For some people canning season begins with planting a garden. For others it begins with a visit to the local farmers market. Whichever source for fresh produce you use canning is an excellent way to make sure that your family has the freshest food possible even when the harvest is done.
Based on the type foods you wish to preserve for your family there are a few factors that need to be considered. The two methods of canning are boiling water method and steam pressure method.
The boiling water method of canning is preferred for high acid foods such as, pickles, gooseberries, plums, blackberries, sour cherries, apples, peaches, pears, tomatoes. This method can be used to can most fruits, fruit juices and tomato concoctions from fresh tomatoes to spaghetti sauce.
Prepare your produce for canning by keeping in mind the size jars you wish to use and the size of your canner. It is best to prepare only what your canning equipment will handle at one time. Now Prep your jars follow the instructions for washing and preparing them, check the tops for nicks or cracks. Remember these will be filled with boiling water and surrounded by boiling water.
Boiling Water Canning Process:
- Fill boiling water canner half full with water and bring to a simmer [180 degrees F] position canner rack over simmering water.
- Prepare recipe. Fill jars and adjust caps
- Place jar on canner rack immediately after each jar is filled. Carefully lower the rack into simmering water. Water level must cover jars and two piece vacuum caps by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water if needed to reach this.
- Put the canner lid in place. Adjust heat to medium high. Bring water to a roiling boil. Set time according to the recipe processing time. Maintain water at a rolling boil for the entire processing time.
- After processing time is complete turn off heat and remove canner lid. Let canner cool for 5 minutes before removing jars.
- Remove jars from canner, setting jars upright on a dry towel or cutting board to cool. Leave 1 to 2 inches of space between jars. Do Not Tighten bands if they loosen during processing. Let jars cool 12 to 24 hours before checking for a seal.
Hints: If lid did not seal the contents can be reprocessed, remove the lid reheat as recommended by the recipe, pack food into a clean hot jar. Place new heated lid on the jar and adjust band. Reprocess using the canning method and full time recommended for the recipe. If lid did not seal because of damage to the jar dispose of jar and contents.
Mixed Berry Jam
You will need:
4 ½ Tbsp Fruit Pectin [powdered]
3 cups sugar
6 Half Pint (8 oz) Jelly Jars with lids and bands
2.) COMBINE berries in an 8-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.
3.) ADD entire measure of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam, if necessary.
4.) LADLE hot jam into hot jars, one at a time, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars. Apply bands and adjust to fingertip tight.
5.) PLACE filled jars in canner ensuring jars are covered by 1 to 2 inches of water. Place lid on canner. Bring water to gentle, steady boil.
6.) PROCESS jars for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid and let jars stand for 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lids should not flex up and down when center is pressed.