Be Extra Careful. Don't Take Chances.
Canning is quite a bit different from ordinary cooking. When you cook, you can follow a recipe. Or, you can be adventuresome and add or leave out ingredients as you see fit. Maybe today you're feeling extra "garlic-y." Or, perhaps you'd like to toss a handful of nuts into that banana bread. Go right ahead, no problem.
But when you're canning, experimentation can be downright dangerous. Time and temperatures have been worked out very carefully and must be followed to the letter. Too little time or too low a temperature means you're not protecting the food against bacteria, enzymes, molds, and yeasts. Too much time or too high temperatures can result in needlessly destroying nutrients in the food and damaging its taste.
So, always follow directions and recipes precisely. Don't improvise, compromise or try to be creative. Botulism and other food poisoning is very serious. Be sure to protect yourself and your family while you enjoy fresh, wholesome canned food. Play it safe and take all the proper precautions. Remember, canning is like anything else: It gets easier every time!
An Important Checklist
Make sure you're totally ready to get started by following a few simple preparations:
Everything checked out, clean and fresh? Now you're ready to begin!