I have been water-bath canning for the last 5 years. Last year my mom (also an avid canner) told me that she used her oven instead of the water-bath to seal her jars, and it worked perfectly. I tried it, and it worked great for me too! I just set my oven to 220 degrees (water boils at 212 degrees), and put the jars in for the time shown in the recipes, and added 5 minutes just to be on the safe side.
I have read in literature that one should not use the oven to seal jars, but I can't figure out the reasoning behind it. It was so nice not having a hot, steamy kitchen and a dangerous large pot of boiling water near my kids.
I would appreciate any insight you can give!
"I am too lazy to clean the oven if a jar should break."
LOL I understand that - PLUS I don't have time to add extra cleaning !! :)
"there are NO short cuts. You cannot see botulism. "
As far as self life - Your reasoning - Now that makes sense! :) I also don't have freezer space for stuff like that .
My comment was for the seemingly - double processing of the foods! BUT I understand the WHY now! :) And MICE can't eat through the jars like they can my food savor bags!
And that brings me to this:
I STILL have dried plums from 98! In zip lock bags I kept in jars! STILL tasty.
My point is this - Shelf life! What is it and who is rating it! Shelf life of some overly processed, chemically raised food- it wasn't quality to begin with! :) So I can see putting a life expectancy to that. 'They' say the food 'loses' the nutrients. Where do they go? I mean the food has been dried or processed to STOP the loss of quality, and the further deteriorating/ripening so ...........that in itself has already 'compromised' that 'quality'.
Saying all that to say this - shelf life? I don't buy it! Meaning my 14 year old dried plums, ( we had quite the bumper crop back then and I don't eat that many a year.) are still more nutritious than any of these MRE's that have a shelf life of how many decades? LOL
Oh and I agree with you on the price AND QUALITY of home grown/put-up foods over ANY store bought. No comparison!
I guess the process being called oven canning was throwing me off - a lot! I was concerned for the people canning raw foods in their ovens- Not sealing dried foods- like I did with a bunch of peanuts I wanted to store without going rancid. And the heating of the oven was not to bring the foods up to temp to stop the food spoiling organisms in their tracks. But just to vacuum seal them-
Oven Vacuum Seal on!! :) Sorry for my misunderstanding!
Bootsie Battle said:
My reason for oven canning was because the suggested shelf life of my dried tomatoes was 3 to 4 months. I had 5 quarts of tomatoes. I wanted to have them last all winter. I could have frozen them but I did not have the space in my freezer when I needed to make a decision. This method was presented to me and the suggested shelf live is over 5 years. Countryside article, which I have looked up, says 7 to 10 years. I would never suggest this to be a replacement for the boiling water bath. I am too lazy to clean the oven if a jar should break. I have always used the suggested methods. I raise all of the things I can at this time and I put to much work into getting the crop prepared to take a shortcut and may loose all of my hard work. There are people taking chances with canning because they want a short cut and there are NO short cuts. You cannot see botulism.
I would think you would bring the jars to a boil before filling them and if you follow the instructions they stay in the water until you fill them. Return to the jars to the canner and bring to a boil. I question why this would be a problem for anyone. As you already have the canner with the water if you are canning correctly. I do not know if they used the dish washer to sterilize the jars. The waste of energy would be heating the oven at this time.
You may feel I was wasting energy but I am still enjoying my tomatoes . I am Not paying the price for a jar of sun dried tomatoes in olive oil at the grocery store which is much more than what it cost me to process my tomatoes. For me, it was a problem solved and I do not have a vacuum sealer.
Thank you for your comments!