Everything You Need to Know About Canning Materials

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Food Blog Photos (17)It’s canning season! Whether you’re canning fruits, vegetables, or even meats, the process is relatively simple and only requires a few materials. In this blog post, we’ll go over everything you need to know to get the right canning supplies so that you can get started on your next project with everything you need for the canning process!

Canning Jars

The most important canning material is, of course, the canning jars. Canning jars come in a variety of sizes, but the most common are pint jars and quart jars, as well as half pints. The size of the mouth of the jar also matters; there are regular-mouth jars and wide-mouth jars. You’ll also want to make sure that you get jars with screw-on lids; these will create an airtight seal that’s essential for proper food preservation. Ball and Kerr are two of the most popular brands of canning jars; both offer a wide range of sizes and styles to choose from.

Canning Lids and Rings

In addition to the jars themselves, you’ll also need to purchase canning lids and rings. The rings simply screw onto the top of the jar to keep the lid in place; they can be reused as long as they’re in good condition. The lids, on the other hand, are for one-time use only; once they’ve been sealed onto a jar, they cannot be removed without breaking the seal. That’s why it’s important to make sure that the lids fit snugly on the jars before you start canning—you don’t want them to be too loose or too tight. Ball and Kerr both offer sets of 12 canning lids and rings for around $10.00.

Canning Funnel

A canning funnel is a handy tool that makes it easy to fill jars with food without making a mess. Canning funnels come in various sizes to fit different-sized jars; they have a wide opening at the top and a small spout at the bottom. Canning funnels are relatively inexpensive; you can find them for as little as $5.00 online or at your local kitchen supply store. 

Canning Labels

Once your jars are full of delicious preserves, you’ll want to label them, so you know what’s inside. Canning labels come in all shapes and sizes, so choose something that fits your style. You can also get creative and make your own labels using Avery labels and a Sharpie marker. 

Jar Lifter 

A jar lifter is a tool that helps you lift hot jars out of the canner. It has a curved end that fits around the neck of the jar, making it easy to grip and lift. You can find these at most kitchen supply stores or online. 

Canner or Large Stockpot with Rack

You’ll also need a pressure canner, water bath canner, or large pot with a canning rack in order to properly sterilize your jars and create an airtight seal. A canner is a specially designed pot that comes with a rack; however, any large stockpot with a rack will work just as well. If using a stockpot, make sure it’s big enough so that the jars are completely covered with water when placed on the rack. 

Funnel and Tongs

A funnel comes in handy when filling your jars with food; however, if you don’t have one, you can always use a ladle instead. Tongs are also useful for placing hot jars into the canner or stockpot. 

Knife and Cutting Board

If you’re planning on preserving whole fruits or vegetables, you’ll need a knife and cutting board to dice them up into smaller pieces. 

Ingredients (of course!)

Last but not least, you’ll need ingredients! The specific ingredients will depend on what type of food you plan on preserving; however, all recipes will require some acid to create an airtight seal and prevent bacteria from growing. There are high-acid foods, such as tomatoes and tomato sauce, and low-acid foods, like green beans, and it’s important to know what level of acid you’re working with. Low-acid foods usually require a pressure canner or pressure cooker, while high-acid foods are safe for water bath canning. Lemon juice is also good to have around in case any of your home canning recipes need more acid.

Other canning equipment you might need

While not required or necessary, some pieces of equipment would be helpful to have around in the canning process. A food mill helps to mash and sieve foods to help you prepare foods for the jars. It might also be helpful to have new lids on hand just in case they’re needed, and a bubble popper will help to rid jars of air bubbles that can cause spoilage. A food strainer is also a good idea for obvious reasons.

Most common types of materials for canning 

The most common type of material used for canning is metal, but they can also come in stainless steel. Metal cans are typically made of steel or aluminum, and they’re lined with a thin layer of tin or plastic to prevent the contents from coming into direct contact with the metal. Metal cans are strong and durable, and they offer a good barrier against light, oxygen, and moisture. However, they can be expensive to produce, and they’re not always recyclable. 

Glass is another popular material for canning. Glass jars are typically made of tempered soda-lime glass, which is strong and resistant to breaking. Glass jars offer an excellent barrier against light and oxygen, and they’re completely recyclable. However, they’re not as strong as metal cans, making them more likely to break if dropped or mishandled. 

Plastic is a less common material for canning, but it does have its advantages. Plastic jars are lightweight and unbreakable, so they’re ideal for transporting canned goods. They also offer a good barrier against light and oxygen. However, plastic jars are not as effective at preventing moisture loss as glass or metal containers, so they’re not always ideal for long-term storage. 

Canning can be fun!

With just a few simple materials, you can start preserving food at home with ease! Canning is a great way to enjoy your favorite foods all year round—and with all this information, you’ll be an expert in no time.