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. 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.
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.
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.
Mason jars – You can’t can your foods 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 will can the exact same way
Lids and rings – Along with Mason jars, you will need lids and rings as well. 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.
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?