Building Your Arsenal of Canning Supplies
Of course, the necessity of having canning jars is at the top of the list, but all jars are not created equal. Different recipes call for different size jars. Make sure you know which size jar you need because usually, the recipes are specific to the jar size due to the amount of spices or acid, which need to be added. Also, be sure to check if you need regular or wide mouth jars.
Along with the jars, it is important to make sure you have the right lids and ring to provide the most secure seal. Today, glass top jars and zinc lids are no longer safe to use while canning. It is important to make sure the lids you have are safe and ready to use. It is also important to make sure that the flats and rings are not used multiple times. They can become warped and lose the ability to hold a seal. Make sure you purchase high quality lids and jars, which can withstand time so your food will retain the fresh taste for the shelf life.
Depending on what you are planning to can, you will need either a pressure canner or a boiling water bath. Be sure you know what type of canning device you will need to make your canning experience as safe as possible. Knowing which foods require canning at lower temperatures versus higher temperatures will give you direction on which type of canner to use.
There are some other tools that you will need to get into canning. These include a canning rack to keep the cans off of the bottom of the canner, a funnel to get the ingredients into the jar, a jar lifter to pick up the hot jar and even a jar wrench to remove the hot ring from the jar.
Some of the tools you need can be found already in your kitchen. These tools are essential, and include a vegetable brush, cutting board, peeler, sauce pan, timer, thermometer, mixing bowl, measuring spoons and just about everything else you use in the day to day cooking world. A scale is also helpful to have because some of the recipes call for weights of items instead of unit measuring. If you do not wish to drop a bunch of money on a scale, and happen to have a baby scale lying around, that will be just as useful. The big size and accurate weight are a perfect fit in canning.
Canning is easy, but it does take some preparation to make sure you have everything you need to save you a trip in the middle of canning your food. Many of the materials you will need, you probably already have at home, but the most important ones will most likely need to be purchased before you begin. It is important to remember to pay attention to the recipes to make sure you gather the right materials. Go gather what you need and start canning today.