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Water Bath Canning Basics

Water Bath Canning

Water Bath Canning – High Acid Fruits/Tomatoes (with bottled lemon juice)/Pickling (vinegar)
Why Preserving – lasts at least one year for Water Bath
Water Bath Canning – Canning pot and utensils

Ball Canning Set
Utensils/Tools:

  • Jar Thongs - Lifting Jars from hot water
  • Magic Wand – Lifting Rings and Lids from hot water
  • Jar Funnel – Used on Jars to ladle food into opening
  • Plastic Spatula – Remove air and bubbles from filled jars
  • Ladle & Thermometer – Ladle  the food into jars and to check temperatures for water, jams/preserves/jellies
Steps to Canning:

Choose your recipe – preserve/jam/jelly/pickled vegetables/chutney/whole fruit

Processing:

1.       Fill your water bath canner with water and get it on the flame. You will need enough water to cover the top of your tallest jar.
2.      Make preserve/jam/ pickled vegetables/chutney/whole fruit recipe following directions carefully
3.      Sterilize jars (boil for 10 minutes) in separate pot of hot water or use your water bath canner. Keep in water till ready to fill (180 degrees; still steaming)
4.      Remove jars only using your jar tongs and set on dishtowel on counter or working space
5.      Using a ladle and jar funnel fill jars to 1/4, 1/2,  or 1 inch headspace as directed based on what you are canning
6.      Using a plastic spatula run around the jar and remove air bubbles
7.      Re-Fill any jars that are not up to the headspace
8.     Using a clean wet cloth wipe the rims of the jar to make sure the rims are clean and will make a clean seal
9.      Remove lids and rings with your magnetic wand and place them carefully on the jars and seal them so they are finger tight – remember the jars & lids are very hot!
10.  Drop your base or insert into the bottom of the water bath canner
11.   Using the tongs place the jars in the water bath canner – Never put the jars directly on the bottom of the pot
12.  Cover the pot and bring water back to a boil and process from the boiling point for the allotted amount of time from the recipe. (212 degrees)
13.  Once the time is up, turn off the flame and wait 5 minutes to remove the jars. If you have multiple batches, do not turn off the flame but remove the jars and set on dishtowel to cool overnight. Add next batch.
14.  Check the vacuum seal – listen for the pop once you have removed the jars, can happen instantly from when you remove the jars to overnight
15.   Next day – clean up jars and label with contents and date canned! Remove rings for storing.

Tips:
·         Only use 6 cups of fruit when making a batch of preserves or jelly with pectin or it will not set properly
·         Add 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar to sterilizing water and water bath if you have hard water to avoid hard water spots
·         Once you remove your jars from the water bath or pressure canner do not move, shake or tilt until the next day when cool
·         Make sure to always clean your rims, improper seal can cause jar to open or leak during canning process
·         Never use fruits that are bruised or spoiling in any recipe – will not taste right and will affect the preserving of the contents.
·         If the jars do not “pop” and are not sealed you can re-bath them or put them into the refrig to eat right away (month or so)
·         Recognize food that has spoiled in the jars – cloudy white liquid in pickling, mold when you open,  jar lid bulging
·         Only use Vinegar that has a 5% acidity
·         Get the best dry spices – pickling spice (Penzeys)
·         Salts – Pickling Salt – if you can’t find it use Kosher salt only
·         Go online and find great recipes from tried and true sources
 
Notes about Jars - Lids/Rings

·         Lids should only be used once – rings can be used over (check for rust)
·         Check for chips or imperfections – need a proper seal
·         Sterilization is 10 minutes in previously boiling water (180 degrees) for jars and lids before filling

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