Home Canning 101: The Basics of Home Canning
Home canning is not complicated. It is a simple procedure of applying heat to food in a closed jar in order to interrupt the natural decaying that would otherwise take place. It requires “processing” or “heat processing” foods according to up-to-date, tested home canning guidelines. Proper home canning includes placing prepared food in home canning jars which are then sealed with two-piece vacuum caps; heating the filled jars to the designated temperature using the correct type of canner for the food being processed; processing the filled jars for the required time as stated by an up-to-date, tested recipe in order to destroy the spoilage microorganisms and inactive enzymes; cooling jars properly, allowing the lids to vent excess air from the jars to form a vacuum seal.
- Taylor® TruTimer™ Kitchen Timer
Blain # 505946
- Ball® Home Canning Jars
Blain # 292263
- Ball® Dome® Lids
Blain # 292257
Blain # 653603
- Back To Basics
Blain # 563044
- Back To Basics
Blain # 615211
- Columbian Home Products Covered Preserving Canner and Rack
Blain # 047216
Wide Mouth Mason Jars
Blain # 292264
Mouth Lids and Bands
Blain # 292256
Canning & Pickling Salt
Blain # 524529
- Pro Freshionals
Blain # 594207
Blain # 439800
- Use only the best, top quality ingredients. Preserve fruits and vegetables at their peak of ripeness. Make sure all fruits and veggies are thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed to remove any excess dirt or chemicals.
- Process ALL home canned foods. Low-acid foods—vegetables, soups, stews, ragouts, meats, poultry and seafood—with pH values higher than 4.6, must be processed at temperatures of 240°F for a specified length of time to destroy harmful bacteria. Therefore, low-acid foods must be processed using a steam pressure canner.
- High-acid foods—fruits, fruit juices, jams, jellies and other fruit spreads, tomatoes with added acid, pickles, relishes and chutneys, sauces, vinegars and condiments—on the other hand, require heat processing to 212°F reached by using a boiling-water canner for a specified period.
- Follow only current, tested home canning recipes that include the appropriate processing method for the food type being canned; give a specific processing time for the food type and size home canning jar used; designate headspace; come from a reputable source offering up-to-date recipes, following acceptable canning guidelines.
- Follow the manufacturer's directions for preparing home canning jars and two-piece vacuum caps. We have provided you with complete instructions for using Kerr and Ball jars and caps in high-acid and low acid canning in the downloadable PDF file compliments of Ball and Kerr.
- Fill the hot jar with prepared recipe making sure you leave the recommended headspace (located in the downloadable PDF file, compliments of Ball and Kerr). Remove air bubbles by sliding a nonmetallic spatula between the jar and food; press gently on the food to release trapped air. Repeat around the circumference of the jar.
- Wipe the rim and threads of the canning jars with a clean, damp cloth. Center the heated lid on the jar. Screw the band down evenly and firmly until a point of resistance is met – fingertip tight.
- After processing, remove jars with the jar lifter from canner; set jars upright on a towel to cool. Do NOT re-tighten bands or check for a seal while jars are hot.
- After 24 hours, check the lids for a seal. Sealed lids curve downward. Press the center of the lid to ensure it does not flex up or down. (Reprocess or refrigerate any unsealed jars.) Remove the bands. Wipe the jars and lids with a clean, damp cloth and dry. Wash bands in soapy water, dry and store.
- Label and store jars in a cool, dry, dark place. Pull out fresh salsa on a dreary Winter day or delicious Strawberry Jam when Spring rolls around. It will be as fresh and as delicious as the day you canned it! For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.