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inversion method

Posted by cindylouwho z4 VT (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 21, 07 at 21:10

Just had some friends over and we were talking canning. One was telling about the relish she canned and as she described "boiling the liquid, pouring it into the can and flipping the jar over", I realized that she was talking about inversion canning.

I kind of flipped out on her and warned her about botulism, lent her my copy of PFB, and generally was very alarmist.

Then, I did a search here for inversion method, planning to forward her dire warnings, and instead found that it is ok for jam.

So, my main question is, have I just lost a friend by being a total paranoid freak or was it justified to strongly suggest that she use BWB method????

As an aside, I've had salmonella poisoning twice and hepatitis (from raw oysters), so I'm a bit more paranoid than most about food born illness...

As always, thanks for the advice!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: inversion method

Big difference between relishs and jams and while I know some still use inversion for jam - their choice - but it isn't the recommended method as far as I can tell from all my books.

But then I'm no jam expert by any means - even tho I spent the day helping the wife make it. She uses BWB and always has because USDA guidelines require it. (We are big on guidelines in our house when it comes to canning. ;).

To quote linda lou - "Just turning the jars upside down and then setting back up will not create a true vacuum seal. The seal was a weak one by the inversion method. It is important to water bath all jams and jellies. You may get mold on the jelly by the inversion method. If you are going to go to the trouble of making jams and expense of ingredients, I would recommend water bath canning them and insure the safety of the product."

I know others will disagree.

But relish is a different story all together so I'd say you were right on track. Every relish recipe I am familiar with requires BWB and some even require pressure.


RE: inversion method

"I kind of flipped out on her....and generally was very alarmist."

That type of response often has the opposite effect than the one intended but maybe you at least planted a seed.

RE: inversion method

The thermal effect of boiling jars in a hot water bath does result in a much stronger vacuum. Aside from the "alarm" factor, there is the potential waste factor (spoilage) and the aesthetic factor (oxidation and browning of the product due to the remaining air in the jar). This is more likely with an inverted product because it is extremely difficult to bottle something without introducing at least some contaminants, not necessarily dangerous ones, but ones which do contribute to degradation of the product.

Europeans do commonly invert jams. As jams are low-risk , there's no harm in doing it if the jam will be consumed in a relatively short time. But if storage conditions are less than ideal or you want the assurance of long-term storage, definitely BWB is the way to go.

Also, I don't know that Europeans have gone the low-sugar/no-sugar route as many American preservers have. A low-sugar product has a very short life indeed if it isn't canned.

If you look at modern relishes, it's not just the vinegar that enters into the calculation of safety, but also the heat transfer via the boiling water bath.

If you did go overboard in your warnings, it was in a good cause.


RE: inversion method

The inversion method was used many years ago when there were only the wire bail on the jars and glass dome lids with rubber rings. The jars were inverted to only test if one was leaking after being closed. It served no other purpose and was not considered a safe way to protect a home canning product. With todays metal lids that have an embossed dimple, the lids are very accurate visual indiators of whether the jars have a vacuum after cooling down.

RE: inversion method

Secondary point: the BWB method is so easy, there's no excuse not to do it. Tell your friend it's good technique & worth the (very little) extra effort.

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