This method is not suitable for light coloured fruits which discolour in air like apples, pears, peaches, apricots etc. or for solid pack tomatoes. It is quite straightforward though.
Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark ½ (120°C, 250°F). Pack the bottles with the fruit but do not pour over the syrup or liquid at this stage. Place the lids on top but without the clips or screw bands.
Put the bottles onto a baking tray in the centre of the oven, allowing at least 2 inches (50mm) between each bottles and sides of the oven. Leave for the amount of time indicated on the chart below. To be successful with this method you have to be quick filling and sealing the bottles as soon as they are removed from the oven.
After the processing remove the bottles one at a time and fill quickly to the top with boiling syrup or water, securing the lids with clips or screw-bands immediately. If the fruit has shrunk down in the bottles, add fruit from another bottle before pouring over the syrup or water. Leave for 24 hours and test for seal.
Hard fruits may be pressed down with the handle of a wooden spoon and the syrup or water poured down the sides of the bottle gradually until it covers the fruit.
Twist the bottle from side to side and gently agitate as you add the syrup or water to remove any air bubbles.
Oven Dry Pack Bottling Chart
Timings are based on jars up to 1 quart (1 litre) size. NR = Not Recommended.
|Fruit||Dry Pack (mins)|
|Apples – in Syrup||NR|
|Apples – Solid Pack||NR|
|Blackberries / Loganberries / Raspberries||45-55|
|Citrus Fruits – Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit etc||NR|
|Currants – Black, Red or White||55-70|
|Gooseberries – for cooking in pies etc||45-55|
|Gooseberries – for uncooked use in desserts||55-70|
|Plums and Damsons||NR|
|Rhubarb – for cooking in pies etc||45-55|
|Rhubarb – for uncooked use in desserts||55-70|
|Tomatoes – Solid pack||NR|
|Tomatoes – in Brine||80-100|
Safety of Bottled Food
Whilst the process is very effective, things can go wrong. As with all food preservation, hygiene and attention to detail are critical for successful and safe storage.
One obvious risk is the seal breaking and allowing microbes access to the food. These will develop and produce gas, often leading to an increase in pressure. With commercial canned goods where the tin has been damaged, a sure sign the contents are spoiled is the can swelling. In the grocery trade, they’re known as ‘blown’.
If you open a home bottled jar and there’s a release of pressure, the food is spoiled. Usually the obnoxious smell will make this very obvious but please don’t trust the food even if it smells OK.
More On Bottling (Canning)
- Bottling or Home Canning Your Produce – Introduction, History, Safety Tips
- Equipment for Home Bottling / Canning
- Methods of Home Bottling / Canning
- Bottling or Home Canning – Preparation of Fruit and Vegetables
- Oven Wet Pack Bottling (Canning) Method
- Slow Water Bath Bottling (Canning) Method
- Fast Water Bath Bottling (Canning) Method
- Pressure Bottling (Canning)