Home canning lets you preserve the summer fruits and vegetables you grew in your garden or bought at the farmers market. The National Center for Home Food Preservation offers these tips for beginners:
- Choose proper ingredients including unblemished produce that’s not overly ripe. When recipes call for salt, use only canning and pickling salts.
- Use jars and lids specifically designed for canning. Always use new lids; you may re-use jar rings.
- Check all jars for chips and cracks before processing.
- Use modern, research-tested recipes created anytime after the year 2000 and follow them exactly. Your local Extension office is a great source for reliable recipes.
- Select the proper method - use boiling water canners only for fruits, tomatoes and pickles since the temperature of boiling water is sufficient to kill bacteria in these high acid foods. Pressure canning safely preserves low-acid vegetables and meats.