How to Can Meals in a Jar


The canning jars widely used today, also called mason jars, were created in the latter half of the 18th century. They were affordable and easy to use to create the vacuum-sealed preserved foods, and soon became popular for both keeping a surplus of food, and having easy and quick meals on hand at any time. This tradition has continued in to the 21st century, where a variety of meals and foods are preserved in mason jars for later use. Here's what you need to know in order to can your own meals in a jar.

Things You'll Need

  • Canning recipe
  • Sterilized mason jars
  • Clean cloth, dampened
  • Sterilized mason jar lids
  • Sterilized mason jar rims
  • Pressure canner
  • Canning tongs
  • Evaluate the recipe you wish to can. Omit any oils or dairy from the recipe as this can cause the meal to spoil. Add any creams, milk, cheese, or oils right before serving.

  • Trim all the excess fat off of meat before cooking. Too much fat can go rancid and cause the meat to spoil.

  • Cook the food and bring the entire recipe to a simmer. This will ensure that when it is canned, it is hot and will seal properly.

  • Pour the food in to the mason jars, and leave 1 inch of space, or as the recipe instructs. Wipe any food from the rims of the jars using a clean, damp cloth - any food left on can prevent the jar from sealing.

  • Place the lids on the jars. Screw on the rims tightly over the lids.

  • Pour enough water in to the pressure canner per the manufacturer's instructions. Insert the filled jars in their designated places within the canner.

  • Secure the lid on to the pressure canner, making sure that the vents are unobstructed. Place it on the stove.

  • Turn on the element and bring the pressure to the amount required by the recipe. Maintain this amount throughout the duration of the cooking process, according to the time laid out in the recipe. Turn the burner up or down in heat until the optimum temperature is reached.

  • Bring the pressure to zero by turning off the stove, after the allotted time has been reached. Open the lid and remove the jars to a towel covered surface using the tongs.

  • Cool the jars for several hours, until they are cool to the touch. Press in the middle of each lid - if they remain depressed and make no popping noise, they are sealed.

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