Canning Tips for Beginners
If you have ever grown a garden, youknow that you sometimes you end up with more produce than you knowwhat to do with. You may give some to family, friends, and neighbors,but you probably want to keep the majority for your household.Canning is a great way to preserve all of that produce, and willallow you to enjoy it long after the harvest is over. You may thinkthat canning is a difficult process, but it’s really fairly simpleprovided you follow instructions and have the right equipment. Someuseful tips on canning should help you get through your first canningexperience.
Canning Tip #1
It is best to use produce that isfreshly picked and perfectly ripe. Canning fresh produce will yieldthe best taste results. If you use fruits and vegetables that areoverly ripe or not ripe enough, the flavor may not be what you hadhoped for. Also, try using produce that isn’t too badly bruised orblemished, since that can make the results less than perfect too. Itwould be a bummer to waste time canning produce that might not tastethat great in the end.
Canning Tip #2
There are two ways to can produce. Oneinvolves a simple boiling water bath, and the other uses a deviceknown as a pressure canner. The boiling water method is much easierand may be the best route for a beginner. Although most vegetablesand fruits are better preserved in a pressure canner, you cansuccessfully preserve things like tomatoes, pickles, and jams in aboiling water bath. Therefore, choosing one of these things for yourfirst canning experience is probably a wise idea.
Canning Tip #3
Before canning for the first time, youwill need to purchase some required supplies. These include jars,lids, and rings. Jars are what your produce will be put into, and thelids and rings make sure a proper seal is achieved. You will alsoneed a big kettle or pot with a lid. It needs to be quite largebecause you will need to allow at least 2 to 3 inches of water aboveyour jars. The pot needs a lid so the water being used doesn’t boilaway. Canning racks can be purchased to lower your jars into the pot.They have handles and make the process easier than just dropping yourjars into the boiling water. These racks also keep jars from comingin contact with the bottom of the pot. Keep all of these supplies,along with your produce, in one large work area. This will keepeverything handy, and you won’t be running around searching forsomething in the middle of the canning process.
Canning Tip #4
It is necessary to wash your fruits andvegetables well before canning. This eliminates any surface bacteriafrom entering the jars. Some items also need to be peeled. Tomatoesare a good example of this. An easy way to remove the peels of fruitsand vegetables is to place them into boiling water for no more thanone minute. Remove and immediately submerge them in a sink or basinof ice cold water. This process will make the peels slide off withease.
Canning Tip #5
After your produce is washed, andpeeled if necessary, you can start filling your jars. Fill your jarsso that at least 1/2 inch of space remains above your produce. Youwill then need to cover your produce with some liquid. Hot water andlemon juice work well for many things. If you are canning fruit, asimple sugar syrup is needed to help preserve the fruit and yummyflavor after canning. The amount of sugar and water needed for simplesyrup varies with the type of fruit being used, so it is a good ideato find out the specifics. Be sure not to fill your jars to the verytop, because some expansion will occur when your jars are in boilingwater. After covering your fruit or vegetables with liquid, placeyour lids and rings on the jars.
Canning Tip #6
Once your jars are full and sealed,they are ready for the heating process. Be sure to have your potfilled 3/4 of the way with water, and bring it to a boil. The heat ofthe boiling water sterilizes any bacteria that remains and forces aseal to be formed between the lid and jar. You will then be ready tolower your jars into the boiling water using your canning rack. Makesure there is at least 2 inches of water above your jars, and coverthe pot with the lid. The length of time you need to boil your jarsvaries with the type of produce being canned. Be sure to find outwhat that time is before starting the canning process.
Canning Tip #7
After your jars have boiled for thespecific amount of time, remove them using the rack and place them 1inch apart on a towel covered surface. It may be necessary to tightenthe lids again after removing your jars from the boiling water. Allowthe jars to cool for 12 to 24 hours. After this time, check to makesure a proper seal has been formed by pressing down on the lids. Ifso, the process was a success and you are ready to store your producefor later use. Keep jars in a dry, dark place and use your items asyou need them.
You will be thrilled once you see howeasy it is to can your homegrown produce. The yummy flavor that youwill be able to enjoy year-round definitely makes the processworthwhile.
Guest post from Jessie Mars. Jessiewrites for www.healthinsurancequotes.org.