Canning Recipes are a Must
When canning items, it is important to keep them safely stored. This could mean adding citric acid to some jars while adding simple syrup to others. The best way to know which is which is to have a recipe for the item you want to can. Just like you might look to a recipe for how to make the best Chicken Parmesan in the world, a recipe for canning does the same thing.
Canning recipes can give you different flavors to try out and also develop over time. The best way to pick out a recipe is to try it out. Cook a small batch with the recipe and see if it would be something that you would eat as a meal. It is also important to pick out a recipe that has been tested at your altitude. If you are uncertain about what a recipe for your altitude looks like, check out your state extension service for verification.
The short answer is always. You will be able to tinker with recipes once you get comfortable with time and temperature as well as what ingredients are strictly needed, but if you are just starting, be sure to stick with a tested recipe. Also, if you are trying to can something for the first time, it is suggested that you use a recipe in order to make sure the ingredients reach the proper temperature and pressure to be safe in the can.
Using a recipe is as easy as reading a book. Just like baking is a matter of exact measurements, canning is also an exact science of food making. It is important to make sure canned foods are safe, and the only way to do that with some types of food are to follow the directions for the recipe exactly. Keeping the foods in the canner at the right temperature and time ensure the lack of bacteria and the less chance for the food spoiling.
Be sure to look at all of the ingredients needed before you start the canning process because the last thing you want to do is have to run to the store because you forgot something while you are trying to can.
Canning is a lot of fun and a great way to store your hard work for the winter. Recipes are there to make the process easier and to take some of the guesswork out of how to store your goodness safely and with a lot of flavor. If you are just starting out or trying something new, stick with the recipe on the first go-round because the last thing you would want is a spoiled jar of hard work.