Canning carrots is one of the most effective methods to preserve carrots for a quick meal. The canning process is something that has been considered for many years, plus it is one of the easiest ways to keep your fruits and vegetables fresh. Nowadays you may think that you need to have a pressure cooker or canner for canning carrots but that is not entirely true. Using a pressure cooker or pressure canner works perfectly for canning all sorts of vegetables but there are other ways to can your vegetables which are the hot bath method or the direct flame sterilisation.
Hot Water Bath Method
One effective way of canning carrots as well as other vegetables without a pressure cooker is through the water bath method. The hot water bath method can be ideal for fruits, tomatoes, pickles as well as jams, jellies, and other foods as well. With the hot water bath method, jars of food are heated by being completely immersed with boiling water at a very high temperatures of 212 °F. Food with high-acid, a pH of 4.6 or less have enough acid that the botulinum spores cannot grow and produce toxins. Such foods include fruits and properly pickled vegetables. The food can be safely canned in hot temperatures in a boiling water bath. Tomatoes and figs that have a pH close to 4.6 will need lemon juice to reduce their pH level.
The Tools Required To Can Corn
- Jars (pint/quart)
- Lids/seals and rings
- A Large pot
- A large salad bowl or small bowls for holding corn
- Sharp knife
- Jar lifting tongs
- A funnel (optional)
- Magnetic lid lifter
- Colander for draining
- Clean towels and dishcloth
Sterilize The Tools
Before you can do anything make sure that your tools are clean. The first task would be to sterilize your tools. Your jars and lids must be properly sterilized and free of chips and cracks. You can reuse jars and canning rings but metal canning lids must be brand new. This is because new metal rings ensure that your canned carrots seal properly. The other option would be to use reusable glass canning lids. Be careful not to reuse metal lids, because they will not seal well.
Prepare Your Carrots
The following step will be to gather your carrots. Make sure that you make use of carrots that are young and small and not larger than two and a half inches in diameter. The larger, or older carrots are not good for canning in a water bath because they will not be tender after being processed. Make sure that you trim the roots and the top of your carrots. Scrub your carrots clean and separate them out by size if you need to. Some people may peel them and cut them into smaller pieces but that is entirely up to you.
Prepare The Brine
Next, prepare your brine. In a saucepan or pot add some vinegar, salt, sugar, and water and other ingredients of your choice. You can also use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar for pickling your carrots, but apple cider vinegar will do a much better job in adding flavour to your carrots. Place the pot or saucepan on a stovetop and bring the mixture up to a boil. Add the chopped carrots and onions, and let them cook at a simmer for about five minutes or so. Once your carrots are ready remove the saucepan and set it aside.
Fill Your Jars
When the brine and carrots are ready you can fill the jars. Make use of a slotted spoon, to pack your sanitized jars with your carrots and brine. Ensure that you leave half an inch of headspace when you fill your jars. Don not forget to pour some hot brine over the carrots and make sure that you leave half an inch space of headspace at the top of the jar. Afterwards remove any air bubbles then seal your jars. You can use a chopstick, and run it slowly up and down inside of the jar to remove any air bubbles inside the jars. Wipe the outside of the jars with a clean, damp cloth. When you are done and the jars are clean you can put the lid and screw on the canning ring.
Immerse The Jars In A Hot Water Bath
The last step will be to fill a large pot with water and bring it to a simmer. When the water is ready, put your jars on a wire rack with handles and slowly lower them into the hot water. Ensure that your jars are fully covered with an inch of water or more over the lids. Cover the pot, and slowly bring the water up to a boil. Make sure that the jars do not jostle or rattle. Let the jars sit in the boiling water for about 30 minutes or so. The processing time may be longer based on your elevation above sea level because of the change in atmospheric pressure.
Cool And Store
Once all the steps are complete you can cool and store your canned carrots. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for about five minutes or so. As your pot cools, cover your table or countertop with a clean towel or cooling racks. Remove the jars one at a time with a jar lifter and place them on the covered counter or table. Let the jars cool for at least 12-24 hours. When the carrots have cooled, remove the canning rings and check to see if the lids have sealed. Your canned carrots should be ready to store.
Direct Flame Sterilization Method
Another effective method to can carrots without a pressure cooker is the direct flame sterilization. The method of direct flame sterilization canning is similar to the hot water bath method. The only difference is that with the sterilization process. You need to sterilize your jars while putting them under the direct flame when sterilising. The most important thing is to keep rotating the jars to provide them with the same temperature. After sterilization, the process of preparing carrots and immersing in a hot water bath remains the same.