The Best Canning Essentials for Preserving Produce

Don't go another year without preserving your summer bounty. These can't-miss canning essentials are all you need to guarantee good produce, jams and chutneys for months and months.

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August 21, 2020

Summer is filled with good food and fresh flavors, but that doesn't have to stop once fall rolls around! This year, get started early and preserve your summer harvest so you can enjoy it all year long. We've got everything you need to get started canning and preserving to make sure none of that precious food goes to waste.

Maybe you’re new to canning and aren’t quite sure if you’re ready to go all in. Instead of splurging on the nicest, newest canner, choose this stainless-steel canning rack and turn any stockpot into a canner for under $15.

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If you already have a stockpot for water bath canning, this basic kit from Ball might be all you need. It comes with three essential supplies for canning: a jar funnel that fits both regular and wide mouth jars, a jar lifter that safely removes jars from hot water and a bubble remover tool that slides into the sides of a filled jar to release air bubbles and measures headspace.

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Water bath canning is the easiest and most common method that entails submerging glass jars in boiling water for a period of 5 to 45 minutes. During this process, air is forced out of the jars to create a vacuum seal to protect the contents from the spoilage that comes from air exposure. If you don't have a stockpot, this multipurpose stainless steel option is perfect for canning. It comes with an insert rack that hooks on the rim of the pot for easy jar removal and features a built-in temperature indicator with three elevation settings for accuracy.

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Pour sauces, jams and chutneys with confidence, and never miss the mark. This simple, sturdy stainless-steel funnel from Crate & Barrel ensures your prized recipe ends up just where you want it (and nowhere you don’t).

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Canning is one of those tasks that by the end of it, you’ve somehow pulled out every tool in the kitchen. Measuring, mixing, juicing, measuring again, mixing again, scraping the bowl….it’s easy to make a big mess in no time. Cut the clutter with this multi-use utensil set from Food52. Some multi-use tools are unnecessarily complicated, but others (like these) are simple and elegantly designed to make your life in the kitchen just a tad easier.

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Flavor your fruits and vegetables with pickling spices. This blend includes yellow mustard seed, coriander seed, whole allspice, dill seed, fenugreek seed, sifted laurel, red chilies and black pepper and comes in two resealable 10-ounce packages. This spice blend is primarily used for preserving fruits and vegetables, but it can also be used to flavor stews or meats.

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$44.95 (Set of 12)

If you want to opt for jars that are a little more unique than Mason jars, check out this assortment of 5.4-ounce glass jars from Weck. Perfect for preserving foods using water bath canning as well as storing dry goods, these jars are also stylish enough for serving. Each jar features a glass lid, rubber ring and two rustproof stainless-steel clamps for creating an airtight seal. The jars are safe for the dishwasher, microwave and freezer.

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Strain and puree fruits and vegetables quickly and easily. The fruit and vegetable strainer uses the help of the food grinder to break down ingredients, while the strainer cone removes any peels, leaving you with finely pureed fruits or vegetables.

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If you're using Mason jars with metal lids, this magnetic lifter tool will come in handy. It allows you to lift jar lids from hot water without touching them, providing the most sterile environment for the foods you're preserving. To detach the magnet, simply tilt the lifter onto its side. The tool has a loop on the end for easy storage, and it's also dishwasher safe.

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$20 (Set of 14)

Often the most special, memorable gifts are handmade. Something that took effort and heart instead of the quick swipe of a credit card means so much more. Luckily, canned goods fit the bill perfectly. Your tried-and-true pepper jam recipe tastes delicious, has the perfect hand-selected jar, and these adorable letter-pressed gift tags are just the icing on the cake.

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