Where to Buy
Canning food is a wonderful skill to learn. If you want to stock on food with ingredients you are aware of, canning your own food can be a healthier alternative. If you’re looking to preserve your own food by canning, you need equipment to get started. Here are the essential tools you need to build your canning supply:
- Canning jars
Home canning jars come in different shapes and sizes. Choose the kind of jar appropriate for the food items you will be canning. You will need both regular mouth and wide-mouth jars. It’s available in standard sizes such as quarts, pint, half-pint, and 4 oz. For home use, you can use half pints and 4 oz. jars for stuff like jams, jellies and apple butter; pint jars for things like salsa, pie fillings, and pickled beans; and a mixture of pints and quartz for larger things like canned fruit, tomatoes, and pickles.
- Canning lids
Canning lids are not reusable, except as storage lids when it’s already used in a canner. It’s made of two pieces – a lid and a rim. Also, remember to remove the rims on your jars after they are sealed as it can start to rust after a while.
- Cooker or canner
Canning can be done in any large pot with a canning rack, but if you’re going to do home canning regularly, then use a canner. It’s much better that way. Canners come in all sizes with or without canning racks. Water bath canners are a great option for beginners, and you’ll need it to submerge the jars for canning.If you want to take canning seriously, you may want to get an electric model, since those are far pricier than a regular canner.
- Canning rack
A canning rack is an essential tool. If the jars touch the bottom of the hot pot, they can break or shatter from direct heat. A stainless steel canning rack is the best choice since it will last longer than other canning racks.
- Canning funnel
For a mess-free (or a little less messy) transferring of food items to the can, a canning funnel will surely help. Only use stainless steel when dealing with hot food and boiling water.
- Canning ladle
If you have a long-handled ladle at home, it can work, but getting a stainless-steel canning ladle would be better. This long-handled ladle can help you reach easily while keeping your hands from getting burnt from heat. Also, it’s always smart to use one made of stainless steel since you will be dealing with hot foods.
- Magnetic lid wand
A magnetic lid wand makes it easy for you to pull hot lids out of the water with ease to avoid burning your fingers.
Use tongs with ends coated in rubber to get your jar out of the hot water pot. They are like superman fingers that can reach places without getting your fingers burned. Tongs are great for taking lids off pots, and for reaching into hot jars to readjust some contents.
- Jar lifter
While tongs can help, a jar lifter makes the process much easier and safer. When using a tong to remove a jar out of a pot, there’s a risk of it slipping and falling. But a jar lifter can securely grab a mason jar so you can transfer it out safely – thanks to its rounded ends. You may not need it, but if you’re going to can more often, it’s good to buy one.
- Food mill or food processor
Food mills with strainers provide a quick and convenient way to grind or puree foods for canning. It’s not technically necessary, but it’s very useful when making stuff like salsa and applesauce. Food processors can do this job, but those use electricity.If you prefer the easier way, then go for a food processor. It saves so much time and effort. Once you use a food processor, you may never want to go back to manually grinding food.
- Food strainer
A strainer will be useful when you need to strain seeds out of your mixture.
- Kitchen towels
Good kitchen towels are a must-have for most kitchen projects, but most especially for canning as it’s a messy job. You need something to wipe the rims of jars before sealing, setting hot jars on the countertop, cleaning up messes, wiping your hands, and so on.
- Cooling rack
Protect your countertops by using cooling racks under the hot pots once you’re done using it.
- Home canning book
Everyone needs a guide when starting with canning – but even seasoned canners need to be guided with recipes. Home canning books are an excellent reference in the kitchen for recipes and for processing times.
- Preparation and cooking tools
These are things that you most probably already have in your kitchen. These things are important for preparing and cooking the food that you will be canning:
- Dutch oven or a large stockpot
- Kitchen timer
- Wooden spoon
- Knives, peelers, and slicers
- Mixing bowls
- Oven mitts
- A chopstick or any stick (for removing air bubbles)