If you’ve planted a summer garden, you may be wondering how to preserve your harvest so that you can enjoy your harvest all year long. You can freeze your harvest, dehydrate them, or can them. It pays to think about supplies for canning before that time of the year hits so you are actually able to get what you will need.
If you’re new to canning foods, you may be unsure about which supplies you will really and truly need and which ones are extra. These 8 must-have supplies for canning your own food are where you will want to start.
Basic Supplies for Canning
Now, before you go down the rabbit hole and listen to what everyone on the different canning Facebook groups tell you that you need, just keep it simple. The only reason canning can be expensive is when you initially invest in your supplies.
Sure there are a ton of fun things to have, and specialized storage unit items for your finished goods, but we have a list of just 8 things that you really need to get the job done.
When canning foods, there are two types of canners that you will need. The first is a pressure canner. As you begin looking for canning recipes, you will find that most canning recipes require pressure canning.
You can pick up a Presto 22qt canner for around $85.00 or you can go with a more expensive brand for $200+. When buying your canner though, make sure that you don’t opt for a smaller one. Those are pressure cookers and are not safe for home canning.
You optimally want to be able to put a double layer of jars in your canner for processing, so this is a great size.
Water bath canner
The other type of canner that you’ll need is a water bath canner (also called a boiling water canner). This type of canner is basically just a big pot with a lid and canning rack inside.
You can buy a complete water bath canning set for around $20.00. If you’re looking to can fruits or make jams and jellies, you’ll need to have this type.
Keep an eye out at garage sales and on your local Facebook by/sell groups and you might be able to pick one up for pennies. Mine is seriously the black speckled looking kind that Grandma used to have.
The technology on water bath canning really hasn’t changed much over the years.
I guess I should really say canning jars. There are a few different brands, like Ball, Kerr, etc.
You can’t can your food without Mason jars! You can buy them in a variety of sizes from 4oz on up. To decide how many you will need, figure out what you will be canning and how much.
Most people opt for pint and quart jars as their primary and use 4oz jelly jars as well. You can buy wide-mouth jars or regular mouth jars. Both kinds will can the exact same way.
I tend to use wide mouth jars for when I can meat or things like green beans. Small mouth are fine fro everything from soups to other veggies like corn or peas.
Canning Lids and Rings
Along with jars, you will need lids and rings as well for the next use of those jars you bought. Lids are a single-use-only item unless you use a brand like Tattler.
Make sure that you buy the ones that are correct for the jars that you have. Wide mouth lids won’t fit on regular-sized jars and vice versa.
If you are looking for metal lids, do NOT buy them on Amazon. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of forgeries have been shipped in the real-looking boxes. They don’t work and are a waste of your time.
Keep an eye out at your local Walmart, Hardware stores, and farm supply stores like Fleet Farm.
Canning Tool Kit
I found a kit on Amazon that has the following talked about tools. It was less expensive than buying them all separately. Check out the canning tool kit here.
Plastic tool for removing air bubbles
When you fill your jars, they will fill with air bubbles. These bubbles can cause your food to not seal correctly or to become contaminated so that they are no longer edible.
Using a metal tool to remove these air bubbles isn’t recommended. Instead, pick up a plastic tool made specifically for doing this task. They’re fairly cheap to buy and will save you a lot of heartbreak.
Filling your canning jars, especially with liquids, can be hard to do without spoiling. A canning funnel will make things much easier for you.
Again, make sure that you have one on hand for the correct sized jar mouths or buy a combination funnel that will work for both.
Your lids and rings need to be sterilized before they are used. To keep both you from getting burned and to keep them sterilized, you’ll need a lid lifter. This tool is incredibly simple, just a plastic stick with a magnet on the end, but you will need to have it on hand.
When your jars come out of the canner, they will be extremely hot. You will need a way to get them out of the canner and a regular pot holder will not work.
For this, you’ll need a jar lifter. They’re only a few dollars but will save you burned hands and possibly dropped jars.
If you don’t want to purchase the smaller tools individually, you can usually purchase an entire canning set that includes them all. Getting them this way is a more cost-effective way of building up your canning supplies.
Do you have any other must have canning supplies?
Other posts you may enjoy: