Canning supplies

If you plan to can this season you will need  a couple more things besides your pressure canner. Here is a list of additional supplies you’ll need for your canning:

Canning rack
Most pressure canners have a rack to hold the jars. Still if your canner doesn’t have one or your old rack is worn out you can buy one separately.

Jars
After you’re done with food processing you will need some jars. You can use glass or plastic jars. Glass jars with lids and rings are required for food that is stored at room temperature. For foods that will be stored in the refrigerator or freezer you can use glass or plastic freezer jars.
You can use already used jars as well. Watch out for nicks and cracks, though, because you can’t use jars that are damaged. As far as jar capacity, people usually use quarts for vegetables and pickles. Pints and half pints are usually used for salsa, jams and jellies.

Sealing ring
The sealing ring goes directly on the top of your jars and it’s used to seal the lid in place while you are processing them in the canner You can re-use the rings a couple of times, as long they are not corroded or rusted. Lids are not reusable. Once a lid has been used and sealed on a jar, you can not reuse it because they will not seal properly the second time.

Jar  lifter
You use them to lift jars from  the canner. Easy to use. You just have to reach and grab the jar and then close it and pull it out.

Magnetic lid lifter
Very handy for lifting lids out of the boiling water. Looks like a pen with a magnetic top. You can buy canning kits that usually contain a jar lifter, a magnetic lid lifter, a timer, funnel and a bubble remover. Presto, Norpro and Ball offer similar canning kits.

Canning lid rack
This tool will help you sterilize your canning lids quickly and easily. The water circulates freely around the lids sterilizing them completely.

Canning funnel
You use them to fill jars. An absolute must if you want to avoid a big mess in your kitchen.

The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
The best book for canning. It includes  400 recipes, excellent canning instructions and tips.

Timer
Every food requires a different length of processing time. A timer will help you with that.

Labels
It’s a good idea to write the content and the date you canned the food on the labels. Especially if you’re giving your jars as a gift (in the latter case you can write an additional note for the recipient of the present).

Dry Towel
You will need one of those for placing the jars once you’ve removed them from the canner.

What else?
A nice cool and dark place to store your cans. Sunlight and heat can diminish the nutritional value of the canned food. Your canned food can be stored for  a year without losing any quality. Before using them look for any change in color. Make sure that the seal isn’t broken.

 

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