Home Canning Guidelinesby 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.