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Water Bath Canning 101

By DiCharry Homes - 8-18-2022

We know that having outdoor space to work with is just as important as having a versatile interior space. That’s why our DiCharry homes are always built on beautiful plots of land that you can turn into whatever you wish! Many people have chosen to transform their backyards into bountiful gardens. If your garden harvest has been plentiful this year, you may have more yield than you know what to do with. Not to worry, though. Canning can be a fantastic way to make sure that none of your garden goods go to waste.

Canning can seem like a daunting activity at first, but once you get the basics down, it is an easy and enjoyable activity. There are two main canning methods, water-bath and pressure. Today, we are going to outline the basics for the water-bath method.

Definition of Water-Bath Canning

Water-bath canning is the process of submerging lidded jars of food into boiling water. Every recipe will have a different recommended time for the jars to be in the bath. This method is only suitable for produce, which is why it is a popular method for jams, jellies, and pickles. During the hot water bath, the food will reach temperatures of 180-250 degrees, which helps to destroy yeast, mold, and bacteria. This is the cheapest method of canning and the simplest, which makes it great for beginners.

Supplies You’ll Need

In order to get started, these are the things you will need.

- Canning pot with rack

- Glass canning jars

- Canning tool set; funnel, bubble remover, weight, jar lifter.

Prepare the Jars

First thing first, you want to inspect and prepare all jars and lids. Inspect the rims of the jars. If there are any knicks, do not use them. On the lids, inspect the orange rubber ring. If you notice any inconsistent rubber or notice rust of any kind, refrain from using that lid. These kinds of things can prevent a proper seal and compromise your food. Once you have your jars and lids selected, wash them in hot water with soap and allow them to dry fully.

Fill the Pot

Fill the canning pot about halfway with water. Bring it to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Place your jars in the water until they are ready to be used. This will prevent them from breaking when they are filled with hot contents.

Prepare Your Foods​

Next, prepare your recipe.

Fill the Jars

No need to wait for your food to cool! Using your jar lifter, retriever a jar from the hot water. Place the funnel on the rim of the jar and begin filling it with the goods. Whatever recipe you are following should also say how much headspace to leave. This is the amount of empty space needed between the food contents and the lid. This will differ from recipe to recipe, but make sure to leave room for it.

Place the Jars in the Bath

After the jars are filled, wipe them clean and secure the lids. Using the jar lifter, place them in the bath. Make sure the jars are covered by 1-2 inches of water. Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil is when the processing time begins. The recipe you are using should state how long to process the jars for.

Once done, remove the jars from the bath and allow them to sit at room temperature for 24 hours. During the cool down period, you may hear popping sounds. Don’t be alarmed. This is normal and is a sign that the vacuum seal is working.

Label the jars and store them in a cool, dry place. The contents should remain good for up to a year!

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