Is there anything better than enjoying the fruit of your own labor—literally? If you are hoping to turn your summer fruit and vegetable harvest into sweet and savory canned goodness to enjoy year-round, you will want to make sure you do the job right. Before you get started canning your fresh fruits and vegetables, first take some time to make sure you've covered all your canning bases with these summer canning tips.
Tip 1: Invest in the Right Equipment.
When canning from scratch, particularly for the first time, we recommend that you invest in a boiling water bath canner or something comparable. While this isn't the only canning method available, it is one of the more straightforward ones.
Boiling water bath canning is the easiest way to make shelf-stable jams and pickles right in your own home. It's important to note that only high-acid foods can be preserved by water bath canning. This includes most fruit preserves, including jams, jellies, fruit canned in syrup, and many pickles. (The Spruce Eats)
You'll also want to have these kitchen tools handy, clean, and ready to go:
- Canning jars with two-piece lids (preferably Ball or Kerr brands)
- Tall pot
- Rack to fit inside the pot
- Canning funnel
- Set of tongs
- Candy thermometer
- Long-handled spatula
- Roll of paper towels
Though you can always use some additional tools if you see fit, the ones listed above are absolutely essential.
Tip 2: Follow Canning Instructions to the Letter.
If this is your first time canning, you will want to take your time, read the directions thoroughly, and follow them to the letter. (Watching a few real-time canning videos on YouTube can help you visualize these summer canning tips in action.)
First-time canners tend to make lots of mistakes, including:
- Forgetting to sterilize the jars, seals, and rims thoroughly before use
- Substituting ingredients (such as artificial sweeteners)
- Confusing boiling canning and pressure canning
- Attempting to re-use seals
- Overfilling jars
The bottom line is this: Follow every step in the process, even if you don't understand why it matters. Canning is much more science than art, and you'll want to be very confident in the process before attempting any changes.
Tip 3: Know That the Process Takes Time
First, you must harvest your fruits and vegetables. Then, you have to clean them and prepare them for canning. After that, there's the time you invest in the canning process itself.
Even after your food is safely canned, processed, and sealed, the cans must sit undisturbed for twelve to fourteen hours before you can move them to a safe place for storage.
Canning is a labor of love, but when it's done right, the results are more than worth the time invested!
Tip 4: Prepare a Place to Store Your Freshly Canned Fruits and Veggies
Ideally, canned goods should stay in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. There, they can last for up to a year.
If your home currently lacks an ideal spot to store your canned goods, never fear. A Murphy Door can help you create a hidden room just off your kitchen or pantry with optimal storage conditions. Elevate the look and functionality of your kitchen and create the perfect place to store your summer preserves in one move!
Here at The Murphy Door, Inc., we have what you need to build the perfect storage place for your home-canned goods once you've used these summer canning tips. Check out our hidden door solutions and contact us to add one to your home.