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1. For self-reliance.

2. To provide an opportunity to teach children work, self-reliance and cooperation.

3. To have shelf stable foods that canít be purchased, are hard to find, are in short supply, are expensive to purchase or are rationed.

4. Salt and sugar content can be controlled.

5. Artificial preservatives and ingredients can be eliminated.

6. To provide shelf stable food for those with health problems such as celiac disease and food allergies.

7. To preserve home grown fruits and vegetables and home raised meat animals.

8. Quality and flavor is often better than commercially canned foods.

9. Convenience.

10. The age of home canned food is known.

11. To lengthen the shelf life of acidic foods by sealing them in non-reactive glass containers.

12. Cost is generally less when fresh produce is in season or when meat is on sale.



Contact the County Extension Service for current canning information and review canning procedures each year to avoid forgetting an important step.

Check jar rims for cracks or chips and always use new canning lids.

Fruits, tomatoes, pickles, jams and jellies may be canned in a water bath canner. Vegetables and meats MUST be canned in a pressure canner to ensure a safe product.

To prevent fruit from darkening during preparation, drop it into water containing 2 tablespoons each of salt and vinegar per gallon. Drain just before heating or packing raw.

To ensure that tomatoes are acidic enough to water bath can, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid to each pint.

Always wipe jar rims before putting on hot lids. Wipe jars of meat and meat products with a vinegar soaked towel to eliminate grease.

Use only a flat bottom water bath canner on an electric stove. Use either a flat or a ripple bottom canner on a gas stove.

Vent all pressure canners for 10 minutes before putting on the weighted gauge or counterweight.

To reduce sputtering and liquid loss when removing jars from a water bath canner, when jars have finished processing, turn off the heat, remove the lid and wait 5 minutes before removing jars from the water. In pressure canning, when the pressure drops to 0, remove the weight and wait 10 minutes before removing the lid.

Remove rings, wash, dry and date jars before storing them.

CAN A PRESSURE SAUCEPAN BE USED FOR CANNING? If the pressure cooker can operate at 5, 10 and 15 pounds pressure and will hold at least 4 quart jars, it can be used for home canning.

WHICH PRESSURE CANNER IS MORE ACCURATE -- THE KIND WITH A DIAL GAUGE OR THE ONE WITH A WEIGHTED GAUGE? Both are accurate if used and cared for according to the manufacturer's instructions. Some people like numbers on a dial; others prefer the sight and sound of the weight. Note: the dial gauge must be tested yearly for accuracy. (Check with the County Extension Service)

IS IT SAFE TO CAN WITHOUT SALT OR SUGAR? Salt and sugar are not necessary for safe processing of fruits and vegetables. The salt in recipes for pickled products and sugar in jams and jellies should not be reduced as the measures given are needed to provide good quality.

MAY I USE OLD MAYONNAISE JARS FOR CANNING? Yes, if you use them only for water bath canning for 30 minutes or less. Standard canning lids and rings will fit both wide-mouth and narrow-mouth mayonnaise jars but test canning rings to make sure they will stay secure. Newer canning rings donít always match the threads on older jars.


For current canning information visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation



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Copyright © 2004 - 2013 Cheryl Driggs
Last modified: 07/15/2013