Canning for Beginners

Canning is a versatile and useful skill to have while you travel in your RV. That and it’s a fun hobby to make your own canned veggies, jams, salsas, pickles, and condiments. You get to pick the ingredients that go into your work and you get the pride that comes along with sharing your delicious creations at every meal. If you’re a beginner at canning, here’s what you need to know.

The Techniques

There are two canning techniques, which are water bath canning and pressure canning. Water bath canning is a shorter, low temperature canning process that is primarily employed with high-acid foods. The acid in the food is what kills bacteria and preserves the contents.

Foods that are ideal for water bath canning include:

  • Pickles and relishes
  • Salsas
  • Jams and jellies
  • Fruits
  • Vinegars
  • Condiments

There are many more, but those are some of the most common.

Pressure canning, on the other hand, is used for lower acid foods, such as veggies and meats. Like the name suggests, this technique uses high pressure and heat to kill and reduce bacteria.

If you really are a beginner, stick to water bathing initially, which is recommended for beginners due to the easy nature of the recipes. Pressure canning is often best attempted once you feel you’re intermediate or advanced at canning.

The Basic Supplies

You’ll need to have canning jars with sealable lids and bands for either technique. For water bathing, you’ll also need a large stockpot with a canning rack. For pressure canning, you’ll need a pressure canner.

Find a Recipe and Try It

Once you’ve got your supplies and know what you generally wish to make, it’s now a simple matter of making a cannable recipe. You’ll need to fully cook each recipe before you begin the canning process. Remember, only fill each jar to the proper level. Successful canning is only possible by leaving enough “headspace” at the top of each can of food. Each recipe should have a different prescribe level. After filling your can, removing excess air, and wiping the outside clean, it’s as simple as boiling the filled jars. This both kills off any bacteria in the can and works to seal it tight.

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