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Home Canning Methods

canning tools and 5 jars of canned peaches on a countertop

Would you like to brighten up winter with the taste of garden tomatoes? Are you having trouble using peppers from your garden before they spoil or running out of room in your freezer for all the green beans? Home canning is a great way to enjoy food from your garden year-round and make good use of your harvest.

Being a tradition that is passed down through generations, you may have learned how to can from your parents or grandparents. If you are new to canning, you will likely receive advice; however, keep in mind that not all advice is good advice.

Recommendations for safe canning have changed over the years to reduce food spoilage and illness, and WVU Extension agents are trained to provide up-to-date and accurate advice on safely canning fruits and vegetables in your home.

Home canning used to be conducted in many ways including open kettle canning, oven canning and even dishwasher canning. Now, we know that there are only two ways to safely can foods at home — water bath canning for high acid foods and pressure canning for low acid foods. To make sure your food is safe for you and your family, use the correct canning method and always use an approved recipe.

The WVU Extension Service hosts hands-on food preservation classes that include water bath canning and pressure canning.

In these courses, community members are invited to process fruits and vegetables with guidance from trained faculty.

In addition to hands-on classes, Extension agents are available to answer questions regarding best practices for safe canning.

By Lauren Prinzo, WVU Extension Agent – Marion County