Canning at Home

After much research, I have combined several canning techniques that work for me.
I like to re-use jars from supermarket bought condiments they are perfect size if you only want to eat your preserves in small quantities. This method is not suitable for conventional non-fan ovens.

Tools:

Dishwasher (or kitchen sink with hot water access)
Small saucepan with water (for boiling up lids)
Cold fan oven
Baking paper
Tongs
Jar funnel (make one by cutting the bottom out of a paper cup)
Lots of tea towels
Large saucepan with a small cloth on the bottom (for sealing the jars)

Instructions:

Hot glass should only come into contact with hot substances, cold glass should only come into contact with cold substances. The heating and cooling process of either filled or unfilled jars should be gradual. Any deviation from this rule may result in cracked glass and injuries.

Wash your jars and lids either in the dishwasher on the hottest cycle, or by hand thoroughly with hot water.

Boil wash the lids in the small saucepan and leave them to dry. PHOTO

Put a sheet of baking paper directly onto the wire rack in your oven.

Put all the jars into the cold oven with their opening facing the door and making sure that they are secure and will not roll. The jars should still have water droplets on them. Turn on the fan oven to 120 C. Watch the jars until all the water droplets disappear (about 15 mins). You can use the tongs to rotate the jars to speed up this process. PHOTO

Now that the jars are sterile, it’s time to fill them.

Make sure your filling is hot. If you are canning something you made a few days ago, bring it to boil on the stove top.

Take out a jar from the oven using the tongs. Do not touch the jar with bare skin, it is hot and you will burn yourself!

Put your jam funnel on top of the hot jar. Use a tea towel to hold the jar and fill carefully with your hot food substance making sure no filling gets near the rim. Close with the corresponding lid immediately. Repeat until you are out of filling.PHOTO

Now put as may jars as you can into the large saucepan with the cloth on the bottom. The cloth on the bottom is to prevent rattling. Fill with room temperature water up to just below the lid of the smallest jar. Boil on stove for 15 minutes. Use more tea towels to take the jars out of the boiling water. Turn upside down and “tuck in for the night” using lots of tea towels. PHOTO

If all the jars don’t fit into your large saucepan, make sure you empty the previously used boiling water and slightly cool the saucepan and cloth by running it under cold water briefly before boiling up the next batch.

You will know if your canning has worked the next morning. Check that the “buttons” on all the lids have popped. If they haven’t, store those jars in the fridge and eat contents within a week.

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