Tools and Equipment for Canning and Preserving
Part of the Canning & Preserving For Dummies Cheat Sheet
If you plan to can, freeze, or dry your food, you'll need some special tools. The equipment involved with canning or preserving food is designed for efficiency and safety, so be sure you to use them. If you have these pieces already, great! If not, add them to your shopping list:
Tongs: Have tongs ready for lifting hot foods out of boiling or simmering water. Any variety that you prefer will work, but a locking mechanism keeps them out of the way when not in use.
Candy thermometer: Find a good quality thermometer, with a clip for attaching it to the side of a pot. This item is so useful; it is a good idea to have a backup in case one breaks while you are using it.
Jar lifter: This tool is a specialized set of tongs. Its rubberized ends fit securely around any size canning jar, to lift them in and out of your canner.
Canning funnel: Used for canning foods, this wide mouth tool keeps the rims of jars clean. It can also be used to fill ziplock bags neatly.
Canning jars: Canning jars are made from tempered glass to withstand the high heat and pressure of your canner. Both narrow- and wide-mouth jars are available, with wide-mouth being easiest to remove the food from once it is canned.
Water-bath and/or pressure canner. If you’re going to can, you must use the appropriate canner. For canning high-acid foods (fruits, jellies, relishes, and pickles), get a water-bath canner. For low-acid foods (vegetables and meats), get a pressure canner.