In this introduction to canning, we will go over a basic canning technique used to preserve; fruits, vegetables, jellies, and other foods. Canning is ideal for preppers and survivalists that own suburban/rural land. In some urban areas, urban farming has become very popular. However, most farms/gardens are susceptible to the environment. This makes canning a necessity.
Canning is a method that applies heat to food in a sealed, glass jar to help stop the natural decomposition that would otherwise take place. Canning removes air from the jar to create a strong, vacuum seal. The two popular home canning methods are water bath canning and pressure canning.
Why should you be canning?
Canning means your family’s food will be free of BPA (bisphenol A), preservatives, additives or any other harmful chemicals. If you’re trying to live green, canning your own food will make less of an impact on the environment as well, by reducing waste since the mason jars are reusable. In addition to the health and environmental benefits, canning will also save you money. These benefits make canning essential for getting your food stores stocked up.
The type of food you want to preserve will determine which method you will use. Let’s go through water bath canning, which is the best place to start since it’s basically just boiling water.
What You Will Need for Water Bath Canning:
- Wash your jars and lids thoroughly and rinse well.
- Minimize breakage by keeping jars warm in simmering water.
- Fill your stock pot/canner with enough water to cover the jars with at least 1 inch of water. Bring the water to a simmer. Place the lid on pot/canner.
- Fill each jar with prepared food following recipes for correct fill-level. Each jar needs space between the food and the lid to allow for expansion.
- Remove any air by gently pressing the food against the sides of the jar.
- Wipe jar completely clean.
- Place bands on the jars and screw down the lids.
- Lower filled jars into simmering water, ensuring the jars are covered by 1 inch of water. Replace the lid on the pot/canner and heat to a steady boil. Boil the jars for the time specified in recipe.
- Turn off the heat and leave the jars in the water for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes, remove the jars from the water and place them upright on the rack or a towel on your counter top for 12 hours.
- Store in a cool dark place to minimize degradation of your produce from excessive heat and/or sunlight.