Ever wish canning could be a bit easier and you knew for sure you would preserve your food perfectly every time? New to canning and worried you will hurt your family? These feelings happen to everyone and the truth is canning is easier than you think. With a little work and planning with these tips for foolproof canning, you can have confidence in preserving the harvest for your family.
Simple Tools For Foolproof Canning
First, find tried and true recipes that you can trust. When you are new to canning and are still learning the ropes take the time to find a good book of canning recipes that have proven themselves long before you came along. These recipes have been remade and edited dozens of times to be sure that the recipe is correct.
Start with a clean kitchen. The biggest risk when it comes to canning for your family is germs getting into your jars and not dying off. With a clean kitchen, you can have the confidence of knowing That you have fewer germs to fight against. Clean with soap and water but a disinfectant is preferred. Clear out everything in your work area giving yourself plenty of free space.
Gather everything you need before you start. Having your supplies ready will save you the hassle of trying to find a tool or ingredient while working on your canning project. Place all canning tools in one place to allow you an easy place to grab everything you need without digging or hunting.
Sterilize those jars and lids. Yes, you will hear it a thousand times over and for good reason. Sterilizing the jars helps reduce the bacteria inside the jar before the water bath begins. This will help clear out bacteria.
Some people think that they can skip this step because they will be heating the jars again but the truth is you can never get EVERY piece of bacteria and giving your food the chance to spoil. By sterilizing jars and lids gives you an advantage. If you want your food to last don’t skip this step.
Heat the jars before filling with hot liquids. The best way to do this is to not pull them from the sanitizing water until you are ready to use them. Hot jars will not break when filled with boiling the liquid. Never set a hot jar on a cold surface. Use a trivet or thick towel to help prevent the cold from hard surfaces from smashing your glass jars.
Always can the best quality foods. Be sure to and lush pick the best vegetables best fruits. Canning for long-term storage does cause foods to lose some color and flavor as they age. The better the product that goes in the better your final product will be a year from now when you open it.
Remove air bubbles when filling jars. Air bubbles can lead to sealing issues and even broken jars. For jams, jellies, and other thicker items use a bubble popper to get rid of large bubbles in your jars before processing. If you are canning something in a brine like green beans or pickles you can give them a good spin and gently wiggle the jar to let air bubbles sneak out from under floating vegetables and herbs.
When playing around with recipes don’t mess with the acid content. Instead, play with the spices to achieve different flavors without risking creating a place when bacteria like botulism can grow and thrive. Balance is important when it comes to canning. This is even more important if you are choosing to use a water bath for your canning recipes. Pressure canning has a bit more options for playing with recipes because of the high temperatures they can achieve.
Use a canning funnel and give the rim a good cleaning before placing lids on. The smallest speck of food can prevent a great seal and allow the can to open before you intend it too. A clean seal is vital to the lids remaining in place if they seal at all.
Always label your jars. Shure, you can tell what is inside by looking at it. You canned it. Others in your home may not be so sure. Along with labeling what is in the jar be sure to write on the expiration date. Usually, canning recipes are good for one year. Newer lids now offer up to 18 months for the seal to last, so be sure to read your package before marking the expiration date.
Canning feel like a lot of work? Team up with friends and family to help with the process. Canning is a great skill to teach the next generation even if you are still learning yourself. Older kids that enjoy working in the kitchen will love helping you can.
Joining your best friend when your gardens are done for the year or you found a great sale is a perfect way to get quality time with your friend and you can speed up mass canning projects as a team. I also really enjoy this time of year with my kids.
All of them are learning about canning from me. When you have more than one set of hands it is harder for a missed seal to slip through the cracks or processing time to be too short.