Ever since I was a little kid I remember nights during the summer when my parents were busily picking fruits and vegetables from our garden and then preserving them by canning or freezing. As I grew up and now have a family of my own I have come to appreciate all that I learned as a child. And now I would like to share all my knowledge with you! So I have created this post to teach canning for beginners. I will be going through all the supplies you will need to start your canning journey so that it is a success.
Supplies Needed for Canning for Beginners
- Water bath canner (these are great to find at thrift stores)
- Canning supply kit (or a funnel, can grabber and magnet from the kit)
- Small/large mouth jars in either pint/quart or jelly jar sizes (this will all depend on what you are making)
- Canning lids and rings
- Canning/Preserving Cookbook
- Pectin (if you are planning to make jam)
The most important item in my opinion is the water bath canner with the metal rack insert. You can buy these online but it is also great to look for one at thrift stores or on Facebook marketplace. This container is how you will process your jars so that they seal and are made shelf stable.
Next you will want to have a variety of jars, large or small mouth doesn’t matter. When looking at your canning recipe it will usually tell you how many or a certain size jar you might need. The most common jar sizes are quart, pint and then small jars that are usually used for jelly/jams. If you are buying jars brand new in the store they will come with a set of lids and rings.
Lids and rings can also be bought separately as your jars can be used many times. I don’t keep the rings on the jars after they are done and put on the shelves (again something I was raised doing). Instead I keep a small tote that has all the rings inside that I will use over and over again and just wash in the dishwasher after use.
The canning lids however can only be used once. You may read out there that they can be used multiple times, again this was something that I learned growing up was not to re-use these lids so I do not. These lids can be found in local stores and online. I like to have a stash of small and large mouth lids on hand depending on the recipe I am making.
A canning supply kit would also be a great investment if this is your first time trying this. Some of the items in the kit are able to be found at thrift stores as well but may be harder to find. The items that I think are a must have are the funnel, the jar grabber and the magnet.
The last item needed would be a canning/preserving cookbook. My favorite book is from Ball and I use this constantly to make the same recipes over and over again and to find new ones.
One of the last supplies I listed above was pectin. This is an ingredient that you only need if you are making jam. I usually have two boxes on hand for when the mood strikes to make jam. Most boxes of pectin also have recipes inside for jams and jellies that you can also follow.
I hope this supply list has helped you prepare for canning vegetables and fruits. Jam is one of the easiest items to can and I would recommend starting with making jam.