Gather your canning jars and produce—it’s time to start pickling! Use these easy preserving tips and recipes to get started with home canning.
Wash the jars and lids in hot, soapy water, and rinse well.
Do not fill a jar to the rim. A certain amount of room, called headspace, must be left to allow contents to expand during the boiling-water bath.
After filling the jar, wipe the rim clean with a damp paper towel. Don’t overtighten the ring when securing lids.
Canning is the technique of pasteurizing sealed jars in boiling water, thus rendering the product shelf stable for long-term storage. This is not necessary for refrigerator pickle recipes.
Checking the Seal
The day after processing (in boiling-water method or refrigerator method), verify that the jars have properly sealed. Remove the ring, and press on the center of the disk. If the disk moves or if the center “button” flexes, the seal has failed to set. If this happens, the product is still edible, it just needs to be kept refrigerated—it is no longer shelf stable to store at room temperature.
– For quick refrigerator method: store product sealed with disk and ring in the refrigerator for up to a month.
– For boiling-water method: store jars sealed with disk and without ring in a cool, dark place. Most recipes will keep for a year. Refrigerate after opening, and consume within 6 months of opening.