With the ease of purchasing canned food home canning is not as popular as it used to be. However if you grow a garden it is wonderful to can the produce that is grown. There are so many different things that can be canned. There are steps to preparing the lids and jars that can make home canning much easier.
First of all check the jars for nicks in the rim. If the jar has a nick in the rim it will not seal properly and the food could spoil. Be sure to check for cracks in the jar too. If it has a crack it will most likely break while being processed.
Next wash the jars and sterilize them. It is important to use hot soapy water for the jars. Then rinse them in hot water. If you have a dishwasher, that is the best way to get them clean and be sure they are sterile.
Once the jars are washed allow them to air dry. Don’t use a towel because fuzz from the towel might get into the clean jar and contaminate the food.
The lids have a soft rubber that makes them seal. It is important to soften that rubber. To do this put a pot of water on to boil. Once the water has reached boiling remove it from the heat. Put the lids in the water and let them sit there until the food is in the jars and ready for the lids to be put on. Don’t put the lids in the water while it is boiling or it will mess up the rubber.
Once the jars and lids are ready check the rings. It is not necessary to buy new rings every year but make sure the ones that you have are not bent at all. If the rings are bent they will not go on tightly enough and the lids will not seal.
Make sure that you have the right rings and lids for the size of jar too. It is best to check this out before starting to can. If you are using quart jars, have quart lids. The same goes for pints. This will save a lot of time searching for lids while the food is being prepared for canning.
Home canning is a lot of fun and provides a family with some great food for later use. It is important to prepare the jars and lids properly. Once this is done you can start canning.