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Using a Hot Boiling Water Bath (BWB) Canner for Home Canning

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Home canning using a hot water bath, called a Boiling Water Bath or BWB is relatively easy and safe. Please note that the Hot Water Bath Method is only for use with high acid foods with a pH of 4.6 or lower. Use proven recipes or test your food for acidity using litmus paper or a pH meter. If necessary you may add lemon juice to increase acidity.

If you plan to make canning part of your life style, then we recommend making a one-time investment in some simple pieces of equipment: a boiling water bath (BWB) canner that includes a rack, thermometer and clips, a canning funnel plus a jar lifter for picking up hot jars.

If you don't have a canning processor, process a few jars at a time in your largest Dutch oven ensuring you cover the jars with an inch of water. Place a rack at the bottom to permit the water to circulate. (This can be improvised with something as simple as clean flat stone or pebbles.) For a hot pack, it is important to remember that the jars and contents are already hot so take care that cold water does not splash onto them causing breakage.

Place the processor on a canning burner set on a concrete or tile surface. If you don't have a canning burner this may be done on the stove top as shown on Page 2. Bring to the recommended canning temperature: 212 degrees F and 100 degrees C (just below a simmer). This temperature will vary with at altitudes above 1,000 feet, see altitude adjustment page for further explanation. Maintain the temperature for the recommended time then turn off the heating element. Let the jars cool and carefully remove them from processor.

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