I know that so many of us are just beginning to plant seeds indoors, and some are starting to plant seeds outside as well. Canning isn’t that far off in the distance, and I want you and your family to have the healthiest experience that you can possibly have this canning season—whether you’re a new canner or an experienced one.
As I made my way to my pantry this morning, I went to grab a jar of peaches to place on my son’s breakfast plate. What I didn’t realize is that I had picked up my experimental jar from last Summer. This just came from me not paying much attention and having too many things on my mind. Thankfully, I religiously inspect my canning jars often, and have ever since I’ve had a little one in the house. Having children just makes you all the more careful when it comes to health. I placed the jar down and noticed just the slightest bit of mold growing around the rim. There’s no way I could feed this to him, and then I realized my experiment from last Summer. I would have realized it either way, as the ring was on it.
Last Summer when I canned peaches, I had noticed a trend going around in the blog-o-sphere that said you didn’t “have” to sterilize your jars by boiling them in a water bath before canning. You could simply wash them in hot, soapy water and keep them warm until ready to fill.
So, I tried it with one can out of each batch I was doing during that 2 week time period. One of peaches, and one later that fall of applesauce.
I also tried keeping the rings on the jars.
My findings 6 months later?
Not only had one of my jars’ seals come undone, but both jars had mold growing inside of them. In fact, my applesauce had fermented, which means the seal broke not long after canning it.
There are so many factors that you need to understand when canning, but here are the main ones.
- Sterilize your jars properly — in a hot water bath/boil. Include the lids as well if you’re extra cautious.
- Tighten your rings when canning to only finger tip strength — and then take them off once the jar has sealed. Otherwise, leaving the ring on can cause the seal to break in the future.
- Use re-usable lids OR buy new lids each year — because ultimately, your metal lids will wear out and become unreliable. Please buy reusable lids or brand new metal lids each year.
When all else fails, if you’ve done everything right, you should still check each can before eating. Something could have gotten into a jar without you knowing before you sealed it. Make sure you are checking your jars monthly, if they’ve been stored for more than a year. Rotate jars (oldest in front, newest in back) to use up the oldest canned items first.
Find out more in this quick video I put together from my pantry this morning.
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Hey Amy! Do you have a recommendation for a canner? I’m looking to purchase one and need some direction.
Amy K. Fewell says
The presto canner’s are great. But if you’re going to get one I REALLY recommend an All American canner