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Home Canning Tips And Lessons Learned

May 16, 2017, by Ken Jorgustin

Looking for home canning tips? I thought one of the best ways to discover some of the lessons learned would be to hear it straight from others who have some experience with home canning and their own trial-and-error discoveries.

Recently someone on the blog wrote the following comment,

“Literally, everything we’ve ever canned is in our canning bible (the recipe, process, problems, jars canned, modifications to procedures and why, dates, etc…). It is group indexed with a different section for everything from fruits, vegetables, pickles, jellies, meats etc… This is a treasure trove of information that we would be lost without. Actually, we wouldn’t be lost, but it would become a royal pain in the rear if it were lost, stolen, or destroyed.”

This gave me the idea to ask our own readers for their input for home canning tips, which could become a resource in the comment section for others who happen across this page in the future while doing their own web-searching on home canning.

So lets hear from you home canners… What are some of your own tips and lessons learned?


 
Here are a few home canning tips to get it started:

Water-bath versus Pressure Canner. A water-bath canner should only be used for high acid foods such as tomatoes, fruits, pickles, jams/jellies. A pressure canner MUST be used for low acid foods including vegetables and meats for food safety (higher pressure = higher cook temperatures).

Presto 23-Quart Pressure Canner

Large Canning Jars. Avoid using canning jars larger than a quart. Home canning technology cannot guarantee that larger quantities will be sufficiently heated through for enough time (food in the center of a large jar may not get hot enough for food safety).

Jar Rim Check. Run your finger over the top of the canning jar rim and check for nicks. Even the tiniest nick makes the jar unusable for canning because a nicked jar rim won’t seal reliably.

Ball Complete Book Of Home Preserving

 
What are some of your own home canning tips? Lessons learned?
I will begin listing some of them after we’ve received a number of comments…

 
For A Good Seal… Wipe the top of the jar with a rag that has vinegar on it to make sure that the edge is clean so I will get a good seal.

Take Off Rings After Canning. After the jars have cooled, remove the rings to avoid developing rust on the jar & threads. Will also reveal if a jar lid loses its seal during storage (whereas a ring threaded over the lid will prohibit that visual observation).

Jar Storage. Once you have canned your food, store them in the canning-jar box that has the cardboard dividers. Use labels to mark the outside of the box with the contents and date canned.

Opening The Pressure Canner. Wait until it cools and pressure reaches “0”. NEVER ‘release’ the pressure from a pressure-canner, even slightly, the contents inside the Jars will boil from the pressure change and ooze the contents past the Lid/Ring making for failed seals 99% of the time.

Tightening The Rings. Do not over tighten the rings, over-tight rings will make the jar hold the pressure that needs to be released during Pressure Canning, again causing failed seals. Adjust ring till it first bottoms against the lid, then turn 1/3 turn more. That’s it.