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Canning season is getting closer, and it is time to get ready! If you’ve never canned before, you need to gather the essential supplies to get started. Don’t worry; it’s easier than you might think.
You want to know what is necessary and what is just nice to have. No one wants to spend money unnecessarily. Summer is busy on the homestead, so you want to get prepared now before you have a countertop full of produce ready for canning.
I love canning season, and I love watching my pantry shelves filling up with new jars with fresh food. So, what do you need to get started? Let’s take a look!
Water Bath Canner
The first thing you need is a water bath canner. It looks like a large pot or kettle, but it is made specifically for canning. The canner comes with a canning rack which stabilizes the jars and prevents them from cracking.
A pressure canner is necessary if you want to can vegetables, soups, and meats. Most newbies start off with water bath canning, but I think you can jump into both types! Using a pressure canner isn’t as scary as some people think.
Canning Jars and Lids
Regular mouth jars are perfect for liquids, such as soups and salsa, or jams. Wide mouth are better for vegetables or cuts of meat. They are easier to clean as well, unless you use a bottle brush scrubber.
You want more lids than jars. Jars will come with one set of lids for each jar, but jars are reusable. Lids cannot be reused, unless you purchase Tattler lids. Those are different from the typical lids you get with your canning jars. Make sure you have a few extra boxes of lids on hand.
When you ladle soup or jam from the both into the jars, a funnel makes the job a lot easier. You won’t lose as much over the sides of your jar.
A lid lifter lets you lift the lids without burning yourself. Lids need to be placed in hot water before used. If you purchase a canning set of essentials, a lifter will be included.
A jar lifter is like a pair of tongs, but they are designed specifically to lift hot jars out of the canner. This item would also be in the above set of essentials.
A small spatula or bubble popper is necessary because it gets rid of all the little air bubbles in the food. Air bubbles can lead to spoilage, so pop bubbles before you put the lid on the jar.
A Large Stock Pot
Whether you are making jam or soup, you need a large pot where you can cook the food. Soup needs to simmer. Of course, this pot isn’t just for canning, but you need to make sure you have one on hand!
This isn’t totally necessary, but a canning cookbook is great to have on hand. Nowadays, you can find hundreds of canning recipes on the internet. A new canner might feel comfortable using a book with proven recipes rather than trusting the internet.
Now, you are ready to get canning! Need some inspiration? Try my Easy Strawberry Jam recipe! It is my family’s favorite. They can’t get enough of it, and it is perfect for a new canner.