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What Are the Different Types of Canning Supplies?

Salt is commonly used to preserve canned foods, such as vegetables.
A narrow spatula can be used to scrape canning jars and remove any air bubbles.
A canning jar of pickled cornichons.
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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 23 October 2014
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When choosing home canning supplies, the largest initial purchase is often the canner, which can be a water bath-style or a pressure canner. A water bath canner is typically a large pan and lid. Both the water bath and the pressure canner have a wire rack insert inside with long handles. Glass jars are typically placed in the rack, which is lowered into the water in the pan. In addition to the jars, a variety of canning supplies is needed for home canning, including lids, spatulas and funnels.

The glass jars used in canning are available in a variety of sizes, including swing bottles, which have an attached lid on a bale wire that can be swung into place to cap off the bottle. In addition to the amount of product the jars will hold, the mouth sizes of the jars also varied from regular to wide. Clear glass is the most commonly used, but early canning jars were also available in blue, which was designed to keep the light out and help the food to last longer. In addition to jars with a smooth finish, jars with quilted patterns and other designs are also available. Some decorative jars have alternate shapes, such as diamond or marquis shapes.

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Canning supplies also include lids, which are available in a variety of styles and colors,including one-piece, screw-on lids, which come in black, white and colors. Screw rings are used in conjunction with flat lids and dome lids. Safety seal caps are one-piece, screw-on lids with a domed center section that will invert when the jar has sealed during the canning process.

Older canning jars typically had screw-on zinc lids or glass lids. In order to use the glass lids, modern canning supplies include replacement rubber rings that fit between the jar's neck and the glass lid. Decorative canning supplies include jar hats, which are used to add color and decoration to canned food jars; they are made of paper and are available in colorful patterns, such as red gingham. After food is canned, many canners make it a practice to label and date the jars, and there are labels that fit into the flat center part of the flat canning lids.

A handful of common canning supplies often helps to simplify the task. Funnels aid in filling the jars with food without dripping and spilling, and they are available in stainless steel and plastic. A jar lifter is used for removing canning jars from a water bath, and a magnetic lid lifter can lift lids out of hot water. A long, narrow spatula is used to scrape jars and to remove air bubbles from food-filled canning jars. For jars that will be re-used, a jar washing brush can be used to help clean the bottles.

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Feryll
Post 3

@mobilian33 - You make a good point about the importance of sterilizing your canning supplies. I remember reading a story about a group of people getting sick at a family gathering. They had food poisoning.The cause turned out to be a jar of canned fruit that someone had brought for the meal.

mobilian33
Post 2

@Laotionne - Canning is a good way to stock up on fruits and vegetables for the winter, but it isn't as simple as you might think. I'm not saying the process is difficult or overly complicated, but you need to know what you are doing. I think it's best to let someone show you how to do it before you try it by yourself.

One of the biggest mistakes some people make is that they do not sterilize everything properly. Canning jars must be placed in boiling water and sterilized thoroughly, or else your food might spoil. The lids have to be sterilized separately in a pan so that the seal isn't damaged. A damaged seal can also lead to spoiled food.

Just think how disappointing it would be to have jars of canned food and then find out that they are no good because you did something wrong.

Laotionne
Post 1

I want to learn how to can. My grandmother used to can all types of fruits and vegetables. She would have a kitchen and pantry full of canning jars filled with food. She told me that when her kids were growing up, she had to can foods to make sure there was enough for everyone to eat during the winter when they could not get fruits and vegetables fresh from the farm.

And since they did live on a farm, they had plenty of food during the summer. By canning them, they were able to eat just as well during the winter. I guess preserving food isn't as popular today because fewer people live on farms and more people are able to simply go to the grocery store and buy what they need. Still, I think it would be good to know how to do this.

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