Canning 101 How to Make Jams and Preserves

Canning 101: How to Make Jams and Preserves

It’s what’s on the inside that counts.

When harvests are plentiful in the Quebec fields, it's the right time to start canning! Follow our advice to make the summer flavors of local produce last throughout the year.

Sterilizing Mason jars in boiling water

A simple technique when it comes to canning is the boiling-water technique. It’s the ideal technique for recipes with relatively high acidity (with a pH lower than 4.2), such as: 

  • rhubarb;
  • blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries;
  • apples;
  • cherries, peaches, and pears;
  • tomatoes;
  • vinegar-steeped condiments, such as relish and pickles.

Good tools for the boiling-water technique

Canning is a fun activity to do in a group, with family, or among friends! However, you will need fresh ingredients, a good recipe, and the proper equipment. Here is a little list of things to have on hand before getting started:

  • Glass jars: perform a thorough inspection to make sure there are no chips or nicks before starting.
  • Rings and lids: the rings can be reused but the lids must be new.
  • Canning jar lifter: essential for a secure hold.
  • Non-metallic funnel: a funnel with a large base is very useful for transferring your food.
  • Long metallic utensil: it will help you pop any air bubbles forming inside the jar once full.
  • Magnetic lid wand: essential for removing the lids from the water without touching them.
  • Large pot: choose a thick-bottomed pot that is large enough to support the jars.
  • Canning rack: these racks keep jars in place to prevent them from hitting each other during sterilization.


  • Sterilize the jars by placing them on the canning rack inside the large pot. Let them sit in low-boiling water for 5–10 minutes.
  • The lids should be new to ensure proper sealing. They should be soaked in hot non-boiling water before use.
  • Fill the jars, leaving a 1 cm (½ in.) space with the help of a non-metallic funnel. Wipe the edge with a clean, damp cloth if necessary.
  • Remove the air bubbles with a non-metallic utensil.
  • Remove the lids from the water with the help of a magnetic lid wand and place them on the jars.
  • Close the jars with their rings without overtightening.
  • Immerse the jars in boiling water for at least 15 minutes.
  • Remove the jars from the water with the help of a canning jar lifter and let rest for 24 hours. The lids should be depressed and make a small popping noise: this is the sign that the jars are well sealed.

The jars can be stored for one year in a dark, dry, cool place.