University of Wyoming Extension News

UW Extension workshops in Park County teach canning jams, jellies, vegetables and meats

Workshops in Cody and Powell this August will teach participants the most current methods of canning jams, jellies, vegetables and meats including water bath and pressure canning techniques. Jennifer Jacobsen and Kentz Willis, University of Wyoming Extension educators, will host the workshops.

“Canning is a simple and cost-effective way to allow you to eat food from your garden in the middle of the winter,” said Willis. “A lot of food would be wasted at the end of the growing season if we didn’t have a good way to preserve it.”

Each session costs $10 for canning materials which will be provided; pre-registration is requested by July 30 to ensure enough materials are available.

The workshop on Wednesday, August 1 in Cody will cover water bath canning, and the workshop on Wednesday, August 15 in Cody will cover pressure canning; both Cody workshops are scheduled at 5:30 p.m. in the EOC room in the basement of the Park County Courthouse.

“These hands-on workshops are a great way for inexperienced canners to become more comfortable with the process,” said Willis. “We also get more experienced canners that are looking for a refresher on the most up-to-date USDA recommendations. It’s always a lot of fun and participants will get to take home some of what we preserve.”

The workshop on Thursday, August 2 in Powell will cover water bath canning, and the workshop on Wednesday, August 16 will cover pressure canning; both Powell workshops are scheduled at 5:30 p.m. in the multi-purpose room kitchen at the Park County Fairgrounds.

“Important concepts are water bath basics, the difference between water bath and pressure canning, altitude adjustments, food safety concerns with canning, and using tested recipes,” Jacobsen said.

According to Jacobsen, water bath canning is used for high-acid foods like jams and jellies, pickles, fruits and tomato products with added acids, and pressure canning is canning under high pressure — thus using higher temperatures than boiling water — for low-acid foods like plain vegetables, meats and beans.

“For quality it is recommended that canned foods be stored in a cool dark place and eaten within one year, but if stored properly products can often last two to three years,” said Jacobsen.

The canning workshops will also help those who are interested in entering canned goods in open or 4-H classes at county and state fairs since entries must meet specific requirements.

Judging standards use the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Complete Guide to Home Canning which includes seven guides and can be found at the National Center for Home Food Preservation website at http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/publications_usda.html; or in the Ball Blue Book of Preserving available at retail outlets. Recipe sources must be documented.

More information about canning can be found at the UW Extension Eat Wyoming website at http://www.wyomingextension.org/eatwyoming/preserve.asp. To register, contact UW Extension Educator Sandra Frost in Powell at (307) 754-8836 or email her at sfrost1@uwyo.edu.