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Richard 07-12-2008 04:31 PM

Preserving the harvest: creating sterile jars of preserves
Creating jars of preserves requires two activities:
You'll need the following items:

  • A large pot including metal rack made for canning (or tamales!)
  • Jars (usually made by Ball or Mason) with rings and lids
  • Extra lids
  • Large tongs with silicone on the "teeth" end so they won't slip on boiling hot jars
  • A rack to set the hot jars and lids on
  • A ladle with 1-cup capacity

  1. Wash and rinse the cooling rack, pot, jars, lids, and rings.
  2. Dry the cooling rack and keep it out of harms way :)
  3. About 45 minutes before your heat pasteurization process is done, place water, rack, and jars (but not lids or rings) in pot; set it on stove and turn heat to high. Use filtered water to reduce salt buildup on rack.
  4. When the water starts boiling, turn it down to medium and put the top on the pot.
  5. After boiling for 15 minutes, turn off the heat and carefully move the pot to a spare burner or trivet (its heavy and scalding hot).
  6. After the boiling has ceased for a minute or so, lift the pot lid, drop the jar lids into the water, and replace the pot lid.
  7. Place the cooling rack in a convenient location but out of direct sunlight.
  8. Hopefully your heat-pasteurization process is about done. When it is done, use the tongs to remove the jars. Turn the jar over during this process so that excess water drips out. The jar is very hot and it will dry immediately. Place the jars top-side up on the rack, and put the lids on the rack too. Notice how pesky those lids can be to get out of the pot :)
  9. Note that your cooling rack has not been sterilized. You are counting on your cleaning of the rack and the temperature of the lids to sterilize any tiny unwanted germs where the lids contact the rack.
  10. Fill the jars one at a time. Leave 1/4 inch "headroom" of air between the very top of the jar and the pasteurized food -- no more and no less. You are going to dribble a bit, so be prepared with a paper towel to wipe excess from the threads near the top. Put on the lid and a ring and tighten it down firmly but not over-tight.
  11. As the jars cool over the next hour, you will hear the lids "pop". The air in the top of the jar contracts with cooling and the lids are drawn down tightly. The lids are specially made for this, and you will notice they now have a dimple in the center.
  12. After the jars have "popped", you'll probably be able to tighten the rings again.
  13. When the jars have cooled down to room temperature, check them all. If any of the jars did not pop down, then you need to either use the food right away (roll some biscuit dough and make a quick cobbler), or throw out the contents of the jar.
  14. Store all the sealed jars of preserve in a relatively cool place out of sunlight and in total shade if possible.

bencelest 07-13-2008 09:14 AM

Re: Preserving the harvest: creating sterile jars of preserves
Thanks for the real good info Richard.
Thanks! I needed that.

Richard 08-04-2017 02:45 AM

Re: Preserving the harvest: creating sterile jars of preserves

beam2050 08-04-2017 03:29 AM

Re: Preserving the harvest: creating sterile jars of preserves
almost time to can some deer meat. I'm out. and some hot dog stuffed banana peppers yummie

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