What Is It and Is It Safe?
Gir is my favorite time of year for many reasons – gorgeous changing leaves, a crisp feel of the air, and most of all, a bountiful harvest from my garden.
Although walking among plants and plundering ripe fruits and vegetables is probably my least favorite thing, my second favorite fall activity is canning. There is nothing like the feeling of satisfaction that comes to keep you away from previous meals throughout the winter season!
However, there is no denying the fact that it is time-consuming. I am always looking for a time-saving hack that will make it easy for me to complete all my canning. Unfortunately, not all of the hacks you read online (or even hear about your great aunts and uncles) are always the safest.
Inverse canning is a canning technique that has gained a lot of ups and downs, especially over the years. Is it safe – and is it effective? Here you need to know.
What is reverse canning?
Inversion canning is a method of canning in which hot canning material (usually jam or jelly) is poured into the jar, securing the lid, and then turning the cans upside down on a towel for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes have passed, you flip the jars upside down and let them cool and (ideally) seal.
It is sometimes referred to as flipping canning or “flipping jelly” (as it is usually done with jam, jelly, and preserves). You will also hear it as open kettle canning. It is not exclusive to jams and jellies, however, and has sometimes been made with tomatoes.
It is an old-fashioned method of canning that is preferred by old-school homesteaders and home canters. In fact, you may have heard your parents or grandparents doing this. This is one of those canning techniques, such as low-acid vegetables in a water bath canner, as you’ll hear with claims such as, “My great-grandmother has been doing this for years and He Never been sick ”
Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the safest canning technique, and it poses several serious risks.
What are the problems associated with inverse canning?
1. Makes a weaker, less durable seal
Modern canning lids do not simply mean sealing in this way. They are meant to be sealed in a conventional water bath or pressure compartment. Yes, you can try to heat the jar and heat the food sufficiently so that it is extremely hot – but unfortunately, many of today’s jars are meant to vent under extreme heat.
Even if you are somehow (miraculously) able to heat the jar, you may have another problem on your hands when the lid is closed, to kill all kinds of bacteria.
2. Canned product was not fully processed
If you have completed any amount of canning in your time, you are probably aware of the fact that the cooking process is not enough to safely preserve your food. You need to place it in the canister to process for a set amount of time (carefully researched by USDA and other authorities).
Inverse canning does not involve too much processing. You are simply cooking briefly in a simple saucepan, packing in a hot jar, and then waiting for it to seal. There are a lot of problems with this, namely the fact that the temperatures obtained in the regular cooking process are not enough to destroy all the bacteria and other organisms that can cause food poisoning in the food.
Even if you get your food to a rolling boil, there is a risk of pathogens entering the food. In addition, additional bacteria and microorganisms can make their way inside the food when you transfer it from the cooking pot to the jar. It can also easily cause spoilage.
3. Does not call for enough headset
When you flip a jar, where does all the food go? Towards the lid.
Another issue associated with inverted canning technology is that food will stick inside the lid and affect how much headspace is available. This can give rise to air pockets inside the jar and prevent the jar from sealing.
Don’t think that you can get those jars just by checking the seal before putting them in storage. Seals in storage may fail much later.
4. Can seal seal in hot jar
There is one more thing to mention with this warning. Even when you can take a water bath or pressurize your food, flipping the jar upwards makes it statistically higher that is likely to cause the seal to fail. This can fail immediately or later when your jar is in storage.
The ball actually recommends moving, storing, or holding the jar in any way during the cooling process, as this can cause seal failure. When you are taking them out of the canter, some ponies are also careful not to peel the jar.
5. Jar Sterilization
Another potential issue associated with inverted canning has to do with a move that many people either knowingly or unknowingly make out of their canning routine – sterilizing their jars.
Yes, you can probably get away with a haphazard jar here or there if you are canning in a pressure canner or water bath canner (although this is still not the smartest technique). When you can do the traditional way, you will boil the jar for so long that it will, to some extent, be self-sterile.
However, when you are canning with the inverse canning method, the boiling period never occurs. Again, food spoilage becomes a major risk here – and there is absolutely zero room for error.
What do inverted canning supporters have to say?
Like everything, though, ULTRA Canning has its staunch supporters. This is despite the fact that canning authorities such as community extension offices have been discouraging this technology for decades.
For example, many people believe that inverted canning is jam, jelly, and safe to make. They argue that these high-acid foods are not prone to spoilage – especially since high temperatures during cooking reduce the chance of mold. So, they say, sugars in the mixture.
Unfortunately, sugar makes these materials more likely to mold – no less. In addition, mold lowers the pH of food. Sure, you can eliminate mildew – but a low pH botulism will allow the spore to enter and that’s where the real risk lies.
Other ways to avoid canning
There are other controversial canning methods that are best avoided, too.
1. Steam Canning
Steam canning is another method of canning that is far from reliable. This is not the same as pressure canning (a technique that also uses steam).
In steam canning, you will only use a steamer with 1-inch or 1-inch water. You will add your bins, close the lid, and steam them.
This differs from pressure canning in that steam does not lead to pressure that is strong enough to vacuum seal the can. The temperature is not high enough to sterilize the jar, either.
2. Paraffin Wax Canning
Paraffin wax canning, or paraffin wax sealing, is a method of canning jam, jelly, and preserves that you need to put thin layers of paper of paraffin wax on top of your food (only about half an inch thick).
Although it seems that wax will keep bacteria out, the unfortunate reality is that wax seals are not able to remove air bubbles in the jar. They often pull away from the edge of the jar over time, too, meaning bacteria can creep that way.
3. Aspirin Protection
This is another strange method of canning which, of course, has its fair share of supporters.
This includes taking aspirin or low-acid food pills and then bathing them with water. This is rather than putting pressure on them, as you normally do with low acid foods.
I am not sure how this food preservation technique came into vogue, but it is not safe.
Aspirin is not effective in increasing the acidity of foods and I cannot see how it would give them a great taste.
4. Oven Canning
Oven canning is a canning technique that has come back in popularity of late, with the rise of Pinterest and other DIY-websites. There are several issues with the concept of oven canning.
For starters, the jars you put in your jar are not exposed to that much dry heat – heat, yes, but not the heat that is dislodged inside your oven. You are more likely to have broken jars – and wasted food, too.
The other issue with the dry heat of an oven is that the middle may not be hot enough to kill bacteria. Then, you run the risk of food poisoning.
Takeaway? There are really only two methods of canning that are safe for home canters – water bath canning and pressure canning. You don’t need any fancy equipment for a water bath – in fact, just a big stockpot will do.
Not sure which foods can be safely canned – or by what methods? Take time to do some research and always consult the authorities. The Ball Blue Book Guide is a great resource to preserve, as is the National Home Food Conservation Center.
Do not risk making yourself and your family sick with inverted canning. It’s just not worth it!
Idea Source: morningchores.com