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 essential canning supplies like Mason jars, pickling spices and a wide-mouthed funnel.
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Ball 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. Keep this book on your bookshelf and have Taste of Home's 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 so you can get a safe seal on your preserves. Grab a pack or two of these replacement lids and rings to have on hand for seasons to come. They're dependable, just like these perennial vegetables that grow back year after year.
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. Interested in growing your own fresh fruit? Check out the top 10 fruit trees for small spaces.
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, bay, dill, peppercorns and more. You can use it to preserve your favorite veggies. Here's your handy guide to veggie harvest times.
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. Here's why you should grow heirloom vegetables.
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.
Long-Handled Wooden Spoon
When you're stirring up a big batch of pasta sauce or salsa to can, you need a spoon with an extra-long handle to stir all the ingredients at the bottom of your oversized pot. Plus, nothing makes you feel more like a serious cook than a well-loved wooden spoon. Check out 10 household items you should repurpose in the garden.
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. Check out the best gardening gear for kids.