Home Canning Guidelines : New Website

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Home Canning Guidelines

by Lisa Fowler on 02/18/11

I ran across this short list of canning rules in Homemade Living: Canning & Preserving recently and thought it would be beneficial to share.

  • Use the boiling water bath processing method for high-acid foods only.
  • Process low-acid foods in a pressure canner, unless you acidify them.
  • Always check jars for nicks or scratches before use.
  • Be certain your equipment and preparation areas are thoroughly cleaned between each use.
  • Leave the amount of headspace per jar as indicated in the recipe.
  • Use new lids each time.  A used lid cannot be trusted to seal properly.
  • Only begin timing processing once the water surrounding your submerged, filled jars is a rapid boil on your pressure canner has emitted steam for 10 minutes.
  • Don't use jars larger than 1 quart.  It is more difficult to guarantee the contents of larger jars have been uniformly heated during processing.
  • Adjust for altitude when necessary.
  • Always follow recipes to the letter.  Adding even just one ingredient can alter the pH.
  • Examine used screw bands for signs of wear before use.
  • If a lid fails to seal, remember the two Rs:  Reprocess or Refrigerate.   Freezing is another option if your entire batch failed to seal and you're not quite feeling up to the task of processing the whole thing over again.
  • Never use a dishwasher to sterilize jars unless your model has a sterilization setting.
  • Avoid temperature fluctuations between your jars, their contents, and hard surfaces, as this may cause the jars to crack.
We will follow up on the differences in low and high acid foods as well as the cook methods, water bath and pressure cooking.

Comments (1)

1. Amanda said on 3/15/11 - 06:52AM
Great list Lisa. I didn't realize that you couldn't use the dishwasher for sterilization! I'll have to check if mine has a sterilize setting. Thanks for the list.

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