In an ideal world, we canners would all have cool, dry and dark basements lined with sturdy shallow shelves in which to store our pickles, preserves and pressure canned stocks. However, I’ve found that rarely does life cooperate with ideals.
I live in an 1,100 square foot apartment on the 20th floor of a high rise. I don’t have a basement, but I make do with an array of closets, cabinets and other out-of-the-way corners. As you scope out where the best nooks your home has to offer for canned good store, here are a few things to keep in mind.
–You want to keep your canned goods out of the sunlight. Over time, natural light can deteriorate your product, stealing color and quality.
–Cooler is better. I’m not talking freezing temps, but definitely don’t store home canned goods near heaters, radiators or electronics that run hot.
–Keep your storage space accessible. While it’s true that you want an nice, quiet spot for your jars, you don’t want to make it so obscure or hard to access that you end up forgetting about your peaches and applesauce altogether. Remember, the whole reason we can is to have tasty things to eat all year round.
–Make sure to remove the rings. I realize that this one gives a lot of newer canners pause, but I promise, it’s absolutely safe to take the rings off the jars once they’re sealed and cooled. In fact, it’s the best way to store your jars, because it allows you to know sooner rather than later if something is wrong with your product. If you’ve got spoilage occurring in a jar, storing it without the ring means that any growth taking place in the jar will dislodge the lid and alert you to the problem.
Where do you squirrel away your home canned goods?