The Canning Supplies You Need to Preserve Your Favorite Fruits and Veggies
Canning might seem old-fashioned, but it's a great way to preserve the flavors of the season. Get started at home by picking up these essential canning supplies.
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If you’re ready to indulge in briny pickles, sweet jams, flavor-packed sauces and other timeless canning recipes, you’re going to need the right tools.
To start preserving fruits and vegetables, invest in basic canning supplies, like quality jars, lids and a processing method—either a water bath canner or pressure canner. These are our top picks for your harvest.
Complete Book of Home Preserving
If you’re newer to canning, it never hurts to have a good resource on hand. The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is the canning bible. It has all the info you need for preserving your food safely, making it our top canning supplies pick. Keep this book on your bookshelf and have our Canning 101 guide bookmarked on your computer.
Mason Jar Lids
While you can reuse canning jars over and over again, you do need to replace the lids for a safe seal. Grab a pack or two of these replacement lids and rings to have on hand for seasons to come.
After all the work involved in making homemade jams and jellies, the last thing you want to do is risk wasting any of those preserves by spilling them. Invest in a wide-mouthed canning funnel to make sure every last bit of your jams make it into the jar.
When your preserves are done, you’ll have to lift them out of the water bath or steam canner. Oven mitts, while cute, can be clumsy here. That’s why you need a jar lifter to grip the lids and safely remove them from the pot.
Love pickles? If you’re making your own at home, you’ll want to snag some pickling spices. This mix is a great shortcut. It has all the pickle flavors you want in one jar: mustard, allspice, dill, peppercorns and more. You can use it to preserve your favorite veggies or in some of our go-to recipes like these easy homemade pickles, pickled chard and pickled asparagus.
If you’re interested in making jams and jellies, you’ll find that recipes call for pectin. Pectin is a naturally occurring starch and helps thicken up preserves for easy spreading on homemade bread and English muffins.
You don’t want to set your glass jars on the bottom of your canner. Use a wire canning rack instead. This keeps your jars off the bottom of the pot, allowing water to flow underneath. Plus, the handles help you lift the cans out once they’ve cooled.
If you’re looking to pickle cucumbers and other veggies, be sure to grab a box of pickling salt. This salt has no additives (no anti-caking agents or iodine) which is exactly what you need for pickling. A giant box runs only a few dollars and will last you for a long time. Just keep it in an airtight container when canning season is over.
Pickling salt may sound hard to come by, but most grocery stores carry it. It may not be by the other salts, so just ask an associate to help you out. If you cannot find pickling salt, Kosher salt will also work.
Keep your preserves straight with cute adhesive labels. These stick right to the top of your Mason jar lids so you can mark what you’ve made and when it was canned.
Water Bath Canner
A water bath canner is exactly the tool you need to process foods with high acidity—think tomato-based sauces and salsas as well as fruit. If you don’t want to invest in a special water bath canner, a large stockpot can also be used to create the water bath.
If you’re looking to can foods with lower acidity—think soups and some vegetables—you’ll need a pressure canner to get these recipes up to a safe temperature.
Preserving Starter Kit
If you’re starting from square one with canning, you can get all the essentials in a single box. In this kit from Ball, you’ll find a canning funnel, jar lifter, bubble remover, fruit pectin, silicone rack and a handful of half-pint jars. This also makes a good gift for the aspiring preserver in your life.
This two-in-one tool serves as both a bubble popper and headspace measurer. The flat end is designed to remove air bubbles from preserves before covering the jars, while the stepped edge ensures that you’ve left enough space in the jar for a proper seal. In other words, it helps prevent one of the most common canning mistakes: overfilling the jars.
If you’re canning large batches of salsa, this vegetable chopper can help make prep much faster. It can quickly chop, dice, slice or grate virtually any ingredient, allowing you to dice onions and peppers in no time.
Liquid Measuring Cups
Precise measurements are essential for safe canning, so a set of measuring cups is a must-have. This set includes 1-, 2- and 4-cup measuring containers made from durable tempered glass. Use them to carefully measure ingredients in cups, ounces or milliliters.
Steam canning is an alternative to water bath canning, and this aluminum steam canner can process up to seven quart jars at a time. It has a built-in dial indicator that lets you know when it’s at the right temperature, and there are even markers for different elevation zones.
Since you’ll be handling wet jars, it’s beneficial to have a few absorbent kitchen towels on hand when you’re canning. This highly-rated set of towels comes in a variety of colors, and they’ll help you quickly soak up spills and dry off your canned goods after processing.
You can quickly and easily sterilize canning lids with the help of this innovative lid rack. It can hold up to 12 regular or wide-mouth canning lids, and the handle allows you to safely lower the lids into boiling water for sterilization.