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Canning and Preserving Food

as a hobby

Canning and preserving is a rewarding hobby that allows you to enjoy seasonal produce all year round. It’s a practical skill that reduces food waste and provides homemade, nutritious food. To get started, invest in a beginner’s canning kit, find recipes online or in a book, and consider watching tutorials for guidance.

Helpful content to start canning and preserving food as a hobby

We aim to provide accurate information, but errors might be found. Always exercise judgment and discretion.

Videos

Short visual inspiration.

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YouTube | Canning 101: Start Here
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YouTube | Canning 101: A Beginner’s Guide (Back to Basics)
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YouTube | How To Can Food | Home Canning For Beginners | Where To Start | #ToniReneeAtHome
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YouTube | Canning 101/ How to can for beginners

Podcasts

Play an episode while exploring the page.

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Spotify | How to Start Canning – Food Preservation
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Spotify | Canning Essentials Checklist
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Spotify | The Canning Process Explained
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Spotify | Best Canning Recipes for Beginners

Canning was invented after prolonged research by Nicolas Appert of France in 1809, in response to a call by his government for a means of preserving food for army and navy use.

Encyclopedia Britannica

Terms

Basic lingo for orientation.

  • Canning: The process of preserving food in airtight containers, usually glass jars, by heating them to a high temperature that kills harmful microorganisms and creates a vacuum seal.
  • Preserving: A general term for various methods of extending the shelf life of food, such as canning, freezing, drying, pickling, fermenting, etc.
  • Water bath canning: A method of canning that involves submerging filled jars in a large pot of boiling water for a specified amount of time. Suitable for high-acid foods such as fruits, jams, pickles, and tomatoes.
  • Pressure canning: A method of canning that involves placing filled jars in a special pressure cooker that reaches higher temperatures than boiling water. Suitable for low-acid foods such as vegetables, meats, soups, and sauces.
  • Head space: The space between the top of the food and the rim of the jar. It is important to leave the correct amount of head space for each recipe to ensure a proper seal and prevent the food from boiling over.
  • Processing time: The amount of time the jars need to stay in the boiling water or the pressure canner to kill any harmful microorganisms and create a vacuum seal. The processing time varies depending on the type of food, the size of the jar, and the altitude.
  • Venting time: The amount of time the pressure canner needs to release steam before adding the weight or closing the petcock. This ensures that no air is trapped inside the canner, which could affect the temperature and pressure.
  • Drying: A method of preserving food by removing moisture from it, either by using heat, air, or chemicals.
  • Pickling: A method of preserving food by soaking it in a brine or vinegar solution, often with spices and herbs, to create a sour or salty flavor.
  • Fermenting: A method of preserving food by allowing beneficial bacteria, yeast, or fungi to convert sugars into acids, gases, or alcohol, creating a distinctive taste and texture.

How to start canning and preserving food as a hobby

First moves for getting acquainted and breaking the ice.

  • Watch YouTube tutorials or a free YouTube canning course to better understand what canning and preserving is about, and if it is for you.
  • If you feel canning and preserving is for you, you will need canning kitchen utensils, recipes, and something to preserve.
  • A canning beginner’s kit is a good start for utensils.
  • Recipes you can find online, but a book might be safer and nicer to bring into the kitchen.

Books

Get read(y).

Canned food helped explore the Arctic.

How-tos

Step-by-step tutorials.

Articles

Further reading.

Websites

Go-tos for information.

Canned food can last for over a century. In 1974, the National Food Processors Association tested canned food from the 1865 Bertrand steamboat wreck. Despite changes in appearance, smell, and vitamin content, the 109-year-old food showed no microbial growth and was deemed safe to eat.

The Canning Process; Old Preservation Technique Goes Modern

Movies

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FAQS

Get a clue.

What are the benefits of canning and preserving?

Canning and preserving have many benefits, such as:

  • Saving money by using up surplus produce, reducing food waste, and avoiding buying expensive store-bought products.
  • Eating healthier by controlling what goes into your food, avoiding additives, preservatives, and excess sugar or salt, and boosting your intake of fruits and vegetables.
  • Preserving the quality and flavor of your food, enhancing its taste and texture, and extending its shelf life.
  • Enjoying seasonal foods all year round, having a variety of options for meals and snacks, and creating your own pantry staples and gifts.
What are the types and methods of canning and preserving?

There are many types and methods of canning and preserving, such as:

  • Canning: A method of preserving food by heating and sealing it in airtight containers, usually glass jars. There are two main types of canning: water bath canning and pressure canning. Water bath canning is suitable for high-acid foods, such as fruits, jams, pickles, and tomatoes. Pressure canning is suitable for low-acid foods, such as vegetables, meats, soups, and sauces.
  • Freezing: A method of preserving food by lowering its temperature below the freezing point, usually in plastic bags or containers. Freezing is suitable for most foods, such as fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, bread, and cooked dishes. However, some foods may lose their texture or flavor after freezing, such as lettuce, eggs, or cream.
  • Drying: A method of preserving food by removing moisture from it, either by using heat, air, or chemicals. Drying is suitable for foods that have a high water content, such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, and meats. Dried foods can be eaten as snacks, added to dishes, or rehydrated with water.
  • Pickling: A method of preserving food by soaking it in a brine or vinegar solution, often with spices and herbs, to create a sour or salty flavor. Pickling is suitable for foods that have a crunchy texture, such as cucumbers, cabbage, carrots, and onions. Pickled foods can be eaten as condiments, side dishes, or snacks.
  • Fermenting: A method of preserving food by allowing beneficial bacteria, yeast, or fungi to convert sugars into acids, gases, or alcohol, creating a distinctive taste and texture. Fermenting is suitable for foods that have a starchy or sugary content, such as milk, grains, fruits, and vegetables. Fermented foods can provide probiotics, vitamins, and enzymes, and improve digestion and immunity.
Is canning and preserving food safe and healthy?

Yes, canning and preserving can be safe and healthy when done correctly.

Canning may alter some nutrient levels, but overall, canned foods can offer similar nutrients to fresh or frozen ones.

However, it’s crucial to use proper techniques to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, like botulism. Always follow reputable recipes and guidelines for safe canning.

What equipment is needed for canning and preserving?

Some basic kitchen utensils for canning are:

  • Water bath canner.
  • Pressure canner.
  • Canning jars.
  • Jar lifter, for safely removing hot jars from the canner.
  • Funnel, for scooping preserves into the jars.

A canning beginner’s kit can be a safe start.

What types of food can be canned and preserved?

In general, fruits, vegetables meat, seafood, and poultry fish can be canned and preserved.

Apps

Smart assistance.

Products

Essentials to have.

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YouTube | The best Canning and pickling kit for beginners and enthusiasts

Courses

Get smart.

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YouTube Playlist | Canning Course with Annette Thurmon (AzureFarm) & Ball Mason Jars

Near You

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Canned food revolutionized the food industry. Canning enabled mass production, distribution, and consumption of food across the world. It also reduced food waste, improved food safety, and increased food variety and availability. Canning also influenced the development of other food preservation methods, such as freezing, drying, and vacuum packing.

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Tips

Additional advice for beginners.