The Centsible Canning Series: How to Get Started Canning Your Own Food
If you have ever had the desire to can your own food, you may not have any idea where to begin. After all, if you have never canned before the whole process can seem intimidated for sure. But no worries, you are just a few simple steps away from canning all on your own. You don’t need a great deal of supplies or know how to get started canning. In fact just a few materials and a little time is all you need to get going. Take a look below at how to get started canning your own food right away!
First, you should know that there are two methods of canning:
- Pressure canning
This method is used to preserve low-acid foods, like vegetables, meats, poultry and seafood. In this method, your jars of food are placed in 2 to 3 inches of water in a special pressure cooker which is heated to a temperature of at least 240 F.
- Boiling water bath canning
This method is used to preserve high-acid foods, like tomatoes, fruits, jams, jellies, and pickles. In this method, your jars of food are placed in a regular large pot, completely covered with boiling water and cooked for a specified amount of time.
You will need to first decide what method you are going to be using, which will of course depend on what type of food you are canning. Use the guide above to help you decide if you are going to be using the pressure method or boiling water bath method. When starting out, it is best to try one method out first and develop your skill at it before taking on a second.
Next, you will want to gather all of your supplies that you will need, aside from the produce that is required. A list of items you need will look something like this:
Large kettle to pre-boil in
Wide mouth funnel
Labels and label marker
The majority of these materials can be found right at your local grocer or retail store. Don’t worry about buying anything fancy as simple and basic will do. Amazon also has pre assembled canning kits you can look into as well as a variety of canning recipe books and information books! You may choose to add other accessories to your canning ensemble as you get better at it, but for now these items are basically all you need.
Once you have your supplies, you are going to want to gather your produce. This is the fun part! You can use either produce from your own garden, a local farmer, your local grocer, neighbor, etc. Produce should be fresh and not showing any signs of spoil yet. Produce should be cleaned well before you begin to remove any additional dirt and debris. Once it is cleaned well, you are going to want to prep your produce according to recipe. Will you be making a salsa or dip? Then your produce will be diced. Will you be canning the produce for cooking needs? Then slices will do. Are you making a jam or spread? This is when you would puree your produce. Knowing your recipe is the best way to know how to prep your produce for canning.
Now that you have your method picked out, your supplies ready, and your produce prepped, it is time to start having some fun canning! Continue on in this centsational canning series to learn more about how to can your own food from the comfort of your own kitchen.
Read last weeks canning post HERE!