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Canning Supplies Buying Guide: Everything You Need To Know
Are you a home canning enthusiast looking for the right supplies to make your own jams, sauces, and pickles? Canning is an excellent way to preserve food and enjoy it throughout the year. With the proper equipment and proper technique, you will be able to safely store your canned goods in pantries or freezers with confidence. In this guide, we’ll cover all of the canning supplies you need to know about before getting started.
What type of equipment do I need for water bath canning?
The first step when preparing for canning any recipe is gathering all the necessary equipment. For water bath canning, there are several pieces of essential kitchen gear:
A generous-sized pot or canning kettle. The pot should be deep enough to submerge the jars and wide enough to accommodate several jars side-by-side.
A rack that fits inside the pot to raise the jars off the bottom of the pan. This prevents them from getting too hot and cracking.
A jar lifter, which helps you pick up hot jars without burning your hands, as well as a pair of tongs for manipulating lids and bands during processing.
Jars with two-piece lids and screw bands for sealing them shut once filled and processed in boiling water bath canner.
Funnels for pouring food into jars without spilling it all over yourself and your countertop! You can also use a ladle for this.
A timer to make sure you’re processing the food for the correct amount of time.
Clean towels and cloths, which will come in handy when preparing lids and bands, as well as cleaning off any sticky residue after jars have cooled down.
What type of equipment do I need for pressure canning?
Pressure canning is a slightly more involved approach to preserving foods that require higher temperatures than boiling water bath canning due to their acidity levels or the presence of low-acid foods like meat, poultry, and seafood. Pressure canning requires specialized equipment that includes:
A pressure cooker or pressure canner with both an upper and lower basket for processing different types of foods.
A timer, thermometer, and/or pressure gauge to ensure the temperature and pressure levels are optimal for safe canning.
A jar lifter, tongs or clamps, and a funnel to safely remove jars from hot water without burning your hands.
Heat-resistant gloves to protect your hands when handling boiling cans of food or lids that have been sterilized in boiling water bath before filling with processed food items.
Clean towels and cloths for wiping off any sticky residue after jars have cooled down as well as preparing lids and bands prior to processing them in the pressure cooker or canner.
What type of jars are best for canning?
When it comes to canning, the most important factor is that your jars are able to be sealed properly. To do this, you’ll want to use high-quality mason jars that come with two-piece lids and screw bands. These types of lids will help create an airtight seal which prevents bacteria from entering the jar and spoiling the food inside. It is also important to use new or sanitized jars each time you can something so there isn’t any leftover residue on them that could cause contamination.
What additional supplies should I have on hand?
In addition to the equipment mentioned above, there are a few other canning supplies that will come in handy during the process. These include:
A large bowl for blanching and peeling vegetables, fruits, and nuts before canning.
A colander or strainer to rinse away dirt and debris from foods prior to boiling them in water bath canner.
Canning salt or pickling salt which helps maintain the food’s flavor while retaining color and texture during processing time.
pH testing strips to help determine acidity levels of different types of recipes so you know if they need a pressure cooker or water bath canner for safe preservation.
Labels, tags, or stickers that can be used to identify cans after they have been processed.
What safety precautions should I take while canning?
Safety is paramount when it comes to canning, and there are a few steps you’ll want to take in order to ensure your foods are preserved safely:
Always wear heat-resistant gloves and long sleeves when handling hot jars or lids that have been sterilized in boiling water bath before filling with food items.
Be sure to double-check the acidity levels of recipes prior to processing time so you know if they require pressure canner or boiling water bath canner.
Invest in a timer and/or thermometer so you can be sure food has been properly cooked for optimal preservation during processing time.
Always label completed cans with the contents and date processed so you can keep track of what needs to be used first.
Monitor jars as they cool down after processing in order to ensure lids are sealed properly. If any lids don’t seal, you should store those jars in the fridge and use them within a few days instead of preserving them for later dates.
Canning is a great way to preserve foods for later use, but there are several steps that must be taken in order to do it safely and correctly. From ensuring your recipes have the correct acidity levels for boiling water bath or pressure canner usage all the way through to labeling your finished cans, following these steps will help you create delicious and safe recipes that you can enjoy for weeks or months to come.
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