9/10/08

Making Jam - the Green Way!

I know I am interested in saving energy these days! And this post is about saving time and energy while making jam. I call it the “green way!”

Did you know that you can omit the water bath process when canning jams and jellies? You can rely directly on the heat from the boiling hot preserves to make a good seal! I like to think of it as “green canning,” as it saves a ton of heating energy because the water bath doesn’t have to be heated up.

I remember as a little girl, how my mom would make hot blackberry jam from the berries that we girls would pick, from near the creek that ran parallel to our property. Mom wouldn’t use a hot water bath like I’ve been doing the past few years. She’d take the hot jars right from the dishwasher, fill them up, put the sterilized lids and rings on the jars, then immediately flip the jars over and leave them sitting on the counter (upside down).

An hour or so later, I remember flipping the jars back over and either listening for a popping sound, or feeling the top of the lids to see if they had sealed.

This year I’ve been making fresh strawberry/raspberry jam using this method. I don’t know why I didn’t simplify my canning and use this method the past few years – because it works perfectly!

Here’s my easy “green” method:

• Run clean canning jars through the rinse cycle of the dishwasher (or fill with boiling water and set aside. Dry before use.)

• Boil the canning lids and rings - keeping hot until use.

• Fill hot, clean jars one at a time with jam, jelly, or preserves (I use a wide mouth funnel).

• Wipe the rim of the jar clean with a damp cloth.

• Place a hot lid onto the filled jar.

• Screw a ring onto the filled and lidded jar as tightly as you can.

• Flip the jars upside down so that the heat of the jam is in direct contact with the seal.

Allow the jars to cool slightly, and then turn them back to the upright position. If you can press down on the lid and it does not pop back up, the seal is good. Refrigerate any jars of jam that did not seal properly, or reheat and try the method again.

Always refrigerate after opening.

How about you – have you tried the “no bath” method?

If not, I hope you are inspired to give it a try it. And please let me know if it worked for you!

(This is the pectin that I have used this season for my jams. By far, my favorite! And if you ever have any CANNING QUESTIONS about processing times, hot water bath vs. a canner, or any other questions - google canning and you'll find everything you need on the WEB. )

29 comments:

Jan said...

I am so grateful for this information. Thank you so much.

Betsy said...

Oh my....I love this! How much easier is that! Thank you!

Kirstin said...

I have never heard of that! I usually just do freezer jam.

GrammaGrits said...

Great advice - it's how I've always done my jams and jellies and works every time!

Betts said...

When I first starting making strawberry jam about 15 years ago, the recipe I found recommended this method. I thinking I would have given up making jam if I had to do the hot water bath.

Quiet Heart said...

I always make jelly this way...love it! Also, I made pear jam from the recipe you posted, it was fabulous!! Thank you.

GiBee said...

My girlfriend makes her jams this way and swears by it. She rarely has any that don't seal. In fact, one time she said to me: "If you're making freezer jam, why don't you just try this method? It is the same method only you're canning them!"

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Sandy, I've got a question for you. I switched and used this pectin (sugar free) a few years ago and it seemed my jam fermented rather quickly after we'd open it. I didn't know jam COULD ferment! Have you had any problems with it? I've used Sure-Jell and MCP pectin for years, but once I switched to sugar free our jam a tang.

Jen said...

Love making jam girl. Love it.

Beth said...

This method of canning was proved to be unsafe by microbiologists and food scientists right after WWII. Many of the "old time" food preservation methods were proven unsafe around that time. The main reason for this being that even though your jams may be acidic enough to prevent possible food spoilage, modern lids, or lids and rings have been designed to seal tightly with boiling-water canning, pressure canning, or hot-water canning (recommended for pickles with very high acids and salts) which still brings the temperature to at the least 185 degrees F at sea level. Not only that, but even if you sterilize your jars and lids, they could still come in contact with airborne bacterias and/or molds while you were waiting to fill them. Boiled food is not hot enough to kill the bacteria you may have just locked in. The USDA recommends and recognizes only proper processing with a B-W bath or pressure-canner as the safest way to insure that any foodbourne illness are prevented. A boiling-water bath would have temperatures and time to kill the bacteria in your jam. What you are recommending is very unsafe and could possibly be fatal.

While I applaud your effort to be green and save water, the best thing to do would be to can in a boiling-water bath and then use the water to wash all your dishes and utensils. And if you use a non-toxic, environmentally friendly soap, you could possibly use the gray water to water outdoor foliage.

Barb said...

Sweet! Can't wait to do this when I make applesauce later this fall!

~nanashouse~ said...

This is how I have always done this!! Who knew I was before the times :-)

I can't wait to try a bigger batch of some delicious berries :-)

Grace said...

my mom taught me this method, and it's so easy and saves so much effort and energy! excellent post! :)

Chris @ Come to the Table said...

I learn so much from you...will you come make jam with me? :)

Christy said...

I am making apple butter tonight and will definitely give this a try. Thanks for the yip!

Congratulations to the new additions to your family!

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

Thanks so much for this amazing tip!! I'll be sure to try it!

Kim said...

This is the way my mom taught me to can jam! I always thought it was the only way:)

DebraK from ~the Bunnies Bungalow~ said...

When I make jam I do it that way. Hmmm.... maybe I'm getting inspired to make some this year with apples, since they are in season now. Home made is always better!
Take Care, DebraK

Sue said...

I love your blog and the inspiration that you give however I can't not chime in as I teach food safety as part of my job. This method is potentially very dangerous. You may be successful and never get ill but there is a chance that very dangerous bacteria can grow and lead to illness and even death. This is really an awesome responsibility to assume as you give these away as gifts. Sterilizing in the dishwasher is not safisfactory either. If you heat your canning high enough for long enough period you can start with clean unsterilized jars but them must always be put in a hot water bath to the recommended temperature and for the recommended length of time to assure that the product is safe. Canning is a long tedious process but in order to assure a safe product, it must be followed. We know so much more today about the growth of microorganisms and those practices that are dangerous. Our grandmothers did not have this information when they canned and did the best with what they knew.

I hesitated to be a wet blanket on all of this fun. As I said, I REALLY enjoy your blog but in good conscience I could not stay silent as I see so many excited by this canning method you suggest.
Sue

Elizabeth G. said...

I know you are probably too busy to answer individual comments, but I am wondering if this no-bath method could be used for tomato sauces??

Elizabeth

The Summer Kitchen Interiors said...

Mmmm... there's nothin' like homemade jam! May we suggest a blog give-away?!

Happy Jammin'
Karla & Karrie

Sandy said...

Elizabeth, I would NOT can tomato sauce this way. Processing jams and jellies only takes 10 minutes. Tomatoes take 35-40 minutes.

Remember to google canning questions if you ever have any questions at all. There are incredible resources out there on the web.

Fifi Flowers said...

Your blog is lovely... I've enjoyed roaming around... will have to come back and visit.

Claire, said...

great tip, I'll use steam, no longer!

Mandy said...

I have been canning peaches this week and I have been doing the same thing!

Dee Light said...

Very rarely do I use a water bath. It always seems to work with the flip method, and it's sooo much easier.

Tabitha Blue said...

OMG, this looks so helpful!! I've made Blueberry and Raspberry jam so far this year... and I used the water bath... but next time I'm trying this! Thanks for the tip. It would be much easier too.

Johnny said...

What shocks me is that two individuals that seem very knowledgeable and reputable have blasted this method, yet the article remains and people still post how excited they are with this dangerous method.

I'm VERY thankful to the two posters who were critical of this method, for I will continue to use the hot water bath method.

teresa said...

I also make my jams from this "flip" method. Much easier and sames tons of time. I am suprised more people haven't heard of this.