Submit your best original recipe and you could win some serious cash!
Our #1 cupcakes, too-cute treats and fun snacks for your little one's next milestone.
As a member, you can save and sort your favorite recipes -- for FREE!Join Food.com
Our most popular mains, sides and salads — here's what you want to eat for dinner right now.
Our home cooks have perfected top-notch remakes of your favorite restaurant dishes.
As a member, you can save and organize your favorite recipes and more.Join Food.com
Our top recipes will keep those Irish eyes smiling — even if you're only Irish for a day.
Did you know that there's a new food holiday 365 days a year? See what today is!
ALSO NEW: Get Our New Food Holidays App!
As a member, you can save your favorite recipes, plan menus and more.Join Food.com
Schedule your whole week and create shopping lists, all in one place.
Save and organize your favorite recipes into custom collections -- for FREE!
Create a menu for your next event or browse others' for ideas.
Join our newsletter and get new recipes and cooking tips every week.
As a member, you can enjoy all our meal planning tools.Join Food.com
French Tart shares more about herself, her travels and her favorite international cuisine
We've rounded up some of our home cooks' most entertaining kitchen mishaps
Meal ideas to meet your budget
You can save and organize your favorite recipes into FREE online cookbooks. Create as many as you want!
You can create a menu to plan your next party or event and publish it to share with friends - for FREE!
Select () or exclude () categories to narrow your recipe search.
As you select categories, the number of matching recipes will update.
Find exactly what you're looking for with the web's most powerful recipe filtering tool.
Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:57 pmForum Host
A pungent, colorless liquid acid that is the primary acid in vinegar (vinegar is 5% acetic acid). Acetic acid is what makes vinegar sour.
Any substance in a class of sour compounds. In terms of home food preserving, it means a food with <4.6 pH.
Air drying is achieved by hanging food in a dry breezy place. Humidity, insects, leaves, dirt and other particulate matter are enemies of air drying and could create mold and food spoilage. Air drying should be done over two to three days and the food should not be left outside overnight exposing it to animals and morning moisture.
An ingredient used in older pickling recipes to add crispness and firmness to pickles. Alum, if consumed in large doses, may cause nausea and/or gastrointestinal problems and is no longer recommended for use in pickling recipes. If used, it must be thoroughly rinsed away. The chemical name is potassium aluminum sulfate.
The vertical elevation (distance in feet or meters) of a location above sea level. The higher the altitude, the lower the temperature needed to bring liquids to a boil.
Usually, you can find your altitude at your local planning commission or zoning office, on a webpage about your town or city, or contact your local US Cooperative Extension Office. Here is an on-line tool: US Geological Survey Elevation Search Tool (link) Enter city name, state, and county. There are multiple listings for a county provided.
A substance, such as citric acid (lemon or lime juice), ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or a blend of citric and ascorbic acids, that inhibits oxidation and controls browning of light-colored fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants are believed to neutralize free radicals, harmful particles in your body that can cause long-term damage to cells and lead to disease.
Any one of many synthetically produced non-nutritive sweet substances. Artificial sweeteners vary in sweetness but are usually many times sweeter than granulated sugar.
The chemical name for vitamin C, a natural, water-soluble vitamin that is commercially available in a concentrated form as white, odorless crystals or powder. It is used as an antioxidant to inhibit oxidation and control browning of light-colored fruits and vegetables.
Microorganisms, some of which are harmful, found in the soil, water and air around us. Some bacteria thrive in conditions common in low-acid preserved food and produce toxins that must be destroyed by heating to 240F (116C) for a specified length of time. For this reason, low-acid foods must be processed in a pressure canner.
See screw band.
To submerge a food in boiling water or steam for a short period of time, done to loosen the skin or peel or to inactivate enzymes that can affect the quality of that food. Blanching is immediately followed by rapidly cooling the food in ice water.
A 6 to 8 quart lidded pot designed with a fitted perforated basket to hold food in boiling water, or with a fitted rack to steam foods. Useful for loosening skins on fruits to be peeled, or for heating foods to be hot packed.
To heat a liquid until bubbles break the surface. At sea level, this happens at 212F (100C). At elevations above 1,000 feet (305 m), the boiling point is reached at a lower temperature. A boil is achieved only when the liquid is continuously rolling or actively bubbling. See also boil gently or simmer or boil, full rolling.
boil gently or simmer:
To cook food gently just below the boiling point (180F to 200F/82C to 93C). Bubbles rise from the pot bottom, only slightly disturbing the surface of the food.
boil, full rolling:
A rapid boil (bubbling that cannot be stirred down), achieved at a temperature of 220F (104C). This stage is essential for attaining a gel when making cooked jams or jellies.
The temperature at which liquid reaches a boil (212F/100C at sea level). The higher the bring liquid to a boil.
boiling water canner:
A large, deep saucepan equipped with a lid and a rack to lift jars off direct heat. The pot must be deep enough to fully surround and immerse jars in water by 1 to 2 inches and allow for the water to boil rapidly with the lid on. If you don't have a rack designed for preserving, use a cake cooling rack or extra bands tied together to cover the bottom of the pot.
boiling water method:
The fresh preserving method used to process high-acid foods. Heat is transferred to the food product by the boiling water, which completely surrounds the jar and two-piece closure. A temperature of 212F (100C) is reached and must be maintained for the time specified by the recipe. This method is adequate to destroy molds, yeasts and some bacteria, as well as to inactivate enzymes. The boiling water method must not be used to process low-acid foods.
An illness caused by eating toxin produced by growth of Clostridium botulinum bacteria in moist, low-acid food, containing less than 2 percent oxygen, and stored between 40 degrees and 120 degrees F. Proper heat processing destroys this bacterium in canned food. Freezer temperatures inhibit its growth in frozen food. Low moisture controls its growth in dried food. High oxygen controls its growth in fresh foods.
A spice bag, or a square of cheesecloth tied into a bag, that is filled with whole herbs and spices and is used to flavor broth, soup, pickling liquid and other foods. This method allows for easy removal of the herbs and spices after cooking.
A salt-water solution used in pickling or when preserving foods. Although salt and water are the main ingredients, sugar and spices are sometimes added.
See fermented pickles.
The unfavorable color change caused when the cut surface of some fruits and vegetables is exposed to the oxygen in the air. The reaction is called oxidation.
A non-metallic tool used to remove air bubbles from filled canning jars before they are processed. If you don't already own one, a rubber spatula can be used in its place.To ensure appropriate headspace, air bubbles should be removed before the two-piece closure is applied.
See fruit butter.
A naturally occurring salt found in some mineral deposits, used as a crisping agent. The food-safe ingredient is added to the jar before processing, or used in a solution with water as a pre-soak. Calcium chloride is used commercially to produce crisp, firm pickles. See also Pickle Crisp powder.
candy or jelly thermometer:
A kitchen thermometer that usually comes with adjustable hooks or clips to allow it to be attached to the pan. During the preparation of soft spreads without added pectin, it is used to determine when the gel stage is reached (this occurs at 220F/104C, or 8F/4C) above the boiling point of water). Always insert the thermometer vertically into the jelly and ensure that it does not contact the pot's bottom surface.
Either one of two pieces of equipment used in fresh preserving to process jars filled with a food product and covered with a two-piece closure. The two types of canners recommended for use in fresh preserving are a boiling water canner for high-acid foods and a pressure canner for low-acid foods.
A funnel with a wide mouth and neck that's designed to sit on top of a canning jar, so that food can be ladled into the jar more easily and neatly. It is available either in metal or plastic.
Any one of many types of liquids, such as water, cooking liquid, pickling liquid, broth, juice or syrup, used to cover solid food products. Adding liquid prevents darkening of food exposed to the surface and allows for heat penetration.
A rack placed inside a large pot to shield the bottoms of the jars from coming into contact with the bottom of the pot so as to prevent thermal shock breakage.
See salt, pickling or preserving.
A utensil with a magnetized end that allows the user to pick up canning seals from the boiling water used to sterilize them.
See two-piece closure.
Case hardened foods will be hard or "cooked" on the outside but retain moisture within the food and thus be susceptible to bacteria growth and spoilage. Moisture from the interior of the food will migrate to the exterior. The recommended drying temperature for most foods is between 130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit or 54 to 60 degrees Celsius. Herbs can be dehydrated at 110 degrees Fahrenheit or 43 degrees Celsius.
Cheesecloth is a loose-woven cotton cloth used in cheese making, such as to press cheese curds for poutine. Cheesecloth is also used in straining stocks and custards, bundling herbs, making tofu, and thickening yogurt.. For fresh preserving, it can be used in place of a jelly bag to strain juice from fruit pulp when making jelly or homemade juice, or it can be formed into a bag to hold whole herbs and spices during the cooking process, aiding in easy removal.
Chutney is similar in consistency to jelly, salsa or relish, and is used as a sweet and sour condiment. Usually made fresh, chutney contains fruit and sugar to give it a sweet taste, and almost all chutney contains vinegar and perhaps onions to give it a corresponding sour flavor. The ingredients are mixed together and then simmered slowly. While chutney is primarily sweet and sour, there can also be many variations of spices, often giving it a hot and spicy flavor.
A natural acid derived from citrus fruits, such as lemons and limes. It is available as white crystals or granules and is used as an ingredient in commercial produce protectors to prevent oxidation and in pectin products to aid in gel formation by increasing the acidity of the jam or jelly.
ClearJel is a corn starch that has been modified to give it special and unique characteristics when used in food products. It can be used for canned fruit pie fillings because it does not break down in the acid food mixtures and does not thicken enough during heat processing to interfere with the intended effect of the heat on killing bacteria during canning. Please click on CLEARJEL for further information and ordering sources.
See two-piece closure.
Also known as raw-pack method.
A condiment is a relish, sauce, or seasoning added to food to impart a particular flavor or to complement the dish. Often pungent in flavor and therefore added in fairly small quantities, popular condiments include ketchup, mustard or a sweet or savory sauce used to enhance or garnish entrees.
Conserve is a jam made of fruit stewed in sugar. It is sometimes known as a whole fruit jam.
Often the making of conserves can be trickier than making a standard jam, due to the fact that the balance between cooking, or sometimes steeping in the hot sugar mixture for just enough time to allow the flavor to be extracted from the fruit, and sugar to penetrate the fruit, and cooking too long that fruit will break down and liquefy. This process can also be achieved by spreading the dry sugar over raw fruit in layers, and leaving for several hours to steep into the fruit then just heating the resulting mixture only to bring to the setting point. If nuts are used, they are added during the last five minutes of cooking.
A term used to describe the best storage temperature for your preserved products. The ideal temperature is 50F to 60F (10C to 15C).
Any one of many substances that make pickles crisp and firm. Some older pickling recipes call for pickling lime, alum or grape leaves to crisp pickles, but these are no longer recommended. Using fresh, high-quality produce, the correct ingredient quantities and a current, tested fresh preserving recipe will produce firm pickles without the addition of crisping agents. The texture of some quick-process or fresh-pack pickles, however, can be enhanced with the use of a product called Pickle Crisp powder.
A small variety of cucumber used to make pickles. Pickling cucumbers are usually no more than 6 inches (15 cm) in length. Cucumbers deteriorate rapidly at room temperature and should be stored in the refrigerator and used within 24 hours of harvest.
Dehydration removes the moisture from the food so bacteria, yeast and mold cannot grow and spoil the food. Click on Food Preservation by Dehydrating for more information
dehydrator, horizontal air flow:
Horizontal air flow food dehydrators have their heating element and fan located on one side of the dehydrator. The drying trays that hold the food are arranged like drawers inside the food dehydrator.
A horizontal air flow dehydrator typically has a more even distribution of temperature across the drying trays resulting in more consistent food dehydration. Typically, horizontal air flow dehydrators are better at dehydrating different types of food at the same time as the horizontal air current mixes the food flavors less than vertical air flow dehydrators. Lastly, horizontal air flow dehydrators better prevent food juices from dripping down onto the heating element, thus making cleaning easier.
dehydrator, vertical air flow:
Vertical air flow food dehydrators have their heating element and fan located at the base of the dehydrator. The drying trays that hold the food are stacked on top of the base. Because the drying trays and food are stacked on top of the heating element, drying temperatures can vary between the top and bottom food drying trays.
Vertical air flow dehydrators may require a swapping of top and bottom drying trays, during the dehydration process, so that an even drying effect is achieved across all the food and drying trays.
A naturally occurring form of glucose. Dextrose is available as a white crystal or powder and is less sweet than granulated sugar. It is also called corn sugar or grape sugar. Dextrose is widely used as an ingredient in commercial food products. It is found in commercial pectin and produce protectors and functions as a bulking agent or filler.
A pungent, aromatic herb that can be used fresh or dried. Fresh dill has feathery green leaves. The most useful dried form is dill seeds. In fresh preserving, dill is primarily used for pickling. One head of fresh dill is equivalent to 1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10 mL) dill seeds or 2 tsp (10 mL) dried dillweed.
A species of bacteria that is normally present in the human intestines. A common strain, Escherichia coli 0157:H7, produces high levels of toxins and, when consumed, can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, chills, headaches and high fever. In some cases, it can be deadly.
A protein that acts as a catalyst in organisms. In food, enzymes start the process of decomposition, changing the flavor, color and texture of fruits and vegetables. Enzyme action can be neutralized by following recommended food preservation methods.
Also known as venting.
Removal of air from within and around food and from jars and canners. Blanching exhausts air from live food tissues. Exhausting or venting of pressure canners is necessary to prevent a risk of botulism in low-acid canned foods.
An odorless, colorless gas that occurs naturally in nature. It is produced by and released from fruits during the ripening process. In turn, the ethylene gas acts as a ripening agent and, when exposed, speeds up the ripening of under-ripe fruits.
Changes in food caused by intentional growth of bacteria, yeast, or mold. Native bacteria ferment natural sugars to lactic acid, a major flavoring and preservative in sauerkraut and in naturally fermented dills. Alcohol, vinegar, and some dairy products are also fermented foods. Click on Fermentation ~ Pickles, Sauerkraut and Vegetables for more information.
Vegetables, usually cucumbers, that are submerged in a salt-water brine to ferment or cure for up to 6 weeks. Dill, garlic and other herbs and spices are often added to the brine for flavoring. Fermented pickles are also called "brined pickles."
See crisping agent.
The degree to which screw bands are properly applied to fresh preserving jars. Use your fingers to screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight. Do not use a utensil or the full force of your hand to over-tighten bands.
A food mill (or passatutto, puree sieve, or moulinette) is a food preparation utensil for mashing and sieving soft foods. Typically, a food mill consists of three parts: a bottomless bowl, an interchangeable bottom with holes like those in a colander, and a crank. The crank carries a bent metal blade which mashes the food and pushes it through the bottom as the crank is turned. Interchangeable bottoms are available with different hole sizes. Three corrugated feet on the base (alternatively, two ears on the rim plus the handle) hold the mill in position on the rim of a cooking pot. Some food mills do not have interchangeable bottoms; those that do have bottoms each with holes of a different size.
Any illness caused by the consumption of harmful bacteria or molds and their toxins. The symptoms are usually gastrointestinal.
Click on Food Preservation by Freezing & Freezer Organization for more information.
Cucumbers that are preserved in a spicy vinegar solution without fermenting, although they are frequently brined for several hours or overnight. All fresh-pack pickles should stand for 4 to 6 weeks after processing to cure and develop optimal flavor.
A modern term used to describe the process of preserving fresh produce and freshly prepared foods in glass preserving jars with lids and bands in the presence of heat to destroy microorganisms that cause spoilage. This term is synonymous with home canning.
Fruit butter is a sweet spread made of fruit cooked to a paste, then lightly sweetened. It falls into the same category as jelly and jam. Apple butter is a common example.
The fruit is cooked at first, but not too much, as the fruit will burn and soon lose its sugary taste. However, if done right, the newly made fruit butter, true to its name, has the same texture as, but different flavor than, regular butter.
Fruit, usually whole, that is simmered in a spicy, sweet-sour syrup until it becomes tender or transparent.
A rubber ring that sits along the inside circumference of a pressure canner lid and comes in contact with the base when locked into place. The gasket provides a seal between the lid and the base so steam cannot escape.
Any substance that acts to form a gel-like structure by binding liquid.
The point at which a soft spread becomes a full gel. The gelling point is 220F (104C), or 8F (4C) above the boiling point of water.
Headspace is the space from the top of the jar to the food or liquid in the jar.
Be careful to fill jars to the correct headspace.
Headspace Guidelines -- As a general rule:
1. Leave 1-inch headspace for low-acid foods, vegetables and meats.
2. Leave 1/2-inch headspace for high-acid foods, fruits and tomatoes.
3. Leave 1/4-inch headspace for juicers, jams, jellies, pickles, and relishes.
•Too little headspace -- Some foods, especially starchy foods, swell more than others and require additional headspace. If too little headspace is allowed, as food boils inside the jar it may be forced under the lid, leaving residue on the sealing surface and possibly preventing the lid from sealing.
•Too much headspace -- The jar may not seal properly because the processing time is not long enough to drive the air out of the jar. And the food at the top of the jar may discolor.
heat penetration/heat processing:
A seal that secures a food product against the entry of microorganisms and maintains commercial sterility.
A food or food mixture that contains sufficient acid (naturally or added as an ingredient) to provide a pH value of 4.6 or lower. Fruits, fruit juices, tomatoes, jams, jellies and most soft spreads are naturally high-acid foods. Food mixtures such as pickles, relishes, salsas and chutneys contain added vinegar or citric acid, which lowers their pH, making them high-acid foods. High-acid foods can be safely processed in a boiling water canner.
Home canning or bottling, also known colloquially as putting up or processing, is the process of preserving foods, in particular, fruits, vegetables, and meats, by packing them into glass jars and then heating the jars to kill the organisms that would create spoilage. See also fresh preserving.
Filling jars with preheated, hot food prior to heat processing. Preheating food expels excess air, permits a tighter pack in the jar and reduces floating. This method is preferred over the raw-pack method, especially for firm foods.
A fresh preserving method in which hot foods are ladled into jars, two-piece closures are applied and the jars are turned upside down (inverted) for a period of time. Since no heat processing takes place and inverting the jars can adversely affect the sealing compound's ability to form a tight seal to the jar, this method is not recommended.
A soft spread made by combining crushed or chopped fruits with sugar and cooking to form a gel. Commercial pectin may or may not be added. Jams can be made with a single fruit or with a combination of fruits. They should be firm but spreadable. Jams do not hold the shape of the jar.
A glass container used in fresh preserving to preserve food and/or liquids. For safe fresh preserving, jars must be designed to seal with two-piece metal closures and to withstand the temperatures and re-use associated with fresh preserving. See also Mason jar.
Designed as a means of safely removing jars from a canner or pressure cooker, the jar lifter is a metallic set of tongs that include heat resistant coatings to protect the fingers. Generally, a jar lifter is constructed to allow an easy grip of either the lid on the jar or as a means of gripping the body of the glass jar.
A soft spread made by combining fruit juice or acidified vegetable juice with sugar and cooking to form a gel. Commercial pectin may or may not be added.
A mesh cloth bag used to strain juice from fruit pulp when making jellies. A strainer lined with many layers of cheesecloth may be substituted. Both the jelly bag and cheesecloth need to be dampened before use.
A stainless steel tripod stand fitted with a large ring. A jelly bag is placed over the ring. The stand has feet that hold it onto a bowl to allow juice to strain from the bag into the bowl.
See salt, kosher.
A metric unit of atmospheric pressure (force).
A metric unit of volume. One liter is similar in volume to 1 U.S. quart.
The acid produced during fermentation. The fermentation process converts the natural sugars in food to lactic acid, which, in turn, controls the growth of undesirable microorganisms by lowering the pH (increasing the acidity) of the food product and its environment. Lactic acid also adds a distinctive tart flavor and transforms low-acid foods into high-acid foods that can be safely processed in a boiling water canner.
Juice extracted from lemons that is added to food products to increase the acidity. Lemon juice can also be purchased commercially. In fresh preserving, lemon juice is added to certain foods to increase acidity and ensure proper processing. In some soft spread recipes, especially those prepared with added pectin, the acid in the lemon juice also aids with gelling. The acidity of freshly squeezed lemon juice is variable, depending on the lemon variety and harvest conditions, whereas bottled lemon juice is produced to consistent acidity standards. In recipes that specify bottled lemon juice, it is crucial for the success of the final product not to use freshly squeezed lemon juice. Where bottled is not specified, either freshly squeezed or bottled lemon juice may be used.
A flat metal disc with a flanged edge lined with sealing compound used in combination with a metal screw band for vacuum-sealing fresh preserving jars.
See pickling lime.
long-boil soft spread:
A sugar and fruit mixture boiled to concentrate fruit's natural pectin and evaporate moisture until a thick or gelled texture is achieved. Long boiling works best with fruits containing naturally high pectin levels. It yields smaller quantities per amount of fruit used and creates a caramelized fruit flavor. It may require a smaller measure of sugar as an ingredient, but the final cooked-down product isn't necessarily lower in sugar than other products.
A food that contains little natural acid and has a pH higher than 4.6. Vegetables, meat, poultry and seafood are all low-acid foods. Bacteria thrive in low-acid foods. The only recommended and practical means of destroying bacteria naturally found in low-acid foods is to heat the food to 240F (116C) (at sea level) for a specified time in a pressure canner.
Marmalade is a fruit preserve, made from any of the citrus fruits, sugar, and water. Some recipes include some amount of peel and zest, which imparts a sharp, bitter taste from the bitter citrus oil. Marmalade is cooked in small batches and brought rapidly to, or almost to, the gelling point. Marmalades are similar in structure to jam.
A glass jar that is suitable for heat processing food and/or liquids using a boiling water canner or a pressure canner. Mason jars are designed to seal with two-piece metal closures and to withstand the temperatures and reuse associated with fresh preserving. True Mason jars also conform to specific shapes and capacities compatible with established safe heat processing methods and times. The jars are available in regular mouth (70 mm) and wide mouth (86 mm) styles and in capacities ranging from 4 ounces (125 mL) to 1 quart (1 L). Most Mason jars have rounded shoulders, but some have straight walls. Straight-walled Mason jars can be used for freezing as well as fresh preserving. See also straight walls.
measures or measuring cups:
Standard kitchen utensils used to accurately measure liquid or dry ingredients. Liquid measures are commonly glass or plastic and have a handle and a pour spout. Dry measures can be either stainless steel or plastic. Both types are available in imperial (cups) and metric (mL) sizes.
See screw band.
A living plant or animal of microscopic size, such as molds, yeasts or bacteria, that can cause spoilage in preserved or frozen foods.
A metric unit of volume, 1/1000th of a liter. Measures for dry ingredients are available in 1, 2, 5 and 25 mL spoons and 50, 125 and 250 mL dry measures. Metric liquid measures, usually glass or plastic, show levels for quantities divisible by 10.
Microscopic fungi that grow as silken threads and appear as fuzz on food. Molds thrive on acids and can produce mycotoxins. Mold is easily destroyed at processing temperatures between 140F and 190F (60C and 88C).
Toxins (poisons) produced by some species of molds that grow on high-acid/high-sugar foods. Discard any moldy food to avoid exposing your family to these mycotoxins.
A fresh preserving method in which hot foods are ladled into jars and two-piece closures are applied. Since no heat processing takes place, this method is not recommended by US testing agencies.
A fresh preserving method in which jars are placed in the oven and heated. This method has not been recommended by US testing agencies or jar manufacturers since the 1940's.
Oven dehydration involves drying food at temperatures between 130 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit (54 to 65 degrees Celsius) in your home appliance.
With oven dehydration, you simply place food items on the wire racks in your oven, set the heat and leave the oven door slightly ajar to let moisture out.
Oven dehydration's drawbacks include: a) inefficient energy use given the oven's size and cost, b) the danger inherent in leaving the oven door open while it is in use, c) the lack of air movement which is a component of food dehydration and moisture removal and d) many older ovens cannot set temperatures below 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 degrees Celsius).
A period of time from 8 to 12 hours.
The reaction that takes place when cut fruits and vegetables are exposed to the oxygen in the air. Oxidation causes the cut surface of the produce to brown and can also lead to texture changes.
A pure, refined wax used in an older fresh preserving method. The wax was melted and poured over soft spreads in the jar. It is not a reliable method of preventing contamination by microorganisms, and in many instances mold growth will occur. Since no heat processing takes place, paraffin wax has not been recommended as a safe closure for soft spreads for many years.
Pectin is what makes jams and jellies set up into jams and jellies. It occurs naturally in many fruits but because the concentrations vary most canners add store bought dry powdered or liquid pectin to make sure they get a good set. If pectin is unavailable in your area, make your own: Homemade Apple Pectin Stock (click on the link)
A type of pectin that requires a high sugar content and the presence of acid to produce a gel when making jams and jellies. Powdered and liquid commercial pectin products are usually high-methoxyl.
Low-methoxyl citrus pectin is activated by calcium. Since it does not require sugar to jell, jams and jellies can be made with less, little, or no sugar. Some other possible sweeteners are honey, fructose, sucanat, concentrated fruit sweetener, maple syrup, agave, frozen juice concentrate, stevia, xylitol, Splenda and other artificial sweeteners. Pomona's Universal Pectin is one such brand.
pH (potential of hydrogen):
A measuring system in chemistry for determining the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. Values range from 0 to 14. A food is neutral when its pH is 7.0: lower values are increasingly more acidic; higher values are increasingly more alkaline. In preserving, foods are separated into high-acid and low-acid. A boiling water canner is used for processing high-acid foods; a pressure canner must be used for processing low-acid foods.
A pH meter is an electronic instrument used to measure the pH (acidity or alkalinity) of a liquid (though special probes are sometimes used to measure the pH of semi-solid substances). A typical pH meter consists of a special measuring probe (a glass electrode) connected to an electronic meter that measures and displays the pH reading.
Pickle Crisp powder:
A crisping agent that uses calcium chloride, a naturally occurring salt found in some mineral deposits, to enhance the texture of pickles. Pickle Crisp powder may be added to jars of quick-process or fresh-pack pickles before processing. Look for it where fresh preserving supplies are sold.
Pickling, also known as brining or corning, is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine (a solution of salt in water) to produce lactic acid, or marinating and storing it in an acid solution, usually vinegar (acetic acid). The resulting food is called a pickle. This procedure gives the food a salty or sour taste. In South Asia edible oils are used as the pickling medium instead of vinegar.
Also, the distinguishing feature is a pH less than 4.6, which is sufficient to kill most bacteria. Pickling can preserve perishable foods for months. Antimicrobial herbs and spices, such as mustard seed, garlic, cinnamon or cloves, are often added. If the food contains sufficient moisture, a pickling brine may be produced simply by adding dry salt. Natural fermentation at room temperature, by lactic acid bacteria, produces the required acidity. Other pickles are made by placing vegetables in vinegar. The acidity or salinity of the solution, the temperature of fermentation, and the exclusion of oxygen determine which microorganisms dominate, and determine the flavor of the end product.
pickling lime (calcium hydroxide):
Calcium hydroxide, traditionally called slaked lime, hydrated lime, slack lime, or pickling lime, is a chemical compound with the chemical formula Ca(OH)2. It is a colorless crystal or white powder, and is obtained when calcium oxide (called lime or quicklime) is mixed, or "slaked" with water. It is used in some older pickling recipes to add crispness to pickles. Due to its caustic nature, pickling lime is no longer recommended for making homemade pickles. Failure to remove lime adequately may increase the risk of botulism as it changes the pH of the pickling liquid. Lime can also cause gastrointestinal problems if too much is ingested.
pickling or preserving salt:
See salt, pickling or preserving.
Fruit preserves are fruits, or vegetables, that have been prepared and canned for long term storage. The preparation of fruit preserves traditionally involves the use of pectin as a gelling agent, although sugar or honey may be used as well. The ingredients used and how they are prepared will determine the type of preserves; jams, jellies and marmalades are all examples of different styles of fruit preserves that vary based upon the ingredients used. A true preserve does not hold its shape when spooned from the jar.
To prepare foods to prevent spoilage or deterioration for long periods of time. Some methods of preservation are fresh preserving (home canning), freezing, dehydration, pickling, salting, smoking and refrigeration. The method used determines the length of time the food will be preserved.
Today's pressure canner may have a dial gauge for indicating the pressure or a weighted gauge, for indicating and regulating the pressure. Weighted gauges are usually designed to "jiggle" several times a minute or to keep rocking gently when they are maintaining the correct pressure. Read your manufacturer's directions to know how a particular weighted gauge should rock or jiggle. Dial gauge canners will usually have a counterweight or pressure regulator for sealing off the open vent port to pressurize the canner. This weight should not be confused with a weighted gauge and will not jiggle or rock as described for a weighted gauge canner. Pressure readings on a dial-gauge-only canner are only registered on the dial and only the dial should be used as an indication of the pressure in the canner. One manufacturer now makes a dial-gauge system where either the dial or the weighted gauge may be used.
Pressure canners come deep enough for one layer of quart or smaller size jars, or deep enough for two layers of pint or smaller size jars. The USDA recommends that a canner be large enough to hold at least 4 quart jars to be considered a pressure canner for its published processes.
Pressure canners are used to process low-acid foods, because steam at 10 lbs (68 kPa) of pressure (at sea level) will reach 240F (116C), the temperature needed to destroy harmful bacteria that thrive in low-acid foods.
pressure canner, weighted-gauge:
A type of pressure canner that is fitted with either a three- or a one-piece weight unit, both with 5-, 10- and 15-lb (35, 69 and 103 kPa) pressure adjustments. (Only 10- and 15-lb/69 and 103 kPa pressure weights are used in fresh preserving. The 5-lb/35 kPa weight is used for cooking, but not preserving.) Steam, exhausted throughout the processing period, causes the weight(s) to rock, indicating that the pressure level has been achieved or is being maintained.
pressure canning/preserving method:
The fresh preserving method used to heat-processs low-acid foods. Low-acid foods must be processed in a pressure canner in order to destroy potentially harmful bacteria, their spores and the toxins they produce. In practical terms, this can be done at 240F (116C). Because the steam inside the canner is pressurized, its temperature can exceed the boiling point of water (212F/100C). In a weighted-gauge canner at sea level, the temperature will reach 240F (116C) at 10 lbs (68 kPa) of pressure.
Pre-treating fruits before dehydration involves dipping the fruit in a acidic solution dip (citrus fruit juice or ascorbic acid) or a sodium sulfite dip. Pre-treating helps keep dried fruits from darkening during drying and storage and also helps speed the dehydration of fruits with skins, such as grapes and cherries. Pre-treating fruits also helps retain and adds vitamin C to and within the fruit.
Blanching or treating produce with an antioxidant to prevent browning, slow enzyme action or to destroy bacteria.
processing or heat processing:
Heating filled jars of food to a specified temperature for a specified time to inactivate enzymes and destroy harmful molds, yeasts and bacteria. Heat processing is essential for the food safety of all home-preserved foods. Processing destroys microorganisms that are naturally present in food and/or enter the jar upon filling. It also allows gases or air to be vented from the jar to create an airtight vacuum seal as the product cools, thus preventing re-contamination of the food.
The time in which filled jars are heated in a boiling water canner or a pressure canner. The processing time must be sufficient to heat the coldest spot in the jar. The processing time is specified for every current, tested fresh preserving recipe and depends on several factors, such as acidity, altitude, type of food product and size of jar.
A commercially available antioxidant that prevents cut fresh produce from browning when exposed to the oxygen in the air, a reaction known as oxidation. Fruit Fresh and Fresh Bright are a few of the brands available at the market.
Filling jars with raw, unheated food prior to heat processing.
The process of decreasing the temperature for cold storage of produce. Refrigeration slows the growth of microorganisms and prolongs deterioration for a short period of time.
A pickled product prepared using chopped fruits and/or vegetables cooked in a seasoned vinegar solution. If a sweet relish is desired, sugar is added. Hot peppers or other spices may also be added for flavor.
Repeating the heat processing of filled, capped jars when a lid does not seal within 24 hours. The original lid must be removed and the food and/or liquid reheated as recommended by the recipe. The food and/or liquid must be packed into clean, hot jars and covered with a new, clean lid with the screw band adjusted. The filled jars must then be reprocessed using the preserving method and full length of processing time recommended by the recipe.
A structure built underground or partially underground and used to preserve and store vegetables, fruits, and nuts or other foods without canning or dehydrating. Root cellars keep food supplies fresh at a low temperature and steady humidity to keep from freezing during the winter and cool during the summer months to prevent spoilage. Typically, a variety of vegetables are placed in the root cellar in the autumn, after harvesting. A secondary use for the root cellar is as a temperature-controlled place in which to store home-brewed alcoholic beverages and to ferment kraut and pickles.
Nitrates and nitrites (in the form of saltpeter, which is potassium nitrate) have been used to preserve and cure meat for centuries. Sodium nitrite, which is available in blends with names like curing salt, Instacure #1, or “pink salt.” (It is dyed pink to prevent accidental confusion with regular salt) offers an additional layer of protection. A small amount of nitrite very effectively inhibits microbes, including botulism bacteria. It also reacts with the meat to produce the characteristic bright pink color of, for example, corned beef. In addition, nitrite adds its own unique flavor. Many local grocery stores stock Morton® Tender Quick®, Instacure #1, or "pink" curing salt near the canning supplies. Use this premix as the salt in the recipe and it will supply the needed amount of nitrite simply and safely.
A coarse-grained, textured salt that is free of additives. Kosher salt may be used when making pickles. Because of the variance in density and form, contact kosher salt packers for information regarding equivalencies.
salt, pickling or preserving:
A fine-grained salt used in pickling and fresh preserving. It is free of anti-caking agents, which can cause the pickling liquid to turn cloudy, and iodine, which can darken the pickles.
A free-flowing, fine-grained salt. Table salt is the most common salt and is used as a table seasoning. It contains additives that may yield unfavorable results when pickling. Iodized table salt (sodium iodide) is not recommended for pickling because it contains an anti-caking ingredient that can make brines cloudy, as well as iodine, which may darken the pickles. Non-iodized table salt can be used for pickling. The pickling liquid may be cloudy, but the pickles will not be dark.
A type of salt produced by the evaporation of sea water. It comes in fine- and coarse-grained textures and is usually more costly than other types of salt. Sea salt should not be used for pickling because it may contain minerals that could darken the pickles.
Potassium nitrate (saltpeter) has been a common ingredient of salted meat since the Middle Ages, but its use has been mostly discontinued due to inconsistent results compared to more modern nitrate and nitrite compounds. Even so, saltpeter is still used in some food applications, such as charcuterie and the brine used to make corned beef. Sodium nitrate (and nitrite) have mostly supplanted potassium nitrate's culinary usage, as they are more reliable in preventing bacterial infection than saltpeter. All three give cured salami and corned beef their characteristic pink hue. Caution must be exercised in adding to meat, since too much can be toxic to humans. In using saltpeter, never use more than called for in the recipe. A little is enough. SEE: curing salt
An 8- to 10-quart (8 to 10 L) heavy pot essential for cooking soft spreads. The pot must have a broad, flat bottom for good heat distribution and deep sides to prevent food from boiling over.
A threaded metal band used in combination with a flat metal lid to create vacuum seals for fresh preserved food. The band holds the lid in place during processing.
The red, shiny material, also called plastisol, found in the exterior channel on the underside of the flat metal lid. The sealing compound comes in contact with the lip of the jar and forms a seal when the jar cools after processing.
Shelf life is the period of time that food or other perishable items are given before they are considered unsuitable for consumption or use. Shelf life, as it pertains to dehydrated food, is the recommended time that products can be stored and retain their taste, nutrition, freshness and intended use (to be eaten and enjoyed!).
See boil gently or simmer.
A metal kitchen utensil that has a long handle attached to a wide, flat surface with perforated holes. Skimmers are used to skim foam from soft spreads after cooking or to drain hot liquid from hot vegetables.
A preservation method achieved by smoking food, usually meat or fish, at a certain temperature to partially or fully cook it and to impart a smoky flavor. Even if meat or fish is smoke-cured prior to fresh preserving, it must go through heat processing in a pressure canner to become shelf-stable.
Sodium sulfite is a water soluble compound of sodium and is used as a preservative to prevent dried fruit from discoloring or browning.
Solar dehydration is a variation of sun dehydration in which the sun�s rays are collected inside a specially designed unit with adequate vents for the removal of moist air.
Due to the enclosed unit, the temperature inside a solar dehydration unit is usually 20 to 30 degrees warmer than in open sunlight which results in a shorter drying time. Solar dehydration has advantages over sun dehydration, including more focused, higher temperatures, and thus shorter drying times, and protection from insects and other wind borne matter. However, inclement weather, limited ideal hot and dry weather climates and a lack of control over the weather are the main problems with both sun dehydration and solar dehydration
A small muslin bag used to hold whole herbs and spices during cooking. The bag allows the flavor of the herbs and spices to seep into the food or liquid, and makes removing the spices easy when cooking is complete. Spice bags come in various sizes. If a spice bag is not available, tie herbs and spices in a square of cheesecloth.
The evidence that a food product has not been completely rid of microorganisms. If microorganisms are present, the nutrients in the food product will allow them to grow and multiply. Spoilage occurs when food products have not been processed correctly. Signs of spoilage include broken seals, mold, gassiness, cloudiness, spurting liquid, seepage, yeast growth, fermentation, slime and disagreeable odors. Discard all spoiled food.
steam pressure canner:
See pressure canner.
steam pressure canning/preserving method:
See pressure canning method.
The process of killing all living microorganisms. In fresh preserving, this is achieved by heating food in capped jars to a high enough temperature for a length of time sufficient to destroy the most heat-resistant microorganism known to be associated with that food.
A cool, dry, dark place where fresh preserved goods can be kept until ready to be consumed.
Some glass preserving jars possess straight sides that taper downward and allow for expansion during the freezing process. Jars with straight walls can be used when freezing.
As the name implies, sun drying is taking advantage of the sun's free, renewable energy source for food dehydration. Sun dehydration requires a location that has several consecutive hot days of 90 to 95 degree Fahrenheit weather (32 to 35 degrees Celsius) and low humidity.
Unfortunately, only a few areas in the United States, primarily the southwest, consistently have this type of climate. As with air drying, humidity, insects, leaves, dirt and other particulate matter are enemies of sun drying and could create mold and food spoilage.
The separation of liquid from a gel. In fresh preserving, this can happen to soft spreads, usually during storage. It is not a safety concern.
syrup or canning/preserving syrup:
A mixture of water (or juice) and sugar used to add liquid to canned food, usually fruit.
thermal shock breakage:
Stress exerted on preserving jars when glass is exposed to sudden temperature differentials, such as when using a canner without a rack. This stress weakens the glass and can lead to glass breakage, commonly evidenced by the bottom breaking out.
A thermostat is a device used to regulate the temperature of a heating or cooling system so that the system's temperature is maintained near a desired chosen temperature. The thermostat does this by switching heating or cooling systems on or off as needed to maintain the correct temperature.
A two-piece metal closure for vacuum-sealing fresh preserving jars. The set consists of a metal screw band and a flat metal lid with a flanged edge lined with sealing compound.
total drying area:
The total drying area of a food dehydrator is measured in square feet and is equal to: a) the number of drying trays multiplied by b) the size of the drying trays. For example, if a dehydrator had a total of four 12 inch by 12 inch drying trays (1 square foot each), the total drying area would be four square feet.
The state of negative pressure in properly heat-processed jars of home-canned foods. When a jar is closed at room temperature, the atmospheric pressure is the same inside and outside the jar. When the jar is heated, the air and food inside expand, forcing air out and decreasing the internal pressure. As the jar cools and the contents shrink, a partial vacuum forms. The sealing compound found on the underside of fresh preserving lids prevents air from re-entering.
Vacuum sealing is a fast and efficient way to prolong the life and freshness of food. Preservation relies on taking away one or more of the elements that cause food to deteriorate. Vacuum sealing takes away the oxygen that microbes need in order to break down food.
The vacuum sealer is basically a small appliance that sucks the air out of a bag or a container and then seals it (for bags a heated strip actually melts the plastic sides together). Many attachments can be purchased with a vac sealer including canisters, jar sealers, lids, bottle stoppers and, of course, bags.
The great thing about vacuum sealing is that it can be used in conjunction with other forms of preservation including drying and freezing.
1.) Forcing air to escape from a closed jar by applying heat. As a food or liquid is heated, it expands upward and forces air from the jar through pressure buildup in the headspace.
2.) Permitting air to escape from a pressure canner, also called exhausting.
vinegar, distilled white:
The standard form of vinegar. It is a clear, colorless acidic liquid derived from grain alcohol that possesses a sharp, pungent flavor. Unlike apple cider vinegar or malt vinegar, distilled white vinegar does not compete with the distinctive flavors of herbs and spices in brine. Because it is clear, it does not change the color of white or light-colored fruits and vegetables. In fresh preserving, use 5% acidity (50 grain).
A type of vinegar derived from apples that is light golden in color and has a tart fruit flavor. Cider vinegar has a milder flavor than distilled white vinegar. Because it has color, it may darken white or light-colored fruits and vegetables. In fresh preserving, use 5% acidity (50 grain).
Malt vinegar is made by malting barley, causing the starch in the grain to turn to maltose. Then an ale is brewed from the maltose and allowed to turn into vinegar, which is then aged. It typically is light brown in color.
vinegar, red or white wine:
Wine vinegar is made from red or white wine and is the most commonly used vinegar in Mediterranean countries and Central Europe. As with wine, there is a considerable range in quality. Better quality wine vinegars are matured in wood for up to two years and exhibit a complex, mellow flavor. Wine vinegar tends to have a lower acidity than that of white or cider vinegars. There are more expensive wine vinegars that are made from individual varieties of wine, such as Champagne, Sherry, or pinot grigio.
water bath canning:
This the method used for high acid/high sugar foods (pickles/jams). You make the recipe as directed and put the product into hot sterile jars. Place lids and screw on bands fingertip-tight. You then submerge them in a large pot with enough boiling water to cover by at least an inch. Bring back to a boil and process for time specified in recipe. This is to sterilize the jars and set the sealing compound in the lids before you put them into storage.
Water content is the percentage of a food's weight
Add this to My Favorite Topics
Alert us of inappropriate posts
Free Weekly Newsletter