Dos & Don’ts For Home Canning

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Dos

  • Start with good quality fresh fruits and vegetables that have been thoroughly rinsed and scrubbed with a vegetable brush to remove debris
  • Only use glass home canning jars (ball/mason/kerr jars) with 2 part sealing lids and bands
  • Prepare the lids and jars according to manufacturers suggestions
  • Choose the appropriate canning method for the foods being preserved
  • Have all your canning utensils on hand and ready to use before you start preserving food
  • Make sure to inspect the canning jars for chips or cracks as this can effect whether the jars seal properly as well as add a risk of breakage during the canning process
  • Wash and sterilize the canning jars
  • Allow for proper head space when filling the jars
  • Follow the canning recipes exactly
  • Stick to recommended processing times for each canning project
  • Store canned food in a cool, dry and dark place

Don’ts

  • Don’t forget to wash your hands before you start your canning project. Wash up again during the canning event if you sneeze or have to use the bathroom
  • Do not use “commercial” jars such as spaghetti or mayo jars. They are not meant for canning and carry a high risk of breakage during the canning process
  • Only use a 2 piece band and lid set for sealing jars. Bands may be used again and again as long as they are not rusted or bent. Never reuse a canning lid; once it has been used it will not be able to reseal during processing
  • Don’t use the open kettle or any type of oven method for preserving and canning. The USDA and other authority sites have stated that this is no longer a safe way to can food
  • Do not over tighten bands
  • Don’t deviate from canning recipes; they are measured out to make sure that the food will stay safe and process correctly
  • Hot liquids in cold jars don’t mix; make sure your jars are heated before filling them to avoid breakage
  • Don’t forget to label the canned foods with their content and date of processing
  • Do not store jars upside down once processed
  • Don’t under process the foods being canned
  • Do not remove the lid to the canning pot while the processing is going on
  • Don’t attempt to eat any canned food that appears to have not sealed properly and has mold or discoloration

The Bottom Line About Home CanningThe bottom line about home canning is; when in doubt ask for help. Use common sense when canning and preserving your food. You want your family to eat healthy and tasteful meals from your canning projects. Give them that chance by following the Dos and Don’ts for Home Canning. Here’s to your successful home canning experience.

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