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Tips to Keep Canning Safe and Fun

I teach canning classes and at the beginning of each class a student will mention being intimidated by the process, the thought of botulism, etc. I understand, I do, proper technique is important however canning is rewarding and perfectly safe when done correctly. As we approach the preservation season use these tips to keep canning safe and fun.

I admit when canning is done poorly with disregard for proven techniques, etc. it can be a very scary thing that can make people dangerously ill. Though with a few good books, the right equipment, and if at all possible a good teacher it’s a very rewarding method of self-sufficiency and in my case gift-giving.

Enjoy the abundance of summer all year with these Tips to Keep Canning Safe and Fun.

1. Build a Good Canning Library

The internet is an amazing place but do build a library of trusted books to have on hand so that processing times and methods can be double checked.

As for internet resources, bookmark The National Center for Home Food Preservation and check them out for free, tested, and amazing information.

2. Use the Right Method

The most important thing about home canning is to process food according to the right technique (water canner or pressure canner) for the right amount of time for your elevation.

High Acid Foods : Fruits, pickles, jams go in the water bath

Low Acid Foods : Vegetables, meats go in the pressure canner

Remember to know your elevation so that you can add time for the water bath canner or pounds of pressure for the pressure canner.

3. Take a Class / Find a Mentor

I was blessed with grandmothers that canned so I’ve never been afraid of just diving in and trying it. However, I know that’s not everyone’s experience. Take a class or find a mentor in your area to go through the process with you a few times. After teaching years of classes, I know it’s easier to gain confidence when someone walks you through the process once or twice first.

So my words of advice are this – try it! Start with a boiling water canner (which can be just a big soup pot with a towel placed along the bottom as long as it’s deep enough to cover your jars by at least 2 inches) and do something simple and fun like brandied fruits, or whole fruits in juice and work your way up to jams, jellies, pickles, and pressure canning if you like. You may be surprised at how rewarding it is and if you find out that you don’t like it that’s okay too, at least you tried it.

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Tuesday 13th of December 2016

I have a question it's not a comment and that is, I just canned for the first time chicken noodle setup without the noodles and followed my pressure canning book. My question is why did my soup turn orange in the liquid? All the jars are sealed but was precooked per the reciepe? Should I be concerned or did my home grown carrots cause this?

Homespun Seasonal Living

Wednesday 14th of December 2016

I'm not sure why it turned orange, I would guess from the carrots as well but can't definitively say.


Saturday 6th of June 2015

My grandmother and I were just talking about this last night. I was asking her about water bath canning green beans and she said that was all they used to have for canning and that it is perfectly safe to do any canning by water bath as long as you process it long enough. I have my mom's pressure canner but i am scared to death of it and I have an electric cook top. She said to process the green beans for about 3 hours. What do you think?


Saturday 6th of June 2015

I think water bath canning green beans is a recipe for disaster. Low acid foods must be done in a pressure canner to prevent botulism. Think about it 3 hours is a long time to keep water boiling and keep jars covered. Green beans are 25 minutes in a pressure canner, think of the time savings but more importantly botulism is no joke, why even chance it?


Tuesday 2nd of June 2015

Me, too, Angi! It's my secret plan to teach one new person every year. My kids don't like that plan so much.

Angi @ SchneiderPeeps

Tuesday 2nd of June 2015

Great tips! I'm always happy when someone asks if they can come learn how to can because that means I have extra help.