10 Types of Foods That Can Be Canned

by Ella

Canning is a time-honored method of food preservation that has been used for centuries to extend the shelf life of fruits, vegetables, and other perishable foods. By sealing food in airtight containers and subjecting it to heat, canning effectively kills microorganisms that cause spoilage, allowing foods to be stored safely for months or even years. While the process of canning requires careful attention to detail and adherence to safety guidelines, the range of foods that can be successfully canned is vast and varied. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the world of canning and delve into the many types of foods that can be preserved through this time-tested technique.

Understanding the Basics of Canning

Before discussing specific foods that can be canned, it’s important to understand the basic principles of canning and the two primary methods used: water bath canning and pressure canning.


Water Bath Canning: Water bath canning is suitable for high-acid foods, such as fruits, tomatoes, pickles, and jams. In this method, jars of food are submerged in boiling water for a specified period, typically ranging from 5 to 85 minutes, depending on the recipe and altitude. The heat from the boiling water kills bacteria, molds, and yeasts, ensuring that the food remains safe for long-term storage.


Pressure Canning: Pressure canning is necessary for low-acid foods, including most vegetables, meats, poultry, and seafood. These foods require higher temperatures to destroy harmful bacteria like Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism. In pressure canning, jars of food are processed in a specialized pressure canner at temperatures of 240°F (116°C) or higher, depending on the altitude. The elevated pressure allows water to reach a higher boiling point, effectively sterilizing the contents of the jars.


Both water bath canning and pressure canning require careful attention to processing times, acidity levels, and proper sterilization of equipment to ensure the safety and quality of canned foods. Following tested recipes from reputable sources, such as the USDA or Ball Canning, is essential to prevent foodborne illness and achieve successful results.


10 Types of Foods That Can Be Canned

Now that we’ve covered the basics of canning, let’s explore the wide variety of foods that can be preserved using this method:

1. Fruits: Many types of fruits can be successfully canned using water bath canning. Popular options include peaches, pears, apples, berries, cherries, and citrus fruits. Fruits can be canned in their natural juices or in syrup, depending on personal preference. Canned fruits are delicious on their own, used in desserts, or added to breakfast dishes like oatmeal or yogurt.

2. Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a versatile ingredient that can be canned in various forms, including whole, diced, crushed, or as tomato sauce. Because tomatoes are acidic, they can be safely processed using water bath canning methods. Canned tomatoes are a pantry staple and can be used in soups, sauces, stews, and pasta dishes throughout the year.

3. Pickles: Pickling is a traditional method of preserving vegetables by immersing them in a brine solution of vinegar, salt, and spices. Cucumbers are the most commonly pickled vegetable, but other options include carrots, green beans, asparagus, beets, and peppers. Pickles add flavor and crunch to sandwiches, salads, and charcuterie boards.

4. Jams and Jellies: Making homemade jams and jellies is a popular way to preserve seasonal fruits and enjoy them year-round. Fruits like strawberries, raspberries, apricots, and plums are commonly used to make jams and jellies, which can be canned using water bath canning methods. Spread them on toast, swirl them into yogurt, or use them as a topping for pancakes and waffles.

5. Salsas and Chutneys: Salsas and chutneys are flavorful condiments that can be canned using a water bath canner. Salsas typically feature tomatoes, onions, peppers, and spices, while chutneys often contain a combination of fruits, vinegar, sugar, and spices. These versatile condiments can be served with chips, added to tacos or grilled meats, or used as a topping for sandwiches and burgers.

6. Vegetables: Many types of vegetables can be successfully canned using pressure canning methods. Common options include green beans, corn, carrots, peas, potatoes, and squash. Properly canned vegetables retain their texture and flavor and can be used in soups, stews, casseroles, and side dishes throughout the year.

7. Meats and Poultry: Pressure canning is essential for safely preserving meats and poultry due to their low acidity. Options for canned meats include chicken, beef, pork, turkey, and game meats like venison. Canned meats can be used in sandwiches, salads, casseroles, and soups, providing a convenient source of protein for meals.

8. Seafood: Fish and seafood can also be safely canned using pressure canning methods. Popular options include tuna, salmon, shrimp, crab, and clams. Canned seafood can be used in pasta dishes, salads, sandwiches, and appetizers like seafood dips and spreads.

9. Broths and Stocks: Homemade broths and stocks can be canned using pressure canning methods for convenient use in soups, stews, sauces, and risottos. Chicken, beef, vegetable, and bone broths are all suitable for canning and provide a flavorful base for a variety of dishes.

10. Dairy Products: While most dairy products cannot be safely canned at home due to the risk of botulism, some exceptions exist. Condensed milk and homemade yogurt can be canned using pressure canning methods, but it’s essential to follow tested recipes and guidelines to ensure safety. Egg

See Also: Is Canned Fruit Healthy?


Canning is a versatile and rewarding method of food preservation that allows you to enjoy seasonal flavors year-round and reduce food waste. From fruits and vegetables to meats, poultry, and seafood, there are countless options for foods that can be successfully canned using water bath or pressure canning methods. By following tested recipes, practicing proper food safety techniques, and investing in quality equipment, you can stock your pantry with a variety of delicious and nutritious canned goods to enjoy whenever you please. So roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on a journey into the world of canning – your taste buds will thank you!



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