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Can like a pro!

  • Get ready
    Wash canning jars in hot sudsy water; rinse. Cover with
    boiling water until ready to fill. If food is
    processed for less than 10 minutes, jars must be immersed in boiling
    water for 10 minutes. Prepare lids and screw bands according to manufacturer's
    directions.

  • Prepare your
    food

    Prepare only
    as much food as needed to fill the maximum number of jars your canner will hold at one time. Work quickly, keeping work area clean. Clean and slice fruits or vegetables, or prepare them in a food mill, as seen here.

  • Fill 'er up!
    Place hot jars on cloth towels to prevent slippage while filling. Fill jars, leaving recommended headspace (space between top of food and jar rim) to promote sealing. Add salt to canned vegetables, if desired (use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon for pints; 1/2 to 1 teaspoon for quarts).

  • Just add water (or syrup)

    Add boiling liquid to jar, keeping specified headspace. Release trapped air bubbles in jar by gently working a nonmetallic utensil around the jar's sides. Add liquid if needed to maintain headspace.

  • Closing time

    Wipe jar rim with clean, damp cloth (food on the rim prevents a perfect seal). Position prepared lid and screw band, tightening according to manufacturer's instructions.

  • Follow directions!

    Set each jar into the canner as it is filled; jars should not touch. Cover canner and process as directed, depending on the method you're using and the food you're canning. Consult the directions that came with your canner.

  • Room to breathe

    Remove jars; set on towels or rack, leaving at least 1 inch between jars.

  • Double check

    After jars are completely cooled (12 to 24 hours), press center of each lid. If dip in lid holds, the jar is sealed. If lid pops up and down, jar isn't sealed. Unsealed jars can be refrigerated and used within 2 or 3 days, frozen (allow 1-1/2-inch headspace), or reprocessed using a clean jar and new lid within 24 hours. Use recanned jars first.

  • Store and enjoy!

    Wipe jars and lids to remove any food residue. Remove, wash, and dry screw bands; store for future use. Label jars with contents and date; include a batch number if doing more than one canner load per day. (If one jar spoils, you can easily identify any others from that canner load.) Store jars in a cool (50 to 70 degrees F), dry, dark place. Use within one year. Source: BHG.com

  • Download free canning labels!
    Make your pantry pretty by downloading free canning labels from our sister site, Living the Country Life! You can print them onto Avery 2x4 mailing labels (template #5163). The labels come in three great colors, perfect for your tasty canned goods!

Follow these 9 easy steps to preserve your produce.

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