Canning is one of the most economical and safe ways to preserve food for long periods of time. The ability to can your own food is a very useful skill to have if you’re a prepper or someone involved in homesteading. Contrary to popular belief, canning is not limited to the kind done commercially with metal containers.
In fact, you can do canning at home with jars and lids too. As long as you get the process right, you’ll be able to preserve your food for relatively long periods and just as effectively.
In this article, you’ll discover how you can safely can fruits and vegetables in glass jars with airtight lids.
The reason that most veggies and fruit perish fast is due to the high water content in these foods. Undesirable bacteria start to thrive and if the lid isn’t airtight, there may be a loss of moisture too. To can such foods well will require you to use hot packing as a method of preserving these foods.
For vegetables like potatoes, you’ll need to peel them before canning. You’ll also need to add vinegar, citric acid or lemon juice to some foods because the acidic properties will help preserve the foods better.
Not all jars and lids are suitable for canning. You must use the right kind that can withstand heat since you’re using boiling water and the lids should be the self-sealing kind.
Before using the jars, you’ll need to sterilize them. This can be done by placing the jars in warm water in a boiling water canner. The level of the water should roughly be 1 inch above the top of the jar. Now you’ll need to boil the water for about 8 to 10 minutes to sterilize the jars.
Remove the empty jars and allow them to cool. Depending on what food you’re planning to preserve, you’ll need to know the correct processing time. Going into details here is beyond the scope of this articles because of the sheer variety of foods out there. So, you could do your research online to know roughly how long the processing time is.
After adding your food in the jar, use a plastic spatula to slowly stir the food. The goal is to get the air bubbles to rise to the surface. You’ll need to use a high-quality self-sealing lid to seal the jar. This will usually be a metal lid with a metal screw band.
When you place the jars with the lids in the boiling water canner and start the process, the lid gasket will soften. While it will allow air to escape out of the jar, it will form an airtight seal around the lid when it cools.
When using a boiling water canner, you must allow the jar to process for the right length of time and then allow the jars to cool at room temperature.
The foods you’re preserving will usually dictate what type of canner to use. If you’re preserving low acid foods, you should use a pressure canner to minimize any risk of botulism. Acidic foods are better preserved with a boiling-water canner because these canners are much faster.
There are many different types of jars, sealing lids and canners on the market. Do your research and get those that are of high-quality and proven reliable. Since the food that you’re preserving will be consumed by your family and you, the safety and quality of the food will have a direct impact on your well-being. So, learn the process well and can your foods properly.
As you can see from this article, it’s really not all that difficult once you have the equipment and know how to do it yourself. You’ll save money in the long run and food that’s canned by you will always be healthier and a better alternative than buying commercially canned food. So, get started today and learn this useful skill.