Water Bath Home Canning Supplies
Basic home canning supplies are cheap. You do not need to spend a lot of money on equipment to get started on home canning right away. In fact, for around $95 or less you can buy all the supplies you need, including the jars and a recipe/instruction book, to do basic water bath canning.
Here are the basic supplies you need to do water bath canning at home. Water bath canning is appropriate for high-acid foods like pickles, tomatoes (Some tomatoes can be borderline in their acidity. Most recipes call for adding an acid, such as lemon juice or citric acid), citrus, and many fruits, jams, jellies, salsas, etc. It is not suitable for meats and low acid vegetables, which require more complete sterilization then can be achieved with boiling water.
This canning supply set from Ball includes most of the basic supplies you need for home water bath canning: a 21-quart capacity enamel-coated pot, jar rack, jar lifter tongs, and bubble freer spatula/ headspace tool.
The Ball Basic Canning Set will serve you for years, and many home canners have depended on the Ball brand for years. The Granite Ware 8- 8-Piece Canning Set is also a good choice.
Available in half-pint, pint, and quart sizes, these jars come with the lids (or “rings”) and bands (or “seals”). Remember, you can reuse the lids or rings safely, as long as they are in good shape, but you should never reuse the bands.
You can often find good used jars at garage sales as well. It’s probably best to buy new lids to be on the safe side, though. You should not use jars larger than one quart for home canning. The inside of the jars may not get hot enough all the way to the center.
Jars can be used over and over again, but without a good seal, they’re worthless. To ensure your food is safely preserved, start with new lids and bands. As above, the rings can be used again, but you should always use new bands. The bands are the flat part that fits on top of the jar. This is what provides the seal, and they must be in perfect shape with absolutely no defects or deterioration.
You may see plastic lids for sale that fit regular mouth canning jars. Plastic lids are NOT for canning. They are only for “storing” nonperishable foods, or for storing perishable foods for short periods in the refrigerator. They do not provide the kind of air-tight seal you need to maintain a vacuum in the jar, for long-term storage of preserved and canned food items.
Whether you choose a fancy digital thermometer or an old-fashioned candy/deep-fry thermometer, you must ensure the proper temperatures are reached when you can food at home.
Of course, you’ll want to label your jars, but getting old labels off of jars used to be a pain. These new Dissolvable Labels for jars will simply wash away once you are done with a jar and want to reuse it.
Everything you need to know to be a successful home canner. Learn how to can safely, what equipment you need (most of which is here), and get over 400 recipes.
Pressure Canning Equipment
Pressure canning uses a special high-pressure cooker, which raises the pressure and heat of the steam inside the canner to an amount suitable for canning low-acid foods such as carrots, corn, peas, green beans, beets, beef, chicken, etc. If you want to be able to can foods other than high-acid fruits and pickles, then you must have a pressure canner. These canners are not the same as pressure cookers, as they must be large enough and deep enough for the jars. However, they can also double as a pot for water bath canning.
As well, you can use pressure canning to can acid foods, that would normally use a water bath method. However, this takes longer.
The Presto 23-Quart Pressure Canner uses a dial gauge (as opposed to a weighted gauge method), for precise pressure measurements. It comes with a jar rack and an instruction and recipe book.
You may already own an Instant Pot, which has a pressure cooking setting. Note that Instant Pots are not suitable for home canning.
The Presto canning kit comes with a funnel for filling regular and wide mouth canning jars, bubble remover, magnetic lid lifter for removing lids from hot water, tongs, jar lifter, and jar wrench.