Canning Basics

 

Date: August 4th, 2010

After months of planting, weeding and watering, it’s finally time to harvest. While much of your garden’s delicious harvest ends up on your dinner plates, somehow there still seems to be enough leftovers to feed a small army. So what do you do?

Can it! Canning preserves fruits and vegetables from the garden long into the winter months.

Canning Tips

What is canning?

Canning applies heat to food in a closed glass jar, killing any microorganisms that may grow, and creates a vacuum seal on the jar. The vacuum seal prevents air from leaking into the jar and discourages cell growth that would cause the food to spoil.

There are two home canning methods – Waterbath Canning and Pressure Canning. The type of food that you select for preserving will differentiate the method that is used.

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Waterbath Canning

Method for preserving tomatoes, salsa, jellies, jams, fruits and other high-acid foods.

 

What you need:

 

Great for beginners!

Pressure Canning

Method for preserving meats, poultry, vegetables, chili, fish and other low-acid foods.

 

What you need:

 

 

Best for intermediate and advanced canners.

 

What are the benefits of canning?

  • Canning saves money
  • Eco-friendly
  • Preserves your harvest

 

What supplies do I need?

  • Pressure Canner – Used for canning veggies and meats at high temperatures
  • Canning Jars and Seals – Mason-style jars with sealed rings and lids work best
  • Large Pot – Needed to boil canned preserves and jams, fruits, tomatoes and pickled vegetables
  • Funnel – Eliminates messes and allows for easy filling of jars
  • Ladle – Fills jars
  • Tongs – Removing hot cans from the water can prove to be quite the challenge without tongs
  • Cloths – Required to wipe down jars, lids and rims

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For easy-to-follow canning recipes and tips,try these step-by-step guides:

 How to Make Jelly courtesy of MrsWages.com

Canning Methods courtesy of Agway.com

Canning Glossary - Hundreds of canning terms courtesy of FreshPreserving.com



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