Canning 101

The Basic Methods of Canning

The art of canning is making its way back into the culinary circle. Introducing Canning 101, the ultimate guide to the tricks and tools you’ll need to become a canning master! With recipes, methods and more, Home Farmer will have you processing to perfection in no time.

Two Methods

1. Boiling water bath method.

This is used for acidic foods including all fruits, tomatoes, sauerkraut and most foods to which vinegar has been added, such as most pickles and relishes.

2. Steam pressure canner method.

This is used for foods containing little acid, including vegetables (except for tomatoes, and meats, seafood, and mixes of food that include some low-acid foods).

Equipment You”ll Need

1. Canners

You”ll need a pressure canner if you can vegetables (except for tomatoes, sauerkraut, and pickles), plus a kettle with a cover if you”re canning fruits using the boiling water bath method.
Pressure canners are manufactured in various sizes so match your canner with your canning objective. If you”ll be doing a lot of canning, buy a big canner and save both time and heating costs.
– The dial-type pressure canner has a gauge that shows the pressure, a petcock that allows steam to escape under a controlled pressure, and a safety valve that will pop and thus relieve pressure if the petcock becomes stuck. The gauge must be checked for accuracy each year.
– The weighted-gauge pressure canner has a one-piece, metal weight-type pressure control. When the called-for online casino pressure is reached, you will hear the control jiggle, releasing steam and preventing the pressure from rising higher.

2. A Kettle

A kettle with a cover is used for boiling water bath canning of high-acid foods. Most people use a conventional black enamel canner, which is resistant to acids and salt solutions, and can double for cooking pickles or brining vegetables. The kettle must be deep enough so that jars sitting on a rack will be covered with at least an inch of water. There must be at least another inch in the kettle for the space required for a rolling boil.

3. Jars and Lids

Jars are sold in sizes from a half-pint to a half-gallon, and with a variety of lids. Most popular are the pint and quart sizes with the two-piece vacuum-seal lid held in place during processing by a metal band. With these lids, it”s easy to tell when the seal is perfect. The lid makes a definite snapping click and curves downward when it seals while cooling. When tapped with a spoon, the sealed lid rings clear.

Other Equipment

Most of the other items you will need you should already have in your household.  These include knives, long-handled spoons, saucepans, measuring cups, a colander, and scrapers. Additional helpful aids include:

  • The jar lifter is used for removing jars from the canner. Use one and you won”t burn your hands.
  • The jar funnel with its wide mouth makes it easy to fill jars without getting the food on the rim of the jars.
  • A bubble freer is handy, cheap, and makes it easy to get bubbles out of the food before processing.
  • For a timer, look for a photographer”s timer. It”s accurate, and will tell you with a loud ring when time”s up.


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