Canning 101: How to Preserve Your Food

What Is Canning?

Canning involves applying heat to food in a closed glass “can.” This method removes air from the jar to create a seal and prevent any natural spoilage that may occur. Two methods for canning include water canning (for acidic foods) and pressure canning ( for less acidic foods).  These methods help preserve foods for longer periods of time and have its origins back to the 1400s!

Food Preserving Methods:

  • Boiling-Water Canning (or Hot Water Bath): heated temperature of up to 212 degrees
  • Pressure Canning: heated temperature of up to 240 degrees
  • Pickling (or Brining)
  • Freezing
  • Dehydrating (or Drying)

pH Levels for Canning:

  • Two Classifications: high acid and low-acid foods
  • Foods naturally high acid levels (pH 4.6 or lower) – boiling water canning process
  • Foods with little natural acid (pH higher than 4.6) – pressure canning process

Key Ingredients for Canning

  • Salt, sugar, pickling lime, pectin, vinegar, bottled lemon juice.

Step 1: Getting Your Canning Supplies

  • Basic canning toolbox:
    • Canner/Stockpot, jar lifter, magnetic wand, jar funnels, combination rule/spatula
  • Additional tools:
    • Jars

Step 2: Preparing Your Canning Supplies

Sterilization Process:

  • Mold, yeats, bacteria, inactive enzymes prevention
  • Prep jars:
    • Check jars for damage
    • Wash jars, lids, rings in warm soapy water
    • Hot water sterilization (minimum 10 mins)
    • Dishwasher rince cycle method
  • Prep lids/rings:
    • Place and keep in warm water until ready to use. Do not boil


Step 3: The Canning Process

  • Select and follow tested recipes:
    • Use reliable sources
    • Purchase fresh, best quality product
  • Keep all your ingredients in one place
  • Cooking process
    • Make each recipe
    • Fill jars
    • Check headspace
    • Release air bubbles
    • Clean filled jars
    • Place lids on jars
    • Add screw bands,finger tight
    • Process according to specified timeframe of recipe

Buy A Canning Kit

These instructions may seem daunting, but trust me, canning turned out to be easy. This is coming from a woman who is afraid of boiling water, LOL.  Happy Canning

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