Canning and Preserving Tools

Canning and Preserving Tools are a dime a dozen. Everyone has an opinion on what we need and how to use it. Today I decide that I am going to share some of my tools and tricks that I use for my preserving jobs. I do a lot of preserving of food and many different tools, machines and things are necessary. Yes, I have purchased some of the stupidest things in canning and some of my lifesaver tools. Here are just a few of the necessary tools and idea's.

This post will be in no direct order just as I drop a picture in I will tell my "opinion" on the item. 

We all have to start with the basic and that would be a Pot for Water bathing you jars of food. I started with a cheap Steel/Porcelain Pot that did a great job of of water bathing (If that is a word) You can do quarts, pints and half pints. Most come with a rack. I use to put a washcloth on the bottom long before I ever got a rack. It was what Grandma taught me to keep them from moving and cracking. Funny right!

Pressure Canner is a must for all your non-pickled items. 

There are many tools to use with your canning pot and they come individually or you can buy them one at a time as needed. Let me explain each.

First the funnel this tool is essential to keep your jars clean and counters clear of jam or what

ever you are doing to preserve. 

Next to that you have a jar lifter it is next to the pot for getting the hot jars out without burning yourself the next few are ones I am mentioning but never use. The green pen like tool is a magnet tool get lids out of the hot water. I use a small pot putting hot water into it from the waterbath to heat the lids then pour the water back into the waterbath once I have the lids out and on the jars. No waste. The next two tools one is a tool to help open jars. This is a kit. I buy my stuff separate as needed and usually at yard sales or thrift stores 

Latex Gloves and Goggles                                                                                                                                       

Latex gloves are one of the tools I have in my kitchen for all things not just preserving food. Great to keep the smell of garlic and onions off your hands when chopping. 

The reason I use them when preserving food is I want to make sure that I do not cross contaminate any food with anything. I do not use them to wash the fruit or vegetables because washing the food already cleans it and my hands are clean. Once cleaned I put them on to chop and separate the fruit. Each different fruit I change the gloves. I use them in so many ways when canning  don't think I could list them all. 

Goggles are for onions when I Dehydrate Onions or use them for Onion Marmalade.

Jars, Lids and Twist Top

Jars, lids and twist tops. These come in three main sizes. Quart, pint and half pint. You need to sanitize all your jars prior to canning and keep them warm to fill. I will put my jars into the waterbath and bring the water up to a rapid boil then turn it down until I am ready to fill the jars.  You can reuse the jars and twist over and over. 

Candy Thermometer

This is an important tool for me with my jams. I am not a pectin user I have been able to find other alternatives which have worked well. One is this candy thermometer. I learned at a Lemon Marmalade Class up in Oaktown at June Taylor that if you can keep your jam at a rapid boil and the thermometer up to 222 to 223 it will jell. And you can make your own Pectin.

Wooden Spoons

This is a touchy subject with Germ-a-fobs but this tool is resilient in the kitchen. With so many reasons why let me just hit a few. They are a warm utensil they do not shock the jam being boiled or stirred. They won't draw up heat and burn your hand. Wooden Spoons are strong and super durable. They do not react to Acid mixtures. 

Jelly Strainer and Food Mill

Jam is my thing but if you make Jelly or anything that needs to be strained this is the tool. I have made Grape Jelly with mine. I also used it for all my Scrubs when straining was needed. 

I use for jellies which I rarely make. Also if you need to make seedless jelly/jam I also have made it to open and link in a new tab so you can just go back to the original without losing your spot.

This is a food mill essential for butters and clear jellies. I use it for all my Butters and Scrubs. It is a bit time consuming but then all things preserving are. I do not mind the work because of the wonderful results all year long. 

My food mill is great for all things seedless, fruit butters. To smooth out potatoes, some soups and the bonus is you can do it with you ingredients hot or cold. 

Lets talk spices and grinding. We have all heard the that you can use a old coffee grinder and I did for a long time. I still have uses for it. Unfortunately, I never took any shots of my coffee grinder in action. But to the right you see my Mortar and Pestel my go to grinder. 

Next a crock pot one I personally use on occasion. These day's there are so many recipes that they call out for a crock pot. I like to slow cook some of my preserves, soups and broths. It is all in the stir, chop and watch the process. 

My crockpot is the go to for my Apple Butter. I use to have the crock pot from my first marriage it was beyond old. I finally got  a new one when I watched a show where the crock pot burnt the home down. Yikes! 

Spice bags yes there are two ways of doing this. Buy them already made or make your own. Simple use some cheese cloth and tie. 

Here are your standard tie bags ordered on line or any craft store. 

This list is on going feel free to lave a comment on your tools

My tools are endless but I have given you a place to start. Canning and preserving tools are a personal pick and you choose what you need. Good Luck and Happy Preserving! 

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