Canning Tips for Those Just Starting Out

You are a homesteader, then it typically means you have a garden. This means you are growing vegetables and fruit more than likely. You cannot eat all the food right away in most cases, so you want to can it to preserve it. There are some excellent benefits to canning in addition to having all that extra food in the house.

One of the primary benefits is that you do not have to worry about any added chemicals to the food. In addition, it tends to taste quite a bit better than commercial canned food. It is also quite a bit easier than most people think, and it can be fun.

First of all, you need to make sure you have all the right equipment. You need to have a number of canning jars and lids, as well as a canner. Those just beginning will likely want to start with a water bath canner. You can find kits available, and they will usually include tongs for lifting the jars as well as a ladle.

Make sure you sterilize the jars, the lids, and the rings. You can do this by washing them in warm soapy water, rinsing them, and then boil them. A good tip is to remove the jars when you’re ready to can, but leave the lids and rings in the water until you are ready to close up the cans – this ensures they remain sterile.

In addition, be sure to slice up your fruits or vegetables to the right size for the jars, and only fill up to the fill line on the jars. Follow the instructions for your canner, and then let the jars cool once you have finished canning. Label them and then store them in dark place.

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9 thoughts on “Canning Tips for Those Just Starting Out

  1. It would be nice to have a bit more details or references to how to can. I get the general gist having helped my mother and landlord’s wife. I couldn’t do the large amount they do having limited storage in my apartment but I could do a smaller quantity. I don’t know where to get any supplies except for the jars lids and rings which are always on sale locally in this part of the year, but I will have to research where to buy the canning kit with tongs for sealing the jars. I would like something a bit more modern than the ones, I have seen used by my mother and landlady.

    1. Maria, If you have a big box store near you that is where to go, walmart, meijers or any other, also if there is a large store like homedepot or lowes, they also may have the things necessary for canning. As for the how to – since you have computer access, go to youtube, there are a huge amount of videos that can teach you.

    2. Wal-Mart sells all the supplies… jars, lids, rings, canning pots, tongs and even a magnetic stick to get your lids and rings out of the water. Check any agriculture place also (animal feed stores). Amazon sells the canning pots and supplies also. Ensure you buy correct canning pot…some are not good for glass top stoves.

      I prefer wide mouth jars easier to fill. Also ALWAYS make sure there is no food debris on top of jar or will not seal properly. I wipe mine with a paper towel. You can buy books on canning or as Thomas Thomas mentioned there is always the wonderful source of you tube. Good luck and enjoy.

    3. Get Ball’s Blue Book of canning. In it, it will tell you what to get and how to use it. It is the HOLY GRAIL. I open it and recheck it every time I can something. I don’t care if I canned it yesterday. You are taking your life and your families life at stake. If not done properly you could poison the food you are trying to preserve. Are you going to leave it to chance you remember it correctly?? it takes 2 minutes or less to check the Time, Pressure and Method. I get most of my supplies at Mills Fleet Farm, the Hardware store or the grocery store. I can Fruits, Vegetables, Meats & Fish. It’s fun once you get started, but you have to be diligent and check to make sure everything is done properly. Any bulging lids now or later should be tossed. If in doubt, toss it out. It could save your life. Get the Book, Read, Do & Recheck. Have fun & Enjoy.

  2. Very disappointed when I read this article, the least you could have added is a list of fruits and vegetables safe for the water bath method and which are recommended and safest when using the pressure cooking method. Yes, there are lots of videos online showing canning, but I opened this page expecting a summary with more useful information than simply boiling jars, rings and lids…Sorry, I give this article a thumbs down.

    1. water bath is only for acid food like tomatoes, vinegar that add to it etc but pressure cooking for non acid food like meats.

  3. You cam get all the supplies you need at Walmart. Look on line to get canning recipies for what you want to can. Good luck!

  4. I know about canning jars and lids but what is a canner? I remember my mother in law just using a huge pot on the stove with the jars filled with the foods sitting in boiling water in the pot.

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