If you are thinking of starting to can you are probably wondering what do I need? There are a ton of different types of canners and gadgets out there! I have been canning for years and have tested out quite a bit of canning gear so I will boil it down for you in this post…what do you need?!
What do I need to start canning?
Blue Book Guide to Preserving (by Jarden Home Brands)This book has been around for over 125 years! It covers the basics of canning from jams to fruits to veggies to meats. I have an older version from the 1970s. It is the only canning book I have (though I have more on my wish list!).
Water bath canning (aka cold-pack canning) – (jams, tomatoes, salsa, fruit, etc):
Granite Ware 0718-1 Enamel-on-Steel Canning Kit, 9-Piece
This has everything you need (except the actual jars) to get you started. You will be able to can 1/2 pints up to quart sized jars.
Pressure Canning (green beans, corn, meat, etc) & Water bath (cold-pack) canning:
Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker:This sounds huge but this is the size you need if you want to use the canner for both water bath & pressure canning. If you get anything smaller you will not be able to water bath quart jars in it and will need a separate water bath canner! This bad boy can process up to 7 quarts at a time, 20 pints or 24 half pints when pressure canning. For water bath canning it can process up to 7 quarts, 10 pints or 12 half pints. This is what I use for all my canning.
I recommend converting your pressure canner into a weighted pressure canner because it is less work monitoring the pressure/temperature. You will need to buy a weighted gauge like the Presto Pressure Canner Pressure Regulator. This gauge will allow you to maintain the pressure you need (5/10/15 lbs) vs constantly making minor adjustments to burner temperature to maintain the right pressure. Also, it will save you from having to have your pressure dial tested every year to make sure it is accurate still.
The weighted gauge will go on your pressure cooker where the pressure regulator goes (see picture below). The pressure regulator that comes with your canner maintains pressure to 15lbs which you will find is too high for most canning recipes. You will keep the dial gauge in still (otherwise you would have a hole in your lid).
Ball Bubble Remover & Head Space ToolThis tool has a ruler built into the end so it takes away the guess work of if you have the needed head space a recipe calls out! I canned for years without this and now that I have it wished I would have sprung for it from the beginning!
A variety of different sizes of mason jars for canning here
If you are in need of just lids click here
If you need lid/band sets click here
You may be able to score jars without lids/bands at Goodwill for 20 cents a pop! Buy the lids and this will save you $$! Do check used jars for nicks along the rim…they can cause seals to fail. And you are not supposed to store your canned good with the bands on them so really you do not need a ton of canning bands unless you are giving canning goods away as gifts!
Questions? Let me know! I hope I made it easy to pick what you need to get started on your canning adventure!
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