Boiling Water Canning

Water Bath…Pressure Canner Step-by-Step

“Special Thanks to Cajun Clark for his generosity in sharing this canning information.”


Whichever method you use, water bath canning or pressure canning, when the jars are removed from the canner, let them sit until room temperature.

Do not attempt to remove the band until the jars have set for at least 24-hours. The jars should seal so that when you touch the center of the lid, it won’t sink down any, or pop under the pressure of your finger.

If your jars did not seal properly, refrigerate them, and use within a couple of days, or reprocess them utilizing a new lid and band.

Using the Water Bath Canner: Step-by-Step

Fill the canner halfway with water, and preheat to almost boiling.

  1. Load the filed and closed hot jars onto the canner rack and lower the rack into the canner.
  2. Add more boiling water until the water level is at least one inch above the tops of the jars.
  3. ON high heat, let water boil vigorously.
  4. Set timer for the required minutes to process the food in your recipe.
  5. Cover with the lid and lower the heat to maintain a gentle boil throughout the processing time.
  6. Occasionally check the water level, and add more boiling water if needed to keep one inch of water over jar tops.
  7. When the timer goes off, turn the heat off. Carefully remove the canner lid, lifting it away from you so the steam doesn’t burn you.
  8. Using a jar lifter, remove the jars and set them at least one inch apart on a towel, or cooling rack.

Using the Pressure Canner: Step-by-Step

  1. Put 3 inches of hot water in the canner, place the filled, closed jars on the bottom rack.
  2. Leave the weight, the little jiggler, off the vent port, or open the petcock, depending on what type pressure canner you have.
  3. Heat on high until steam flows from the petcock or discharge port, let steam flow for 10 minutes.
  4. Place the weight on the vent port, or close the petcock. During the next 3 to 5 minutes, the canner will pressurize.
  5. When the pressure reading of the dial gauge indicates that the recommended pressure has been reached, or when the weighted gauge begins to jiggle, set your time for the required processing time for your recipe.
  6. Regulate the heat to maintain the needed pressure reading of the dial gauge, if you use the jiggling weight gauge, the needed setting is 2 or 3 jiggles per minute.
  7. When your timer goes off, cut the heat off, and remove the canner from the stove.

DO NOT attempt to open the canner; it must depressurize slowly without any interference. This will take at least half an hour, maybe several hours depending on your canner.

Note: If you don’t have a rack in the bottom of your canner, you can use a dishtowel folded in half in the bottom. This is absolutely necessary in order to keep the jars off the bottom, in direct contact with the heat source.

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