Andrea’s Tips & Tricks: All things canning

It’s canning season and for anyone looking for some quick tips to make your canned jams, fruits and veggies, look no further! 

  1. You don’t need to sterilize jars if you will process longer than 10 minutes. Just make sure they are good and clean before using. Heating them isn’t necessary.
  2. Make sure the rims of your jar are clean clean clean! Any little chip, food particle or stickiness will cause your lid not to seal!
  3. You can always freeze jams, fruits, and veggies. They come out just as nice if you have the freezer space.
  4. Chopsticks make great bubble tools. You need to make sure you get out all the air bubbles from your jar before you process them. A few quick draws up and down through the jar with a chopstick will do the trick!
  5. You don’t have to heat the bands up first. My grandparents taught me to can. They canned for decades and never heated them up. Anymore they say you don’t even have to heat the lids up, but I still do because that’s how I was taught.
  6. Fresh is best! Don’t use fruit or veggies that are days old. If you can go to a farmers market for the freshest produce, you will be so happy with the outcome.
  7. When your jars are done and sitting on the counter cooling, you will hear pops or clicks. This is a sign you did everything right and the jar is starting to seal! One of my favorite sounds. Sounds of success!
  8. Make sure to leave that quarter inch headspace between food and seal. Have fun with Ball jars. There are so many different sizes and shapes.
  9. Remember, canned items make great gifts! Christmas jams, salsa’s, and produce make for cute gift ideas. Place some fabric on the lid wrapped in ribbon and you’ll make someone’s day.
  10. If you can correctly, there is no reason why you can’t eat it after a year. Try not to can more than what you will eat in a year, but if you have leftovers it is still safe to eat if your lid is sealed. I have used my canning stuff at the 2 year mark and beyond. Still delicious as ever.

Have fun with this. Get creative. Think ahead. There is nothing better than fresh produce in the dead of winter and ready made gifts to go at anytime. You can do this! You’ll be addicted. I promise.


  • Andrea McElroy

    Andrea is a stellar country living cook with a robust social media following and lots of great recipes to share.

  • On the PULSE

    On the PULSE is an online media outlet in Northcentral, Pennsylvania. We specialize in in-depth journalism, human interest content and video features. Our mission is to build engagement in community through local news.

Andrea McElroy

Andrea is a stellar country living cook with a robust social media following and lots of great recipes to share.