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How to: Canning for homemade products in glass jars

22 August 2017
Tags: canning, glass jars

Canning 2

For many years, people have been looking for ways to preserve food. One of the most effective ways of preserving food is canning, which reduces spoilage and allows foods to last longer. This method was discovered by Nicolas Appert, a French cook, who first used the basic packing, heating and sealing technique. This has been popular for home canners since John L. Mason created the first ever reusable jar (with a screw top lid) in the late 1850s. Later in 1915, the two-part canning lid that is familiar to many of us today was developed by Alexander H. Kerr.

Why is canning effective for food preservation?

Canning involves filling a sterilised glass jar with the prepared food, whether this is chutney, jam, or pickles. The flat lid should then be applied, followed by the threaded ring, before submerging the whole thing into boiling water.

As the jars are removed from the boiling water, the heat escapes and removes any air in the jar. At the same time, this suctions the lid so that it is airtight. Canning is effective for food preservation because it removes all of the air from the product, leaving it to stay fresh for longer, depending on the shelf-life of the product.

Equipment needed for canning

The good news is that there isn’t a huge amount of equipment required to do your own canning at home. All you will need are glass jars, a large, deep pot or saucepan, measuring cups, a jar lifter, a funnel and some tongs.

The home canning process

Once you’ve got your jam or product made and ready to be packaged up, you can begin the canning process. To begin with, boil your lids and jars in water to sterilise them, and allow to fully dry before filling with your cooled, homemade product. Leave a cm or two at the top of your jars. Apply the lids and screw on the bands to hold the lids on.

Now you can lower each of your glass jars carefully into your canning pot or large saucepan and bring it to the boil. As the water reaches boiling point, start your timer depending on the recipe you are following, and remove your jars as soon as the timer goes off. Allow to cool fully, during which process the lids will each make a “pinging” sound which is the formation of the airtight seals. This will be evident by the lids demonstrating a concave centre. Check each of your jars and store them in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to use them.

JBC tip: If there’s one of two jars that haven’t sealed, store these in the fridge and use first to save wasting them.

If you’re looking for glass jars that you can use for canning your products at home, take a look at JBC’s full range of glass jars or get in touch with our team today.