An important part of self sufficient living involves food preservation and storage. There are several ways to do this – canning, dehydration, and vacuum sealing being the most popular. Canning continues to be a popular and effective method for fruit preservation. Here are a few tips we have found helpful for successful fruit canning using glass jars:
1. Clean glass canning jars first. Some boil their jars to sterilize, others simply run them through a dishwasher relying on the hot water to do the job.
2. Soak lids and rings in hot water (just under boiling point) for about 20 minutes before use to soften the seal. (Don’t boil them at this point.)
3. Pour hot fruit only a little at a time into the jars to avoid cracking.
4. After the canning process, allow the jars to sit for about 24 hours.
5. Test for proper sealing by pressing gently on the center of the lid after jars have set for at least 12 hours. The lid should not “pop” up and down.
6. After the jars have set for 24 hours, remove the rings and clean the jars to remove any fruit that leaked or spilled out during canning. Food residue left on the outside of the jar in the vicinity of the seal can grow mold which can then migrate into the jar, breaking the seal.