Preserving food by canning in the oven has been a hot topic this summer. It seems everyone is looking for a shortcut to preserve food at home.
Oven canning is NOT a safe shortcut! Nancy Clark, Nutrition and Health Program Specialist and a Master Food Safety Advisor for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, says, “Many individuals have shared with me that they have tried, or have heard about, oven canning. Just because a jar is sealed doesn’t mean the food inside is safe to eat.”
Very often, a trusted and well-meaning friend or relative has shared information about canning in the oven as a simple way to can food. Others have found information off the internet promoting it as a “quick and easy” method.
Food “processed” in the oven will not necessarily be heated hot enough or long enough to produce a safe product! Oven regulators may not be very accurate and the hot air in the oven may not circulate efficiently enough to heat the food in the jars. In addition, oven heat is a dry heat that penetrates jars very slowly. Canning jars are not designed for dry heating either. Who would want to clean up that mess if they exploded?
In addition, think of the wasted resources when finding out your food may not be safe to eat. Nancy Clark adds, “People spend a great deal of money, time, and energy canning food. It is disheartening to tell someone their (improperly) canned food could make someone they love very sick.”
Do not put your families’ health and the quality of your food at risk for the sake of a shortcut- like oven canning. Be sure to only use research-based methods and tested recipes for SAFE home food preservation. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is an excellent source of this information. Go to www.store.extension.iastate.edu for publications and recipes. In the Search box (upper right corner), enter the name or number of publication:
· Canning Fruits (PM 1043)
· Canning Vegetables (PM 1044)
· Canning Fruit Spreads (PM 1366)
· Canning Pickled Products (PM 1368)
· Canning and Freezing Tomatoes (PM 638)
· Canning Meats, Poultry, Wild Game, and Fish (PM 3021)
· Freezing Fruits and Vegetables (PM 1045)
For more information, contact your local County Extension Office or call Nancy Clark at 515-341-0261 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call ISU Extension and Outreach’s AnswerLine at (800) 262-3804 to talk directly with a Home Economist. AnswerLine hours are Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m.-noon and from 1:00-4:00 pm.
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