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Link: Avoiding common canning mistakes

 
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From Backwoods Home Magazine, an excellent article by Jackie Clay-Atkinson titled Avoiding Common Canning Mistakes

Avoiding Common Canning Mistakes
I know a lot of people are canning for the first time, or the first time in years this year, seems like a good chunk of information to pass on.



My addition is
She said

 If you have minerals in your water, your jars may have a whitish film on them after they come out of the canner.


As someone who learned to can in the alkaline desert, I have added a splash of vinegar to my water for years. With groundwater that alkaline, it was more than a light film.

What can you add?

:D


 
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I was going to post this earlier and forgot it.
Lots of info on this LINK about Mason Jars, etc.

https://permies.com/t/40/19404/Making-Mason-Jars#1133870
 
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I would like to add this tip.  Don't let the jars rattle around at the bottom of your water bath pot.  When the water is boiling hard, jars can shatter and you'll end up with a tomatoey mess!  Purchase or fashion a grate that you can put at the bottom of the pot that will keep a little separation between the jars and the bottom of the pot.
 
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My tip, is you don't need special jar-holding tongs. Just use rubber gloves, either the insulated kind with a cotton layer inside, or use thin winter gloves inside rubber gloves.

Also, I bring the boiling water only up to the shoulder of the jars, and then use a lid to the pot so that the lids of the jars are bathed in steam. It seems to work just as well as submerging the bottles, and I dunno, it just seems wrong to me to be submerging them before they are fully sealed. I've done thousands of jars of apricot jam this way with my students over the years.
Canning-jam-with-rubber-gloves.jpeg
Pulling jam jars out of a boiling water bath with rubber gloves
Pulling jam jars out of a boiling water bath with rubber gloves
 
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Joshua LeDuc wrote:Purchase or fashion a grate that you can put at the bottom of the pot that will keep a little separation between the jars and the bottom of the pot.



I got a wonderful huge aluminum pot that looks commercial grade on Freecycle that I use for water-bath canning.  I wouldn't use aluminum for cooking but for processing the jars, it's no worries.  I bought a lid for it at a restaurant supply store but to rig up a grate for the bottom, I use some extra rings from the mason jars on the pot's bottom.  Works great (pun intended) and provides good use for some of the rustier, nastier old rings while keeping the jars off the bottom.
 
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Dianne Justeen wrote:

Joshua LeDuc wrote:Purchase or fashion a grate that you can put at the bottom of the pot that will keep a little separation between the jars and the bottom of the pot.



I use some extra rings from the mason jars on the pot's bottom.  Works great (pun intended) and provides good use for some of the rustier, nastier old rings while keeping the jars off the bottom.



That's such a good idea! Thank you! I've been saving the rings from some really old cans but I've been having trouble figuring out what to do with them. Now that I'm planning on practicing canning this fall/winter, this will be awesome!
How did you attach them to the bottom/each other? My first thought is soldering.
 
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Nichole Rock wrote:

Dianne Justeen wrote:

Joshua LeDuc wrote:Purchase or fashion a grate that you can put at the bottom of the pot that will keep a little separation between the jars and the bottom of the pot.



I use some extra rings from the mason jars on the pot's bottom.  Works great (pun intended) and provides good use for some of the rustier, nastier old rings while keeping the jars off the bottom.



That's such a good idea! Thank you! I've been saving the rings from some really old cans but I've been having trouble figuring out what to do with them. Now that I'm planning on practicing canning this fall/winter, this will be awesome!
How did you attach them to the bottom/each other? My first thought is soldering.



That's funny - I use old rings now too!  I tied them together in a circular patter with metal twist ties to fit the circumference of my pot!
 
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Nichole Rock wrote:
How did you attach them to the bottom/each other? My first thought is soldering.



Nope, I just place them on the bottom.  I found that a combo of wide mouth rings and a couple of regular size rings allow the entire bottom of the pot to be covered snugly but not so tight as to push them up anywhere.  I place the jars to be canned in such a way as to not have them stay nice and upright and not fall over sideways a bit into the center of the rings.

The tip on putting them together with some wire is brilliant!  May try that.  Just picked another 10 gallons of tomatoes yesterday so I'll be at this a while and want to make this as easy as possible.
 
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