How to Can
Canning is a relatively simple process if taken a step at a time and one does a little prior planning.
Make sure you have all the ingredients on hand before you begin. It would not do to be without canning salt or dill if one were about to transform a tableful of cucumbers into pickles.
Make sure you have sufficient lids and jars. Even if they seem to be clean, be sure to wash them. If you do not use them immediately, then be certain to turn them upside down on a towel. In most cases jars will be sterilized in the canners with the food. However, if this is not the case, be sure to sterilize them beforehand by boiling them for 15 minutes.
Lay out your equipment so everything you will need will be ready to hand. Wash fruits and vegetables. Now you are ready to get down to the nitty gritty of canning.
Place food in jars. There are two methods for doing this. In the hot pack method you heat the food first in a separate pot. In the raw pack method the raw fruit is added directly to the jars. It is okay to prepare many foods using the raw pack method, but for some foods, the heat process will not be sufficient.
Now pour boiling water, broth, juice or syrup over the food in the jar. When packing the food and adding water, be sure to allow for expansion by leaving some space in the neck of the jar. The amount of space to leave varies from a fraction of an inch for jams to slightly over an inch for low acid fruits and vegetables.
Use a paper towel to wipe off the sealing edge of the jar. Now place lids on top of jars; remember to leave enough give to let air escape during the sterilization process. There are various types of lids, some are self-sealing which means that they can be tightened firmly before sterilization.
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