Understand These Steps for
Successful Boiling Water Canning
NOTE: Read through all the instructions before beginning.
1. Before you start preparing your food, place canner rack in the bottom of a boiling water canner. Fill the canner half full with clean warm water for a canner load of pint jars. For other sizes and numbers of jars, you will need to adjust the amount of water so it will be 1 to 2 inches over the top of the filled jars.
2. Center the canner over the burner and preheat the water to 140°F for raw-packed foods and to 180°F for hot-packed foods. You can begin preparing food for your jars while this water is preheating.
3. Load filled jars, fitted with lids and ring bands, into the canner one at a time, using a jar lifter. When moving jars with a jar lifter, make sure the jar lifter is securely positioned encircling the neck of the jar (below the screw band of the lid). Keep the jar upright at all times. Tilting the jar could cause food to spill into the sealing area of the lid.
4. Add more boiling water, if needed, so the water level is at least one inch above the jar tops. For process times over 30 minutes, the water level should be 2 inches above the jars.
5. Turn the heat setting to its highest position, cover the canner with its lid and heat until the water boils vigorously.
6. Set a timer (after the water is boiling) for the total minutes required for processing the food.
7. Keep the canner covered during the processing time. The heat setting may be lowered as long as a gentle but complete boil is maintained for the entire process time.
8. Add more boiling water during the process, if needed, to keep the water level above the jar tops.
9. If the water stops boiling at any time during the process, turn the heat on its highest setting, bring the water back to a vigorous boil, and begin the timing of the process over, from the starting point (using the total original process time).
10. When the jars have been processed in boiling water canning for the recommended time, turn off the heat and remove the canner lid. Tilt the lid so that the steam escapes away from your face. Wait 5 minutes before removing jars.
11. Using a jar lifter, remove the jars one at a time, being careful not to tilt the jars. Carefully place them directly onto a towel or cake cooling rack, leaving at least one inch of space between the jars during cooling. Avoid placing the jars on a chilled surface or in a cold draft.
12. Let the jars sit undisturbed while they are cooling, from 12 to 24 hours. Do not tighten ring bands on the lids or push down on the center of the flat metal lids until the jars are completely cooled.