Home Canning: Benefits of Canning at Home and How to Do It

Nick Mirev
Table of Contents
    Thank you! Please check your inbox now for your welcome email.
    There was an issue with the form. Please try again.

    Unlike the common types of canned food that are stored in tin cans, home canning is often done in Mason jars. It is a food preservation method that allows households to preserve excess fruits, vegetables, and meals during peak season and store them for winter. Canning at home allows families to enjoy vitamin-rich foods even when they’re out of season. It is also a sustainable practice as it reduces food waste. Through home canning households can cut their costs because fruits and vegetables are significantly more expensive when they’re out of season. It’s also common to purchase bulk goods from produce distributors and make large quantities of canned fruits and vegetables. In this post, we’ll explain how you can do home canning and what are the benefits of doing so instead of purchasing products manufactured by canned food businesses. If you’re interested in food preservation, check out our articles on canning wholesale preserves, freeze-dried vs dehydrated, and frozen vs fresh fruits.

    BlueCart free eBooks

    How to Do Home Canning

    The Canning Process

    The process of home canning is fairly simple. The products are placed in glass jars which are heated. The heat kills microorganisms that create spoilage like bacteria and fungi. Heating the jars also creates a vacuum and seals them. Although store-bought canned products are often in tin cans, home canning is done in jars. That’s because it is much easier to reuse them and the process is much simpler.

    Canning Methods

    There are two main home canning techniques - pressure canning and water bath canning. Each of them has its advantages and can be used for certain products. Let’s examine them.

    • Pressure canning. This is the only safe method for canning meat and low-acid vegetables like legumes. In order to do pressure canning at home, you need a pressure canner. It’s similar to a pressure cooker but it has thicker walls that allow higher pressure buildup. Using a pressure cooker is not recommended as it can lead to an improper canning process and not all harmful bacteria are destroyed.
    • Water bath canning. In this method, food is placed in jars which are put in a pot. The pot is then filled with water which is brought to a boiling temperature of 212 °F (100 °C). The minimum boiling time is 10 minutes. However, larger jars need more time as the heat needs to transfer to the center of the jars and the products.
      Water bath home canning is suitable for foods high in acidity. Examples include jams, jellies, and other fruits. Tomato products and pickles with added acid can also be canned with this method. Water bath canning is not recommended for low-acid vegetables and meat.
    Key takeaway: Home canning is an easy way to increase the shelf life of perishable foods like fruits and vegetables. A big advantage of canning is that it can also be used for meals like soups or stews. Home canning requires little to no equipment. Storage of canned goods is also easier compared to alternatives like freezing.
    ordering software for restaurants

    Benefits of Home Canning

    Canning has a lot of pros. The main one is that it increases the shelf life of perishable products. Thanks to canning, people can enjoy vegetables and fruits even when they’re out of season. Home canning increases the shelf life of products for 12 to 18 months. However, some canned products might be safe to eat even years after canning.

    Another major advantage of canning is that it reduces food waste. Instead of throwing away large amounts of fruits and vegetables, farms and other producers can preserve them. The canned food industry usually purchases products while they are in peak season and their prices are lowest. That’s the reason why retail and wholesale prices of canned goods are often cheaper compared to fresh ones.

    The home canning process is not difficult and the final products can be stored easily. The main storage requirements for canned goods are dry and cool places, away from direct sunlight. For example, an alternative method of preservation like freezing requires constant low temperatures.

    Unlike other food preservation methods, canning can be used for a variety of products. From vegetables to ready-to-eat meals. It also doesn’t require large investments in equipment. This makes it convenient for households.

    Selling Homemade Canned Goods

    It is possible to make canning at home a business. Make sure to research cottage food laws in your area. Keep in mind that businesses in the food and beverage industry and the canned food industry also need to follow other regulations related to food safety and labeling. These products can be sold at farmer's markets or roadside stands.

    If you produce large quantities of products and wish to sell wholesale canned goods, you need certain permits like a wholesale license. The kitchen facility also needs to be licensed and up to code with various regulations.

    BlueCart demo request

    Frequently Asked Questions about Home Canning

    BlueCart has helped many business owners with valuable tips on B2B sales. Our SaaS solution assists wholesalers in their aim to automate various business processes. Whether you’re a broadline distributor or in the bulk canned food niche, BlueCart can be your partner in the everchanging wholesale market. Our team has gathered and answered some commonly asked questions about canning below.

    What Foods Cannot Be Canned?

    Canning is not a suitable preservation method for certain food groups like foods rich in fat. That’s because these products can go rancid even if properly canned. Thick fruits are also not suitable for canning. Although legumes are among the most popular canned vegetables, various types of grains are not suitable for the canning method as their texture breaks down.

    Here are some examples of products that shouldn’t be canned.

    • Lard;
    • Butter;
    • Mayonnaise;
    • Wheat;
    • Oats;
    • Barley;
    • Rice;
    • Avocado;
    • Bananas.

    What Are the Alternatives to Canning?

    As extending the shelf life of food has been a priority for societies all over the world, multiple food preservation methods exist. Other than canning, here are some other alternatives to extend the shelf life of goods.

    1. Refrigeration. It’s the most common food preservation method. Lowering the temperature slows bacterial growth and keeps food fresh longer. 
    2. Freezing. A popular alternative to home canning, freezing further limits bacterial growth and extends shelf life. From frozen fruit to ready meals, the majority of food products can be frozen. 
    3. Sugaring and salting. Both salting and sugaring reduce the water content of goods. This makes the environment unfriendly to bacteria.
    4. Freeze-drying. This method has become popular in recent years. Freeze-dried food has a shelf life of decades. The method is a bit more complex and requires a special freeze-drying machine.
    5. Vacuum packing. Removing the surrounding oxygen limits bacterial growth and extends shelf life.

    What Are the Disadvantages of Canning?

    The main drawback of canning is that it changes the flavor and texture of products. That is why the usage of canned food in restaurants is limited. Another disadvantage of canning is that it leads to some nutrient loss. Even though this food preservation method keeps the majority of nutrients, some minerals and vitamins are lost during the process. That’s why when comparing canned vegetables vs fresh ones, many prefer the latter. A major con canning is that most cans have a layer of Bisphenol A (BPA). This is a type of plastic that protects the can from corrosion. Most manufacturers are switching to BPA-free alternatives, but a lot of the products on the canned food market are still made with BPA layering. Excess consumption of canned goods can increase exposure to BPA and lead to some health issues.

    Although there are some drawbacks, the advantages of canned food significantly outweigh the cons.

    Book a Demo
    Streamline order management, grow your bottom line, and get back hours of your time with BlueCart. Schedule a demo now:
    Thank you! Your submission has been received!
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.