How To Can Food In 13 Simple Steps

How To Can Food With A Pressure Canner

Need to learn how to can? You came to the right place.

How to Can Food in 13 Easy Steps

Need a canning kit before you start? You’ll love this one.


How to Can Food in 13 Easy Steps - Supplies

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Steps are also written out below

Step 1. Clean jars and lids with hot water

canning food

Clean your lids and jars first. Since we will be preserving food, cleanliness is a must.


Step 2. Preheat jars in boiling water

canning food at home

It’s not enough to wash your jars, to ensure that the food you will be canning lasts longer, you must also sterilize them.


Step 3. Prepare the ingredients

How to Can

Prepare the food you are going to can.


Step 4. Remove jars from heat

canning food preservation

Keeping your canning jars hot will keep them from breaking or cracking when you place hot food inside. You can keep the jars hot until they are ready to be filled by placing them upside down in a large pot with 2 or 3 inches of hot water. Bring the water to a boil and turn off heat. Leave the jars in the water until you need to use them.


Step 5. Add citric acid

canning foods

Citric acid is something you can add to increase the acidity of food. Not only does it improve flavor and color but it also helps minimize the risk of growing bacteria especially when canning tomatoes.


Step 6. Pack the food

food canning

Fill each jar and make sure to leave the recommended head space. If you’re recipe does not have any recommended head space, leave ½ to 1-inch head space.


Step 7. Remove air bubbles

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Remove air bubbles by running a non-metallic spatula around the inside of the jar. Also, don’t forget to wipe the rim to make sure there are no excess food.


Step 8. Seal the jars

how to use a pressure canner

Center the hot lid on the jar using your magnetic lid lifter and tighten the lid until fingertip tight.


Step 9. Lower jars into the water

how to use pressure canner

Now that you have all the jars filled and sealed, lower them gently into the water.


Step 10. Fill canner with water

pressure canners

Fill your water bath canner with water. Make sure that the water is about one inch above the jars.


Step 11. Place the lid and start the process

pressure canning

Place the cover securely and start processing timer when the water begins to boil.

Turn the heat on high and allow steam to exhaust for 10 minutes. This pushes all the air from the canner. While waiting, check your recipe for how many pounds of pressure the particular food needs to be processed at and how long you need to process it. Be sure to adjust the numbers based on your altitude. Some manufacturers require 15 pounds of pressure when processing foods at 2,000+ feet above sea level regardless of what the recipe says.


Step 12: Remove jars and cool for 24 hours

pressure cooker canning

Remove the jars using your jar lifter, making sure not to tilt them. Allow them to cool for about eight hours or more. You can leave the jars in your kitchen counter top overnight.

Once the jars have cooled, the seals should be sucked down and not pop up. Press the top of the lids to check whether they are up or down. Remove the screw caps and label each jar with food type and date.

When storing jars, make sure to place them in a cool, dark, dry environment. Avoid storing in direct sunlight or high humidity.


Step 13. Enjoy your homemade preserves!

How to Can

Store them at room temperature until you are ready to use them!



That’s it! Now wasn’t that easy? Pressure canning is intimidating at first but once you get the hang of it you’ll be hooked!

Looking for a good kit to get you started? Check out our Can-Do Canning Kit Here:

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