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Posted By Tracy On May 18, 2010 @ 9:54 am In canning,how to | 29 Comments
I’ve gotten quite a few questions on canning ever since I participated in the Tigress Can Jam, so I thought I’d take a moment to answer some of them…and hopefully, I’ll encourage those of you who are intimidated by canning to give it a try. So, come on and join the canning fun!
When I decided I wanted to learn how to can, the first thing I did was order the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. It’s a wonderful resource that includes tons of recipes for both jamming and pickling. There are other books out there, but this is my go-to resource. It also explains the difference between water bath canning and pressure canning:
If you’re interested in the science behind canning, check out the USDA Food Preservation and Home Canning guidelines. There are instructions, explanations, diagrams – the whole nine yards. Also, the canning bible, So Easy to Preserve, can be ordered via printable form on University of Georgia’s website. The book currently runs you about $18, and contains all the latest and greatest information from the USDA on safe home food preservation.
Once I had gathered my resources, I went shopping for canning supplies. I bought a large water bath canner similar to this one (although I currently use a large stockpot since the canner doesn’t work as well on my electric stovetop), and I also picked up a 5-piece canning kit to make life easier – both of which were very inexpensive. The 5-piece kit includes:
Also included in the picture above are jars and a large pot for cooking up whatever I’m going to fill the jars with. I’m more of a jammer than a pickler, so I typically do water bath canning only.
Once you have your supplies ready to go, it’s time to pick out a recipe. There’s a lot you can make with a water bath canner, including the following:
Once you’ve decided on a recipe, it’s time to get canning – and it’s important to note that you should always follow a recipe from a trusted source.
You can see that on all of my canning posts, there are similar instructions for the canning process in each recipe as below:
When ready to can, prepare your supplies. Bring the temperature of the glass jars up by processing them in hot water for several minutes. Heat a few cups of water in a small saucepan for the lids. When the jars are ready, fill them with the jam and place the lids and bands on top, screwing on the bands just to fingertip-tight. Place the full jars back into the boiling water and boil 10 minutes. Remove from the water and place the jars on a towel, and let the jars cool. The seals should suck down (you’ll hear a popping noise as they do). Makes 6 eight-ounce jars.
These instructions are great if you’re a regular canner, but if you’re new, they can be a little high-level. So, let’s break it down in more detail:
That’s it – that’s really all there is to water bath canning! I hope this post was helpful and that it encourages those of you who have been intimidated by canning to give it a try. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail. Happy canning!
Article printed from Sugarcrafter: http://sugarcrafter.net/2010/05/18/canning-basics/
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