Canning Tongs: Which to Buy and How to Use Them

jar lifter
Canning tongs are used for lifting and placing canning jars into boiling water or pressure canners. They are adjustable and can handle any size canning jar. It is not advised to use substitutes for canning tongs such as kitchen tongs, BBQ tongs, or grill tongs, because a secure grip is required.

What are Canning Tongs Used For?

A good pair of canning tongs are an essential part of a canning kit and play an important role in the home canning process.

Canning tongs help lift regular or wide-mouth Mason jars out of hot canners or boiling water by gripping the neck of the jar. This helps to avoid disturbing lid sealing during the canning process.

They have long, anti-slip handles to safeguard your hand and forearm from steam burns. While some canning tongs require the use of both hands, higher-quality models allow for single-handed use.

canning tongs
Canning tongs

Why You Should Purchase Canning Tongs

Specialized canning tongs are a required canning tool. It is not recommended to attempt removing hot, slippery jars from boiling water with improvised gadgets.

Regular kitchen tongs don’t provide a secure grip, and if you use other types of cooking tongs, you risk dropping the jars and suffering burns.

The Best Canning Tongs to Buy

Whether you’re starting out or a seasoned pro, it is essential to have dedicated canning accessories for safety. Purchase highly-rated canning tongs or a jar lifter with a secure grip, such as these:

  1. Norpro Canning Tongs: These canning tongs feature a wide grip for securely handling canning jars and lids. They are made of heat-resistant nylon to protect the jars and lids against damage.
  2. Stainless Steel Canning Jar Lifter Tongs and Jar Lifter: These scissors tongs offer a comfortable, non-slip grip for easy handling and feature a locking system for convenient storage.
  3. HIC Canning Jar Lifter Tongs: These tongs are made from stainless steel and can securely lift jars of all sizes, from smaller glass jars to larger Mason jars.
  4. Ball® Secure-Grip Canning Tongs: These nonstick tongs feature an ergonomic handle that offers a secure grip on canning jars. They also have a spring hinge for improved strength.

Are Canning Tongs Included in Canning Kits?

Canning kits bundle all of the essential canning tools and accessories needed for canning, including canning tongs.

Other canning tools and supplies may include a boiling water canner or pressure canner, canning rack, funnel, clamps, and strainers. Some canning sets also come with a recipe book.

canning kit and canned goods
Canning kit and canned fruit

Can You Use Canning Tongs with Pressure Canners and Water Bath Canners?

Yes, you can use canning tongs with both water-bath canners and pressure canners. Canning tongs are made to withstand high temperatures.

What is the Difference Between a Lid Lifter and a Jar Lifter?

Also known as a lid wand, a canning lid lifter is used to pick up caps or lids that are too hot to handle. A lid lifter features a magnet attached to a plastic stick and helps you lift hot lids out of boiling water.

A canning jar lifter securely picks up canning jars. Jar lifters are not only essential for removing filled jars from the canner but are useful when sterilizing equipment.

You can find lid lifters and jar lifters online and in-store from stores that offer canning supplies, including hardware stores, department stores, and kitchen supply stores.


Patrick has a farming background and is a full-time food writer and recipe creator. His goal is to help you discover how fantastic canning is by sharing his knowledge. Outside of the kitchen, Patrick enjoys outdoor activities and exploring nature in all its beauty.

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