Beloved summer foods like tomatoes, peaches, and peppers are slowing down and autumn treats like apples, pumpkins, and celery have arrived. If you love those summer foods, don’t get too down. By canning, you can preserve your summer favorites for the seasons to come! Canning may seem like a very intimidating process, but it’s actually pretty simple.
Two Methods of Canning
Pressure and Water-bath canning are the two methods you’ll use. They are not interchangeable, meaning different foods require you to use one of the two methods.
Pressure canning should be used on low acidic foods. This includes just about every veggie, including carrots and celery. High acid foods, including tomatoes, apples, and other fruits should be canned using the water-bath method.
Step-by-Step Pressure Canning Technique
Before you get started, make sure you have all the supplies you need. This includes a pressure canner, jars filled with your recipe, two racks to hold the jars in the pressure canner, a pressure weight, and vaseline to grease the lid.
Step 1: Set your jars in a stockpot half filled with water and set the heat to medium.
Step 2: Once they’re hot, fill them with food.
Step 3: Next, fill the pressure canner with an inch and a half of water. Put the bottom rack in and fill the canner with jars of food.
Step 4: Grease the outside rim of the lid and lock it in place.
Step 5: Put the canner on the biggest burner and turn the heat to high. Allow the steamer to get started, and once it begins to emit a steady flow of steam let it go for 7 minutes.
Step 6: After the 7 minutes, place the pressure weight over the steamer and set it on the weight your recipe demands. Turn your attention to the pressure gauge. Once it reaches the poundage required for the recipe, the weight should shake.
Step 7: Wait for the pressure gauge to get back to the level the recipe requires and leave the canner alone for the time the recipe requires.
Step 8: Once the time’s up, turn off the heat and wait for the gauge to read zero.
Step 9: Open the device away from your face, to avoid being blasted by the heat. Remove the jars with a jar remover.
Step 10: Check your jars to make sure you can’t just pull off the ringer. A tight seal means the process worked!
When water bath canning, you need to make sure the ingredients reach the proper pH levels. If they’re not right, harmful bacteria can form.
First, assemble your tools. you’ll need a canner, stainless steel funnel, bubble remover, jar lifter, rack, lids and rims. You’ll want to wash your jars, rims, and lids in hot water before taking any further steps.
Step 1: Wash your equipment in hot, soapy water.
Step 2: Fill the canner between 1/2 and 2/3 with water
Step 3: Heat the water so it’s hot, but not boiling, and place your jars into the kettle for at least 10 minutes until you are ready to fill them.
Step 4: Place the lids in hot, but not boiling, water in a sauce pan. This will protect their sealant.
Step 5: Prepare your food, then remove the hot jars and fill them.
Step 6: Release air bubbles by pressing against the contents with a non-metallic spatula.
Step 7: Wipe the jar rims with a clean, damp cloth.
Step 8: Put a hot lid onto each jar, and tighten the screw band.
Step 9: Place your jars into the canning rack then place them into a canner.
Step 10: Cover the jars with 1 or 2 inches of water.
Step 11: Cover the canner with a lid, and let the water boil for as long as the recipe demands.
Step 12: Remove the jars with a jar lifter.
Step 13: Do not touch the jars for an hour. You should hear a ping when they seal.
Step 14: Press down on the lids. If they don’t move or pop, you’ve created a good seal. If they do, place the food into the refrigerator and eat within 2 weeks.