How to Can

Filling and Sealing Jars: Ladle prepared food through a wide-mouth funnel into clean, hot canning jars. Leave headspace as indicated in recipe. Wipe jar rims clean, place lids on jars with sealing compound next to the glass, and screw the ring bands on firmly, but not too tightly.

Hot Water Bath: Place filled jars on a rack in a water bath canner or deep, covered kettle filled with hot, but not boiling, water. Arrange jars on the rack so they do not touch each other or the sides of the canner. Add hot water as needed to cover the jar tops with an inch or two of water. Bring the water to a boil, and boil with the canner covered for 10 minutes or the time given in recipe. Start counting the processing time when the water reaches the boil. At altitudes about 3,000 feet, add 2 minutes' processing time for each additional 1,000 feet. Remove jars with a jar lifter and cool on a folded towel or rack in a draft-free place. Leave pace between the jar for air to circulate.

Please Note: According to the USDA, ALL jams, jellies and preserves should be processed in a water bath for 10 minutes - NO LESS!

Test for a Seal: To test the seal, press down the center of each lid with your finger. Lid that are sealed will stay down.

As an alternative to boiling canning jars to sterilize them, place the clean jars in a cold oven, set temperature to 250 degrees F, and leave them for 30 minutes.

Testing Jell Point: The first method is to take the temperature of boiling water, then cook the jelly mixture to a temperature 8 degrees F higher than your boiling point. The temperature to reach at sea level is 220 degrees F. At this point, enough liquid has evaporated from the juice mixture to concentrate the sugar, acid pectin and transform it into jelly.

The second method is to dip a cool metal spoon into the boiling liquid. Lift the spoon out and tip it so that the jelly runs off the side of the spoon. When the jelly falls in two drops and then flows together to form a sheet, it is ready.

Another test is to put a spoonful of jelly onto a cold plate and place it in the freezer for a few minutes. The mixture will set if the jell point has been reached. Remember to remove the kettle from the heat while you perform this test.