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Canning Tips For The Person Who Has Never Before Canned

Aug 27, 2008
Are you the type of person who likes to do things the old fashioned way? I mean by holding onto the traditions, and knowing how things were done before we advanced beyond these stages. Then let me introduce you to canning for beginners. This is one of the most rewarding hobbies that anyone could possibly do. You can learn how your grandparents preserved food for the winter. All you need to have is a pressure cooker, some canning jars/w lids, some food that you would like to try to preserve and the desire to do it. Cooking under pressure will trap steam from the boiling water in order to reach the temperature it needs to kill bacteria and make it possible to preserve your foods.

For beginners, it is better to start out with a boiling water canning method. This is the most inexpensive way to learn how to can and you will be proud of your efforts after it is finished. You will need some canning jars, and lids, both pints and quarts, which are very good for canning tomatoes, pickles, and other such fruit. Small 8oz jars are good for preserving things such as relish and jellies. They come 12 to a box and have lids for each one. These jars are tempered for canning and therefore it is unwise to use any jar, such as a mayonnaise jar, or a jar that has previously had jelly or jam in it.

You will also need a canning pot with a lid that is deep enough to immerse the jars by at least one inch, or two inches would be even more preferable. You'' also need a rack to put the jars in to keep them off the bottom of the pot. If a rack didn't come with your pot, you can simply out a rack at the bottom of the pot to keep the jars from touching the bottom of the pot. Another tool that you will need is a plastic spoon, knife or spatula to stir the filled jars to release any possible trapped air. Also you'll need a large mouth plastic funnel, a set of strong, long handled jar pullers also known as tongs, for removing the hot jars out of the water. You will need a small towel to dry any remaining water from off of the jars as you lift them out of the pot.

Always use the fresh produce when possible, wash and peel the fruits before you begin. While you are prepping your fruit for cooking, place the jars into water and let it come to a boil for a few minutes. Then place the cut up fruit into the hot jars filling them about an inch from the top. There's a product called Fresh Fruit that is recommended to prevent fruit from discoloration. Read the directions to get the recipe for a sugar water syrup that's either light, medium or heavy, experiment to see which you like best. Pour this syrup over the fruit. Dip your plastic spoon or spatula into the jars releasing any trapped air. Clean any other food from the outside of the jar, put your lids on and tighten them. Put the jars back into the pot filled with warm or hot water and put back on the stove. Make sure to cover the jars with water about an inch over the lids.

Turn the stove on high with with the jars loaded into the canning pot. Once you have reached a vigorous boil, let it continue to boil for the time limit in your recipe, but the usual is about 10 minutes for pickles, 25 to 30 minutes for fruits, and 35 to 40 minutes for tomatoes.

When they have been cooked for the prescribed time, turn the heat off and put the jars using your tongs, on a towel to drip dry and to cool overnight. Before leaving the jars to cool check each jar to make sure there are no lids raised up in the center. This is an indication that the jars of food are no good because they did not seal. If this is true, you can either refrigerate (once they cool) and use those immediately, or try again using a new jar and lid. Try wiping the lid of the jar with a clean towel before screwing on new lids to try to reseal.

There is no better feeling than the feeling you get once you learn to preserve food. It is beneficial for anyone that likes to learn how things were done by our grandparents, it is one way to work in the past.
About the Author
Rachel enjoys writing about ways to assist families with frugal ideas .and money saving tips .to assist families stretch their budgets, thus reducing stress.
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