The Centsible Canning Series: Ten Steps to Canning Your Own Food
You learned previously what the benefits of canning are, and how to purchase and prep what you will be needing to can your own food. Now, it is time to learn how to actually start doing it! Canning your own food is a cinch once you get the hang of it, and in all reality it can be cut down to ten simple steps. Take a peek below for the ten steps to canning your own food. You will see how truly easy it is to get started canning your own food at home!
Before you begin, gather all of the supplies discussed in the previous post. You will want to have everything on hand and in arms reach so you feel organized and are not running all over the kitchen. Once you have your supplies, just wash your hands and get ready to have fun!
Ten Steps to Canning Your Own Food:
1. Consult a recipe
Each produce item will be canned in a different manner. It is best to use a recipe until you can get comfortable canning without one. Use a favorite old family recipe or one with a modern twist.
2. Sterilize your mason jars.
You will do this by boiling them in water for 10 minutes. Then, place them upside-down on a clean towel and drape another towel over them until you are ready to use them.
3. Prep the food according to the recipe.
The directions may have you peel and cut up fruits or vegetables. You may also remove pits, stems, cores, and any other part you don’t eat.
4. Fill the jars.
Using a canning funnel (if needed) fill your jars with your produce. Foods are said to be “hot-packed” or “cold-packed” depending on whether they are cooked and packed into jars hot or simply cut up and packed into jars cold. Your recipe will let you know which method to use. Leave a little bit of space at the top, called “head space”.
5. Add preservatives according to the recipe.
Preservatives used in home canning include sugar, salt, and acids such as lemon juice. Add the preservative before adding the liquid, so that pouring the liquid over it mixes it in.
6. Add your liquid.
Most fruits and vegetables are canned either in syrup or brine. Pour the needed liquid (also according to your recipe) over the produce and into the jar. This is where you “head space” comes in handy.
7. Remove air bubbles.
When you pour liquid over loose pieces, you’ll notice air bubbles. Remove them by running a long, plastic knife down along the sides and gently pressing the food.
8. Wipe the rims.
Wipe the rims and threads of the jars with a clean, damp cloth to remove any residue or drips. Make especially sure to clean the top surface.
9. Soften the seals.
Boil about an inch of water in the bottom of a medium saucepan and remove it from the heat. Place the seals into the water. Push them down so that they sink. Allow them to soften for a minute.
10. Screw on a clean ring and process the jars according to the recipe.
Screw a clean ring down over the seal and tighten it with snug hand pressure. Then process the jar according to recipe.
That’s it! In ten simple steps you have canned your own produce product! Now just process it according to recipe and store. Your canned produce will last you for months and will taste fresh when you need it.
Always be sure to label your cans with the product name, ingredients, and canning date. This will help you keep track of when it was made and what is in it. It will also help keep recipients more informed should you decide to give any of your canned produce away.
As you can see, ten steps are all that is between you and your very own canned produce! Give these steps a try and see how easy it is to start canning at home!