Do’s and Don’ts of Canning at Home

Canning is an important method of food storage – it makes foods and nutrients that are difficult to get in the winter available. Canning is a cost-effective preservation method; especially when purchasing food in bulk during the peak of its growing season or using food your garden. It can also help reduce food waste by preventing food spoiling before it is sold or consumed. 

Choosing the right canning method is extremely important. The following are the different types of canning methods and when it is safe to use them:

  • Boiling Water Bath: Safe for higher acid foods like most fruits, preserves, tomatoes, and pickles.
  • Atmospheric Steam: Appropriate for naturally acidic or properly acidified foods (most fruits, pickled vegetables, and preserves).
  • Pressure: The only method that is safe for low-acid foods (meats, poultry, seafoods, and vegetables). All other foods can be pressure canned as well.

Do:

  • Choose the correct canning method for the food you are processing
  • Make sure you adjust processing time as needed for your elevation
  • Use a tested recipe
  • Store in a cool and dark place

Don’t:

  • Make up your own recipe
  • Repurpose commercial jars
  • Don’t use lids more than once

For more information on canning do’s and don’ts, visit the following websites!

Caitlin Jindrich, RDN is a local Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a current MPH student with a focus on nutrition at Kansas State University

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