Use a Reliable Recipe
Follow Directions Exactly! Reliable recipes have been tested in a lab.
- They produce the same good results each time
- Ingredients are measured
- Cooking times and processing times have been set
- Each recipe has its own processing time
- Follow directions carefully!
- Processing time may differ with the size of the jar
- Too little processing time can result in spoilage
Canning Without Sugar
- Sugar does not preserve the fruit; sugar helps fruit hold its shape, color and flavor
- Splenda® (sucralose) is the only sugar substitute that can be successfully added to replace sugar in fruits and sweet spreads
- Saccharin sweeteners turn bitter
- Aspartame sweeteners lose their sweetness
Canning Pickles and Pickled Products
- Do not alter the amount of vinegar, food or water proportions in a recipe
- Only use vinegar with 5% acidity
- Firming agents are not needed for crisp pickles. Soaking cucumbers in ice water for 4 to 5 hours prior to pickling and removing 1/16-inch slice from the blossom end is a safer method for making crisp pickles
Canning Tomatoes and Tomato Products
- All canned tomato recipes must be from an approved recipe (USDA or state cooperative extension service) and followed exactly, or you must submit a recipe to a commercial laboratory to be tested
- Tomatoes fall on the borderline of being high acid and low acid. You must add acid to tomatoes and tomato products, even when pressure canning. Choose one option:
- 1 Tablespoon bottled lemon juice (not fresh) per pint or 2 Tablespoons per quart
- ¼ teaspoon citric acid per pint or ½ teaspoon per quart
- 2 Tablespoons 5% acidity vinegar per pint or 4 Tablespoons per quart (may have undesirable flavor)
- Do not can tomato juice in anything larger than a quart jar.
- DO NOT ALTER SALSA RECIPES!!! Tested recipes from approved sources are required for safe preservation. This includes:
- Do not change the amount of onions or peppers
- Do not alter the amounts of acid
- Do not substitute vinegar for the bottled lemon juice in salsa recipes. You can, however, substitute bottled lemon juice for the vinegar.
- Do not thicken with flour, cornstarch or other starches
- You MAY alter or leave out dried spices and herbs
- You MAY alter the types of onions or peppers but NOT the amount