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A Guide to Home Canning

You might be wondering why I’m posting a guide to canning.  I mean, you’ll probably never do it, right?  Well, I hope you change your mind because:

  1. It’s easy and you can use the freshest ingredients
  2. You can use the freshest ingredients and get exactly what you want.  For instance, I like homemade cinnamon-raisin-maple syrup-applesauce…and I can’t purchase that anywhere.
  3. You can make enough to last you for a long time, meaning you don’t have to worry about running out.

The only thing is this: you can kill yourself doing this.  It’s important to make sure you have enough acid in your food and follow the proper steps so you don’t get botulism.

This method is safe for high acid foods, including tomatoes (with added acid), fruits, jams, jellies, salsas, chutneys, relishes, pickles and fruit juices.

You will need:

  • A good home canning recipe (including all ingredients and farmers market fruits).
  • Large, deep saucepot with a lid and rack that fits inside (optional)
  • Glass preserving jars with lids and bands (always use new lids)
  • A ladle, funnel, and wooden spoon

10 Easy Steps to Home Canning

  1. Make the recipe.  Try this Strawberry Chipotle Compote or check out Ball Canning for other recipes.
  2. Sterilize the jars: collect and organize all utensils and ingredients. Fill the pot with water and boil.  Place lids into a bowl of very warm water.
  3. Place all the bands and jars inside the rack.  Then place the rack inside the pot.  Boil in hot water until you are ready to fill (for at least 10 minutes).
  4. Carefully remove the jars and fill each with the recipe, leaving a little space at the top (about 1”).
  5. Clean rim of jar and lid, and place lid tightly on jar.  Make sure the seal is tight before adding the band.
  6. Place filled jars in rack and then back in the pot.  The water should cover the jars.
  7. Place lid on pot and bring to a boil.
  8. Allow jars to sit in boiling water according to the recipe’s directions.
  9. Turn off heat, carefully remove jars and set upright on a towel in a cool, dry place for 24 hours.
  10. Store jars in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 1 year.

After 12-24 hours, check the seal on each jar.  If any jar does not seal properly (if the top has a bump), do not eat the contents!

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