Tutorial: Hot Water Bath Canning

canning 101

Hot Water Bath Canning TutorialBecause canning comes second nature to it me {I swear I could do it with my eyes closed} it never occurred to me that someone might actually want a step by step tutorial on HOW TO CAN using the hot water bath canning method until I received an email from One Hundred Dollars a Month reader Emily asking if I could post a picture tutorial.  Um, yes, absolutely!

  1. First, pop over to my canning essentials post to make sure you have everything you need.  
  2. Wash all of your canning jars {I use the dishwasher, mostly because I have a sanitize function on it, and I am lazy.}
  3. Fill your canner  with water.  The water will need to completely cover your jars and lids, so how full you fill the canner with depend what size of jars you use.
  4. Pour a 1/2 cup or so of white distilled vinegar into the water.  This will help keep your canner and jars from getting a film from minerals in the water.canning lids in pan
  5. Bring the water in the canner to a boil.  You will want to do all of these steps BEFORE you start prepping whatever you are canning, because it takes forever for the water to boil.  Seriously, wars have been won and lost in the time it takes to get my canner to come to a rolling boil.
  6. After you have prepped whatever you will be canning, heat a small sauce pan with water.  When it reaches a LOW simmer, drop your lids into the pan and turn the burner off.  Leave the lids to sit until you are ready to use them.dilly-beans-canning-recipe-dill (1)
  7. Fill your canning jars, leaving the appropriate amount of head space {space between whatever you are filling the jar with and the top of the jar}.
  8. Now wipe all of the rims of the jars with a wet clean washcloth or paper towel.  This is to remove anything that might cause the lid not to seal properly.how-to-can-pears-recipe (1)
  9. Place the lid on the jar and screw a ring onto the jar.  Don’t over-tighten the rings, just screw it on like you are putting it away in the fridge, not like you are hoping to ask Ryan Gosling to help you open it later.
  10. Now, fill your wire canning rack with jars and gently place the rack into the canner.  The water will stop boiling the second you submerge the jars.  That is normal. Make sure the jars and lids are completely covered and will be the entire time you are processing {boiling the jars}.Hot Water Bath Canning
  11. When the water reaches a rolling boil again, start your time.  This may take awhile, don’t be worried.
  12. While the jars are processing, lay out towels on your counter to place the jars when you remove them from the canner.canning pears
  13. Once the timer goes off, grab your jar lifting tongs {the jars are, I’m pretty sure, as hot as the sun, so the tongs are a must} and gently lift the jars out one by one, placing them on the towels you laid out.  Be careful to give each jar plenty of space on all sides, placing the hot jars too close together can result in the jars breaking.  Also, accidentally hitting the hot jars on another jars equals breaking, or so I’ve heard.  Ha.
  14. You may hear a popping sound as the jars cool, that is the lids sealing.  Yeah!  {You may not hear that noise, either, but that doesn’t mean they are not sealing.  No noise good.  Noise good.  Everything good.} After the jars have cooled, check the seals by pressing the middle of the lids with your finger. If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.  You can further test it by removing the rings and lifting the jar an inch or two holding only the lid.  If it stays sealed to the jar, you did good.
  15. Now remove all of the rings for storing your canned goods, the sealed lids are good enough.  Clean your jars with a wet cloth {stickiness on the jars is pretty normal, but you don’t want to store it that way, it will attract ants, etc.} and store them.

That’s basically it.  In a nutshell, water bath canning is just boiling your jars of canned goods for a designated amount of time.  Sheesh, I should have just said that instead of breaking it into 15 steps!  Ha.

Happy Canning,
basic canning set
Need a Water Bath Canner?  Amazon has them in stock and ready to ship.

A few of my favorite canning books:

The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook
Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
Put ’em Up!: A Comprehensive Home Preserving Guide
Tart and Sweet: 101 Canning and Pickling Recipes for the Modern Kitchen

See More of my Canning Recipes HERE

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