Growing up on the West Coast of Canada, we spent a lot of time fishing for salmon in the Summer and canned several cases of it a year. My grandparents had cherry trees and I always enjoyed my grandmothers canned cherries. Since moving to the Okanagan, we have been doing a lot of canning to take advantage of all the cheap (and free) fruit we have access to.
I was fortunate enough to be able to buy both an 11 and a 21 quart, seven jar, black enamel canner on sale for cheaper then the regular price on the larger sized canner. Both canners came with a rack in them and I picked up one of those five piece home canning kits which has come in very handy.
Essential Canning Supplies:
- Hot Water Canner and Canning Rack
- Stove (or other heat source)
- Canning Jars, Canning Jar Rings and Canning Lids
- Canning (wider mouthed) Funnel
- Magnetic Lid Lifter
- Jar Lifter
- Canning Recipes!
- Tea Towels
- Cutting board
- Baking sheets
- Pearing knives
- Cooling Racks
- Jar Wrench
- Cherry pitter
- Air Conditioning (certainly nice to have in Summer heat)
- Sturdy Shelf (no sun exposure)
We have been fortunate enough to get a lot of jars given to us by family and have found boxes of them by our mailbox. We also re-use a lot of jars that our food from the stores come in. I have heard people say they have had nothing but problems (cracking jars) from using them but we have never had a problem. My MIL has jars that are probably 20-30+ years old from store bought items and they work just fine.
My mom always made raspberry jam (sealed with wax) and strawberry jam (sealed with lids). We have found in making apricot jam and sealing with wax, that our jars of apricot jam have gone moldy underneath the wax even a few short months after they have been processed. (anyone have any tips or suggestions on this?) Because of this, we have started sealing them with hot lids instead to ensure they don’t go moldy.
When it comes to canning and the lids need to seal the jars, do not re-use the lids! The lids are only meant to be used once for sealing. But you can re-use the lids in between the jars in the hot water canner (to reduce them bumping together in the boiling water) or on the tops of jams that are sealed with wax.
Have any tips or tricks for canning? Leave a comment below!