What Do I Need To Start Canning Food At Home?
If you have never canned before and weren't brought up in a home where canning was the norm, then the idea of it can be a bit intimidating at first.  Where do you even begin?  I know that feeling all too well.  My canning journey started about 14 years ago when my daughter was diagnosed with a condition that had her on a restricted diet.  I used to search and search at the grocery store hoping to find foods she could eat.  Most of the time I was on the verge of tears because finding canned foods with less than 140 mg of sodium was pretty much impossible.  So I decided it was time for me to start making food from scratch and, yes, that also meant learning to can.  I dove right in and even successfully canned meats.  To say I was a bit nervous is an understatement.  This was during a time where I didn't know much about using Pinterest and the info I needed wasn't easy to come by.  I'm here to tell you that it is possible and the help you need is right at your fingertips.  

Here are a few items that you really need to have on hand before you can successfully can home goods:
Canner:  I like this one because I can do a water bath or pressure can (needed if doing beans, meats, anything with a low acidity).
Canning Jars, Lids, & Rings:  It's important to have jars with no nicks or cracks.  The lids should be new with a fully intact seal.  The rings will ONLY be used in the canning process.  Once the processed jars have canned and seals have been checked, the rings should be removed.  Storing canned goods with the rings still on can result in a false seal.
Canning Tools:  You can find a set like the one linked or you can buy them individually.  My must haves are a funnel, jar lifter, and the bubble remover.
Labels: Label everything with the name of the contents as well as the date it was processed.

A few more canning tips:
Store canned goods in a pantry or other dark area.  Rotate to be sure you are using the oldest items first.  And, as stated above, remove rings before storing canned goods.
Use only approved canning recipes.  This is super important because you can find all sorts of information on the web stating that all kinds of foods are safe for canning, and that simply isn't true. More on all of this in a later post...just know that if you follow the rules, you have nothing to worry about.  But botulism is a serious matter so you really want to make sure you are using recipes from a trusted source and following all the "rules" of canning.

Now that you have the needed supplies, it's time to find a trusted recipe and start canning!
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