Your vegetable garden is thriving, your fruit trees have never been better, and now you don’t know what to do with all this produce! Maybe it’s time to start canning. Ace Hardware of Fort Collins has Ball jars and jar lids on sale through August 27. Stock up on your materials now and get started!
There are two types of canning: pressure canning and water bath canning. Pressure canning is used for low-acid foods such as meats, poultry, seafood, and most vegetables. Pressure canning is the best way to preserve these foods because it will reach at least 240 degrees F. To learn more about the difference between the two, read our blog on Canning 101. In this article, we will walk through how to pressure can step by step.
Pressure canning does require a pressure canner. Try this one from Ace. This kitchen gadget will enable you to bring the cans to a temperature high enough for food of low acidity.
- Cook the recipe that you will be canning.
- Preheat the jars by placing them in hot water. This will ensure that they do not break when filled with hot food.
- Pour 2-3 inches of water into your pressure canner and bring it to a simmer (approximately 180 degrees F).
- Fill your preheated jars with food. Take care to leave enough space for air at the top as specified in your recipe. Food sometimes sticks to the mouth of the jar, so be sure to clean it off before placing on lids and bands.
- Screw the lids and bands onto the jars and then put in the canner.
- Close the pressure canner lid and leave the vent pipe open. The heat should be on medium-high. The vent will allow all air to flow out. When just steam is flowing from the vent, there is no air left inside the canner (this will happen after approximately 10 minutes). Close the vent and monitor the canner to maintain the recommended amount of pressure. The recipe will state how long to keep the cans under pressure.
- Turn off the heat and allow the pressure to fall back to zero.
- Let the canner sit for about 10 minutes after the pressure has reached zero before unlocking the lid. Give the jars an additional 10 minutes to cool.
- Remove jars from the canner and place on a towel. The towel will help to prevent your jars from breaking due to temperature differences. Leave them untouched from 12-24 hours. During this time, the lids will seal. You can tell if a jar has properly sealed by pressing the center of the lid. It should not flex if it is properly sealed. You can also remove the band and attempt to lift the lids. They should not come off.
- Enjoy your homemade canned foods!
And that’s it! Canning is simple if you have the correct tools. Pick up everything that you need at Ace Hardware of Fort Collins today and you’ll be on your way to preserving all the delicious fruits and veggies that you grew this season. What is your favorite recipe to can?