I have the absolute awfullest times trying to find water bath canning times for canning things.  Every time I try to find a time chart, all I get is some fight about how it’s going to kill me.  I will say this.  I have gotten food poisoning from Ruby Tuesdays.  It almost killed me, and several thousand dollars later, the local hospital tried to finish the job.  I finally got better with a $45 visit to a walk in clinic the next town over.  I have never once gotten even an upset tummy from anything I have grown here.  Raw eggs never refrigerated, raw milk, water bath canned, home fermented items, veggies stored in a “root cellar” for over 2 years, everything included.

I will also say that this site from the university of Florida states that botulism TOXIN is indeed destroyed at 176F for 10 minutes.  Therefore, logic dictates to boil your food for 10 minutes to prevent botulism poisoning.  This site, and most others on the topic, command (and I mean command) you to boil all home canned products, even pressure canned, for 10 minutes before using.  In fact, my aunt said she was always taught to do the same with store bought, and given the high incidence of poisoning from the stores nowadays, that sounds good to me.

Now, this site is from the CDC, and indicates that “Heating to an internal temperature of 85°C [185F] for at least 5 minutes will decontaminate affected food or drink.”

(Botulism can apparently occur even with pressure cookers.  You have to boil your food after using a pressure cooker anyway.  Boiling destroys the toxin.  The spores are harmless….logic dictates….)

So, I found a water bath time table in a cookbook from 1940.  This book has been a literal God-send and I wish I could get a newer copy as this one is falling apart.  It was my grandmother’s.  It says the following:
(For all those like me who have searched in vain, I’m posting it for you.)

1-Obviously, if it looks or smells funny, throw it out without tasting.
2-Boil all canned items for (this book says 5, newer sources say 10, and now they’re trying to raise it to 20) minutes before consuming.
3-No mold, food should be firm, lid should not be bulging (bulging lids indicated gas formation which is a sign of spoilage).  Throw it out immediately without tasting if any of this occurs.

I am only including rare hot water times.  If you want a specific time for something, please ask and I will post it if I have it.

No acid added, water bath method, time in minutes, increase 10% for every 500 feet of elevation:

Asparagus, beans (string and lima), squash, vegetable combinations, peas, and greens, corn-180
Beets, carrots, cauliflower, okra-120
pumpkin-240
meat-300

Now how to do it.

This is how I did beets:

Pick a beet…that’s a big beet

how to water bath can anything

Boil all your jars, lids, and rings for 15 minutes

water bath canning

Cut the greens off your beets and boil them for a good 30-40 minutes, depending on their size.

canning beets

After they get soft, the peels just slip right off.  Then you can cut them into bites and fill the jars.  Leave a good inch and pour boiled/boiling water over them to the inch mark.  I use the water I boiled the jars in.  Now, seal them up and SLIGHTLY turn the rings back to allow escape of air if needed during the canning process so your jars don’t explode.  I have found the kit with the jar lifter thingies and magnetic wand and such is wonderfully practical.  Be SURE the water covers the jars completely and boil the appropriate time with the lid on.  Due to our elevation, we had to for 3 hours.  Add water if needed.  Pull out and let cool on own.  Completely loosen rings to keep from rusting shut and label the jars with the date they were canned.  If any of the lids didn’t pop down after cooling completely, they did not process correctly and should not be stored in that condition.  You can refrigerate or use them immediately.  Some people re-process them.  I never have.

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