If you have never done any canning before, you might be wondering what you need, other than food and a canner. Well, I am here to help! I thought for this post I might just give you a little run-down, list style. Here we go!
- Jars! These can come from just about anywhere because they last forever. Before you buy new, ask around or check out a thrift store. Please remember that if you are pressure canning that you have to use mason jars. Do not re-use jars that came from the store with pickles or peanut butter or the like. You may use these in water bath canner for short processing times..
- Lids and rings. Unless you are buying lids specifically marked for re-use, do not re-use your lids. Once you pop those off your jars, into the trash can they go. Rings are another item that last forever, and chances are that you know someone who has more than they need.
- Something to remove air bubbles from jars. You can use a butter knife or there are plastic tools that also have a magnet on one end to help get the lids out of the scalding water. I am sure these have a name, but I have never heard it. You just run your butter knife down the sides of your jar to force the excess air bubbles up. Too many air bubbles in your jar can prevent them from sealing and cause leaking during the canning process.
- Wash cloth/rag. You’ll want to have a wet one of these around so you can clean off the rims of your jars before putting lids on. Any food left on the rims will prevent your jars from sealing.
- Sauce pan. For scalding your lids.
- Lid lifter. This is a little tool with a magnet that helps pick the lids out of the scalding water. You could probably just use a fork, though.
- Tongs and/or slotted spoons. You will have to blanch many different items so these two tools will prove indispensable.
- Glass measuring cups. I like to use these when I have liquids to pour into my jars because they have a spout, but you can likely find an alternative.
- Rack. You need one of these in your canner to keep them from sitting on the bottom. If you are able to do more than one row of jars, you will want an additional rack to set on top of the first row.
- Timer. Do I need to explain this one?
- Jar lifter. Handy-dandy little tong-like device that allows you to lift your burning-hot jars out of your canner unscathed.
- Bath towel. I always use a bath towel to set my jars on when they come out of the canner. I’ve never had a jar explode after taking it out of the canner and I never intend to have one.
- Permanent marker. Once everything is cooled down, sealed, and rings off, I like to write the year on the lid. Sometimes I’ll write what’s in it if it might be hard to tell for certain.
I’m willing to bet that you have most of these things already on-hand and what you don’t have is pretty easy to come by. The thrift store and Craig’s List should have everything you need. Except lids! Buy those new. Every time.
Questions? Anything you think I missed? Let’s get prepared people!
I’ve already had a couple link-ups! This is sort of a “never give up, never surrender” sort-of experience 🙂
And, the other related posts in my series: