- Read carefully and follow the instructions with your steam pressure canner.
- Keep the pressure canner clean and in good working order. Clean all openings with a string, pipe cleaner, toothpick, or tiny brush to remove any food particles that might hamper the flow of air and steam. Do this before you use the canner.
- Prepare only enough fruits and vegetables for one canner load of jars at a time.
- Fill jars quickly, so they won’t cool on your table or counter. Use a wide-mouth funnel and avoid spilling liquid on the rim of the jar, where it may interfere with a good seal.
- Measure head space carefully when filling jars.
- When removing bubbles, avoid stirring jar contents and thus adding more air.
- If you use salt, 1 teaspoon per quart can be added just before you cap the jars.
- Don’t leave the kitchen while the food is being processed. It’s imperative that the pressure be maintained at all times.
- Some new pressure canners have a second locking system that prevents them from being opened while there is still pressure inside. If you’re buying a canner, this is a feature worth looking for.