Then there’s time spent preparing the food for home canning plus the preparation of equipment required to process the food. This includes cleaning and sterilizing preserving equipment as well as cleaning, peeling and any other food preparation required prior to canning. There is also the time spent processing (canning) the food, allowing it to cool and seal and all clean up tasks. It is quite possible to spend full days in the kitchen during canning season.
The foods you intend to process are also part of the supplies you will need for preserving. Depending on your recipe, this will also require pectin, sugar or pickling spices, herbs and salt. All of these items will also take up space so you will need to have an area large enough to store all the equipment you will use with easy access to those pieces you will use more frequently. The best part is that the majority of your large supplies can be used over and over with other supplies, such as jars, requiring replacement on a regular basis.
Some items in the home canning process can only be used once with others reusable a number of times before you will need to replace them. Food products you are processing, unless they come from your own garden, will also add to your cost of production. Overall, keep in mind the majority of your costs will come from your ‘start up’ phase purchasing equipment you don’t already own or have not either inherited or had given to you by a friend or family member.
Losses From Home Canning
When they are cooked, minerals, water soluble vitamins and other nutrients can be leeched out of the foods being prepared. They then end up being left behind in the boiling water that eventually gets poured down the drain. By comparison, fruits and vegetables that have been canned contain far less vitamins and minerals than they do fresh. On average, they lose up to 65-percent of these essential items when canned.
Potential Health Risk
The contamination results from the acid levels in the fruits and vegetables being canned. Remember seeing pH test strips listed earlier as canning equipment? The reason why we included that was to keep you aware of the fact that you will need to test frequently for proper pH levels. Various forms of bacteria do not survive the heating process of canning provided salt and acid levels are correct. To be sure, follow only proven recipes and study what pH levels are safe for the specific food items you are processing.