So you want to learn how to can? Whether you’re a gardening enthusiast looking to preserve some remnants of your summer bounty or you’re really into DIY pickles, knowing how to can your own food is simply a good skill to have.
Step 1: Round up your equipment
Canning jars, lids and pot to boil water (or a canner) are the basics, but you’ll also need a funnel, a tool to remove bubbles and a magnetic lid lifter is also helpful.
Step 2: Rinse and sterilize
To rinse, use water and soap. To sterilize, use boiling water.
Step 3: Prepare your food
If you’re pickling produce, you want to chop them up right before you begin pickling, before the natural oxidization process steals their freshness. Sprinkle lemon juice on fruit to keep them from becoming brown.
Step 4: Fill the jars
When filling the jars, leave room at the top to accommodate for expansion later on in the process. For produce, you’ll need to add brine. Find an easy recipe here.
Step 5: Start canning
If you’re canning sans canner, simply submerge your jars in a large pot of boiling water. The amount of time you keep your jars submerged will vary, so make sure you look up specifics based on what you’re canning. Once you’ve fished your jars out of the water, let them cool and dry and ensure the lids have popped in, which indicates that they are properly sealed.