Home Canning 101

In this step-by-step guide, we'll show you the basics of home canning.

Home Canning

Home canning is an easy way to keep fresh fruits and leftovers from spoiling, and also to make delicious fruit preserves. However, figuring out how to can different foods safely and effectively can be tricky. In this step-by-step guide, we'll show you the basics of home canning. Soon, you'll be preserving different kinds of meats, vegetables and fruits, and you'll have another option at your disposal for creating tasty, healthy meals for your family.

Task Overview

  • Estimated Time
    2 hours
  • Estimated Cost
  • Skill level
  • People Required


Non-metallic funnel
Screw bands



1. Set up and clean your pressure canner. Determine which canning recipe you’re using and the processing time required.
2. Check your Mason jars for cracks or sharp edges that could interfere with the sealing process. Wash the jars (old and new) and pour hot water into them.
3. Fill your home canner with water. Heat the water to the correct temperature according to your recipe or the home canner instructions.
4. Set up a “filling station” containing your paper towels, ladle, non-metallic funnel and screw bands. If you’re making spreads, add a spoon and bowl for skimming.
5. Set up a "resting station" with clean towels near the stove. After the canning process, you will place your jars on the towels to rest for 24 hours.
6. Prepare and clean the food ingredients called for in your canning recipe and fill the jars to the recommended level. Remove air bubbles from the jars with a clean, non-metallic spatula. Wipe the rims clean and put on the lids.
7. Load the jars into the canner with a jar lifter or metal tongs.
8. If needed add more boiling water to the canner to ensure the water covers the top of the jars by at least two to three inches.
9. Cover the canner and turn up the heat to the highest position until the water boils vigorously. Then set a timer for the required processing time for your recipe.  
10. Once the cooking process is complete, turn off the canner and wait five minutes before removing the jars. Using the jar lifter, place the jars on the towels laid out at your resting station. Allow the jars to cool for eight to 12 hours.
11. Store jars in a cool, dry place. 

Home Canning Tips:

  • Low acid foods be heated to a temperature of 240°F (116°C) using a pressure canner
  • High acid foods can be heated in a boiling water canner (212°F or 100°C)
  • Make sure that the Mason jars you use do not have cracks or chips
  • Use a non-metallic funnel and spatula as the heat and acid can transfer metal to your canning water
  • If you don't have a non-metallic spatula for removing air bubbles from the jars, you can use a chopstick or wooden skewer
  • Do not boil the Mason jar lids as they may not seal properly
  • Use fresh, good-quality produce 
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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