Boiling Water Canning Method for High Acid Foods

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The boiling water canning method is easier and quicker than using the pressure canning method. It is an ideal way for you to get started if you are a beginner. You can start stocking your shelves right away using this method. Canned fruit and tomatoes are delicious and generally more nutritious than their store bought counterparts.

Boiling Water Canned Food

The boiling water method involves placing filled canning jars in to a water bath so that the jars are fully covered. The water is kept boiling for a certain amount of time (depending on what you are canning). When that time is reached, the jars are removed and allowed to cool.

During the cooling process, the jars should seal (the dome lids should draw down).

Jars Not Sealing?

Jars that don't seal are rare, but the occasional one doesn't. Contents of jars that don't seal must be either eaten immediately or refrigerated and eaten with in a few days. If it does happen, just think of it as a way to test the "fruit" of your efforts.

Always make sure that jar rims are clean before screwing down the lids and rings. Food residue on the jar rim is one of the most common reason that jars don't seal. If many or all jars don't seal, review your method and recipe.

Why Use Water Bath Method?

Aside from the fact that the water bath method is generally quicker, requires less expensive equipment, and for the most part easier than pressure canning, there are some sound reasons for using this method of canning.

 Any high acid food can be processed using the boiling water canning method. High acid foods are those that have a pH of about 4.5 or less. They can be canned using this method because the microorganisms (bacteria, yeasts and molds) that live in high acid foods are more easily destroyed than those that live in low acid foods.

Reaching at least 212°F(100°C) and holding the temperature at that level for a specific amount of time, will easily kill off all of those nasty little critters. Make sure that you follow the instructions in canning recipes to assure safety.

Some foods that can be processed using
Boiling Water Canning:

Tomato Products

Whole Tomatoes or Juice


Home Made ketchup


Tomatoes and tomato products need some acid added to them to lower pH. Lemon or lime juice is most commonly added.

Most Fruits and Berries:








Fruit Juices

Pickled or Fermented Foods:



Jellies and Jam : may be canned using the boiling water method, but it is much easier to use the inversion method

Return to Home Canning Page from Boiling Water Canning

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Water Bath Canning:

Canning Tomatoes

Home Made Salsa

Home Made Ketchup

Canning Peaches

Canning Berries

Making & Canning Grape Juice