When I first decided to review the Ball freshTECH Automatic Home Canning System, I was honestly a little nervous and overwhelmed by the whole idea of canning. My grandmother was an expert canner with a colorful collection of preserved foods that were delicious and
fresh when opened. It was the kind of freshness that you couldn’t get in a store and I wanted to mimic what she did, but I was afraid it would be hours of work and I was worried about preserving the food correctly. Thankfully, canning proved to be a very positive experience and it is something that I will continue to do in the future.
THE BALL FRESHTECH HOME CANNING SYSTEM
First, I checked out the Ball freshTECH cookbook that came with my Ball freshTECH Automatic Home Canning System. They had some great recipes like Champagne Blush Jelly, Lemony Strawberry Jam, and Fiesta Salsa. There were also delicious pickle, barbeque sauce, and tomato sauce recipes in the cookbook. All of the recipes were very easy to follow; the recipes have even been tested and proven to work with the freshTECH system.
After looking through the Ball freshTECH cookbook. I decided to try the Bruschetta in a Jar recipe. The ingredients were easy to find. Next, I had to find the correct jar to can my creation in. There are regular mouth and wide mouth jars and the jars come in a variety of sizes. For example, it is best to can a jam or jelly in an eight-ounce regular mouth jar, but tomatoes and peaches are better preserved in a 32-ounce wide mouth jar.
Once I shopped for my jars and ingredients, I came home to my freshTECH and cleaned it out, read the directions, and made sure I had all of the correct pieces. Like I said this was totally foreign to me, so I really checked everything out before I got started.
It was go time; I filled the inner pot of the freshTECH with water and pre-heated my jars. I pressed “Pre-heat” on my freshTECH, locked the top and then I made my bruschetta recipe.
Once my bruschetta was all made, I unlocked the appliance and gently removed each jar with the jar lifter since the jars were warm from being pre-heated.
After removing each jar, I filled each jar with the bruschetta, making sure that I left enough headspace. Headspace is the space left at that top of the jar, each recipe might call for different amounts of headspace, this recipe just needed me to keep a ½ inch open. Once I had filled the jar correctly, I placed a lid and band on the jar and I tightened it and returned it to the freshTECH. I did this with every jar until the appliance was filled.
Then all I had to do was lock the jars in the freshTECH and press “Salsas” and “Recipe 2” and then the “Start” button and I was in business. Forty minutes later, I had perfectly preserved bruschetta. I removed each jar from the freshTECH and then allowed them to cool. After 24 hours, I checked to see if my jars had sealed, I knew my can was sealed when the jar lid did not flex when touched. If the jar did not seal correctly, I had the option of refrigerating the jar and eating the contents immediately or I could reprocess the jar in the appliance. Thankfully, everything sealed for me the first time and now I am much more confident to try the machine again.
The freshTECH basically froze my food in time. I can’t wait to preserve vegetables from the garden in the summer. At first, I was worried that preserving food would take forever, but ultimately I see how this product could be a time saver. Now I have fresh bruschetta for my son’s birthday party, the Fourth of July, and even Thanksgiving! I think the freshTECH Automatic Home Canning System is a wonderful way to create fresh recipes. My favorite thing about canning is that I know the ingredients are fresh and I can name every ingredient in the recipe. It makes me feel confident that I will be providing my family with healthy fresh foods for the year to come.