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The Basics of Home Canning: How to Enjoy Your Garden the Whole Winter!

Canning is a great process that almost anyone can enjoy. It is a good way to make sure that you can have a lot of great produce that will last you the whole winter long.

You can start up a garden of your own, enjoy some of the produce at the end of the season, and then store the rest of it until you need it through the winter. It is also a great way to save money.

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Ten Tips for Water Bath Canning

  • Get the Water On the Heat Bringing a canning kettle of water to a boil can take a long time– sometimes over 45 minutes on high heat. Be sure to get it on the stove before you start anything else.
  • Sterilize Jars and Lids Sterilize by setting them in boiling water for about 10 minutes
  • Clean Produce Make sure to thoroughly rinse and pat dry your produce
  • Fill Jars Make sure to leave the headspace specified in the recipe. If the final jar you fill isn't full, don't process it.
  • Release Air Bubbles Run a small knife along the inside of the jar to release any air bubbles.
  • Center Lids on Jars Make sure that the sealing compound around the edges of the lids touch the rims of the jars.
  • Process Jars Lower the jars into the boiling water (180°F to 185°F for pickles). The jars need to be covered by at least 1 inch of water. Process for the time specified in the recipe.
  • Remove Jars Lift jars out with tongs. Just let them sit until completely cool to room temperature. You may hear a "ping" from the jars as they seal.
  • Test the Seal Push down in the center of each jar. If it stays down, excellent. If it pops up the jar has not been sealed properly and these must be stored in a fridge.
  • Label and Store Jars Store jars in a cool, dark place and use within a year of canning date.
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