Most canning kits have all of the tools you need to start canning, including a water bath canner or pressure canner. It is possible to put together your own kit by buying essential canning supplies if you already own a canner. Canning kits should include a canning rack, jar lifter, funnel, and canning tongs.
What Do You Need to Start Canning?
Most canning supplies are reusable and cost-effective. You can purchase a canning kit or gather individual canning supplies to start canning.
Here are the essential canning tools you’ll need:
- A pressure canner or water-bath canner
- A wide-mouth funnel
- Bubble popper or air removal tool
- Glass canning jars (pint jars or quart jars)
- Jar lifter or canning tongs
- Kitchen timer
- Magnetic lid lifter
- Pot rack or jar rack
- Self-sealing jar lids and rings
Best Canning Kits for Home Canning
Canning kits have the necessary tools you need for the canning process in one convenient package.
Here are some of the best canning kits for beginners:
Already have a canner? This canning set contains all the must-have accessories needed for canning. The 7-piece set includes a funnel, kitchen tongs, jar lifter, stainless steel rack, jar wrench, magnetic lid lifter, and bubble popper.
This set includes a stainless steel heavy-duty water bath canner, canning rack, tongs, jar lifter, vinyl-coated jar wrench, funnel, measurer, and magnetic lid lifter.
The Presto 01781 23-quart pressure canner is sold with a jar rack and an essential canning kit which includes a funnel, jar lifter, tongs, bubble popper, and magnetic lid lifter.
Canning Supplies Not Included in Canning Kits
Most canning kits do not include single-use items or items not made specifically for canning. These essential items should be purchased separately:
- Canning jars. Jars commonly come in half pints, quarts, or pint sizes. They can be regular-mouth or wide-mouth jars. Small jars are appropriate for canning jellies and jams, while large ones work best for soups, fruits, and veggies.
- Canning lids and screw bands. Canning lids seal jars, and screw bands secure the jars to the lids while canning. Reusing lids is not recommended.
- Large stockpot. A large stockpot for sterilizing supplies and blanching is essential.
- Kitchen timer. A reliable kitchen timer is essential to track processing time.
Canning Ingredients You Should Always Have
Some essential canning ingredients include:
- Ascorbic acid. Soaking fruit slices in an ascorbic acid water solution prevents discoloration. The acid is available in powder form, vitamin C tablets, or commercially-prepared ascorbic mixes.
- Bottled lemon juice. Used for acidifying low-acid fruits and vegetables before canning.
- Citric acid. It’s crucial for creating an acidic environment that kills botulism spores in foods with low acidity. This acid also acts as a natural food preservative.
- Pectin. This water-soluble fiber makes an excellent gelling agent when canning jams and jellies.
- Pickling or canning salt. Canning salt is pure salt used for pickling and canning. Pickling salt is crucial in making sauerkraut and other fermented products.
- Vinegar. Vinegar for home canning should have 5% acidity. It is used to retain the natural color of fruits and vegetables and is used in pickling brine.
What is the Difference between a Canner and a Canning Kit?
A canner is an appliance used for heat-processing jars of food to prolong their shelf life, and a canning kit is a set of canning supplies. Canning kits often come with a canner included.
What is the Difference Between a Pressure Canner and a Water Bath Canner?
High-acid foods are safe for processing in a boiling water bath canner, while low-acid foods must be processed in a pressure canner.
A water bath canner utilizes boiling water to destroy harmful bacteria, which may cause food spoilage. Conversely, pressure canners combine pressure with extra-high temperatures to kill botulism spores when processing food.