How can you tell if a canning recipe has been approved?

marti8aAugust 23, 2014

I found this recipe today for Pickled Spiced Carrots on cooks.com. It is a lot like a refrigerator marinated recipe I have. I'd love to be able to can the recipe, but don't want to gamble on it either. There is no one to contact there as far as I can tell, so I can't ask where it came from, and I don't have any canning books to check except the Ball Blue Book and it's not in there.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

The source is your first and primary clue. There are standard safe sources for canning recipes - the Ball Books and their equivalents, other texts listed here in many discussions, and the NCHFP website that all other approved resources are based on.

This particular source and of its recipes in no way claim to be USDA approved. A tested and approved source will carry that USDA seal or USDA guidelines will at least be acknowledged. Without that info you can almost always bet it is untested.

Second is the nature of the source. Is its focus canning or cooking? Cooks.com is a cooking resource, not a canning recipe resource, and is generally considered a source to be avoided when it comes to canning. That doesn't mean some of the recipes there may not be safe, just that they haven't been tested and have to be individually evaluated.

This particular recipe is straight vinegar, no dilution with water. Straight vinegar brine recipes will almost always be safe. However NCHFP offers instructions for Pickled Carrots that has been tested and approved so why not go with the approved source?

Dave

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 10:07PM
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marti8a

I made the nchfp recipe one time and it was pretty blah compared to my refrigerator marinated pickles. I think the cinnamon and cloves made the difference. I was wondering about boiling the vinegar with cinnamon and cloves, then straining those out and making the nchfp recipe with that vinegar. But then I wondered if it would change the vinegar enough to make it safe.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 4:09PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

With a vinegar based recipe that is no more diluted than 1:1 you can add all the dried seasonings and spices you wish - within reason. It is your option to leave them in or not. There are many pickling recipes that call for both cinnamon and whole cloves and they are usually
- IME - left in.

So if you want cinnamon and cloves in your pickled carrots feel free to add them to the NCHFP recipe.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 4:55PM
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marti8a

I'll do that. Thanks Dave.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 7:51PM
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