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The Basics

Health experts suggest you use only pressure canning for vegetables. As with fruit, the fresher the vegetables the more satisfying the results of your canning efforts become. When you bring the produce home, please wash it well in cold water, removing and bits of dirt and then set aside to cut/prepare for canning.

You can hot pack vegetables or cold pack them. Hot packing means warming the vegetable (or blend) in water, putting them into the jar, and then covering them with hot water with a little room to spare at the top of the jar (note all vegetables should be immersed). Cold packing uses raw vegetables covered with boiling water. The second method yields crispier results. Additionally, some people add herbs to the boiling water depending on the intended final application for the vegetable matter.

Different vegetables require different processing times at about 10 pounds of pressure. For example, if you’re canning asparagus in quart jars (which, by the way, allows you to preserve long spears) you’ll need forty minutes weather using hot packing or raw. This is also true of peas Meanwhile beans need 90 minutes for hot packing. Note that these times will need adjusting based on your elevation. The general guideline is ten minutes plus one for every 1000 feet above sea level.

After canning you want to let the jars sit for about 24 hours. Check each lid for any sign of poor sealing (like a bulge). If everything looks ok, then label your jars and put them in cool, dark storage. Check these again when you pull them out to eat. If you notice any odd coloration, signs of odors, leaking, etc. it’s best to toss the item out. Additionally, when you use your vegetables make sure to heat them through thoroughly.

By the way, one of the favorite ways to can vegetables is pickling and salsas, both of which you can find recipes for on this website.


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