Using the Right Equipment:
Containers for canning
Make sure all jars are free of cracks and chips. These defects will prevent airtight seals. Jars that are manufactured specifically for home canning are recommended. Glass mayonnaise jars and similar jars are not recommended for use in home canning because they are not manufactured for repeated heating and have a higher rate of breakage. Wash the jars in hot, soapy water and rinse them, or you can wash them in a dishwasher. Keep jars hot until you fill them to prevent breakage when filled with hot product.
Lids and rings
Select the correct size of lids to fit your jars. Always use new lids each time you do canning. Rings can be reused if they are in good condition. Wash and thoroughly dry the rings before you store them and they will remain in good condition for years. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for pretreating the canning lids. Metal lids have a sealing compound and usually need to be heated prior to use.
Do not overfill the jars. Pack the product to the shoulder of the jar, leaving room for the covering liquid and recommended headspace . After adding liquid to the recommended headspace, use a plastic knife or spatula to dislodge air bubbles trapped on the inner side of the jars.
With a clean, damp cloth or towel, carefully wipe the rim and threads of the jar. Place the clean, prepared lid on the rim of the jar and screw the ring band on finger tight. Do not overtighten. If tightened too much, the lids will not vent correctly, causing buckling of the lid, loss of the seal a day or two after processing, and possibly glass breakage during processing.
Using a boiling water bath canner
Any large covered kettle or pot may be used as a boiling water bath canner, if it
is deep enough to allow water to cover the tops of the jars by 1 to 2 inches
Fill the canner half full with water. Preheat the water to 170°F. Place jars on a rack in the canner any jars that come in direct contact with the bottom of the canner may break. Add enough boiling water to cover the tops of the jars by at least 1 inch. When water comes to a boil, begin to count the processing time indicated in the recipe. At the end of the recommended processing time, remove jars from canner and cool them, undisturbed, at room temperature. Avoid placing jars directly on cold surfaces like tile countertops as that may cause the jars to crack. Setting the jars on a towel over the countertop rather than directly on the counter- top can help protect jars from breaking. After the jars have cooled, check them for a tight seal. In a tight seal the metal lid will have snapped down and is curved slightly inwards. Press down on the center of the lid. If it springs back, there is no seal— either place this jar in the refrigerator and use within the next few days, freeze the jar, or reprocess the contents using a new jar and lid. Remove the rings of the sealed jars and wash the jars gently before storage to remove any syrup residues. Store in a dark, dry, cool place, without the rings on them.
Processing time depends on what your canning, check with charts or recipe your using.
For wide top opening pint jars you need 1/2 inch for narrow top opening pint jars 3/4 inch.
For wide top opening quart jars you need 1 inch head space. For narrow top opening quart jars you need 1 1/2 inch head space.