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The Basics of Canning

Discover the essentials of canning. From choosing the right equipment to selecting the best produce, we cover everything you need to know to get started with this timeless food preservation technique. Learn the basics of canning and enjoy the taste of your favorite fruits and vegetables all year round!

Canning can be overwhelming. But knowing the basics of canning and sticking to them will make you a confident pro in no time. Keep these few tips in your back pocket. They hold true for most canning jobs and will make you a successful and calm canner.

I use the Ball Canning website and cookbooks are my canning bibles and always double check the specifics to assure I am practicing best practices.

Canning Safety Basics

These include:

  1. General Canning Procedures

  2. Washing

  3. Filling Jars

  4. Canning Jar Lids

1. General Canning Procedure

These general procedures help to keep canning simple and safe. These are the basics to keep is simple and safe. I always like to say, when starting with a solid foundation you are always more successful.

Select fruits and vegetables at their peak of ripeness to insure a flavorful and worthwhile product.

I tend to can throughout the seasons in smaller batches at the peak of freshness. This allows me to have the best of the best as well as not be overwhelmed. I prefer to can each night in season rather than spend long days just canning.

Make a wide berth for your canning station so you have all the area you need. Be prepared to make a place for those hot and possibly sticky jars. I make sure I have a lot of old towels and clear an entire space just for canning in season.

I keep my equipment out but out of the way to make it accessible.

Finally, have the right equipment. Having the right equipment is a must to get started.

And here is a quick tip for you too: One trick shared by canning gurus for tomatoes is to core the tomatoes and freeze them as they become ripe. Then thaw them out in a colander when you have enough to can a batch. This will take the skin right off the tomatoes and save a step in the canning process.


Cleanliness is next to Godliness in the canning world. This is true for both your equipment and your produce. Before canning, be sure to thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables. Dirt is just that, and you don't want any possible contamination when canning.

Wash small batches at a time. And handle gently to avoid any bruising.

There are many thoughts on washing fruit and produce. I just use water but use what you are comfortable with.