Canning Mistakes to Avoid

When you get into canning, it can be a little overwhelming. You understand the benefits of using up your produce and having unprocessed foods at the ready, but there is a lot to be considered in the beginning. Before you get started, here are some common canning mistakes to avoid.

Filling the Jars Too Much
This is probably one of the most common mistakes people tend to make when they first get into canning. It looks like you have enough space in your jars, so you fill them to the top, but then later find out it didn’t seal properly because you filled the jars too much.

Read the canning instructions carefully and you will see that it asks you to leave about ½-1 inch of space at the top of the jar before putting the lid on. This is going to help you seal the jars properly, allowing it to be stored for a longer period of time and still remain fresh.

Not Using the Correct Jars or Lids
Again, reading instructions carefully when you first start canning is crucial. This starts with the supplies you intend to use. You can’t just use any jar you find when it comes to canning. You need to use glass jars that are made to handle a water bath, which gets to high temperatures. Don’t reuse your pasta sauce jars for canning.

The same goes for lids. You don’t want to reuse lids along with your reusable jars. Get the proper canning jars WITH the proper canning lids. These are going to not only help with the high temperatures, but to make sure your jars are sealed.

Lastly, make sure you are using high-quality canning jars. They shouldn’t be chipped or cracked, neither on the jar itself or on the lid.

Failing to Follow a Recipe
While you may tweak recipes over time the more you get into canning, you need to start with a specific recipe. Canning is all about science, so you need to listen to the experts when you first start. From supplies to use to what you add to your foods and how it is heated up before being sealed is all equally important.

The instructions are often different depending on what you are canning as well, so that is something else to consider. The more you can and preserve foods, the more you will understand just how much attention to detail makes a difference.