Sunday, August 22, 2010

Canning - Step By Step

My neighbor summoned me to her kitchen this week to can and said that I would be so happy this winter that we did. If I can do this, so can you but it’s depressing just thinking about winter. UGH!
Bon Appetit!

1. Boil water. Bringing a large pot or canning kettle to a boil takes some time - up to 45 minutes over high heat. Fill the kettle about half full for pint jars and two-thirds full for quart jars.

2. Sterilize jars and lids. The easiest way to do this is to run them through the "sterilize" cycle on a dishwasher. Or boil for 10 minutes.

3. Fill up. Ladle your food into sterilized jars using a wide-mouth funnel. Be sure to leave the amount of headspace specified in the recipe.

4. Let the air out. Run a thin-bladed knife around the inside of the jar to release any air bubbles along the sides of the jars. Wipe top edges of jars clean with a damp cloth to ensure a good seal.

5. Put a lid on it. Be sure the lid's seal is centered. Screw the metal ring lids on firmly so they stay in place.

6. Own the process. Submerge the jars into boiling water. Process as directed in the recipe.

7. Out of the water. Lift jars out with tongs. Keep a potholder handy in case you need to grab one of the hot jars. Set jars on the counter to cool to room temperature. You may hear a slight "ping" from the jars as they seal. This is a good thing.

8. Test the seal. Push down in the center of each jar. If it stays down, the jar is sealed. If it pops up, the jar isn't sealed. Keep unsealed jars in the fridge and enjoy immediately.

9. Label and store jars. Label the jars with the date and contents. Store in a cool, dark place and use within a year.