Canning Mistakes




I keep seeing an article about 7 mistakes people make while canning, so I wanted to give my two cents on this topic since I have been canning for quite some time!


The first mistake listed is about how oven canning is not safe and I agree. The oven can’t get the food in the jar hot enough to kill the bacteria and should not be trusted.


The next mistake is flipping jars to seal them. This is also not a good idea. The seal with not be strong enough and using a water bath or a pressure canner is necessary in order to kill the bacteria in the jar.


Another mistake is using Paraffin waxto seal the jars – this does not provide a proper seal and will allow bad bacteria to grow.


They also talk about inventing your own recipe. While I have to admit, I make up recipes all the time, the concern with this is the amount of acid needed to safely preserve food might be off (a pH of 4.6 or lower is advised). Another issue could be the temperature might not get high enough to adequately destroy bacteria and mold spores that are present.


The next mistake is if it’s canned at the store, it’s ok to can it at home. This is a problem. You cannot can certain foods at home, such as puree pumpkin ,because they are so low in acid and/or dense that you cannot kill all the bacteria in the jar with your non-commercial equipment.


Next they talk about not needing to boil the lids. They started making new lids a while ago saying just wash in hot soapy water and dry and set aside until ready to use. I tried that and half of my jars do not seal – I was not happy. So I always dip the lid in hot water right before I put it on the jar. This softens the rubber on the lid and I have a high success rate with this method.


The last mistake they mention is canning butter. I have never heard of anyone canning butter but it’s much easier to just freeze it as a way of preservation.


Although I agree with all of these “mistakes”, the article does not mention the most important aspect of canning – CLEANLINESS. If you have a dirty vent above your stove PLEASE do not can. Here is why: when you can you have a big pot of boiling water on the stove. The steam from the pot rises and will release the grease from the vent. This grease can fall into your pot of jam and now you have bacteria in your jars which can cause food borne botulism. And of course your kitchen should always be clean when starting to can.


Instead of worrying about these mistakes, come take a class with me so you have none of the stress and all of the fun!

See you in class


Canning Tips


For years I simply tossed the lids and rings in a pot and when it was time to get them out I always had such a hard time. Then one day I thought, “If you put them together in the pot it would be a lot easier to get them out using the tongs and placing the ring and lid on top of the jar.” Before placing them in a pot of water, put each lid inside of a ring and submerge them upside down into the water. When you pull them out, the lid will already be fit snug into the ring and you can use the tongs to turn it over and place it on the jar. My neighbor was kind and ordered me a magnet with a long handle so if the lid and ring separates I can use the magnet to help me fish them out of the water.

Remember: never boil the lids and rings. You simply want them to sterilize in the water and for the rubber to warm up and soften, creating a nice seal. Place them at a low simmer before you begin your recipe and let them rest at a simmer until you are ready to use them.

Canning can be messy so try this trick with the foil: Place a piece of foil between the stove top and counter top. At the end of your canning process, just roll it up and throw it away. You’ll be happy you did it!

See you in class