Food preservation techniques such as canning are more popular than ever. People everywhere are learning to “put up” food by using pressure canning and water bath canning techniques. With them, you can store food for decades — or create delicious food that is already cooked and ready to eat. To get started, you need some easy canning recipes.
Are you ready to can your food? Here are some easy canning recipes for beginners that will help you jump into this fun and exciting way of life!
Before we show you the easy canning recipes, we want to make sure you understand the basics of canning.
For starters, you can use two methods of canning, depending on which type of food you are using.
Water bath canning
When using easy canning recipes for beginners that involve fruit, you should use a water bath canner. This method involves “bathing” the jars in hot water for a set time.
For instance, if you plan to can jams, applesauce, or fruit juice, you will use this method.
Here is a great video talking about the basics of water bath canning:
If you plan to can vegetables, meat, or other high-acidic foods, you will need to use a pressure canner.
This method gets the jars much hotter than water bath canning and relies on pressure to ensure the jars are sealed and cooked properly.
Here is a video that talks about the basics of pressure canning:
Whether you want to use a water bath canner or a pressure canner, you will find easy canning recipes for beginners here!
Easy Canning Recipes for Beginners
Before we start, we want to make one more point: while you may be tempted to dream up your own easy canning recipes, you shouldn’t.
That’s because canning recipes are created with longevity in mind. In fact, if done improperly, the food can develop botulism, which can be deadly in some circumstances.
That’s why we’re excited to give you this list of our favorite easy canning recipes for beginners. Let’s get started!
Easy canning recipes for water bath canning
Most people new to canning start with water bath canning. It’s simpler, and you can make all sorts of jams and tomato sauces with this method.
Here are some great easy canning recipes for beginners using a water bath canner.
Easy Strawberry Jam
If you want to start with a water bath canner, you will love this easy canning recipe! It has two ingredients: strawberries and sugar.
This recipe makes (5) 1/2 pints.
- 2 quarts of crushed strawberries
- 6 cups of sugar
Start by putting a spoon in the freezer as you will use it to test whether or not your strawberries are ready to can. Next, prepare your jars and lids. For a complete set of instructions for this, visit this website.
Now, wash and core your strawberries removing any bad or bruised sections.
Place them in a large pot and crush them with a potato masher until the juices begin to flow. Add the sugar and turn on the burner. Stir constantly.
As the sugar begins to dissolve, bring the mixture to a boil. It should remain at a boil until it reaches the gelling point, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Continue to stir it frequently, but once it thickens, you should stir constantly.
Now it’s time to test the consistency. Use the cold spoon and scoop up some jam. It will quickly cool on the spoon. Tilt the spoon and if the mixture is thick when it drops off the spoon, it’s ready.
If it’s still runny, continue to stir and cook it. Once it reaches the correct consistency, remove the pot from the burner and skim the foam off the top.
Next, fill the hot jars with the jam leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. If you are below 6,000 feet evaluation, process the jars for 10 minutes. If you’re above 6,000 feet, process them for 15 minutes.
Allow the jars to cool on the countertop making sure the lids are sealed before storing them. (When a lid seals, you will hear it pop and it will lay flat. If the lid pops when you press on it, it is not properly sealed.)
Crunchy Dill Pickles
If you want some crunch to your canned dill pickles, the secret is to only use fresh pickling cucumbers. The fresher the cucumbers are, the more crunch you’ll get.
Avoid using supermarket cucumbers unless you don’t mind a pickle that has no crunch.
Here’s the recipe for a small batch of crunchy dill pickles.
- 2 pounds of pickling cucumbers, about 4 inches in length
- 1 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
- 1 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of water
- 1/4 cup of cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of mustard seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon of whole peppercorns
- 1 allspice berry
- 1 whole clove
- 1/2 of a bay leaf
- 3 fresh medium-sized sprigs of dill
- 3 fresh dill flowers for garnish (optional but yes, you want to use them!)
Ensure that you sterilize your jars and wash and dry the cucumbers. Next, fill a water bath canner with enough water to cover the jars.
You can also use a large pot filled 3/4 full with water. Bring the water to a boil.
In another saucepan, add the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Make a spice bag with the rest of the ingredients by folding them in cheesecloth tying it with butcher’s twine.
Submerge the spice bag in the liquid and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Meanwhile, cut off the ends of the cucumbers and then quarter the cucumbers.
Place the jars on their sides and insert a stem of dill flowers. Place your cucumbers on top of the dill frond until the jar is tightly packed. Turn the jar right side up.
Next, remove the spice bag and discard it. Using a strainer, fill the jars leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Shake the jars or use a sterilized instrument to ensure no air bubbles exist in the jar.
Remove your lids and bands from the hot water and secure them to each jar after wiping the rims of the jars with water or vinegar.
Cover the pot and process the pickles for 15 minutes. Then, remove them from the pot and allow them to sit in a dark, undisturbed place for 24 hours.
The pickles will be best if you wait two weeks to eat them—that gives them plenty of time to pickle!
You can spice up this recipe by adding a teaspoon or so of cinnamon or cloves for a fall or winter treat! Here’s the recipe:
- 15 to 20 oranges
- 1 large lemon
- 5 quarts of water
- About 11 cups of sugar
- Cinnamon or cloves (optional)
You will have to start the day before you plan to process the orange marmalade.
Begin by bringing a large pot of water to boil. Then peel and chop the oranges until you have two quarts. You will also need about two cups of thinly-sliced orange peel.
Place the oranges and peel into the pot and allow it to boil for five minutes. Then, cover the pot and remove it from the heat. Let the mixture stand for 12 to 18 hours.
The next day, place a spoon in the freezer. Then, prepare your jars and warm the water in your canner.
Measure the oranges you intend to use and gather the same amount in sugar. Bring the oranges to a boil and cook until the peels are tender about 30 minutes.
Once the mixture is boiling, add the sugar and cook until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to gel.
Use the spoon from the freezer to determine when the mixture drops as a thick mixture from the spoon. Once it’s ready, spoon it into the prepared jar, leaving a 1/4 inch of headspace.
Process the jars for 10 minutes if you live in an area that is 6,000 feet or below in elevation. If you live at a higher elevation, process them for 15 minutes.
Allow the jars to sit undisturbed for 24 hours and then enjoy your orange marmalade!
Easy canning recipes for pressure canning
Once you’re comfortable with water bath canning, it’s time to move into easy canning recipes that you use with a pressure canner.
Many people are afraid of pressure canning, but if you follow the directions and stick to tested recipes, there is no reason to fear.
For an exhaustive rundown on the technique of pressure canning, check out this website.
Ready to get started? Here are some great easy canning recipes for beginners just learning how to use a pressure canner.
Meatless Tomato Sauce
Canning tomatoes is one of the easy canning recipes where you have to follow the ingredient list exactly. It is formulated to give you the exact acidity needed to safely can the food.
Start with a meatless tomato sauce, and once you’ve gained some confidence, you can add meat to the next batch.
Here’s the recipe:
- 30 pounds of tomatoes
- 1 cup of chopped onions (exactly)
- 6 cloves of minced garlic
- 1 cup of chopped celery or green peppers (exactly)
- 1 pound of sliced mushrooms (optional, but if you use them, the measurement must be exact)
- 2 tablespoons of oregano
- 2 tablespoons of minced parsley
- 4 teaspoons of canning salt
- 2 tablespoons of basil
- 2 bay leaves (remove them before filling jars)
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
First, you should remove the skins from your tomatoes. Do this by blanching 5 to 6 of them at a time in hot water for 30 to 60 seconds or until you see the skins split.
Then, drop them in cold water to stop the cooking. Slip off the skins and quarter the tomatoes.
You also have two other options for taking skins off of tomatoes. As you peel off the skins, place the tomatoes in a pot.
Now it’s time to simmer the tomatoes in a pot until they are cooked down and thickened. It can take 20 minutes or a few hours. Stir frequently as the tomatoes cook down. This cooking time can reduce the volume by up to one half.
Meanwhile, chop the vegetables and stir fry them until they are tender. Add the vegetables to the sauce along with the salt, sugar, and spices. Take out the bay leaves and fill the hot jars with the sauce, leaving 1-inch headspace.
Process pint jars for 20 minutes and quart jars or 25 minutes. Allow the jars to sit undisturbed for 24 hours and then enjoy!
Canning jalapenos requires you to use a pressure canner because peppers are low in acidity. In this recipe, you will can the peppers raw.
Remember, when canning jalapenos, the peppers will be soft when pressure canned!
Here’s the recipe:
- Jalapeno peppers (1 pound of peppers equals 1 pint jar)
- Canning Salt (optional) Learn how to make your own!
You can leave your jalapenos whole or half or quarter them, but you must remove the seeds and core and seeds. It’s a good idea to wear gloves for this portion of the process.
Next, you will need to remove the skins. To do this, cut slits in each pepper and then place them on a baking sheet. Turn the oven to 400 degrees or put them under the broiler for 6 to 8 minutes.
Allow the peppers to cool and then peel off the skins. Leave them whole or chop and add them to your hot jars. Add 1/2 a teaspoon of salt to each jar (optional) and fill them with hot water, leaving 1-inch of headspace.
Process the half-pints or pint jars for 35 minutes. Experts do not recommend canning jalapenos in quart jars.
Easy Canning Recipes: We’re Really Cooking Now!
Did you find the easy canning recipes for beginners you were looking for? Whether you are using a water bath canner or a pressure canner, learning these easy recipes is a great start to a lifelong habit!
Do you have any easy canning recipes you would like to share? Please put them in the comments below!