How to pickle & Can

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Chef Natalie Schwab from Johnson & Wales University shows us how to can and pickle.

Classic Marinara Sauce

Makes 6 pints


12 pounds ripe tomatoes

2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

3Tbsp. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. salt

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

4 sprigs fresh oregano

8 springs fresh basil

3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tsp. fennel seeds

½ tsp black pepper

2 bay leaves

Bottled lemon juice


  1. Blanch the tomatoes for about a minute in a pot of boiling water to loosen the skins.  Peel the tomatoes, squeeze out and discard the seeds. Chop the tomatoes.
  2. Place the chopped tomatoes in a large pot along with the remaining ingredients (except for the lemon juice).  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 2 hours, stirring every now and then.  Discard the bay leaves.  Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.  Use an immersion blender or transfer to a blender to puree until desired consistency is reached.
  3. To can the sauce: Place 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice in the bottom of each sterilized pint-sized jar (double the quantity for quart jars). Ladle the hot marinara sauce into the jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe the rims clean with a damp cloth. Screw on the clean lids and rims. Place the jars in a boiling water canner and process 35 minutes for pints and 40 minutes for quarts. Turn off the heat and let the jars sit for 5 minutes. Remove the jars and let sit undisturbed for 24 hours. Check the seals. Store in a dark, cool place for at least a year, but for best flavor use within 6 months.

Spicy Dill Pickles


Makes 5-6 Quart Jars


½ bushel pickling cucumber, scrubbed clean

2 Tbsp. black peppercorns

2 Tbsp. whole mustard seed

2 oz. package fresh dill weed

4 cups apple cider vinegar

4 cups water

5 Tbsp. pickling salt

12 cloves garlic, whole peeled

6 jalapenos, cut in half (you may remove seeds and membranes to reduce the heat)





  1. Prepare your jars and lids for canning
  2. In a small bowl mix together the peppercorns, mustard seeds and set aside.
  3. Slice, or cut cucumber into wedges and set aside.
  4. In a large pot place water, vinegar and salt and bring to a boil, making sure to dissolve all the salt.
  5. In each jar place the following: 2 tsp of the peppercorn and mustard seed mixture, 2-3 fronds of dill weed, ½ jalapeno, 2 cloves garlic.
  6. Pack the cucumbers around the jar leaving as little space as possible in between, they should be tight but not damaged. They cucumbers should now reach beyond the neck of the jar.
  7. Pour the brine mixture over the cucumbers leaving ½ inch of headspace.
  8. Wipe the rims of the jars to remove any debris. Place lids on jars and secure with rings.
  9. Place sealed jars into canning bath and cover with water at least an inch over the lids. Allow to process for 15 min.
  10. Remove from canning bath and place on a towel and allow to cool for 24 hours without moving them.
  11. Store for 6 weeks before opening. Can be stored for 1 year.



Canning Tips



Tools Needed

  • Canning pot with a rack and lid
  • Glass preserving jars, quart or pint size
  • Lids and bands
  • Wooden spoon
  • Ladle
  • Canning funnel
  • Jar lifter


Preparing Jars for Use:


  1. Place empty jars right side up in canning pot and fill jars and pot 1-2 inches over the tops of the jars.
  2. Boil jars in pot for 10 minutes
  3. Carefully remove jars from bath and place on a clean kitchen towel. Fill jars with warm mixture while the jars are still warm, this will reduce any chance of the jars breaking during canning.

*** Note: this can also be done in your dishwasher if you have a sanitizing setting***



  1. Only use recipes that have been tried and proven for canning. Having the right amount of acidity is key to keeping food safe.
  2. Work cleanly, make sure you are washing hands and working on clean surfaces, canning generally doesn’t require refrigeration, so failure to work cleanly can cause serious illness.
  3. Use high quality ingredients, do not attempt to can rotten fruit or vegetables, once bacteria is in the jar you cannot remove it.
  4. Check jars after processing to make sure the lid has sealed. If it hasn’t you can attempt to re-process or you can consume as soon as possible.
  5. Always label and date your cans, do not keep canned goods for longer than one year.
  6. Check cans periodically to make sure there is no signs of spoilage
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