How To Can Asparagus




There are a lot of different things you can preserve in a jar. Most people like to can fruits, but you can also easily can vegetables. When it comes to storing certain foods, freezing them can often rob the food of flavor and texture.

Many people have gardens and asparagus is a commonly grown item. When it comes time to harvest, it can be a very nice option to save some of the asparagus for another time, without having to freeze them. This is where canning asparagus is a better option than freezing.

Canning Asparagus

Asparagus is an easy to can vegetable, but it also requires a little bit of extra work. The only safe and proper way to can asparagus is with a pressure canner. Asparagus has low acidity levels, which makes it easier for bacterium to grow. By using a pressure canner, it can raise the temperature high enough to kill any bacterium. If you aren’t using a pressure canner, the only other way to prevent the bacterium from reproducing is by adding acidity by pickling.

Prep

The first thing to do is clean out all the jars you’ll be using.

You’ll need to have two pots of water. One pot will be used for filling the jars and the other pot is your canner. Start both pots on low or medium and let them gradually build to a boil, as you continue with the next steps.

Once you have your asparagus, whether you grew it yourself or bought them, you’ll want to wash them throughly.

Break off the bottoms of the stems, they’re usually fairly tough and cut off any tough scales. Once all your asparagus has been prepped, give them another quick rinse of water.

Now depending on the size of the jars you’re using, you may need to cut the asparagus, so that they fit into the jars. You can either cut them to fit as whole spears or you can cut them into even smaller into pieces. The choice is up to you and it could really just depend on how you plan to use the asparagus later.

Canning

At this point, if you want to add any extra ingredients into the jars, you can do so. Some people like a few teaspoons of salt, other might want to add a couple whole peppercorns or garlic cloves.

It’s up to you if you want to add anything. The asparagus will be just fine if you choose not to add any extra ingredients. It comes down to personal preference. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add salt or garlic to a couple of jars, just for the variety.

Once your jars are ready, you can just start placing the asparagus directly into them. Whether you’re using whole spears or chopped asparagus, pack the jars tight, but not to the point you’re crushing the asparagus.

No matter the size of the asparagus, you’ll want to leave 1 inch of space from the top of the jar.

Once you have all your jars packed, it’s time to add the boiling water. If the water hasn’t boiled yet, you can turn up the heat to get it to a boil. When the water is boiling, carefully add it to the jars. All of the asparagus should be fully submerged in water, if they aren’t you’ll need to trim them so they are. Remember to still keep that inch of space.

If you see a lot of air bubbles in one of the jars, use a plastic utensil to try and get rid of the air bubbles.

After all the jars are filled, give the rims a wipe to ensure a good seal and put on the lids and rings. Don’t over tighten the rings, just make sure they are sealed tightly.

By now, the water in the canner should be near or boiling. The canner should be about 1/2 or 3/4 full, it the water is below 1/2 add some more.

Carefully and using the proper tools (jar tongs), place the jars into the canner. When the jars are in the canner, put the lid on and twist it into the proper position, turn up the heat so the canner continues to boil, but let the steam vent for 10 minutes.

After the 10 minutes are over, close the vent and let the pressure build to 11 pounds. Once the pressure builds to 10, set a timer for 30 minutes and keep the pressure at 10, this might require some monitoring.

When the timer is up, turn off the heat, let the pressure drop to 0 and then carefully open the canner. Lift the jars out and let them sit to cool. Check to ensure the jars are sealed and your asparagus is now canned.

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