One of the goods you will find in almost all pantries is canned goods. Irrespective of if you purchased different vegetables, fillings, and fruits canned goods or you made your canned goods yourself, there are specific features and functions associated with canned goods that could cause some other limitations.
The bone of contention is how canned goods can be preserved, if they can be placed inside the freezer to allow them to last longer, and what other options can be used to preserve canned goods. Canned goods cannot be placed inside the freezer, it does not, however, mean that there are no other options to preserve them. Once the canned goods have been opened, the content could potentially be frozen, you need to consider several factors before you do so.
Speaking technically, canned goods can be placed inside the freezer if you have determined to do so. However, you should be aware that there are consequences involved in the process. We will check them out later as we proceed. If you eventually decide to freeze your canned goods, you need to check out the tricks and tips that you need to be mindful of when you do it.
Our guide will help you handle canned goods, how you can preserve them, the different options you have available. You should not be concerned that they will expire or probably you have opened them and you are not using them all. You are encouraged to continue reading to learn everything about how you should freeze or not freeze your canned goods as well as the alternative methods and options you have.
A Guide to Canned Goods
There are two ways to have canned goods at home, it is either you buy them from a grocery store or you can your fresh goods yourself. Whichever way you want, we assume that you have some basic familiarities with different canned goods. There is, however, a whole lot of surrounding information about canned goods you are likely not to have come across before, including reusing them or preservation options.
You need to understand that it is not all the canned goods that you find around that have been created equally. Some alternative options are attached to some of them while others need to be thrown away instead of storing them or extending their dates.
Why Canned Goods?
Goods are canned as an alternative to drying or pickling items. Canning goods are another way to preserve and save your food, most especially for those that rely on their garden for their major foods and they want to maintain the foods they have in the non-gardening seasons.
It has been discovered over time that using specific methods to can goods and seal them preserve the food that is within them for an additional time. The food will not only be preserved but the taste will still be great when the seal is broken with the food cooked and then served.
One thing to note about canned foods is that their flavors are not always affected. Canning saves vegetables and fruits, allows them to successfully be transported, and reduces some other preservation processes that do not give the perfect taste. Apart from the benefits outlined above, canned food items help to eliminate waste because foods canned are unlikely to become spoilt. They will eventually get spoilt, but they essentially last a bit longer than some other forms of that food. This is a good thing.
The Canning Process
The mechanisms of pressure canner are now used to seal most of the canned goods you will find around. A process where a machine seals canned goods has now been made available. The pressure is applied on the can and this is the key. If this is not done, the food within the can will become spoilt.
Typically, canned goods purchased at a store are in cans, you might, however, find some canned goods sealed in jars. It is either you use a mason jar or any other comparable container if you want to can your foods yourself. Check below for the process:
- You should first prepare the foods for the canning process by washing and slicing.
- Proceed to load your food into your preferred container for storage.
- You should then add some moisture content, it could vary based on what is being canned. The moisture content is typically a mixture of an acid such as vinegar and water.
- Attach the top or lid.
- Can it by pressure canning or boiling.
The preferred method of canning is the method of pressure canning and it is what most manufacturers use though they do their own in bulk. You are not recommended to use the boiling method to can your foods because it is reserved for pickled products, tomatoes, jellies, and fruits. The boiling method involves boiling water covering the jars and being heated for a specified time until they have been fully sealed.
This boiling method cannot be trusted because it might not preserve every food for a longer time. This is the reason we recommend it for just some certain items. The more preferred method is pressure canning. The foods will likely be protected from spoiling or botulism and they will also last longer.
Using Your Canned Goods
After canning, no particular instructions are attached to how canned goods can be used. Some of them can remain good with the can for about 10 years. You can check for various signs to find out if the canned goods have gotten spoilt:
- Check if the canned container is swollen or bulging
- Check if the canned container is leaking
- Check if the canned container is damaged or cracked
- If there was odd liquid or foam when the can was opened
- If the foods have grown mold or are discolored
- If the foods smell rotten or bad
They are signs you can watch out for in your canned goods to check out if they are still very good. You should importantly note these factors and in case you are still concerned, just throw the bad items away instead of risking it. If the foods do not have any of these signs, you could serve them or cook them as you would normally do.
You might have to first drain off the liquid in which they were preserved. It is not a complicated process to serve or cook canned goods. You don’t have to follow any special rule apart from ensuring you check the canned goods to make sure they are yet to be spoilt. Most of the canned goods you will find around have best-by dates on their can. In case you did the canning on your own, ensure you label the can by writing the year or date they were canned. It is recommended that most canned items should be used for anything you want to use them for within 2 years, however, some of them can stay extended for about 5 years when you apply the preservative methods in this article.
Can You Freeze Canned Goods?
Canned goods should never be frozen directly. This is because so many issues could arise if you try to freeze them in the canned form. After all, they’ve been pressurized. If, however, you receive some already frozen canned goods or you didn’t know how freezing affects canned goods, you can follow the method below when you are using them:
- Frozen canned goods should be thawed slowly.
- They can be thawed inside the fridge for about 2 to 3 days.
- Put the frozen canned goods on the tray or plate when you are thawing to cover for potential leaking.
- Don’t eat it if you notice that the cans are cracked, deformed or they leak, just throw them away.
- The frozen canned goods’ integrity would have been compromised, you should use the items with one week that you have thawed them.
- Canned goods containing low content of acid should be boiled for a minimum of 10 minutes to serve as a precaution against any potential bacterium.
Freezing of canned goods could lead to swelling of canning containers or may even allow them to explode.
How to Freeze Your Opened Canned Goods
Once canned goods have been opened, there are available options to store them. You could freeze them but you need to have in mind that some canned goods will not simply freeze well. Check below for a few of the goods that will not freeze well:
- Raw potatoes
- Salad greens (cabbage, spinach, lettuce)
- Citrus items (limes, lemons, oranges, etc.)
You could be able to freeze some of the highlighted items if you follow specific methods, but they do not usually freeze well. The main substitute for freezing your canned items is to first open your product and continue from there. You will need to follow the method of freezing that applies to the item you are dealing with.
Tips for Freezing Previously Canned Foods
- The items should not be allowed to remain out for long after opening it.
- The freezing methods of the foods you want to work with should be followed.
- Know the foods that might not freeze very well.
- The foods should be ensured they are very good before freezing.
- They should be well sealed inside the freezer and should not spend over 6 months there.
- Ensure you use the items quickly whenever you remove them from your freezer to use them.