To can in a hot water bath, examine the canning jars for cracks, sharp edges or nicks, and do not use jars that are damaged. Heat the canning jars in a pot of very hot water, and fill the canner half-full of water. Bring the water in the canner to a simmer, remove the jars from the hot water, and fill the jars according to the recipe. Put lids and rings on the filled jars, and process in the canner.
To heat the canning jars, place the jars in a large pot of water, and heat the water over medium-high heat. Do not place cold jars in a hot water canner. Use a jar lifter to remove the hot jars from the water, and wash the lids and rings in hot, soapy water before placing them on filled jars. When the recipe require processing the jars for less than 10 minutes, sterilize the jars in boiling water before using them.
After filling the jars, clean the rim of the jar with a damp, clean cloth before placing the lids and rings on the jars, and allow the jars to remain in the hot water for five minutes after processing them. Adjust the amount of time required for processing foods using an altitude chart if necessary, and check the lids after processing to ensure the jar is sealed properly.