Okay, after my last post I realized that maybe I need to back up a little and explain why you should can (as opposed to just throwing your veggies into the pantry) and break down the difference between what needs to be pressure canned and what can be hot water bathed.
Organisms that cause food spoilage – molds, yeasts, and bacteria – are always present in the air, water, and soil. Enzymes that may cause undesirable changes in flavor, color, and texture are present in raw fruits and vegetables.
When you can fruits and vegetables, you heat them hot enough and long enough to destroy spoilage organisms. This heating (or processing) also stops the action of enzymes. Processing is done in either a boiling water bath canner or a steam-pressure canner. The kind of canner that should be used depends on the kind of food being canned.
Fruits, tomatoes, and pickled vegetables are acidic foods that can be safely processed in a steam canner or a boiling water bath canner. Meats and all common vegetables except tomatoes require pressure canning. To process these low-acid foods safely in a reasonable length of time takes a temperature higher than that of boiling water.Only a pressure canner or pressure cooker can be used practically and safely in the home to reach the required 240°F, and maintain it for the necessary amount of time.