water bath

TIP: It is not necessary to purchase special cookware for water bath canning. A large, deep saucepot equipped with a lid and a rack works well. As long as it is large enough to fully immerse the jars in the water and cover them by about 50ml—and allow the water to boil rapidly when covered—the large pot is adequate. If you don't have a rack designed for home preserving, use a cake cooling rack or extra bands tied together to cover the bottom of the pot.

Produce such as Tomato based recipes, apples, stewed fruit that is not in syrup etc should be water bathed if you intend to store it for a long time.  In our kitchen the only things we would ‘not’ water bath is relish, pickle & sauce with vinegar base, jams or bottled peaches and pears in a syrup.  If you are working with meats, seafood, soups, broths or vegetables that are low acid then Pressure Canning is advised as the safest method of preserving…..see our Pressure Canning guide.



Fill water bath canner or very large Stainless Pot at least half-full with water.   Have something on the bottom of the pot to be between the jars and the bottom of the pot like a trivet.  Put the lid on and bring to a simmer

Preheat our GoodLife jars in the oven at 100oC for about 20 minutes before filling jars with produce – remember hot liquid into hot jars into hot water to avoid shocking them.

Wipe the rim of each jar with a paper towel dipped in white vinegar to ensure it is clean and you get a good seal on the lid.  Put your lids on the jars (recommend a dome seal & band, or pop top screw on lid)

Carefully using your jar lifter place your filled jars in the pot. Ensure the jars are covered by 3 to 5 cm of water. If not, add more water now.

You start timing only from when the water reaches a full rolling boil.  Let the water bath boil for the required time according to the recipe.

Once done turn off the heat and leave the jars as they are in the pot

After about 10 minutes remove the jars from the water bath using your jar lifter tongs, and place them on a wooden board, towel or a wire rack somewhere away from cold drafts but not directly on a cold bench.

Do not cover jars; do not touch rings- do not tilt jars or turn them upside down or try to clean or dry them now. Any water on them will quickly evaporate

Let jars sit untouched for around 12 hours before removing screw bands; and checking for proper seal of the lid (the middle button should be sucked in to show a sealed lid)

Put any that didn’t seal in the fridge as they will not be safe to go on the shelf for long storage.

Wipe the jars down; write the date and contents on the jar lids, store in a cool dark place with the screw bands off.

Your lovely homemade produce is now ‘shelf stable’ and should last you a couple of years.

Back to blog