The Important Item You Need To Have On Hand When Canning

After Americans were quarantined in 2020 to combat COVID-19, canning witnessed a resurgence in the United States (per The Daily Jeff). In fact, according to The Washington Post, canning at home became such a popular pastime in the midst of the pandemic that stores everywhere were selling out of canning jars and lids. But even after vaccines were rolled out and the world started opening back up, it became apparent America's love for this old-fashioned hobby wasn't a one-time fling.

And after hearing all the online buzz about the benefits of canning and seeing videos from TikTok's canning community, you may have finally decided you want to get in on the home canning fun. However, after you've researched the best methods to preserve food at home, you have surely discovered that there are a few tools you're going to need if you want to seriously pursue this homestead hobby. But if you've only bought canning jars, canning lids, screw bands, and a jar lifter (per Better Homes and Gardens), you're still missing one important tool to properly put up your peaches for the winter.

A towel is a canning must-have

No matter what canning method you use, according to Clemson University, they all rely on one key factor — and that's heat. Heat kills the harmful microorganisms responsible for causing your produce to go bad. And because your freshly canned jars are hot, The Washington Post notes that if you put them down on a cold surface like a countertop after they go through the canning process, the jars may crack.

The solution to making sure your hard work doesn't go to waste is simple. The Washington Post reports that you just need to make sure you have a clean towel ready. According to the outlet, putting your hot jars on a room-temperature towel will prevent the cans from being damaged. As noted by The National Center for Homestead Preservation, you should spread out your jars at least 1 inch apart on the towel. To be extra cautious that your jars don't crack, the site also recommends keeping them away from any cold drafts. 

After allowing your jars to cool for around 24 hours, you can prepare to refrigerate and store them for the months ahead. Just be sure to put your towel away with your other canning tools so that the next time the canning urge strikes, you'll be fully prepared to preserve your favorite foods.