The Best Way To Label Your Home-Canned Food

To some, canning is a way of life. You may have a home garden that produces way more than you can eat in a season, have your own home-canning business supported by your community, or have been gifted tons of canned goods by a friend who thinks they just make the perfect gift for any occasion (and who's to say they're wrong?), but whatever the case may be canning has entered your life, and it's not leaving anytime soon.

A centuries-old practice for preserving food, canning was invented by French citizen Nicolas Appert, who sealed normally quickly perishable foods in a jar and heated and sealed them so that they might be sterilized, as per Britannica. We still use the same process today and can literally see the influence Appert has on our everyday lives when we wander down the grocery aisles and witness rows upon rows of cans waiting for us to crack them open. But there is a nostalgia and security that comes with canning our own farm-fresh goods at home, and it has become widely accessible. When you do your own canning, you know what has and has not been put in your food and can use reusable jars to prevent waste, but at the same time, those of us at home don't always remember to do one basic thing: label our goods.

Label your lids

Especially if you are making quite a few cans of a variety of foods, it is important to label what's inside. You'd think that it would be common sense, but honestly, after a long day of canning some folks will just shove their cans into a dark corner of their pantry and not look at them for a few weeks, unfortunately, by then you might just forget which can has your cherry marmalade and which has your strawberry jam.

But in all seriousness, there are quite a few ways you could label your canned goods but according to Healthy Canning, one of the easiest and most reliable ways to label your canned goods is by writing on top of the lid. That way you have a flat surface to write on and you can easily gaze upon the lids and pick out the one you need. The question then becomes what pen do you use? Sharpies are fantastic for one-time use lids, but what if you have reusable lids that you don't want to permanently mark up? Sabrinas Organizing says that whiteboard markers work fairly well and wash off easily, but rub off a bit too easily if rubbed the wrong way. JetPens tested to find the best pens for kitchen use and found that Pilot Oil-Based Twin Markers wash off well but don't smear easily, but they also warn that when heated the marker's ink will become permanent!