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Three Steps To Get Prepared for the Canning Season

Canning season is fast approaching! Have you looked in your canned good cabinet, your cellar, or on your shelves to find those few remaining jars from last year? Perhaps you’ve noticed a dwindling number of total jars. If you are anything like me, and I suspect many of you are, you may have some pickles, tomatoes, jellies, and applesauce left. You may also notice that your shelf of empty jars has fewer occupants than in the past. You might be wondering if it’s time to get a new canning rack or other basic supplies. It is time to think about what foods you want to can this year and a good time check all of your supplies to make sure you are ready for the canning season.   

Step 1:  assess what you have left over from last year

What did you can too much of our too little of last year? Take this into consideration during your planning for this year. Having a few extra jars in April is always a good amount. It’s really just a matter of assessing what you and your family eats and needs and selecting which food you don’t want as much of for the upcoming year. You may even want to try a new recipe as a way to keep your canning fresh and fun! For new ideas check out

Step 2: be sure you have all of the necessary canning supplies and that everything is in usable condition
Do you have enough jars after giving some away or possibly dropping a few? Are all of your tools in good condition and available? Late spring and early summer are great times to purchase canning supplies. Rural King usually has a well-stocked section. During the peak of the canning season the stock in stores dwindles.

Step 3:   getting your canners ready
Make sure your pressure canner gauge is reading accurately. To check your gauge you can contact Jennifer Hartzler at the Randolph County extension office (765) 584-2271 or at

Check the rubber seal around the rim of your lid to make sure there aren’t any nicks or cracks. These could possibly cause foods to be processed under pressure which could compromise the food’s safety. To buy a new rubber seal, check the internet for your specific canner. Lastly, be sure that the jar rack on the inside of your water bath canner is in decent condition. If it has rusted, you may want to consider buying a new one: just the rack, not the whole canner.

Be sure to check all of these items before the busiest time for canning is upon us. As always, if you have any questions about this blog, canning, or other food preservation techniques please be sure to leave a comment! Take care.