In the Kitchen
If you are canning for the first time, you need to assemble your equipment. Once you gather everything, if you are planning on doing more canning, you can keep your equipment together ready when you are.
The essentials are pretty easy to assemble, and you probably have more items than you realize. Here's your checklist:
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Large pot for hot water. The water must be able to come 1-2 inches above the lids of the jars. Usually, a 15-20 quart stock pot will work. Don't go crazy here. You can use a relatively inexpensive pot. I use my old lobster pot, and it works fine.
Canning funnel. Not totally required, but it makes the job so much easier. I like a metal one because I can sanitize it.
Ladle. Again I like metal.
Tongs. Optional - I like to use tongs to remove empty jars from the water because it makes them easier to empty the hot water.
Canning jar remover. This is a special clamp that helps you lift hot jars from the water.
Rack for the bottom of the pot. This keeps the jars from rattling around or tipping over. You can also use a towel at the bottom of the pot.
Clean towels. When you remove the wet jars from the pot, it is nice to put them on a towel.
Wooden cutting board or wire cooling rack. Once the jars are finished being canned, they need to sit for 12-24 hours to cool. Using a wooden cutting board or wire rack covered in those clean towels is a perfect resting spot for the hot jars.
Stainless Steel Knife - for removing bubbles
You can get a simple starter kit, without the large pot, for about $20.
You can download the checklist here: