How to Can Your Own Preserves, Jams, and Jellies

April 24, 2020

Georgia Grown

There’s nothing quite like homemade preserves made with sweet Georgia produce.

Follow our 10-step guide below to use a waterbath canner to put up fresh, in-season produce to enjoy all year long.

Note that these steps apply for making preserves, jams, and jellies only- different rules apply for things like pickles and beans! You can find more information on how to can those types of produce here.

10 Steps to Using a Waterbath Canner or Pot with Rack

Step 1: Wash canning jars, lids and bands in hot soapy water. Rinse well.


Step 2: Place jars in waterbath canner or large pot with rack in the bottom and fill with enough water to cover the jars. Bring to a simmer (180°F) and simmer for at least 10 minutes. Keep the jars in simmering water until ready to fill.


Step 3: Remove hot jars one-at-a-time with a jar lifter and fill with preserves to within 1/2 inch of the top of the rim.


Step 4: Run a rubber spatula around the inside of the jar to release any air bubbles.


Step 5: Wipe the rim well with a clean, dampened paper towel to ensure a good seal.


Step 6: Place the lids and bands on the jars. Tighten bands just until you feel resistance.


Step 7: Replace jars in canner or pot with rack and bring to a roiling boil. Water should cover jars by at least 1 inch. Cover the pot and boil for the time specified by your recipe. When complete, shut off heat and remove the lid. Allow jars to rest in canner for 5 minutes to be acclimated to the outside temperature.


Step 8: Remove with jar lifters, keeping upright at all times. Let jars cool on a cutting board or towel with 2 inches of space between each jar for 12 to 24 hours.


Step 9: Inspect lids for seals; there should be no flex when center is pressed. Remove the bands and attempt to lift lids off with your fingertips. Properly sealed lids will remain attached. If a lid fails to seal within 24 hours, immediately refrigerate the product.


Step 10: Label your Georgia Grown preserves! You can find and print your own custom jar labels here.


Start canning today with these simple steps and our Easy Strawberry Jam Recipe.