How to Start Canning

How to Start Canning
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How to Start Canning

Canning Is a Fun and Creative Way to Preserve Your Garden

This new transition into fall is the perfect time to start canning your surplus vegetables! Whether you are carrying on a family tradition, or just wanting to keep some extra food around, canning is the way to go. Today we will show you the way to start canning – it’s simple and fun. You can give the jars away for gifts or store them away for years to come.

You’ll need some supplies before you start the water bathing canning process such as:

  • Food (fruits, veggies, you name it)
  • Jars
  • Dish Towels
  • Two big pots with lids
  • Magnetic Wand
  • Small spatula
  • Funnel
  • Large tongs (that you can use to pick up hot jars)

Instructions:

  1. Wash your jars, lids, any other materials.
  2. Heat your jars by placing them in a large pot with plenty of space in between each other to pick up with the tongs. Add water to the jars. Depending on the size, you’ll either have water that reaching the top of the jars (for smaller ones) or water in the jars 2/3 of the way full as well as in the pot (for larger jars). Cover this pot with a lid and bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat. Keep these hot until you are ready to use them.
  3. Next you will heat your lids! Do this by placing them with the silver side up covered with water over medium-high heat. Keep these hot as well until they are ready for use. Prepare the food you are canning and use the funnel to pour or place the food into the jar. Do this after removing the jar from the pot with the tongs. Leave some space at the top of the jar. Use a small spatula (preferably rubber) to slide between the side of the jar and the food to remove any air bubbles. By using your magnetic wand, you can place the hot lid onto the top of the container. Place the band on top of the jar and screw it on.
  4. After you fill each jar up, place them back into the pot. Add more water into the pot so that it covers all the jars by at least an inch. Cover the pot up with a lid and bring it to a boil. Depending on what kind of food you are canning, the time to boil will vary. Cool your jars after boiling for about five minutes then place them on a towel upright to cool. After about 24 hours you should hear some popping noises! This is the jar sealing itself.
  5. You will want to check the seals afterwards to make sure they are on correctly. If you press down on the center of the lid and there is no movement, you are good to go! If you hear a pop and the lid moves, you must re-seal them immediately or eat them within the next couple of days.

Canning is great for storing food, preserving jams and jellies, or a cute little homemade gift for a friend! You can find supplies and jars at grocery, home improvement, and big box stores.

Common Canning Techniques

Water bathing and pressure canning are two common ways to preserve foods by canning. These techniques use heat processing to preserve foods, and which technique you use depends on the acidity of the food. If you are canning a high acid food, you will use the water bath canning method. If you are canning a low acid food, you will use the pressure canning method. High acid foods have a pH of 4.6 or lower.

The USDA uses the National Center for Home Food Preservation at the University of Georgia as its resource for addressing food safety concerns for those who practice and teach home food preservation and processing methods. Consult their website for canning best practices and specifics.

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