Canning season is right around the corner. Some folks have already begun. I love canning; it actually very calming and therapeutic for me. Plus, I get the added benefit of knowing I can feed my family good quality products year-round. Putting a garden in; no matter how big or small, is one of the best things you can do for your family.
Canning doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. You don’t have to start with tons of fancy equipment. In my house, my basics are a giant stock pot, jars of all sizes, lids and rings to match. I can get quite a bit done in a day; which saves me so much time (and money) through the rest of the year. My hope is that with these few tips, you’ll have an easier time starting on your canning journey.
Canning Basics 101
One way to stock your pantry with some foods that you love is to preserve them. Are you new to the idea of canning and preserving? This article will give you an overview of what the process is all about and how it can help you to store delicious items to eat later.
What is Canning?
Canning is the process of preserving foods for eating later. It was a great way for people to have food throughout the winter months. Summer fare won’t last forever. One way to keep enjoying the taste of summer berries and vegetables is to preserve them. That’s one way that people living in remote locations in the early days were able to survive the long harsh winters.
Benefits of Canning
Canning does take a while to do until you get the hang of the process. So, why can at all? There are several benefits for you and your family.
Canning is economical – It saves money on groceries. When you want strawberry preserves, you go to the pantry instead of heading to the store.
Canning cuts out food waste – Fruits and vegetables that you have grown in your garden don’t have to be given away or thrown away because you can’t eat them all before they spoil.
Fresh and good for you – Canning uses the natural fresh ingredients without preservatives or additives. This is better for the body. Also, the natural flavor of the food comes through for a tastier meal.
The Canning Process
In order to get started, you’ll need a few tools. Kitchen and home stores usually stock what you will need to get started. You can also Google “canning supplies” online to see the best stores and the best prices. Even if you only can foods one season, your equipment will have paid for itself.
You will need:
- Canning jars, seals and lids
Wide mouth funnel
Jar lifting tongs
Pressure canner or large cooking pot with lid
Large pot or Dutch oven
The first thing you will need to do is to sterilize your jars and lids. Wash them with hot water and soap. Then boil them for about 10 minutes. Make sure that they are completely covered so they are sterilized inside and out.
Prepare your food. Slice up or dice your vegetables and fruits. Pickling may be preferred for some vegetables. Make preserves out of your fruits if you wish. Prepare them at the peak of freshness for maximum flavor and nutrition. Add lemon juice to tomatoes to achieve stable pH. Ascorbic acid can prevent fruits from browning in the jar.
Fill the jars with your fruits and vegetables, leaving space for expansion. Add boiling liquid or pickling solution until it covers the top of the food. Remove any air bubbles before sealing with the lids and the rings.
To complete the process, the sealed jars must be placed into boiling water in a pot of pressure canner. Make sure water covers the jars when water bath canning. The boiling time depends on the food and the altitude.
Allow jars to cool and vacuum seal before labeling and storing them.
Canning allows you to enjoy your favorite foods all year round!!!
Are you a canner? I would love to hear what types of things you can for your family.
Here are some super simple recipes to help you get started:
Canning Tomatoes. Canning your own tomatoes is super duper awesome. I use these canned tomatoes as the base for stew, vegetable soup, chili, goulash, and homemade pasta sauces.
With this pickle recipe, you can be eating crunch dills all year and never pay supermarket prices again!
Canned pumpkin, the perfect addition to pie.
Pumpkin butter – the perfect partner to toast, pancakes and waffles.
Don’t forget the applesauce!
Robin (Masshole Mommy) says
I have never tried canning, so this is really helpful for a newbie like me 🙂
MJ L. commenting for Mommyhastowork says
I always wanted to try Canning but never have the time to do it. I need to try it!
I wish my garden had been better this summer – we’d definitely be canning more! I love eating my own vegetables year round.
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says
This was a great post. If you know the basics of canning you can preserve almost anything.
Catherine S says
These are great tips. I want to start canning so we have supplies for hurricane season.
Robin (Masshole Mommy) says
That is a smart idea. I never would have thought about that as something to prepare for.
Liz Mays says
It would be so cool to start doing this. I had a friend who used to can their own Italian peppers and they were perfect for philly cheesesteak sandwiches.
I have never tried canning myself, but have such fond memories watching my mom and grandma do it back in the day. It was always fun picking from the garden then watching them together in the kitchen! Great memories!
I have never canned before. I will have to give it a try some time!
I’ve never tried canning before. I’ve thought about it but never done it so this is great and maybe I can give it a try!
Marcie W. says
I would love to have an actual garden but it is so tough to successfully grow here in a desert climate. My inlaws often can pasta sauce from their tomatoes and relish from their zucchini.
Debbie Denny says
Love to can. Been doing it since I was a child with my granny.we will be canning apples in the next few days.
Ann Bacciaglia says
I have always wanted to try canning. My friend does it and makes the most amazing salsa. I will have to give her a hand this year and see how it is done.
These are great tips. I’ve always wanted to try canning but never knew where to begin!
I love canning! I buy a bunch of produce during the summer when it’s really cheap & go canning crazy!
Cherri Megasko says
I grew up on a farm so canning our harvest was a way of life for us. Absolutely nothing went to waste. Later in life I continued canning, but more for the joy of it than out of necessity.
I have never true canning before but always wanted to. I hope to do some this season. My friend and I have been growing a ton of vegetable and I hope to use them all.
My mom always cans tomatoes and green beans every summer. I’ve canned hot pepper jelly before and it was so good. I have all the tools, so thanks for reminding me to get to canning.
Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly says
I have never tried canning. I can imagine if I had garden I would probably try it so I could preserve the fruits of my harvest.
Kelly Hutchinson says
I have always wanted to can, but always thought you needed special equipment I am totally going to try this.
I have never tried canning before, but I’ve heard that it’s really enjoyable. I may have to give it a try!
rika agustini says
i never preserved / canned before. i make pickles but never had any left over.
Sabrina @ Dinner, then Dessert says
I’ve lways wanted to try cannning! It’s a great way to preseve food!
My grandma loved to can. She looked forward to it every year and I remember watching her do it. 🙂
April @ Everyday Fitness and Nutrition says
My brother has a big garden and cans stuff like crazy. It really is a lot of work but a great way to cut down on food waste.
Annemarie LeBlanc says
I have never tried canning before. I assumed it was difficult to do, however, you make it seem so easy. I must try to do this too.
Mimi "MimiCuteLips" Green says
I’ve never canned anything but growing up I loved canned goodies. Now I want to cook and start canning all kind of things.
Great tips! I have never canned before, but I’ve always wanted to. I think it would be a wonderful experience and it would save some money too.
I have always been curious about canning but just didn’t know where to start. My grandma did it for years and I think after reading your post, I’ll give it a try myself!
Bohemian Babushka (@BBabushka) says
Cubans don’t can. There’s never enough left over to preserve. ; ) Seriously though, it sounds easy enough, but I think I’ll watch a couple of youtubes to see the actual process. Love the examples you give. BB2U
Rebecca Swenor says
This is awesome information indeed for those wanting to can. I have only made homemade salsa, blueberry jam and strawberry/rhubarb jam before. I am going to try canning meat and veggies this year though. Thanks for sharing.
Shannon Gurnee says
I would really love to start canning in our home. This is a great guide! Thanks for sharing.
Debbie L. says
It is canning time in Wisconsin. I love to can – everything taste so good when it is 25 below zero in January!
I want to learn how to can, my relatives have always done it and I never learned. Must try!
I have always said I was going to start canning and I never do. It is something I am very interested in though!
Michelle @ Dishes and Dust Bunnies says
I really appreciate this post since I’m trying to do more of this myself with food that I make. Thanks for the great resource!
Fariha N. says
I really want to try canning. I have so many ideas of things to can and pickle and it would save me so much money all year round.
Chubskulit Rose says
Thanks a lot for these tips. I will be canning tomatoes this week and these tips comes in handy.
Ashleigh Walls says
I’m lucky that both my kids love applesauce. I will have to share some of these tips with my mother in law.