I love to can, freeze and preserve my summer garden vegetables. I am definitely no expert but I have been canning for several years and have learned a few things along the way. Whether you are looking for the best tips for canning tomatoes or want to make honeysuckle jelly, I’ve got some great tips and resources for you!
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Tips for Canning your Summer Vegetables
- Never immerse a glass jar with medium or cool liquid/syrup in the boiling water bath on the stove. Your jar will break and you will have a mess!
- Label the Dates. Each summer I make salsa and can tomatoes. Most of the time, the jars get emptied over the winter months. But just in case there are a few that last through the next season, I want to make sure and use the oldest jars first. I don’t like to write on my lids or jars because I want to use them again next year. Instead, I use a label maker to put the date and the contents on each jar.
- Always boil your jelly mixture the full amount of time or you will get a runny syrup! You can reprocess the jelly if it doesn’t set up, but it is a pain and not as effective.
- When making dill pickles, do NOT skin the cucumbers! If you peel them, they will be limp and soggy. The kids may still enjoy eating them but they look like something out of Harry Potter’s world and are not worth keeping.
Where to Find Canning Supplies
The initial expense to begin canning can be significant. But if you look in the right places you can cut the cost and get started canning your summer produce.
Check with friends and family.
When I was ready to start canning, my Grandma gave me a hot water canner from her garage. I started asking all my friends and family for canning jars. My friends and relative gave me a whole box of jars. Of course, you can also buy canning jars from your local store or on Amazon.com.
Look at Yard Sales
I have found canning jars at yard sale for less than a $1.00. You may even be able to find canning supplies like the water bath pot.
Start small…. then build each year!
In the early years, I used whatever I had in the kitchen, but over time I started buying the tools to make the task easier, like the rubber tongs that lift the jars out of the boiling water bath and the special funnel to help fill the jars.
Get Inspired by Others
- Pick Your Own
- Easy Apple Pie Filling
- Instant Pot Applesauce Canning Recipe
- Sweet Pickle Relish
- How to Can Peaches with Low Sugar
What are your best tips for canning your summer vegetables? I’d love to have you share!