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How to Can and Preserve Food

Canning for Greater Shelf Life

Dust off the Mason jars—canning is a great way to stock your shelves. Begin with high-acid foods (fruits, jams, salsas and pickles); they're easy to prepare and don't require a pressure cooker. Whether you're cooking marmalade or bottling tomatoes, these steps will help you lock in this season's freshest flavors.

  1. Wash jars and lids with soapy water. Then place in a large pot of water. Bring to a simmer to sterilize.
  2. To process (seal) the jars, you will need a boiling water canner or a large, covered pot fitted with a rack in the bottom
  3. Lift jars from hot water, emptying water inside jar. Fill jars, leaving room at the top as directed in recipe.
  4. Remove air bubbles with spatula; wipe food from jar rim. Place hot lid on each jar and secure with band.
  5. Place jars in boiling water (there should be at least 2 inches of water over jars). Process according to recipe directions.


Originally published in the September 2011 issue of Family Circle magazine.


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