Pressure canning bacon jam?

Asked December 8, 2016, 10:55 AM EST

I am finding conflicting evidence regarding whether it is safe to pressure can bacon jam (many, many recipes available online - mostly bacon, onions, vinegar, spices). Most sites say it is unsafe to water bath can it, but mention that pressure canning might be different. I found a few blogs that say it is safe to pressure can it for 75 minutes at 11 psi. But I don't know the background of the bloggers and whether they actually know what they are talking about. I want to give my family a unique and delicious gift for Christmas, but I don't want to give them botulism! Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Livingston County Michigan

1 Response

Good Afternoon,
I am going to share a few things with you regarding your quest for information. First of all blogs are wonderful ways to share and learn new information, but when it comes to food preservation you want to be careful who you are getting your information from. Food preservation is a science and you cannot guess or "create" process times. "All reliable recommendations for canning include process times that have been determined by or based on results of laboratory testing. The exact time and temperature combinations of tested canning processes are needed to assure the destruction of microorganisms that may be present in the filled jars." (National Center for Home Food Preservation
Clemson Cooperative Extension has posted an article about Storing Bacon Jam. Some of the highlights from the article include: Please do not store bacon jam at room temperature. This poses a risk for botulism, a serious foodborne illness caused by the nerve toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum, a spore forming bacteria. All bacon jams indluce bacon, onions, garlic, sugar and an acid source (cider or sherry vinegar) Although this jam is cooked during preparation, there is no final heat process to destroy contaminating yeasts and molds after the jam is added to jars. Growth of molds and yeasts in acid products can raise the pH and make a favorable environment for Clostridium botulinum to germinate, grow and produce toxin. Some bacon jam recipes indicate that the prepared jam is to be refrigerated or frozen. Some give no directions for storage. For safety it is strongly suggested the bacon jam be refrigerated for times suggested by the recipe (usually 2-4 weeks) longer storage should be frozen.
Long story short, please don't make up preserving times, there is no tested recipe for preserving bacon jam. To the best of my knowledge if you pressure can a jam or jelly it will break down the jell structure due to the high heat. So stick to refrigeration or freezer methods and place a big sticker on you jar reminding your loved ones to keep this perishable product cool while they enjoy it.