Home canning is not complicated. It is a simple procedure of applying heat to
food in a closed jar in order to interrupt the natural decaying that would
otherwise take place. It requires “processing” or “heat processing” foods
according to up-to-date, tested home canning guidelines. Proper home canning
Placing prepared food in Ball brand or Kerr brand home canning jars which are
then sealed with Ball brand or Kerr brand two-piece vacuum caps;
Heating the filled jars to the designated temperature using the correct type of
canner for the food being processed;
Processing the filled jars for the required time as stated by an up-to-date,
tested recipe in order to destroy the spoilage microorganisms and inactive
Cooling jars properly, allowing the lids to vent excess air from the jars to
form a vacuum seal.
When followed exactly, the processing methods and times of up-to-date, tested
home canning recipes adequately destroy normal levels of heat-resistant
microorganisms. After processing and upon cooling, a vacuum is formed and the
lid seals onto the jar. This ensures that home canned foods will be free of
spoilage when the jars are stored properly and remain vacuum-sealed. This seal
prevents other microorganisms from entering and recontaminating the food.
If you are located at an elevation higher than 1,000 feet above sea level, it is
necessary to adjust the processing time when using the boiling-water method and
the pounds of pressure when using the steam-pressure method. Make the
appropriate adjustment for your elevation as indicated by the Altitude Charts.
||Increase Processing Time
|1,001 – 3,000
|3,001 – 6,000
|6,001 – 8,000
|8,001 – 10,000
Dial - Dial Gauge
||15 - 11
||15 - 12
||15 - 13
||15 - 14
||15 - 15
NOTE: The cooking time necessary for recipe preparation before the food is
placed in the jars is not a part of the processing time. It does not alter the
processing time required for safe home canned foods. To thoroughly destroy all
microorganisms that may be in a specific food as it is ladled into the jars,
always process the filled jars for the time specified in a tested recipe from a
reliable source, such as the Ball Blue Book® Guide to Home Canning, Freezing and
Home Canning Essentials for All Foods
Use only the best, top quality ingredients. Preserve fruits and vegetables
at their peak of ripeness.
Process ALL home canned foods.
High-Acid Foods in a Boiling-Water Canner
Low-Acid Foods in a Steam-Pressure Canner
Follow manufacturer’s directions for preparing home canning jars and two-piece
vacuum caps. Complete instructions can be found on each Ball brand or Kerr brand
package, or refer to Step-by-Step.
Fill hot jar with prepared recipe. Leave recommended headspace. Remove air
bubbles by sliding a nonmetallic spatula between the jar and food; press gently
on the food to release trapped air. Repeat around the circumference of the jar.
Wipe rim and threads with a clean, damp cloth. Center heated lid on jar. Screw
band down evenly and firmly until a point of resistance is met – fingertip
After processing, remove jars from canner; set jars upright on a towel to cool.
Do NOT retighten bands or check for a seal while jars are hot.
After 24 hours, check lids for a seal. Sealed lids curve downward. Press the
center of the lid to ensure it does not flex up or down. (Reprocess or
refrigerate any unsealed jars.) Remove bands. Wipe jars and lids with a clean,
damp cloth and dry. Wash bands in soapy water, dry and store.
Label and store jars in a cool, dry, dark place. For best quality, use home
canned foods within one year.
Step By Step
Low-acid foods, with pH values higher than 4.6, must be processed at
temperatures of 240°F for a specified length of time to destroy harmful
bacteria. Because boiling-water canners cannot reach this temperature, low-acid
foods must be processed using a steam pressure canner. Low-acid foods include
vegetables, soups, stews, ragouts, meats, poultry and seafood.
High-acid foods, on the other hand, require heat processing to 212°F reached by
using a boiling-water canner for a specified period. Since the pH of these foods
is 4.6 or lower, meaning the acidity is high, bacteria and other spoilers do not
readily grow. High-acid foods include fruits, fruit juices, jams, jellies and
other fruit spreads, tomatoes with added acid, pickles, relishes and chutneys,
sauces, vinegars and condiments.
Sterilization of Empty Jarsssss