How To Can Food in Jars? Easy Step by Step Food Canning Guide
Homemade preserves are not only delicious but also very healthy. By canning your food - you know what you eat. But if you want to enjoy tasty pickles, jams and juices after the season, you have to properly can the jars. Have you never done it, thinking that it's something typical for the older generations - your mom or grandma? Time to change it! Especially that jar canning is nothing difficult. Make the first step and learn how to can food.
What is canning in food preservation?
Canning food with home preserves (fruit or vegetable) simply means protecting it against spoiling. Canning involves high temperatures which eliminate harmful microorganisms. Thanks to this, preserves are suitable for consumption for several months, or even years - depending on the method.
Home canning has been known since generations. Thanks to it, you can enjoy the taste of fruit jams or jellies in winter, when fresh products are unavailable or they are imported from overseas - not as healthy as expected. It’s also a good way to make pickles and enjoy them whenever you like.
There are several options when it comes to canning food. Everyone can pick the best method for themselves - the one that is possible in particular home conditions, which is equally important.
How to can - what containers are used?
When thinking about canning, you might immediately think “canning jars.” As it turns out, not every container of this type is the same. There are jars with “twist-off” caps. Jars with rubber seal is a much less popular option - English Kilner or French Le Parfait are a good example of such items.
Jars are not the only possibility when it comes to canning. When canning food like homemade fruit beverages and syrups, you can use small glass bottles. Their larger equivalents are perfect for various sauces - homemade ketchup or ajvar. They are also perfect for quince liqueur.
The particular canning method is more or less determined by the container you pick. While twist-off jars are quite universal, the other types of jars with seals aren’t suitable for canning in very high temperatures.
How to can food in boiling water?
“Wet” canning is the method known for years. To do this, one needs a pot full of water. You put the jars in it - but first secure the bottom. You can use a kitchen cloth or a piece of thin fabric for this purpose. Why is it important? Because thanks to it the glass won’t heat up too much - which might cause its breaking.
How to seal canning jars step by step?
- After securing the bottom of the pot and putting the jars - pour room temperature water over them. The liquid should reach no more than 3/4 of the jars’ height.
- Put the pot on the stove and turn it on medium setting. Wait until the water boils.
- Carefully take the jars out of the hot water and place them on a secure surface. If the jars have twist-off lids, turn them upside down. If they have seals, position them normally.
When the jars cool down, you can hide them in your pantry and take out whenever you want to eat something healthy and delicious.
Some shops offer special claws for transporting and flipping hot jars. If you are planning to make a bigger batch, consider investing in such a tool - it will prevent burning.
Canning jars in an oven - how to do it?
Food canning in an oven is as simple as the method with boiling water bath. In this case, you need a baking pan - a deep one would be the best. The method depends on whether you want to seal cold jars or hot ones, e.g. containing fresh fruit beverages or syrups. This is the decisive factor whether you put them to a cold or hot oven.
When canning jars in an oven, set the temperature to 248 F (120°C). The time of the process lasts as long as it takes the oven to heat up. After reaching the set temperature, turn it off and keep the jars inside for the next 30 minutes. Afterwards, take them out and flip upside down.
How to can food in a dishwasher?
Few know that it’s possible to can jars in a dishwasher. What’s more! It’s one of the simplest and at the same time highly effective methods. What should you know if you decide to try it? An optimal canning temperature is 158 F (70°C)
Put the jars upside down in the dishwasher. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use dishwasher tablets or rinse aid while canning food. Set a program and turn on the device. After the “washing cycle” ends, leave the jars to cool off, then take them out and put in a pantry.
Dishwasher is an extremely quick way to can your jars - especially if they are small. This way, you can fit a lot of them in the device - and with one washing cycle, you can seal all of your winter preserves.
Just like grandma used to make - canning jars under a blanket
It is possible to can jars “dry.” To do this, you only need a blanket. After filling jars with hot preserve, close them tightly, flip them upside down and simply cover with a blanket - or even several ones to retain the temperature. This method has been used by at least several generations - which means it has to be effective.
Jars or bottles with preserves should remain under the blanket until they cool off completely. How do you know if they are sealed? Check for a small depression in the middle of the lid. If you cannot find any, better leave such a jar in the kitchen and use it right away, as it might not keep for long.
What kind of food can be canned?
Canned food mostly involves fruit and vegetable preserves. Beverages and sauces need shorter canning process because of their consistency. Any preserves with fruit or vegetable pieces need canning for longer.
As it turns out, other foods can be preserved in canning jars as well. Although they are not meant to secure your survival in winter. But you can use them easily in the next several days. It’s a perfect meal planning idea. You can prepare food for the whole week in one day, and simply seal it in a jar.
What exactly can be stored this way? First of all, various:
In this case, canning requires a higher temperature. We recommend at least 248 F (120°C). The timespan of the canning process is important as well - it should be adjusted to the type of a particular preserve.
📍 Canning food - what is it?
Canning is a special process that preserves taste and nutrition of food - mostly fruit and vegetable. When sealing jars, you need high temperature - from 70°C to 130°C. Home canning often involves meats and soups.
📍 Canning - how long does the process take?
When canning jars with fruit and vegetable preserves, you need no more than 20-30 minutes. Consider the size of the jars - the larger they are, the longer the canning process takes. Meats and soups require the longest time - here, you should use the three-times method, which takes over 2 hours in total.
📍 Canning jars - how much water for the method with a pot?
Food canning in a boiling pot is a method used for generations. In this case, the amount of water in the pot is very important - it should be no more than 3/4 of the jar's height. If you pour more, the glass could shatter or the lids would not be able to seal properly.
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