Water Bath Canning Method for High-Acid Foods - Great Lakes Ace Hardware Store

Check out these 8 steps that are essential to the water bath canning process:

High-acid foods such as fruits, fruit juices, jams, jellies and other fruit spreads, salsas, most tomatoes, pickles, relishes, chutneys and sauces should be canned using the water bath method.

Recommended Materials:

  • Ball® Freshtech Electric Water Bath Canner + Multi-Cooker
  • Ball® Canning Jars, Lids & Bands Ball® Regular -Or- Wide Mouth Jar Lifter
  • Ball® Home Canning Funnel
  • Ball® Bubble Freer & Headspace Tool

Water Bath Canning Process

  1. Fill Water Bath Canner: Half-full with water. Cover and maintain a simmer (180°F) until jars are filled and placed in canner.
  2. Check Jars, Lids & Bands: For proper fit and function jars should not have nicks, cracks, uneven rims or sharp edges these may prevent sealing or cause breakage. Lids should not have scratches or uneven or incomplete sealing compound, this may prevent sealing. Wash all in hot, soapy water and dry well.
  3. Pre-Heat Your Jars: Water should be 180°F. Keeping jars hot prevents them from breaking when filled with hot food. Leave lids and bands at room temperature for easy handling.
  4. Remove Your Pre-Heated Jars: Use a Jar Lifter to remove. Fill jar one at a time with prepared food using a Jar Funnel, leaving headspace recommended in recipe. Remove air bubbles, if stated in the recipe, by sliding the Bubble Remover & Headspace Tool between the jar and food to release trapped air. Repeat 2-3 times. For successful sealing, you need to leave the correct amount of space between the food and the rim of the jar.
  5. Seal Your Jars: Wipe the rim and threads of the jar using a clean, damp cloth to remove any food residue. Center lid on the jar, allowing sealing compound to contact the jar rim. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip-tight. Place jar in canner. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all jars are filled. Ensure water covers jars by 1-2 inches.
  6. Process Your Preserves: Place lid on water bath canner and bring water to a rolling boil. Begin processing time. Process in the boiling water for the time indicated in tested preserving recipe. When complete, shut off heat and remove the lid. Allow jars to rest in canner for 5 minutes to be acclimated to the outside temperature.
  7. Let Your Jars Rest: Move jars from canner and set upright on a towel. This will prevent jar breakage that can occur from temperature differences. Leave jars undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. DO NOT retighten bands as this may interfere with the sealing process.
  8. Inspect Your Seals: There should be no flex when center is pressed. Remove the bands and attempt to lift lids off with your fingertips. Properly sealed lids will remain attached. Store in a cool, dry, dark place.

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