Prepper Checklist for Cooking and Canning at Home

Prepper Checklist for Cooking and Canning? Cooking and canning foods at home is so easy that even a beginner can quickly learn how to master it. Making and canning foods at home is also an inexpensive and healthy way to provide food for your family.

Prepper Checklist for Cooking and Canning at Home article cover image with canned goods

It’s a method where you can set aside provisions in the event of a disaster. But if you’re going to use canned foods, you’ll want to follow this checklist to ensure that you have the right supplies and follow the important safety guidelines.

Prepper Checklist for Cooking and Canning at Home

The first items that you’ll need to line up are enough jars to hold the foods you want to store. How will you know how many jars you need? One way is by checking out what the recipe says. Home canning recipes will usually tell you how many batches of food the recipe will produce.

You can find jars that are specific for home canning. When you have the jars you need, you’ll want to wash the jars along with their lids and bands like you would hand wash dishes. This is done to remove germs and sterilize the jars.

The next thing you’ll need is utensils. You’ll need spoons and a spatula. You’ll also want to make sure that you sterilize the utensils you use. When you’re canning foods, you don’t have to have many items, but you do want to make sure you have a sturdy stockpot.

You might find it helpful to have a funnel, labels, and a canning jar holder. If you’re canning fruits or jellies, you may also want – pectin, but some people can foods without it – it’s a personal preference.

Once the water has simmered in the pot, you’ll want to fill the jar to the level that the recipe calls for. Don’t put warm foods in cool jars because this will cause the jars to shatter. The jars need to be at least room temperature.

To get out the air bubbles, make sure you don’t stir – just run a flat utensil around the inside of the jar. Put on the lid toppers and the rings, then place the jars in the jar lifter. If you don’t have a jar lifter, you can use tongs in a pinch, but it’s easier for the jar to slip with tongs.

Using a jar lifter, you would lower it by the handle into the stockpot until the jars’ tops are completely covered by water. Let the water boil however long the recipe says to let it boil.

You don’t want to count the time before the water boils. Once the jars are cool, some people put labels that are dated on the outside of the jars so that they can rotate the foods while they’re in storage.

Which Prepper Recipes Should You Compile?

What Prepper Checklist for Cooking and Canning would be complete without talking about recipes? When it comes time to live off of your survivalist food stores, life might make a chance for you and your family at mealtime. You can no longer run up to the corner store for foods to go in a recipe – you have to have it on hand or make do with what you do have.

You’ll want to look for certain types of recipes that work with the kinds of foods most preppers store – but also locate recipes for your files that create meals your family loves.

The primary focus for many preppers is on beans, bread, and canning recipes. But that’s not your only option. You will probably be storing lots of rice, freeze-dried or dehydrated foods.

You want to be able to turn those staples that your family has worked hard to store into an almost gourmet meal that you’d be proud to serve to dinner guests during a typical celebration.

Start organizing your recipes offline. Many people have them stored on sites like Pinterest, but if there’s no electricity, you won’t be able to access those recipes at all. It’s better to print them out and save them in a small filing storage container.

Organize your recipes according to what staples your family has on hand. If you find a recipe that calls for something you don’t yet have, add that item to your checklist of food storage items to get. We like this list we found here: 45 Pantry Meals for Tough Times or Tight Budgets.

Put the recipes in categories for entrees, side dishes, bread, and desserts. You might even want to have one for beverages if you’re able to store different types of ingredients to make delicious drinks.

Too many preppers who are just starting out think that emergency food stores would mean you have to live on meals ready to eat or plan meals that offer no sense of enjoyment.

During a crisis, you want to provide your family with the most normal routine possible. Sometimes that means being able to serve up favorite family meals. You may have to create substitutions for certain things, but it’s better than living on a protein bar day after day.

Using your prepper food stores means rotating items out of commission, and you can invest in survival cookbooks and test out your prepper culinary skills using a variety of methods – including solar ovens and other forms of cooking without electricity.

If you have children, make sure you have them help you compile a list of their favorites, too. They can even help you make a test batch to see if it passes muster with the whole family and earns its spot in the recipe container!

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The Best Things to Learn During Quarantine

You stuck at home and have some time on your hands? YouTube is your friend. You can how-tos about anything on there, and here is a list of what we suggest you brush up on, and why.

skills to pick up while quarantined

If you are now finding yourself with a little extra time on your hands, it is the perfect time to add to your skills list by using this precious time to help make you better prepared for the future.

Things to Learn During Quarantine

There are literally dozens of things you could choose to attack and master, but we have a list of some of the most necessary survival skills to master.

Basic Knots

Knots are very useful for emergency shelter making, improvising snares, fishing nets, even simply an emergency clothesline or way to hang your equipment off the ground while camping.

When you browse the internet, chances are you will come across as many as sixteen or even more different types of knots. But all knots are not essential unless you are a sailor or a climber. Learn just two or three basic knots and get the job done.

A quick video all about 7 Essential Knots You Need To Know

Fire Starting

Fire starting, one of the survival skills, is not for the faint-hearted as you need to adopt friction-based fire-starting or any other primitive method. It is a great time to learn how to start a fire without a match or a lighter.

You may not need this skill ever, but it is cool to know-how that you can heat and eat anything in the case of an emergency! We love this article: Campfires 101: Everything You Need to Know from Fire Starters on Up.

Identifying Local Plants

Learning to identify plants is no mean achievement even for the full-time students of botany. It might seem too tedious and technical at first, but it will sure build your knowledge of plant identification.

30 medicinal plants the Native Americans used on a daily basis

It is the best time to upgrade your plant identification skills to the next level

Learn what plants are right on your doorstep that can be used as food, medicine or poisons

All of us love maintaining a beautiful garden in our backyard or near the entrance. But are we aware that there are plants that can be used as food and medicine and are available easily?

Plants like Yarrow, Mullein, and Dandelion have great medicinal properties, and they are edible too. Want to learn more? Check out to gain more plant knowledge.

Change your Tire

Changing a tire is an effortless skill that all car owners should know. A lack of knowledge could leave you stranded on the side of the road. When you learn how to change a tire, there will be no need to wait for roadside emergency services that can leave you waiting for hours. What is even worse? When you are ini a location that has no cell phone signal.

Learn During Quarantine with map reading

Map Reading

The lockdown is an excellent opportunity for learning, and it is never too late to get acquainted with the art of map reading. With the advent of sat-navs and Google Maps, people have ignored the good old skills of map reading.

When you acquire this skill, you will not be in a soup next time your cell phone battery dies or fails to get a network on a hiking trip.

Vehicle Repair

The quarantine period can be best utilized to learn skills that will help us to save money in the long run. If you know the basics of vehicle repair, then you need not run to the mechanic every time.

Tasks like changing the oil or flushing the coolant, are great DIY projects that you can easily learn, implement, and save a lot of money in the process. Granted cars are not as easy to work on as they sued to be with all of the electronics, but there is still a lot that you CAN do yourself.

Animal Keeping – Chicken, Sheep, Pigs, etc

Have you ever thought of rearing farm animals? Now is the time to learn the required skills to raise chicken, sheep, or similar farm animals. When you run a small backyard hobby farm, your family can have access to grass feed meat, and dairy for the whole year.

You will get fresh raw milk, be safe from artificial cheese, and enjoy chemical-free eggs. Sadly, not all cities let you have chickens or small livestock, but you MIGHT be able to.

learning to hunt

Hunting with either a bow or a rifle

Many of us had an interest in hunting, but we missed out due to our difficult office schedules. It is an excellent time to hunt for some fresh meat, but if you are planning to use bow and arrow, then you need to keep the distance shorter at 30 yards.

Hunting helps you to bond with your children and this quarantine period is a good time to do that. Make sure you stick to the current hunting season and laws.

First Aid

Teaching yourself basic first aid is an excellent way of empowering yourself, and it can have very positive knock-off effects as well. First aid education will help you to help others in times of need, and it will also help your family understand the importance of good health and what it means to be fit and well.

This article on Camping First Aid Kit Essentials is a great place to start, unless you have looked at our own articles on first aid like: First Aid Items for Your Pandemic Survival Kit


We all know that sewing is a lost art, but a huge number of individuals have gone back to this craft during this time, and there has been a sort of renaissance lately. When you learn how to repair or make items of clothing, it can be a rewarding experience.

If you have kids at home, they will love the needlework. A simple task to start with is making face masks. There are several places you can get patterns online.

Things to learn during quarantine like making soap

Soap Making

During this lockdown, the soaps and hand washes are fast running out of shelves. You can learn the art of soap making so that you can have ready stock at home. Making soap at home is a satisfying skill to learn. Soap making is fun and not at all difficult, as you might think. You can see a few fun recipes HERE to get you started.

Water Sources and Different ways to Catch Water

Want to do something very creative? You can learn about the different ways to catch water so that you can use it to water your livestock, vegetable garden, flowers, and even use it for drinking purposes. DIY rainwater harvesting is great art, and you can ask your kids to join in.

Safety as a woman

The quarantine period has some disadvantages, and the safety of women has become an essential topic of discussion today. Domestic violence has increased manifold, and they are often under-reported. It is a great time to learn some safety tips and survival skills so that women enjoy a better and safe position in society.

Learn During Quarantine women's self defense classes

Making Moonshine

One should thank the quarantine period for the newfound love for moonshine. The brakes on the sale of hard drinks have disappointed lots of people, and this has led many individuals to try their hand at making moonshine at home.

There are several videos on YouTube that will teach us to make moonshine at home but we found a few recipes here: Moonshine Recipes.

Smoking Meats and other foods

If you are fond of cooking but rued the fact that you hardly got time for it, then make good use of the quarantine and learn how to smoke meat and other food items.

Karl Engel, head chef at Pigcasso BBQ in Tulsa, gives us the lowdown on the basics of smoking meat.

Remember, smoking meat is culinary science, and it requires accurate temperature and time control. Smoking meat is not new in any culture, and you can have it with a glass of beer o make it a complete meal.

Preserving Foods with Salt

Since you will not feel like cooking every day of the lockdown, it makes sense to learn how to preserve food with salt. The value of salt in preserving food items is highly prized, and meat and fish are covered with salt to check the growth of bacteria. Salt is also used to preserve raw mangoes, tamarind, etc.

making sourdough baked goods

Sourdough Starter

It is the perfect time to learn to make a sourdough starter at home. You just need flour, water, and, of course, loads of patience. The process is a bit nerve-wracking for a beginner, but once you learn it, you can use it to make sandwich bread, focaccia, bagels, etc. It takes around a week for the process to get completed. We found some fun Amish Friendship Starter recipes HERE.

Baking Bread

Baking is a relaxing and tasty hobby to get into. It is an important life skill and an opportunity to learn how to bake. Although you may get tempted to learn how to bake cakes and pies, it is the art of art baking bread that will help you during this quarantine period.

Making Candles

If you are searching for a new and exciting hobby to take up, then you will find that making candles is one of the most therapeutic ever! You can easily make a range of beautiful candles at home using standard kitchen equipment. Candle making is a very fulfilling and enjoyable craft that gives you creative pleasure and a sense of achievement.

Learn to Make Animal Traps

How to Make a Basic SNARE Trap with Paracord or Wire so you can Catch Your Own Survival Food

Have you ever tried making an animal trap or a snare? You can learn to make a DIY animal trap that can hold rabbits and squirrels. The greatest advantage of learning how to make animal traps ensures that you always have something to eat when you are in the wild or camping.


Getting yourself out in the garden is fantastic for your body, mind, and soul. One can learn a lot through gardening like planting seedlings, watching the small plants grow, and digging up the mud to plant new seeds. The best part is that you can involve the little ones in gardening. Try To Garden has a lot of great tips for beginners.

things to Learn During Quarantine like gardening


Preservation of food is very important, and since during this period, shops are only intermittently open, it is necessary to learn the art of canning. Canning is not at all problematic, and definitely, you do not need a unique skill set. It is a matter of preserving foods like fruits, vegetables, meat, and poultry so that you can use it later.

Making Jams/Jellies

Homemade jams are much better and tastier than commercial jams. There is no better time to learn to make jams than this period. You can easily make jam at home with/without pectin, and even in your Instant Pot.

You will find that the homemade variety has the right amount of sugar content, tastes real, and looks yummier than the ones that are available on the supermarket shelves. You can get started with some recipes HERE.

Are there any other things you can think of adding to the list? Share with us all in the comments!

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8 Must Have Supplies for Canning Your Own Foods

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.

8 Must Have Supplies For Canning Your Own Foods

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.

Pressure canner

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.

Mason jars

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.

Canning funnel

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.

Lid lifter

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.

Jar lifter

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?

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