Have you always wanted to try preserving food but not sure how to do so? Throw things in the freezer instead? Well, learn how to preserve your pickles, jams and sauces in jars with this easy step-by-step guide.
Why Preserve Food?
Preserving food with methods such as smoking and curing has been around for thousands of years and the use of jars is relatively new in comparison. The preservation of food will stop the growth of any fungi, bacteria and micro-organisms preventing the food from going mouldy and spoiling.
Preserving is easy to do at home with some materials bought online and will extend food’s shelf life considerably. Preserving food is convenient and practical, plus it will bring out the flavours of the food. Mmm tasty!
How to Preserve Food in Jars
We recommend preserving food in our mason jars. The best options for preserving food are either in our 500ml or 1000ml Mason Jars. Before preparing the food, wash out your jars. Make sure they are thoroughly swilled so food doesn’t taste like washing up liquid. Leave to dry.
Wash the food of choice under the tap.
For the next step you will need either a pressure canner or boiling water canner. The type you need will depend on the pH of the food. Jams, pickles and fruit will be acidic with a low pH and will require a boiling-water canner. Most vegetables will be alkaline and high in pH and therefore require a pressure canner. If you are unsure of a food pH then just use a pressure canner.
Place the food in the Mason Jars and cover with warm water, broth or syrup depending on the food being preserved. Don’t fill right to the top, leave a little air gap.
Make sure the lids are fixed on firmly and place the jars in the canner. The time the preserving takes will vary according to the food inside the jars. Google this or check in a cookbook before starting the process.
Once done remove from the canner and leave to cool overnight. If sealed properly the lid will be concave, and If it isn’t you'll need to reseal and leave for a few hours before retesting.
The best place for storing these preserved foods are in a cupboard well away from the cooker or any windows. A cool, dark and dry place like a pantry would be perfect!
Popular Foods to Preserve in Jars
You can preserve pretty much anything but the most common foods that are stored in jars include:
- Fruit – peaches, olives, cherries and lemons
- Vegetables – Onions, beetroot and peppers
- Liquids – jams, marmalades and sauces
- Miscellaneous – eggs, anchovies and baby food
Now you know how the process works so get preserving! You’ll find it so handy you won’t have any jars left we’re sure.