Part of being a DIYer and wanna be Homesteader is learning new things like canning. I have put off canning and even envied those who knew how to can due to lack of experience and lack of basic canning equipment! I was particularly envious of those whose mother’s did not teach them but they took a leap of faith to learn on their own. So far I have canned applesauce, apple butter and elderberry juice.
I know there are lots of thoughts about basic canning equipment and what you MUST have but I just want to share with you what canning equipment I own and how to use it. I suggest you start out simple and build up your supplies as you build your skills!
Canning Equipment I already owned:
We bought a really nice set of stainless steel Farberware pots and pans quite a few years ago after our first set of pots and pans got worn out. When we were first married we bought a cheap set of non-stick pans. Since we cook a lot we wore through them plus we wanted a higher quality of pan. I grew up with really nice stainless steel pots and pans my parents bought from Amway. We cannot afford something of that caliber but I knew that with a gas stove stainless steel post and pans were the way to go for me.
The 1 quart pan is what I used to heat the lids in to sanitize them and prepare them for sealing onto the jars. The 3 quart pan is what I cooked the apples in for applesauce. If I had a bigger pot I would have definitely used it to cut out many hours of work. The 8 quart pot I used for sterilizing the jars and for the actual water bath processing.
I laid out a thick washcloth next to the stove to place the jars on while filling and while cooling once processed.
Canning Equipment I had to Purchase:
In the Spring I picked up some basic canning supplies while at Walmart just so I could get them before they were gone for the year. I canned Dandelion Jelly for my first attempt at canning anything in my life. The canning funnel makes it super easy to fill your jars without spilling your fruit all over the place. The lid grabber helps you grab a lid out of a hot pot safely. Jar tongs are a must for lifting the jars in and out of super hot water. Of course you need a place to can your harvest which you cannot do without canning jars, lids, and rings. I was lucky enough to buy a big box of assorted canning jars at a garage sale for $5.
Since then I have canned applesauce and apple butter but plan to can more veggies as we grow them or come across other gardener’s abundance that we can pick!
Canning Equipment I want to Purchase:
I now own a larger water bath canner which my parents gave me! I will pick up the other items as I find them on sale or at garage sales. Another option is to can with a friend and share the larger more expensive equipment. You could be canning applesauce in the water bath while she is canning equipment green beans or meat in the pressure canner.