations at Tomatoville based on a person's experience. <grin> To be safe, I would only recommend using an approved recipe for canning anything. That is the ONLY way to be really safe...and yes, attention MUST be paid to the equipment and ingredients too. :-))) That's the 'official' line...
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Old May 20, 2012   #22
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Follow the common sense guidelines, and if you are worried about dying from Botulism or the like, buy a lottery ticket. You have far better odds of hitting the latter.
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Old May 20, 2012   #23
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Zana,

For the recipes you are posting, please do not post canning recipes that do not give directions for proper water bath processing. If you do not know how much time the jars need to be processed, please say to refrigerate or freeze. Only approved canning recipes can be posted here for safety reasons. I would appreciate it if you would edit the ones already on the board.
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Old May 20, 2012   #24
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batch? do you mean bath?
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Old May 20, 2012   #25
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Worth, you are so right. I complained to Publix here in Atlanta because all of the cooking suggestions on their meat are about double the cooking time needed to reach recommended temperatures. Basically, they are recommending that people destroy the expensive ribeye they just bought. I thought it was terrible to have lawyers write recipes. Result of my complaining: nada.
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Old May 20, 2012   #26
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Scott, you are so right. Overcooking a nice steak should be against the law <grin>! I have read somewhere (don't remember where) that problematic bacteria would be on the outside of meat so cooking a steak rare is not a problem, but cooking hamburger rare would be...since the bacteria on the outside of the meat has been ground and mixed all together with the interior meat. I love med rare steak but don't eat burgers that way. My preference... :-)
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Old October 14, 2012   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coronabarb View Post
Zana,

For the recipes you are posting, please do not post canning recipes that do not give directions for proper water bath processing. If you do not know how much time the jars need to be processed, please say to refrigerate or freeze. Only approved canning recipes can be posted here for safety reasons. I would appreciate it if you would edit the ones already on the board.
I've also been taking a close look at pickle recipes and methods, and it turns out that the method called "hot fill/hold" is approved - but only for recipes that are classified as acid foods or acidified foods, with a final product pH of 4.6 or less. The hot fill/hold method brings the pickles to the necessary pasteurization temperatures, so water bath processing isn't necessary. The best description I could find of the process and its limits is here:
www.fapc.okstate.edu/files/factsheets/fapc118.pdf
The size of the pieces of food being pickled is an important factor, where larger pieces might bring the temperature of the boiling brine down below the necessary for pasteurization, and would require a water or steam bath instead.

The same pdf also contains a handy list of the pH of foods that you might be pickling, which would affect the final pH depending on the formula for the brine, pH of added water, and volume and moisture content of raw pickle material.

The pH of the usual 5% vinegar used in pickling recipes is 2.4. Pure water is pH 7.0 but in practice may be above or below 7. A 1:1 ratio of vinegar to water in a recipe would be 2.4+7/2 = 4.7 if the water is neutral pH. So unless the food being pickled is also acid, there's no reason to expect the final pH from this recipe ratio would be 4.6 or less. Recipes with a higher ratio of vinegar to water could be used to provide a margin for error, and reasonable certainty the final pH isn't too high. 4.6 is an important benchmark because it prevents growth and germination of Clostridium botulinum spores. Pasteurization temperatures are also lower, the lower the pH, and the process is expected to kill any vegetative cells of other pathogens and hermetically seal the jars.

The second factor for safety in a pickle recipe is "available water" aw, which bacteria require to grow, where water is assigned the value 1.0, fresh foods around .99, and preserved foods have lower aw values depending on the amount of salt and/or sugar used.
Salt is reported to have six times the water binding activity of sugar. An aw value of 0.90 is given to foods with 12% salt or 55% sucrose. A typical 12% salt brine recipe is given as 1/2 cup salt per litre (4.2 cups) water- the 1/2 cup salt/4 cups liquid is a typical ratio I have seen in some USDA approved pickle recipes which also include vinegar. 50% sucrose in recipes is given as approximately 1 cup sugar to 1 cup water.

The salt and sugar in a recipe provides a second line of defense against bacteria, some of which are able to grow at pH lower than 4.6. At available water aw value of 0.90 there is no risk that any of the following will grow in the pickles: Bacillus cereus, Camplyobacter jejuni, Clostridium Botulinum, Clostridium perfringens, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Shigella, Vibrio spp., Yersinia enterocolitica.
For an aw value of 0.85, I believe it's a 15% salt solution, very salty! and will also inhibit most yeasts as well as toxin formation by Staph aureus, which has the largest range of pH and salt tolerance among the common food pathogens.

Heat treatment and effective pasteurization is necessary to ensure no pathogens are alive in the sealed product, to multiply while in storage. Botulinum toxin in food can be destroyed by reheating to boiling for 5 minutes, but toxins produced by Bacillus cereus (min pH 4.3; aw 0.92) and by Staph aureus (min pH 4; aw 0.83) are very heat stable and cannot be destroyed by reheating. For more about specific pathogens and food handling:
www.hi-tm.com/RFA/food-path-summ.pdf
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File Type: pdf fapc118.pdf (636.1 KB, 3 views)
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Old October 16, 2012   #28
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I have used the hot fill method for years as do many commercial canners.

Many products would be ruined in hot water bath or pressure cookers.

Its what I do it is my own business and I wont post recipes I don't want to be chastised.

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Old October 16, 2012   #29
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Zana,

For the recipes you are posting, please do not post canning recipes that do not give directions for proper water bath processing. If you do not know how much time the jars need to be processed, please say to refrigerate or freeze. Only approved canning recipes can be posted here for safety reasons. I would appreciate it if you would edit the ones already on the board.
Does that go for me too? Because I also don't can things in a traditional manner, nor do I tell people what method, pressure cooker, hot water bath, or just hot brine fill. Shoot my Mom even uses an old Carolina method that involves COLD brine!

We even used to make Sauerkraut by using zinc lids and purposely not sealing them so they could ferment naturally!

Then afterwards we had many uses for the extra cabbage vinegar including so called Sauerkraut pickles!

I am pretty sure that pretty much breaks every rule in the book! It's a wonder I even survived childhood on the farm.
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Old October 16, 2012   #30
Worth1
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Does that go for me too? Because I also don't can things in a traditional manner, nor do I tell people what method, pressure cooker, hot water bath, or just hot brine fill. Shoot my Mom even uses an old Carolina method that involves COLD brine!

We even used to make Sauerkraut by using zinc lids and purposely not sealing them so they could ferment naturally!

Then afterwards we had many uses for the extra cabbage vinegar including so called Sauerkraut pickles!

I am pretty sure that pretty much breaks every rule in the book! It's a wonder I even survived childhood on the farm.
I hear that.

Worth
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