I love to can, but I don't always have the time to do it. So, I'm always looking for ways to speed up the process and make my life easier. In this blog post, you'll learn how to seal your mason jars using a vacuum sealer machine so that you can preserve your food without having to spend too much time on the process.
Wash your jars in hot, soapy water.
- This step is important to remove any food particles that might be on the glass or around the lid.
- Use a dishwasher if available; otherwise, soak jars in hot water for 10 minutes then rinse well with clean water and drain.
- Lay on a clean towel and allow them to dry completely before continuing with the canning process.
Boil your lids.
- Take the lids out of the water and let them cool while you continue with the rest of your canning process (if there is one).
- When they are cool enough to touch, carefully place each lid on its jar and screw on the band until it's tight but not too tight—just enough so that it won't come off when you're done canning!.
Fill your jars with the food you want to can.
Now that your jar is clean and sanitized, it's time to fill it. Canning jars are made with a wide mouth that make filling them easy. If you're canning something in bulk, like a soup or stew, use the funnel included on the lid of your canning kit or an old large-mouthed funnel to pour the food directly into the jar.
If you're sealing jars of single servings (like jams) then use a ladle or spoon to fill your jar up about halfway full. Put anything with small particles in first—this will allow for more room for large pieces of fruit as well as air bubbles later on during processing!
Take a damp paper towel and clean off the rims well.
You'll want to use a damp paper towel for this. A sponge, cloth or brush can damage the rim and compromise its ability to seal properly. Steel wool is too abrasive and will also cause damage. A knife should be avoided because it can cut into the glass, creating tiny fractures that could potentially let in air during processing. And do not use a towel—it will leave lint behind and prevent an airtight seal from forming.
Place the lids on the jar and screw on the rings until they are finger-tip tight.
Do not over-tighten; using your full strength or using a tool to tighten will break the seal.
Process the jars.
- Add the jars to the canner.
- Put the lid on the canner.
- Heat until water begins to boil and then reduce heat to maintain a gentle boil, if necessary.
- Process jars for time specified in recipe or as recommended by manufacturer of your pressure cooker/canner (usually 10 minutes at 10 pounds pressure, but check your manufacturer’s instructions).
You can easily preserve food for years without freezing or refrigerating it.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that you can fruit, vegetables, meat and fish for no more than one year. However, it's possible to keep food preserved in jars for several years.
To store your preserved goods in a cool dark place such as a basement or root cellar. If you don't have a root cellar, make sure the room where your jars are stored is above freezing but not too warm either. The ideal temperature range is between 50°F (10°C) and 70°F (21 °C).
You will also want to ensure that your storage area does not get too much moisture--or too little of it. A good rule of thumb for humidity during canning season is 40-50 percent relative humidity at about 68 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 degrees Celsius or higher with temperatures dropping into the low 30s at night for anywhere from four weeks up to six months depending on what type of canned food product you're storing long term
Now that you know how to seal jars for canning, it's time to get started. The most important step is to make sure that your jars are cleaned well so that they do not interfere with the sealing process or allow bacteria inside them during storage.