Canning vegetables and fruits the old fashioned in a boiling-water canner way can be an emotionally and physically rewarding experience. Emotionally, canning vegetables and fruits the old fashioned way reconnects us with our grandmothers and mothers. Physically, canned vegetables and fruits provide a great source of nutrition for our body. Fruits and Vegetables preserved at the peek of their ripeness with the boiling-water canning method can be preserved for years through this old fashioned canning process. Canning fruits and vegetables has been in practice for hundreds of years. It became hugely popular again during World War II when the government encouraged Victory gardens.
When you are canning fruits and vegetable in the traditional old fashion way, better known as the Boiling-Water Canner there are a few important things you should keep in mind before you start. Boiling-Water canning is far more suitable for fruits for a variety of reasons. Canned vegetables that are preserved through the boiling water method are just not completely void of bacteria. They will eventually spoil and may even contain bacteria that can make you sick. So, if you are determined to preserve vegetables use the more successful pressure canning method. The following instructions are strictly for preserving and canning fruits.
Here is what you will need:
-One large pan that allows your jar to fit inside with at least a few inches of water
-Some kind of rack that fits into the bottom of the large pan that will keep your jars at
least ½ to 1 inch off the bottom of the pan.
-Canning jars and lids
-A large pair of tongs that will allow you to pick up your canned jars of fruit
Now, there are vegetable and fruit canning kits out there that will have boiling-water canners complete with rack, rubber cover rounded tongs, and jars with lids. It is more than fine to buy these, but I do recommend that if the is the first time you are planning to can fruits, try it out with utensils and pots you already have. See if you like the boiling-water canning method and then invest in the equipment specifically made to can fruit. Always always always start with new lids and rings. Never reuse lids or rings. You can reuse the canning jars over and over after you sterilize them.
Now to get you started canning your fruit in the boiling-water canner.
First, start by filling your large pot with enough water to comfortably cover your jars of fruit by at least three inches. Bring the water to a boil. Place empty jars and lids in there in an orderly fashion. Allow them to boil for at least 1 minute to sterilize them. Pull them out with the tongs and place on clean work surface.
Now, once your jars have been sterilized, fill them with your fruit, jam, jellies or what ever you are canning. Place the lid on the jar, but do not put the ring on the canning jar.
Place the jars inside the large pot of boiling water on the rack inside. Wait for the water around the jars to begin boiling rapidly again. Follow the instructions on your recipe for how long the jars should stay inside the boiling water. This will vary with different canning recipes, so be sure to follow the times exactly.
Now, remove the jars with the tongs. Once they are cooling on the counter you will most likely here a pop sound where the lid is being sucked in inside the jar. This means your jars are properly sealed. You can also check for this by trying to push lightly on the lid. It should not move. Now you can put the ring on and secure the lid. A properly sealed canned good can last for months. Most likely your recipe will tell you how long it will be preserved. Just remember before you ever eat anything you have canned always check to make sure the lid is still securely attached. DO NOT EAT anything that has a loose lid. Also, if there is any discoloration or growth on the fruit or jellies do not eat. Canned fruits should be stored in a cool dry area.