Fresh Preserving 101 - Home Canning Basics

Fresh Preserving 101 - Home Canning Basics

Food & Drink

Fresh Preserving 101 - Home Canning Basics



From the makers of Ball Jars*

Store-bought jams, jellies, salsas, relish and pickles can’t compare to their homemade counterparts. The good news is that fresh preserving (also known as home canning or jarring) is now easier and faster than ever with new Ball® products and mixes. It’s just a simple step beyond food preparation and cooking!

View our ‘How to Make Dill Pickles’ home canning video demo

Fresh preserving is the process of preserving fresh produce and freshly prepared foods in glass preserving jars with lids and bands in the presence of heat to destroy microorganisms that cause spoilage. Here are some helpful fresh preserving tips from the experts at Ball.

5 Steps to Easy Fresh Preserving

1.) PREPARE food according to an up-to-date, tested recipe.

2.) PLACE freshly prepared food in hot Ball brand or Kerr® brand glass preserving jars, center hot Ball brand or Kerr brand lids on jars and apply bands.

3.) HEAT the filled jars to the recommended temperature using the correct type of boiling water or pressure canner for the food being processed.

4.) HEAT or PROCESS the filled jars at the recommended temperature for the required time as stated by an up-to-date, tested recipe (this will destroy target microorganisms, inactive enzymes and remove air from the jar).

5.) REMOVE jars from the canner and allow them to cool naturally to form vacuum seals.

Fresh Preserving Tips & Tricks

  • Use only the best, top quality ingredients. Preserve fruits and vegetables at their peak of freshness.
  • Leave the recommended headspace when filling jars.
  • Remove air bubbles by sliding a nonmetallic spatula between the jar and food; press gently on the food to release trapped air. Repeat 2 to 3 times around the circumference of the jar.
  • Wipe rim and threads at the top of the jar with a clean, damp cloth before putting the lid on the jar to remove any residue and ensure full contact between the sealing compound and jar rim. Center heated lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.
  • After heating, or processing, remove jars from canner; set jars upright on a towel to cool. Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Bands should not be retightened as this may interfere with the sealing process.
  • After 24 hours and before storing, check lids for seals. Lids should not flex up and down when center is pressed. Remove bands. Try to lift lids off with your fingertips. If the lid cannot be lifted off, the lid has a good seal. If a lid does not seal within 24 hours, immediately reprocess or refrigerate.
  • Label and store jars in a cool, dry, dark place. For best quality, use fresh preserved foods within one year.
  • Dress up your jar with cloth, ribbon and decorative labels. Get creative and share with friends!

For recipes, a how-to video on no-cook fresh preserving and more, visit


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