Canning101 Wiki

Here are some great facts about canning! Feel free to add your own tips and tricks at the bottom.

  • When processing foods using the open kettle method, jars should still be sterilized.
  • When you cook the foods in the jars, the jars do not need sterilization, but should be thoroughly washed.
  • Peas, corn, lima beans and most meats should be packed loosely, since heat penetration of these foods is slow. Fruits and berries should be packed solidly due to shrinkage and the fact that their texture does not retard the heat penetration.
  • Never use preservatives or any other type of artificial chemical substance in the product being canned.
  • Canned products should always be stored in cool or cold and dark locations. The excessive heat of a hot summer may cause a location to develop enough heat. Dormant bacteria will start growing.
  • When canned goods are frozen, then thawed, the texture may change but the food is still safe to eat. Be sure the seal is intact.
  • Canned foods will keep for an indefinite period of time as long as the seal is intact and they have been properly processed.
  • After canning your food, tap the top; you should hear a ringing note. If food is touching the top, this may not occur, but as long as the top does not move up and down, the food does not have to be reprocessed.
  • Black deposits that are occasionally found on the underneath side of the lid, are usually nothing to worry about (as long as the jar is still sealed) and are probably caused by tannins in the food or by hydrogen sulfide released by the foods during their processing.
  • Corn, lima beans and peas or any very starchy food needs to be packed loosely due to their expansion when processed.
  • Cloudy liquid in the jar probably means that the food is spoiled. Be very cautious, if probably should not be eaten or even opened.
  • When canning jellies or jams, it makes no difference whether you use cane or beet sugar. They are both the same.
  • The best vinegar to use when pickling is pure apple cider with four to five percent acidity.
  • The outside of jars should be wiped with vinegar before storing to reduce the risk of mold forming on any food that was not cleaned off well.
  • Pickles will become soft if you use brine or not enough vinegar or if the vinegar acidity is too weak.
  • To avoid hard water deposits on sealers, add vinegar to the water bath when canning.
  • Jars of frozen fruits should be thawed in the refrigerator. This will allow the fruit to absorb the sugar as it thaws.
  • Jelly jars should have a small piece of string placed on top of the wax before sealing the jar. This will make it easier to remove the wax.