Canning Tools For The Hot Water Bath Method

Several of my next posts will be about canning and preserving the produce that we are harvesting from our gardens. I think we should start with talking about some of the canning tools that will help you to successfully can and preserve your produce. Just like a carpenter uses certain tools to build with, there are tools that are very helpful when it comes to canning.

Now, first of all, do not get scared and think that you can not do this! It is much easier than you might think. I will be giving you some ideas on what to do in the weeks to come. First, let’s look at what you will need. Most of the canning that I do is using the hot water bath method. So what canning tools do I use?

  1. Large Stockpot. It should hold at least 12 quarts of water and should be tall enough to cover the jars completely while processing your fruits, vegetables, jams and jellies.
  2. Ladle: It allows you to pour the hot mixtures into the canning jars
  3. Jar Funnel: In order to fill the jars without spilling and making a mess and wasting what you have cooked a funnel should be placed in the mouth of the jar
  4. Magnetic Jar Lifter: This is an option but a good one. When you heat your jar lids and rings it allows you to remove them from the hot water without burning your fingers. Tongs work for this, too.
  5. Headspace tool: Sliding this into a filled jar will remove air bubbles and measure your headspace for you.
  6. Jar Wrench: Assists in turning those sometimes sticky and often time stubborn jar lids.
  7. Tongs: Safely lift foods during the canning and cooking process. Coated handles work the best for these.
  8. Jar Lifter: Allows you to lift the hot jars from the boiling water over to the counter for the rest of the canning process.
  9. Glass canning jars, lids and bands: Have a variety of sizes of the glass jars. The lids can only be used once but are replaceable and the bands or rings can be re-used.

Easy Way To Obtain The Necessary Canning Tools

You can purchase these items separately if you want but you can also get a starter set of these canning tools for yourself. This is great if you are just starting to can. You can get sets at your local stores like Tractor Supply, WalMart and other places or you can order one online. Here is a set that is available on Amazon.

canning tools set
Granite Ware Enamel-on-Steel Canning Kit with Blancher
(paid link)

What I like about this set is that it has just about everything in it. There are no tongs but you can pick up a pair of those easily enough. It also has a handy rack that keeps the jars from sitting directly on the hot pan bottom and make it easier to remove several jars at once. You will also need to get a supply of jars, lids and rings but that is good because you will need to decide what size you want anyway. I suggest that for vegetables, salsas and pickles that you get 1 quart jars (paid link). Jellies, jams and preserves should be in pint or half-pint jars. A magic marker is good for marking what the canned product is and the date you canned it on the lids. You can buy labels but you don’t have to. Always mark the date of the canning so that you will know whether the safe time has passed before consuming an older jar from the pantry.

Just in case you do not understand what the hot water bath method is, it is a simple method where you put your cooked food in the jars, place the lids and rings on the jars and submerse them into hot or boiling water. After a given amount of time (it varies per food item) you remove the jars and let the lids seal. You know they are done when you hear a ping or pop.

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