Planning for Canning Season

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Canning season is upon us!

Follow these quick tips to make sure your equipment is in check for a safe, quality product.

  • Always use a pressure canner for low acid vegetables (like green beans and carrots), meats, poultry, and fish.
  • Check that your canner gaskets are soft and flexible. Replace them if they are hard, brittle, sticky or cracked.
  • Check that all pipes and vent ports with openings are clear of debris.
  • Boiling water bath canners are only appropriate for high acid products such as fruits, pickles, jams, and jellies.
  • Boiling water canners should be deep enough to allow at least 1-2 inches of water to boil over the top of jars.
  • Both types of canners require a rack in the bottom to prevent scorching the product in the bottom of the jars.
  • Inspect your jars for knicks, cracks, and chips. Jars can weaken after repeated use.
  • Only use jars specifically designed for canning.
  • USDA recommends using two-piece self sealing metal lids. It is recommended to throw away used flat lids. Screw bands are reusable if they are free of bends, dents, and rust.
  • Only use evidence-based and up-to-date canning instructions and recipes.

Contact emily_troutman@ncsu.edu, National Center for Home Food Preservation, So Easy to Preserve Canning Handbook, or a Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving for tested recipes and  procedure.