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Stick to the Steps: Canning recipes are designed to keep food free of harmful bacteria, so do not substitute ingredients, omit steps, alter amounts or reuse tools without sterilization.
Test the Lids: Unscrew bands 12 to 24 hours after processing to test the seals: lift each jar by the edges of its lid; it should stay firmly adhered. (Replace the bands before storing.) If you spot a non-vacuumed jar, you can refrigerate and use within 1 week; otherwise, discard.
Be on Spoilage Alert: Mold or cloudiness is a sure sign that preserves have not been properly processed. Discard any suspicious jars.