Canning basics & essentials

Canning can feel like an overwhelming skill to try to master. Don’t worry. We have you covered with our Canning Basics: Essentials to get you started guide.


Hot Water Bath Canning

This method is good for high acid foods such as jams, jellies, preserves, pickles and tomatoes (with added acidity). The heat achieved by boiling the jars in hot water is sufficient to safely can these foods.

Pressure Cooker Canning

Pressure cookers are necessary for safely canning low acid foods such as asparagus, green beans and carrots. These foods cannot be safely canned from the heat of a hot water bath.


  • Canning jars with two-part lids
  • Large stockpot (at least) 3 inches taller than your jars
  • Canning tongs or jar lifters
  • Canning rack
  • Wide-mouth funnel or ladle
  • Bubble tool
  • Pressure canner (if using)
  • Clean cloths for jar lids


  • Sterilize jars and lids
  • Fill the jars, making sure to leave adequate space at the top for expansion
  • Make sure there are no air bubbles along the sides of the jar
  • Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth
  • Let the jars cool and wait for the “pop”


For the best results, we recommend following the recipe to a T. Typically we’re big fans of making a recipe your own, but in this instance it’s better to stick to it, as most canning recipes have been created to perfectly balance acidity for safety.

Don’t forget to label your jars before placing them in a cool, dry and dark spot. You can either write directly on the list with a sharpie or create a jar label – just make sure to include the contents of the jar as well as the date made.

As tempting as it might be to use your great grandmother’s handwritten canning recipe, we recommend starting out with a more modern recipe as canning safety and guidelines have changed quite significantly over the years.

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