The follow is sort of a loose description
of a canning day with pictures to demonstrate some of the steps we use in
canning. Prior planning and set up is the key to a smooth canning day!
Setting up an "outdoor kitchen" is very helpful, too! The pictures
below will give you an idea of what different canning steps look like.
You will need quart jars with new lids and new or
used bands that are not damaged or rusty. You'll need a
'water-bath' canner and a jar-lifer. This utensil is sort
of like a large tongs for jars. Helpful, but not
necessary, is a magnetic lid lifter (this is a pencil sized
utensil with a magnet on one end that you can use to lift
lids out of scalding water to place on each filled jar).
You will also
need plenty of towels and washcloths for keeping things covered,
for catching drips and spills. Then, you will need bowls for
ice-water after dipping peaches, for holding peaches you're
ready to can. You'll need a small pan for simmering the
lids and a pot for dipping the peaches in order to slip the
skins. A cutting board and your favourite knife.
You will also
need a place to prepare the fruit, to fill the jars and a place
to set the hot jars after they've been through the canner.
We can fruits
inside or outside using our propane outdoor cooker.
canning jars, wide mouth quarts are the best in my opinion, lids
and bands. It's easiest to wash the quart jars in the
dishwasher or just wash them in a sink of hot soapy water and
then rinse and set upside down on a towel on the drainboard.
Wash the bands and set out to dry as well.
Once you have
purchased your fruit (in this case, peaches), you will begin the
process of canning.
Fill the canner(s) half full of water and place on the stove to
begin heating the water to boiling.
Place the lids in
a saucepan to simmer for a few minutes prior to actually using
Wash the peaches
(or other fruit) and put them in a large colander or box.
Put a "dutch
oven" filled half full of water on the stove to boil.
At this time I
also make my light sugar syrup/water as described below. I
do this in an electric pot to save stove space.
peaches (4 or so at a time) in a pot of boiling water and then drop
the peaches in a bowl of ice-water that will loosen the skins so
that you can easily slip them off.
When the skins are slipped off of the
peach then place each whole peach in another bowl of clean cold
water until you have enough for a canner-load. About 4-5
peaches per jar, depending on the size of the peach and how you cut
and place them in the jar. 1/8 cuts yield more peaches in a
jar. Halves are prettier, but they take up more space and it
seems few fit into each jar.
|I make a light syrup mixture for
canning our peaches. The pot holds about 1.5 gallons of water
and I add about a cup and a half of sugar to that and bring it to a
boil and then leave it simmering while I sliced the peaches into 7
or 10 quart jars. One of my canners hold 10 quart jars at a
time and the other holds 7 quart jars. For the light syrup, I
use an electric pot so that I have the burners free for the canner
and the pot of boiling water for dipping the peaches. After the
peaches are sliced into the jars, then I pour the boiling
light-syrup into each jar (about a cup of liquid for sliced and a
cup and a half for peach halves).
|I run a knife down and
around the inside of each jar to allow air bubbles to escape.
Then I take a clean wash-cloth and wipe the rim of each jar so that
I make sure there are no bits of fruit and no syrup on the rim.
I can also check one more time for nicks or cracks in the rim.
little pot I have the jar lids simmering until I am ready to use
them on clean packed jars. I slip the number of jar bands I'll
need for the canner load onto my wrist and then slide then down onto
each jar as I go. I have a bowl of clean bands ready on the table
for the next "load" I'll do.
My canners, with the canning rack inside, are on the burners filled
with simmering water and I work quickly so that I am putting
very hot jars into the simmering water---this pretty much ensures
that I'll have no breakage of jars due to extreme temperature
changes. I use a "jar-lifter" to set the jars down into the
|After setting the lid centered on
each jar and placing a band on each jar, I quickly tighten each
band---tight for a woman, not tight for a man.
I continue the process until all seven jars (or ten---depending on the
canner size) are done and then I quickly set each jar into the rack
in the canner of simmering water. Once the water comes to a
boil, I "water-bath" can peaches for 20 minutes and then remove them
to cool on a folded towel. *Don't* press the center of
the lid---it'll pull a vacuum and *pop* as it seals!
Soon your favourite sound in the world
will be the *pop* of lids sealing as jars cool.
there's *nothing* to it!
*YOU* can do it, too!
Just jump right in and
try a new thing today!
MORE ABOUT CANNING
Home Canning Supplies, Recipes & Techniques"
Canning Fact Sheet