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Maggie Jover: Time to get ready for canning season

With canning season just around the corner, now is the time to pull canning equipment out of storage and get it ready for canning those green beans and tomatoes.

Here are some things to do to get ready for canning:

First of all, make sure you have the correct equipment. If you are making pickles, jams, jellies or canning fruits, you will need a water bath canner. If you are preserving vegetables such as beans, you will need a pressure canner. You cannot substitute a home pressure cooker for a pressure canner.

If you are using a water bath canner — check to make sure it did not get rusty in storage. If it did, remove the rust or purchase a new water bath canner. If you have a pressure canner, make sure the rubber seal is not cracked and rub the rubber seal with some petroleum jelly to keep it flexible. If the pressure canner has a dial gauge, it should be tested annually. Check your owner’s manual to see how to get it tested.

The Cooke County AgriLife Extension Service can check your dial gauge, too.

Be sure to use reliable, tested recipes. Recipes from cookbooks, out-of-date Extension Publications, or the Internet should not be used.

Sources of tested recipes include the National Center for Home Food Preservation (, USDA and Ball and Kerr cookbooks.

No one likes to throw away food, but no one wants to get sick from unsafe food. So it is very important to use the appropriate equipment and safe recipes. Food preservation publications are available from the Denton County AgriLife Extension Office for pick-up. Or take a Food Preservation Class like the one offered on July 19 (see below).

Upcoming events

Cooking Well with Diabetes Cooking School will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays at the Carroll Courts Building, 401 W. Hickory St. in Denton. During the four-lesson school, students will learn to prepare healthier meals. Classes will include food demonstrations and food tastings.

Preserving the Harvest — A food preservation class will be held on July 19. Demonstrations will be given to show safe ways to can fruits and vegetables.

For more information on both events, call the Denton County Extension Office at 940-349-2882.

MAGGIE JOVER is the family and consumer sciences county extension agent with Texas AgriLife Extension. She can be reached at 940-349-2882.