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Canning 101

This is a process overview on how to can fruit and pickles safely using the water bath method. This is not a recipe for Jam or Pickle, just the process on how to preserve it.
Course: Canning
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Canning, Process, Water Bath
Yield: 12


  • Large stock pot
  • Small Stockpot
  • Can Lifter
  • Mason Jars
  • Lid Lifter (Sometimes called Magnet on a Stick)
  • Canning funnel
  • Kitchen Towels
  • Silicone Trivit


  • Gather Large Stockpot, Mason Jars, Can lifter, Canning Funnel, Small Stock Pot, Kitchen Towels and
  • Remove Lids from mason jars and set aside. Put the jars in the large stockpot and fill with water. When the water is 1 inch over the jars, turn on to high heat using a back burner. Set lids and rings aside.
  • Follow the recipe to make Jam/Jelly/Preserves or Pickles. Follow the recipe to make Jam/Jelly/Preserves or Pickles. When the recipe is done, use the jar lifters to remove jars from the stockpot, carefully dump water back into the pot. Place the empty jar on a kitchen towel. Jars and water are very hot, use caution.
    Put the flat parts of the lids in the hot water
  • Using the Canning funnel, funnel contents into jars. Whipping down the ring after jars are full. Make sure to note what your headspace should be for the recipe. Headspace is the amount of space between the lid and the contents of the jar. Depending on the recipe this could be up to 1 inch.
  • Using a clean damp towel, wipe the rims of the jars clean of anything that might have landed on the jars.
  • Mason Jars use a two-part cap to seal the jar. Using the lid lifter, remove hot lids from the water and place on the jar, metal side up. Tighten the ring cap around the jar, only until you start to feel resistance on closing it.
  • Using the jar lifter, return jars to hot water bath. Water should be 2 inches above the top of the jar.
    Amount of time that it has to be in the water bath will vary depending on the recipe. Tomatoes take 45 - 55 minutes while Jams take 10-15. Please note, the timer starts when the water is boiling.
  • Remove Jars from hot water bath after time has passed and set on a dishtowel when directly out of the water bath. DO NOT place directly on the counter, if your counter is cold it could shock jar into breaking. Additionally, lift directly up, without tipping the jar.
    Allow jars to cool completely before moving them. You will hear the lids making a pop noise to let you know that it sealed completely. Any jars that did not seal should be stored in the fridge.
  • When jars are completely cooled, remove rings and wash jars with soap and water to remove any food residue. Allow to dry completely before moving it to storage.