Step 6: Wipe & Seal Jars
Working quickly, wipe rims of jars with a clean damp paper towel. Top jars with lids and rings. Using your fingertips, tighten lids just until closed.
TIP: Fingertip Tight
Resist the urge to screw on the lids super tight. Tighten using just the strength of your fingertips—just until the lid catches and doesn’t wobble.
Step 7: Process Jars
Place a canning rack in stockpot or canner. Using heat-proof gloves and jar lifters, transfer sealed jars to rack, setting upright. Lower rack into boiling water. Bring water back to a rolling boil. Cover, and boil 40 minutes. (If needed, add additional water to cover jars by 2 inches. Increase boil time to ensure jars boil for full 40 minutes.)
Step 8: Remove Jars & Let Rest
Line a rimmed baking sheet with a kitchen towel. Using heat-proof gloves and jar lifters, carefully remove jars from canner, keeping jars level. Place on prepared pan. Let cool 24 hours. (Jars will make a faint popping sound as they cool.) Label and date jars; store sealed jars in the pantry up to 1 year. Store opened jars (or jars that don’t seal properly) in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
TIP: The touch test
After jars have cooled for 24 hours, test for a proper seal by pressing jar lid; if it feels firm and doesn’t pop up and down, a proper seal has been achieved.
This how-to originally ran in July/August 2014 . Order the issue online for all of its timeless tips.