Stocking the Larder via Canning: The Must Haves!
Canning is a must have skill in my book. It just makes sense to take that which we’ve been given in season, and preserve it! It’s wonderfully convenient, and shelf stable. No electricity required. I LOVE that.
So, what are the ‘tools of the trade’ ?
Ball Blue Book of Canning (I still refer to mine all the time!)
Canning jars (whatever size will work for your family)
Deep kettle with jar rack (see above picture for the type I use)
Canning jar lids and rings (disposable or reusable?! we’ll go into this later, both do the job!)
Lots of old kitchen/ hand towels & hot pads (think garage sales!)
Tongs & a Wooden Spoon
Optional, but really nice to have:
Magnetic Wand (pictured above) is SUPER handy and saves a lot of burnt fingers! This great little tool will fish your lids out of the boiling water for you, when you are ready to put them on your jars!
Canning funnel’s are so nice to have, I have a plastic one, but if I were going to buy another–I’d go stainless! These save a lot of food, mess and clean up. You can get by without one, but I wouldn’t want to .
A Jar Lifter is a great invention, I love mine, and it safely picks up those hot jars for you– a blessing for sure!
Now, if you wish to Pressure Can (Low Acid foods; meats, soups, chilis, veggies, etc) you will need a Pressure Canner as well…I have an All American, I love it–never used anything else, it works perfectly and is an excellent piece of equipment that will last my whole life….and probably my daughters too!
That is the basic equipment needed for canning– much of which can be picked up at garage sales, a big box store or online at somewhere like Amazon.com. I got my first water bath canner for $1.00 at a garage sale, picked up a second one a few years later at another garage sale for 50 CENTS. I still use them both today– they tend to last forever!
Look for more on the details of canning equipment, where you can find it and some of the pros and cons of the different options that are available these days and some of the ‘old wives tales’ of canning that still float around out there today in regards to canning equipment and methods in my next post, coming up next week 🙂