Now is a great time to start getting ready for this year’s home canning and preserving season. We have a few helpful tips to make this season run smoothly and safely!
Our first tip is to make sure to inspect and repair any of your equipment at the beginning of the season. Around that same time, you should gather the canning jars and lids that you plan to use during the canning season. It is very important that each season you use new flat lids. The metal screw bands can be reused as long as they are not rusted or bent. If you would like to have your lids tested, our office provides free testing. You can either drop your lids off at our office or you can bring them to the Park Falls Farmers Market on July 12 and Libby can test them for you there.
Our next tip is to make sure that you are using an up-to-date, tested recipe. Making sure that your recipes are research tested, so that your food is preserved safely, is something that we all can agree is important. Many people don’t know that the recommendations for canning some foods have changed. For example, in 1994, the recommendations for home-canned or preserved tomatoes changed so that you must add acid to any of your home canned tomato products.
Our last tip is related to our first one. If you have dial-gauge pressure canners make sure that they are tested for accuracy! If you are planning on canning low-acid vegetables, meats, fish or poultry it is essential to use a pressure canner. Dial-gauge canners should be tested yearly for accuracy. If you are in need of getting yours tested feel free to stop in and get it done here free of charge!
Don’t know where to find these up-to-date recipes? Well you can find recipes, how-to videos and so much more at fyi.uwex.edu/safepreserving. We also have canning/food preservation/freezing books/resources available at our office for free.
Food safety is very important, and you should always keep that in mind when you are canning any type of food at home. Using recipes that don’t have exact measurements or out of date canning information could mean that your end product is unsafe to consume. We hope you have found these tips to be helpful and also hope to see or hear from you soon!