This list of essential canning supplies will have you canning and preserving food at home in no time.
Are you new to canning? If so, this list of canning supplies will get you off to a good start. But please don’t feel like you have to run out and buy everything new and all at once.
I started out borrowing equipment from family and friends who already had what I needed. This helped give me an idea of what I liked and didn’t like and helped me build my canning supplies accordingly.
You can also pick up items from yard sales and vintage shops. I found one of my favorite pressure cookers at a vintage/antique shop (for cheap) in North Carolina. Every time I use it, I remember that day like it was yesterday. It was such an exciting find – mainly because it was such a bargain.
Find a canning buddy. I can’t tell how much fun it is to do this with family or friends. For years, our family would get together with one of my sister-in-law’s family to do applesauce together.
It started this way because I had never made applesauce and had no clue what to do. But it was so much fun doing it together that we started a tradition and continued doing it together for years until our family moved away.
Although our children were too young to help when we first started as they grew and were capable, they quickly became helpers and looked forward to “applesauce day” at Aunt Sara’s and Uncle Jake’s.
Now, we are starting those traditions and making memories among our family as both of our “kids” are married and have families. I love it that my young grandchildren are running around on “applesauce day” just as their mama and daddy did.
The two oldest ones who are both four years old have already shown an interest in helping, so we always find a little job for them to do.
Now when we make applesauce, we all talk about the memories we share in the past. And it fills my heart with joy to know that one day my grandchildren will grow up and share those same types of memories.
Beginner or Pro?
Whether you’re a beginner who needs everything or a pro who needs to replace some things, this essential list of canning supplies will help you start preserving the season’s harvest of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Canning Supplies to Get You Started
Water bath canning is the simplest method of preserving. All you need are the proper jars and a pot big enough to hold the jars in boiling water. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced canner, either of these pots will serve you well.
Granite Ware Water Bath Canner With Rack
Stainless Steel Water Bath Canner
A canning rack helps steady big and small jars when being lowered and raised into and out of the canner. Since most stainless steel pots (like the one above) don’t come with canning racks, you will need to purchase one separately.
All American Pressure Cooker/Canner
While you can use a water bath canner for many foods, a pressure canner is a must for non-acidic foods like soups, stews, meats, and non-acidic vegetables.
I prefer pressure cookers that have the gauges on them that show precisely where your temperature is at all times.
Presto Pressure Cooker/Canner
These canning racks serve a different purpose than the ones above. They are more like a “shelf,”. You place the rack over a layer of jars. This enables you to have a second layer in the canner.
Loading twice the jars in a run is handy if you’re canning a large batch. Keep in mind your pressure cooker has to be tall enough to do this. Also, make sure the racks fit the width of your pressure cooker.
More Great Canning Supplies Are:
That’s not the official name for this handy kitchen basket, but that’s what I call it. It’s an excellent item to have in your collection of canning supplies. Perfect for blanching tomatoes and peaches, you can easily lift it out of boiling water with relative ease.
It’s much handier than hand plucking individual pieces of fruit out of steaming hot water into a colander.
Food Strainer and Sauce/Salsa Maker
A food strainer is an ideal tool to have in your arsenal of canning supplies. I couldn’t get through the canning season without one.
It’s ideal for making apple sauce, apple butter, salsa, and anything else involving tomatoes – like tomato soup, marinara sauce, and pizza sauce.
This food mill is excellent for small-batch preserving or cooking projects. Don’t be fooled though; it holds its own even though it’s smaller than the food strainer above.
Ball Canning Jars
Ball jars have stood the test of time and have been an absolute necessity in the canning supplies of many kitchens from days past. And still are today. These vintage blue jars are part of Ball’s Heritage Collection. I just love them and wanted to share them with you.
Any canning jar will work, but these are nice if you have a special recipe that deserves extra attention for a perfect touch. They are reminiscent of days gone by! Don’t you love them?
Clear Ball Jars With Bands and Lids
These tried and true jars have been around for generations. The jars are a worthwhile investment as they are reusable and can be passed down to young homemakers.
When dealing with boiling temperature like hot sauces and jams, I recommend using stainless steel funnels.
They hold up better to the higher temperatures better than the plastic funnels. The “bowl” on these funnels are often quite a bit wider than the plastic ones.
A good canning ladle comes in handy for transferring food from cookers to jars. This is a kitchen tool you’ll definitely want as part of your canning supplies.
Reusable Wide Mouth Canning Lids + Rubber Rings
These lids and seals are reusable. They work very similarly to the Weck jar system. I have not used these particular seals, but I have heard positive feedback from others who have. If you use these, I would love to hear about your experience with them.
These jar tongs hold the jars securely when lifting them out of the canner and onto a cooling rack or towel.
Magnetic Lid Wand
I know the recommended canning regulations changed some years ago, and now you do not have to heat your lids in hot water before putting them on the jars before running them through the water bath or pressure canner.
For those of you who still feel better heating your lids, this wand is a handy gadget.
Replacement Canning Jar Lids
Canning lids should not be reused (unless they are specifically made to be reusable). These lids will seal in the freshness of the food you are preserving.
You do not need to replace the rings. When purchasing new lids, be sure to get the right size depending on whether you are using regular jars or wide mouth.
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
I would never make it without my canning book. As many years as I’ve been canning, I still go back to my book to refresh my memory with every canning project.
This book is updated to includes comprehensive directions on safe canning and preserving methods plus lists of canning supplies. It includes specific instructions for first-timers and handy tips for the experienced home canners.
Ball home canning products are the gold standard in home preserving supplies. This book, written by their experts, has been deemed the “bible” of home preserving. It is a great companion for anyone who cans and preserves at home.
It’s gratifying and satisfying to have preserved food on the shelves or in the canner. I am one who believes in no shortcuts when canning. There’s no room for error when it comes to safely feeding preserved foods to family and friends.
But there is no reason to be afraid either. If you follow the proper instructions, you can safely preserve your summers harvest and have delicious things to enjoy in the winter months to come.
Also, keep in mind that your canning times will range differently depending on your altitude. This is very important to keep in mind when reading a recipe that may give instructions for a different elevation than yours.
The National Center for Home Food Preservation is an excellent resource. If I have any questions or concerns about a canning recipe, this is where I go for answers. It covers everything from water bath canning, pressure canning, and altitudes.
Whether your experienced at canning or brand new to the whole idea, I would love to hear what your most used canning item is. I know we all have our favorites, and I would love to know what yours are.