DIY Home + Garden

Published on August 12th, 2009 | by Becky Striepe


Gettin’ Crafty in the Kitchen: Home Canning

[Creative Commons photo via galant]

Have your tomato plants been producing like crazy? Are your cucumbers and green beans blowing up? If you’re producing more than you can eat, it’s a great time to preserve some of your summer bounty for winter! Here are some home canning tips, along with a great five-part series of videos on the topic!

Canning Tips and Tricks

While canning is not exactly rocket science, you do want to take precautions to keep things sterile and ensure that your food is safe. Make sure you’re using jars made specifically for canning. Reusing jars is great for things that you’re storing short term, but for canned goods, you want the sort of mason jar with a 2 piece lid, like in the picture at the top of this post.

It’s easiest to can acidic foods, like tomatoes, since the jars just need to be boiled in a regular pots. The acidity of the contents will do the rest of the work and keep things bacteria free. If you’re canning low acid foods, like green beans, you’ll need a pressure canner. A good workaround for this is pickling your low acidity vegetables before you can them. The vinegar adds the acid necessary to use the boiling method and still keep it safe.

Finally, make sure that, if you’re pouring hot food into your canning jars, that the jars themselves are warm. Pour hot food into a cold jar, and you might just be spending your afternoon cleaning up broken glass instead of preserving your harvest! Boo!

Home Canning With Granny Miller

This series of five videos from Granny Miller gives you lots of great info on how to safely and easily can your own food. Check it:
Part 1- Introduction

Part 2- Two Types of Canners

Part 3 – Easy Steps To Home Canning

Part 4 – Water Bath Canning

Part 5 I & II – Pressure Canning

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

6 Responses to Gettin’ Crafty in the Kitchen: Home Canning

  1. These videos are useful!

    If you are looking for more help on canning and preserving I made a good list of books on the subject – my favorites:

    Jamie Oliver also occasionally has preserving tips on his show which is on the food network at some ungodly early hour… I tivo it…

  2. Zoe says:

    The USDA has also published alot of information on canning basics plus tons of recipes. You can find some of this info here:

  3. Amber says:

    Yeah, this is great info! And um…for some reason, my 24 tomato plants are NOT putting out like they should be! I am trying to keep 2 of them from dying out…and the rest? Well, it’s just here-and-there tomatoes. I thought several weeks ago that I’d be up to my eyeballs in tomatoes and canning some every single day. So what’s wrong? *Sigh!

  4. Rebecca says:

    I recommend reading this:

    (I feel I comment a lot on your posts lately – that’s just because you write so many things that catch my eye! :D)

  5. Brett says:

    Hi I am so glad to see this and got me so interesting since my first time making salsa canning jar and I passed taste good and I am having problem with tomatoes plants it won’t come out green tomatoes because of hot ?? I lived in Florida and found out the best temp is 87 day time and night time would be somewhere 70 to 75 and my tomatoes plants keep so high which its beefsteak tomatoes and I pulled out the most on my backyard and will start using ROMA plum cuz best for salsa correct ?? so I am going to wait till the weather become cooler and start again it sure wasting my time since I am learning what you think do I something wrong about the tomatoes plants when yellow flower coming out few days it become brown like DEAD 🙁 because of hot over 90 degree is that right ? let me know I enjoyed watched your video 🙂 , Brett

  6. Pingback: Crafting a Green World | How-to: Snowman Mason Jar! | Page: 1 | Crafting a Green World

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