The Guide to Canning Foods
January 26, 2023

Canning fruits and vegetables is a rewarding process and useful skill. It allows you to enjoy your favorite foods during all seasons.

When canning, the fruits and vegetables are packed in raw form or heated prior to packing them into jars for canning.

Raw Pack

This method places raw, uncooked food directly into jars. Pour boiling hot syrup, juice, or water over the food in order to create an appropriate headspace.

The majority of vegetables and fruits packaged raw should be packed tight because they will shrink as they are processed. However, corn, potatoes, lima beans, and peas need to be packed loosely as they expand during canning.

Hot Pack

This method cooks the food before placing it along with boiling hot liquid into jars. The shrinkage process has already begun; therefore, pack food in a way that is loose enough so that food can be protected by liquid.

Steps for Boiling Water Bath Method

Make use of the method of boiling water exclusively to preserve foods with high acidities, such as tomatoes, fruits, and pickles.

The canner should be filled halfway using hot water. On the burner, warm the water.

If you are packing jars with raw ingredients, keep your canner’s water hot but not boiling to avoid breaking the jars once they’re put inside the canner. For hot-packed jars, make use of warm or lightly boiling water.

Fill one jar at a given time, allow for adequate headspace, get rid of air bubbles, and adjust lids according to the instructions below:

1. Create the appropriate headspace according to the instructions for processing specific food items in order to eliminate all extra air from the food during processing and to create a vacuum seal.

2. Use a bubble-freer or any other similar plastic or rubber tool around the edges of the jar and gently move the food until any air that is trapped escapes.

3. Screw the lids on, but not too tight, as air needs to escape during the process.

4. Set the glass jars filled with water on the racks of the canner. You can add more boiling water or pull it out according to the need so that the water sits at least one inch above all the glass jars.

5. Once the water in the canner is at the point of boiling, begin taking note of the proper processing time. Adjust the heat until it is at an even and constant boil, then add additional boiling water as needed.

6. If the water does not boil at any point during the process, switch the heat to the highest setting, bring the water back up to a full boil and then begin the process from the start (using the entire initial processing time).

7. Once the jars are treated by boiling the water for the suggested time, then turn off the heat and take off the lid of the canner.

8. Make use of a jar lifter and gently lift the jars. Place the hot jars upside down on the cooling rack for cakes or dry towels to keep the jars from breaking upon contact with cold surfaces.

9. Do not place the jars in the cold draft. Don’t cover them with or wrap jars with towels. Make sure to leave an inch space between the jars.

10. Let the jars cool in a completely unattended manner for 12 to 24 hours. Don’t tighten the rings on the lids. Do not press down onto the center of the lids that are flat until the jars are fully cool.