When you get into canning, it can be a little overwhelming. There are many health-minded benefits of using up your produce and having unprocessed foods at the ready, but there is a lot to be considered in the beginning of your canning journey. Before you get started, here are some common canning mistakes to avoid.
Mistake #1 – Filling the Jars Too Much
This is probably one of the most common mistakes people tend to make when they first get into canning. It looks like you have enough space in your jars, so you fill them to the top, but then later find out it didn’t seal properly because you filled the jars too much.
Read the canning instructions carefully and you will see that it asks you to leave about ½-1 inch of space at the top of the jar before putting the lid on. This is going to help you seal the jar properly, allowing it to be stored for a longer period of time and still remain fresh.
Mistake #2 – Using Incorrect Jars or Lids
Reading instructions carefully when you first start canning is crucial. This starts with the supplies you intend to use. You cannot just use any jar you find when it comes to canning. You need to use glass jars that are made to handle a water bath, which gets to high temperatures. Don’t reuse your pasta sauce jars for canning, as they my not be able to handle the canning process and they may hold bacteria.
The same goes for lids. You do not want to reuse lids along with your reusable jars. Get the proper canning jars WITH the proper canning lids. These are going to help with the high temperatures, and guarantee your jars will seal.
Lastly, make sure you are using high-quality canning jars. They shouldn’t be chipped or cracked, neither on the jar itself or on the lid.
Mistake #3 – Deviating From The Recipe
While you may tweak recipes over time the more you get into canning, you will want to start with a specific recipe. Canning is all about science, so you should follow the experts when you first start. From supplies to use to what you add to your foods and how it is heated up before being sealed is all equally important.
The instructions are often different depending on what you are canning as well, so that is something else to consider. The more you can and preserve foods, the more you will understand just how much attention to detail makes a difference. Canning can be an enjoyable and rewarding action to take in your journey of health.
Mistake #4 – Insufficient Sterilizing Of Jars
A big part of home canning success is starting with jars that are sufficiently sterilized. According to PressureCanners.com, if canning jars are not sterilized, mold spores can sneak into the jar and grow on the produce. Even a little amount of mold can cause the whole jar to go bad.
Canning jars can be sterilized in the oven, or by boiling in water. Sterilizing eliminates the bacteria and micro-organisms that may be on the surface of the jar. Even newly purchased canning jars need to be sterilized to be sure they are completely clean.
Taking these measures will ensure that you will enjoy all the benefits of home canning and the satisfaction that you know exactly what is in your jar.