Food Preservation: Pickling And Canning Differences

By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Do you know the difference between canning vs. pickling? They are just two very handy methods of preserving fresh food for months. They are very similar and done in similar ways, but there are pickling and canning differences. Most notably the solution in which the food is preserved.

What is canning? What is pickling? Would it surprise you to know that pickling is canning? Does that confuse the issue even more? Keep reading for the main difference between canning and pickling so you can decide how best to preserve your food.

What is Canning?

Canning is when you process and seal foods in a glass jar. Canned foods can keep for months and are ideal for many fruits and vegetables, as well as meats.

There are two main methods for canning. One is a water bath. This is suitable for jams, jellies, and other high acid items. The other method is pressure canning. This is for low acid items such as veggies, meats, and beans. The process ensures that no bacteria survive inside the jars. It sterilizes and seals the food and prevents botulism.

What is Pickling?

The main difference between canning and pickling is the brine. Pickles are canned most of the time so they will last for a long period. You can pickle almost anything, even some meats, but the classic items are cucumbers. You can also pickle but not can, but these need to be held in the refrigerator and used quickly.

The brine creates an anaerobic environment that produces lactic acid, effectively preserving food. Pickled food is canned with a cold pack method and then a hot brine is introduced prior to sealing the jars. You will still need to can pickles in order to enjoy them for months.

Canning Vs. Pickling

So what foods are best canned and which are tastiest pickled? Pickling and canning differences result in a much different flavor and texture. The best foods to can are seasonal vegetables. Green beans, cauliflower, tomatoes, etc. as well as fruits such as berries and stone fruits. Just remember that those foods low in acid need an acid added or must be canned using a pressure method.

Almost any food may be pickled. Even eggs can be pickled. A brine may be a simple water to salt ratio or include vinegar and seasonings. Pickles are processed without cooking the food and tend to be much firmer than those that have been cooked.

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Read more about General Vegetable Garden Care

Pickling Cucumber Varieties – 3 Perfect Choices To Grow For Great Pickles

Making great homemade pickles all begins with selecting and growing the right pickling cucumber varieties.

Cucumbers are one of the most popular vegetable plants grown in the backyard garden.

And one of reasons so many grow them? To make crunchy, delicious pickles of course!

Although any variety of cucumber can be pickled, there are many varieties better suited to the process.

Listen In To Our Podcast Below On The Secrets To Growing A Great Crop Of Cucumbers!

And if making pickles is on your to-do list this year – selecting the right cucumber to grow is a huge key to pickling success!

Canning Salt and Pickling Salt

Is there a difference between canning salt and pickling salt? There is no difference between canning salt and pickling salt, they are the same. Depending on what recipe you are following, these terms are the same.

Sometimes called preserving salt or canning salt, pickling salt brands include Ball and Morton. This type of salt features fine granules and is pure sodium chloride. The size of the granules makes it dissolve in brine with ease. You will find pickling salt under the Ball or Morton brands in the salt section in the grocery store or right next to jars for canning at the hardware store.

While pickling or canning salt is ideal to use for making pickles due to its finer granules and no added ingredients, it is not the only salt you can use. A great alternative is a Kosher salt as long as it has no additives either. A good brand of Kosher salt is Crystal. You can also use pure sea salt to pickle various ingredients. Even if it is safe to use table salt, this is not recommended due to the pickle quality suffering from all the additives.


For pickling vegetables, the firmest vegetables are chosen. The pickling liquid or brine usually consists of vinegar, water and salt boiled together. The vegetables are tightly placed in a boiled and sterilized canning jar. The boiling brine is poured over the vegetables and in to the jar and sealed for a couple of weeks in a cool place.

Fermentation is carried out without oxygen, and is therefore an anaerobic process. Fermentation is also important in baking. Yeast is mixed in with the dough, so as to consume sugar. Carbon dioxide causes the dough to expand during the rising phase. Once in the oven, fermentation ceases as the yeast dies from the heat. Sugar from grapes (for wine) or grain (for beer) is fermented by strains of yeast chosen for their tolerance of alcohol and other characteristics. The yeast continues to ferment until either the sugar is depleted, or their fermenting enzymes become inhibited by the build-up of products. In both wine and beer-making, initial fermentation occurs in large vats, allowing the carbon dioxide to bubble off. For most wines, bottling is done only after fermentation has ceased. Champagne and other "sparkling" wines are bottled before the end of fermentation, causing some carbon dioxide to be trapped in the bottle, where it becomes dissolved in the liquid. Most beers are also completely fermented before bottling, with carbon dioxide added back in just before capping. You can ferment alcohol just by waiting for wild yeast to colonize any fruit juice or grain mash, but the results are not likely to be pretty. There are strains of yeast known to be good for brewing.

According to him, salt is employed in food merely to increase taste and there aren’t any true health benefits associated with that. While you can nonetheless add this sort of salt into your favourite dishes, table salt is best employed for last minute seasoning. So, it’s far better to use this salt in moderation. Non iodized salt are available in many, many places around the world in many unique uses.

Pickling salt is one particular example. It’s because of this that every salt is used for a different purpose, though all of them have the very same chemical properties. Pure sea salt may also be utilised in pickling.

The main reason why we’ve iodized salt is since there is not any other approach to guarantee human intake otherwise. You desire a super-fine salt that is all but a powder. Normal table salt can likewise be used for pickling.

Pickling salt can be found in big bags or boxes in supermarkets, but it is not easy to find in cities. In addition, it has fine granules that make it easy to dissolve in a brine. It is nothing but a type of salt, specifically used for canning and pickling. It is a type of pure salt that does not contain iodine. It substitutes Kosher salt can be used as its substitute does not affect the appearance of the kimchi. In some instances, non-iodized salt is also utilised in the cosmetic market.

The salt is normally very fine, and that’s why it’s simple to dissolve in water to provide an obvious brine. Iodized salt is created by adding both of the four inorganic compounds. You should include iodized salt in your daily diet, should you wish to prevent various growth and thyroid troubles. If you stay worried about an excessive amount of salt in your daily diet, the secret is to control it yourself.

What Are the Differences between Canning and Bottling?

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Canning and bottling are sometimes distinct methods for preserving foods, although the terms occasionally might refer to the same process. Some key differences between canning and bottling are their particular contents, their composition and their implementation methods. Canning, for example, generally uses sealed tin cylinders to store solid foods, and bottling usually uses glass containers.

Preserving foods is important for a number of reasons. For one, proper preservation prevents foods from becoming infected with potentially harmful microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria. A process called fat oxidation is also slowed down, which delays the food becoming spoiled and inedible. In addition, preservation methods can prevent unsightly discoloration of foods.

Canning involves preparing food, placing it in airtight containers such as canning jars and then adding hot or cold syrups. After sealing, the canned contents are often boiled or frozen to further hinder some of the dangers. Food that has been preserved using the canning method typically can stay fresh for five or more years. In many regions, this process is known as bottling, so canning and bottling are sometimes synonymous, particularly if non-commercial canning and bottling are being referenced.

In most commercial manufacturing situations, bottles are primarily used for liquids, whereas cans are used for solid foods. When considering commercial settings, bottles are differentiated from cans by their smaller opening, their larger height and their glass or plastic composition. Bottles also must be filtered before use, and sometimes they must be infused with carbon dioxide to stabilize the air contents and pressure the inside of the bottle. Production lines are used in both canning and bottling facilities.

Commercial canning, unlike bottling, typically uses tin cylinders as containers rather than glass or plastic containers. This tradition began in the early 19th century when the French government called for an effective food preservation method. Although a successful method emerged via cooking foods in airtight jars, manufacturers found difficulties in producing and distributing glass containers. Tin cans were more durable, less costly and more quickly produced, so they emerged as attractive alternatives. Modern canning procedures use a double seaming method by which lids are welded to the tin cylinders.

Different opening methods are used for canning and bottling as well. The welded sealing that is typical of cans means that an object such as a can opener is often needed to access the contents. Bottles, on the other hand, typically have a lid or holder that is detached from the bottle. Bottle caps, for example, are twisted onto the bottle to seal the contents and can be twisted off the bottle for access.

The freshness and nutritional value of foods is maintained in both canning and bottling. In addition, both means of preservation are prominent during hard economic times. Individuals often stockpile canned and bottled foods for later use, particularly when household income is compromised. Further, the cans and bottles themselves can often be used to generate income and help environmental causes when they are recycled.

Watch the video: How Does Pickling Work? Serving Up Science

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