Canning Tips

Canning is not only an art, but also a science. Scientist and home canners have established procedures that must be followed to make certain that the food is safe, but also that it keeps it color, flavor, texture, and nutrients! There are many recipes out there, just make sure to follow them to retain the quality of your food. Most recipes are designed with these research findings in mind and, when carefully followed, insure both a high-quality and a safe product.

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What Can You Can?

You can preserve just about any fruits and veggies by canning.  Keep in mind that if you are unsure about canning an item, do your research. This is not an “all inclusive” canning guide. There are some things that you certainly want to avoid:
Oil (though there are a couple recipes that safely use oil.), dairy, most oats, thickeners (cornstarch, flour), broccoli, lettuce, and mashed pumpkin.
Tomatoes, cucumbers, and tons of other fruits and vegetables are all cannable. So get ready to pickle your fave veggie or make jam out of your fave fresh fruit.

What Do You Need?

Here are the basics you will need to begin canning!

Waterbath Canner (For Waterbath Canning)
Pressure Cannoer (For Pressure Canning)
Glass Preserving Jars
Lids and Rings for Preserving Jars
A Canning Recipe
and of course:
Your Favorite Fresh Item for canning!

Ring or No Ring

Once sealed, jars can be stored either with or without the jar rings. Lately it has become more popular to store them WITHOUT RINGS, but why... 

The rings are made only to hold the lid (the flat metal disc) in place during the canning process. (And of course, storing open/unsealed jars) Once jars have cooled it is recommended that you remove the ring to check the seal on the jar. This can be done by grasping the jar by the edge of the lip, and gently lifting 1-2 inches off the surface. Once you have confirmed that your seal is tight, you can store your jars ringless. 

When you leave the ring on, it can corrode. Also, if anything spoils in your jar, the ring leaves the lid sealed and in place, but if stored without the ring, the gasses from the spoiled food will pop the seal. If you find your jar unsealed, it is time to get rid of it.

Waterbath Canning

Use the waterbath canning method for preserving tomatoes, salsa, jellies, jams, fruits, and other high-acid foods.

You need to have a waterbath canner or a large stockpot with a canning rack.  

Recipes that use the waterbath method are normally easier recipes great for beginner canners.

Recipes

Different brands of mixes and pectins are available to help make your canning experience a bit easier.

Some available include:

Pickle Mixes
Find it in Bread & Butter and Dill flavors.

Salsa Mixes
Make it in mild, medium, or hot!

Pectins
Use for making jellies & jams
Look for low or no sugar varieties.

Pressure Canning

Use the pressure canning method for preserving meats, vegetables, chili, fish, and other low-acid foods.

You need to have a pressure canner for this method.  You can find one at most home stores.

Recipes that use the pressure canning method are generally more intermediate or advanced for a more skilled canner.