Can You Can Can?

I got this crazy idea in my head a few months ago that I wanted to try canning food.  I decided I needed a good spaghetti sauce to start with then once I had that down I could can it and shop in my own pantry for dinner.  I found the sauce, man is it great… now its time to can!  I read and read and read how to can water bath canning, pressure canning, what to do, what not to do, research research research.   I think the whole idea of canning something seemed like it had to be harder than it really was.  I made myself way more nervious than neccisciare before I even began!  
I started out by making this sauce.   
Then it was time… time to can!
I heated my water and plugged up the sink I knew I had to keep my lids and jars warm or the hot sauce and the hot canner would crack them.  I read where some would start the dishwasher up and not open it until they were ready to use their jars so it would stay warm.  Or some would boil water then turn it off and set the jars and lids in that.  To me that seemed like a lot of extra work.  The sink seemed to work just fine!  I heated the water as hot as i could get it and filled it over the jars. 



I had to get water boiling to fill the pressure canner (I think it was about 1 quart needed check your owner’s manual for details). 
Up next was filling my jars!  I had all my supplies ready to go
I went one by one.  Pull one hot jar out of the sink and one lid.  Placed the wide mouth funnel on top of the jar and ladled in about 2 scoops of sauce leaving 3/4″ head space. 
Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp towel and place the lid on top. 
Place a ring around the jar and tighten. 
Carefully place the jar in the pressure canner (mine could hold 10 pint at a time but I went with 8 because it matched perfectly with a double batch of spaghetti sauce). 
repeat 7 times. Check x 7
Follow the directions that came with your pressure canner for closure information and pressure.  Always follow the recipes recommended amount of pressure and timing.
My recipe calls for 11 # pressure and for a 15 minute processing time. 
Your processing time does not start until the pressure hits the correct number. 
Once it gets there you need to maintain the heat so that you can sit at the correct pressure for the recommended time.  That was one thing I learned a lot about by doing it.  Trying to judge how much heat would be needed was difficult.  I waited until I hit 11 before I started to lower my heat.  That was a mistake.  I should have started sooner so that it would slow down once I hit 11 then I could maintain it.  I had to pull it off the heat for a few seconds and let it drop some!  This step is one you definitely need full attention for!
Once the time was up it was time to move it from the heat source.  Turn the burner off and move the canner over to a cool burner.  Then you wait.  and wait. and wait. and wait.  you can’t go by the pressure gauge to know all the pressure is gone.  (refer to your owners manual for specific instructions).  Once all the safe guards have released you can open your canner.  Remove the VERY HOT jars one at a time.  Place them on a wood cutting board or towel so they don’t come in direct contact with the cool counter.  Once they are out you should hear this cool ping sound!  Now I read all about this ping sound before in all my research and thought whats the big deal?  Once I heard that Ping I got it!  It was just as Sharon had said “its like your work is working!”  Then you know your on the right path!  Once they are out and on the towel you need to leave them there for 12 to 24 fours until completely cooled. 
Once cooled you can remove the rings and make sure the jars a sealed.  It is not recommended to store with the rings on that way rust wont develop.  Many suggest dating your jar.  I say label the lid!  that is NOT reusable but the jar is.  Just mark it with a sharpie with the date and contents and enjoy! 
Please refer to the owner’s manual that came with your canner for specific directions. 
I also found Sharons Site to be a great source for detailed information to any question I had on canning.  Be sure to stop by for recipes too! 

About Amy

Hi, I'm Amy, Mom of 2 young girls and Wife to a great man, Adrian. Join me as I blog about my frugal adventures, deals and every day life as I strive in Living The Domestic Life.
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