If you’re just beginning canning or looking to up your canning supply inventory, this list will help make canning a breeze by providing with all the necessary equipment to can the essentials.
When I first started canning, there were a couple things I didn’t realize: one, how much I would love it, and two, just how much food I could preserve with just a few tools. So many people are intimidated by canning and preserving food, that I really want to empower people to understand that with the right canning supplies, you are able to can so many things!
Here is my list of beginner canning supplies that can help you get started and on your way to canning all your fruit and veggie goodness!
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The Basics of Canning
If you are just starting canning you may be asking, “what supplies do you need for canning?” You have come to the right place because I was definitely in your shoes! There are some things that you absolutely have when you start canning, but there are some other things that can wait until you get more into canning.
The basic concept of canning is storing fruits and veggies (normally grown from your garden) in jars to preserve them for an extended period of time. Where do you store them? In jars! The very first supply you need for canning is canning jars or mason jars.
In 2020, due to the pandemic and everyone being at home, mason jars were so hard to find! I was lucky to have built up an inventory of jars of all sizes over the years, but if you’re just starting, and only plan on canning a couple things, I recommend investing in pint jars right away.
Pint size jars are 16 ounces--they are perfect for salsa or tomato sauce, or a small batch of green beans or corn. Half pint jars, 8 ounce jars, are good for jellies and jam which are also super simple to make. If you ever want to make pickles or preserve green beans or asparagus, large, 32 oz mason jars are the jars for you.
Once you’ve built your supply of jars, the only thing you will have to replace each year is metal lids. Each time you seal a jar of your canned goods with a metal lid, that lid cannot be used again. The seal is designed for a one-time use only and have a special sealing compound that breaks down when you open the jar the first time after canning.
If you’re canning pickles or jelly, you can always places the jar in the fridge for your food to keep, but once the jar is empty, dispose of, or repurpose your lid for something that doesn’t need to be sealed for consumption.
You can buy packs of mason jar lids online with just the lid. You may want to buy a new metal ring as well, and you can find those online too!
I think a funnel is so crucial to canning in order to preserve as much of your food as possible. I don’t how much tomato sauce I wasted when I first started canning because I didn’t use a funnel. Tomatoes and sauce dripped and dropped EVERYWHERE.
A funnel just directs your jelly, or tomatoes or brine directly into the jar limiting the amount of food wasted, and the amount of clean-up you have to do. I have this simple plastic funnel, but if you’re looking for multiple sizes for your different canning needs, then I recommend this funnel set for your essential canning supplies.
No matter what I am preserving, tomatoes, pickles, jellies and anything in between I always use a giant pot. I honestly have multiple different giant pots because you need a pot to cook in (or dutch oven), a pot to boil lids in, and a canner pot to water bath my jars in.
The only pot that I don’t use on a consistent basis the rest of the year is my large water bath pot, but even then, I do pull it out at least once a year for a shrimp boil. The other two large pots get used in my kitchen at least once a week, so they are great investment pieces for my kitchen.
Extra Table for more Space
There is never enough room when I’m canning. My current kitchen is a small galley kitchen, so I have to be super efficient and planned out when it comes to canning. Having a folding tale on hand helps in so many ways. You never know when you might need an extra place to set things down, or if you need another place to line up and set your jars.
I have both a folding card table as well as this folding six-foot table. Perk of both these tables? You never know when you might have guests over and need an extra place to sit, or when you might want to host game night or maybe do a puzzle, so both of these tables are definitely investment pieces!
I promise you, your fingers will thank you for investing in tongs. I have burned my fingers SO MANY times while canning. Whether its trying to grab metal lids out of boiling water, or pulling jars out of the oven that are heating while tomatoes cook down, I’m surprised I still have feeling in my finger tips!
Tongs are so key to grabbing things while canning. Even just a simple pair like these metal tongs will do so much for efficiency and for your poor fingers!
That’s my list of canning essentials to help you get started as a canner!
Are you looking for canning recipes?
Try out these recipes for yourself: