The Necessities

If you are a new canner, you can easily get lost and overwhelmed in the research on what you do and do-not need.

Here is a master list of items that you need, and what they are used for –

(1) Granite Ware 6125-1 Stock Pot, 21-Quart (This is a water bath. This can ONLY be used when canning items with a high pH level. This typically includes: jams, jellies, pickles, and fruit)

(1) Ball Canning Funnel (2-Pack) (This is a universal size funnel (meaning it will fit both a regular mouth and a wide mouth jar) that sits in the opening to easily transfer your goods into the can with limited waste.)

(1) Norpro 600 Jar Lifter (Definitely a must unless you enjoy scalding your fingers in boiling water!)

(1) Stainless Steel Canning Rack (This should come with your water bath!)

[Note: I personally purchased the Granite Ware 0718-1 Enamel-on-Steel Canning Kit, 9-Piece since it is an all inclusive package (however it does include items that I no longer use) but sometimes it may be cheaper per item.]

(1) Ball Bubble Remover & Head Space Tool (As you can more and more, you won’t be nearly as reliant on the measuring aspect but you do need some sort of ‘de-bubbling’ device. There are no rules stating that you can’t improvise…)

(1) Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker (This is a pressure canner utilized to safely can items with low pH levels such as vegetables and meats. Please note that there are a number of approved pressure canner manufacturers such as Presto, Mirro and All American. There are a number of sizes available but this is one I personally purchased.  Another example of one I own is the Presto 16-Quart pressure Canner – weighted – which is great for smaller batches but has a slightly different processing method. Additionally, to save some money you are able to use a pressure canner as a water bath – YOU CAN NOT USE A WATER BATH AS A PRESSURE CANNER.)

(1) Ladle Stainless Steel (Best to use a stainless steel ladle to avoid chemical reactions and/or melting while cooking)

Jars, jars, and more jars! Although I buy most of my jars from Shop Ball® and Kerr® products at FreshPreserving.com (especially when they have awesome deals!), there are a number of resources to purchase jars. I personally found someone on my local Facebook Marketplace selling nearly 400 jars for dirt so she could downsize!

Optional items:

(1) Johnny Apple Peeler with Clamp Base (to make peeling apples a MILLION times easier/faster)

(1) KitchenAid KHB2351CU 3-Speed Hand Blender (quick way to mix/blend/chop ingredients without having to transfer into multiple bowls)

(1) Ultra Fine 100% Cotton Cheesecloth 9 sq.ft (used frequently when making jellies however, can be omitted and make a jam instead!)

(-) Ball Dissolvable Labels (They make labeling much prettier but remember, you can not reuse the flat lids so you are able to write directly on them with permanent marker)

(1) Ball Jar Sure Tight Band Tool (The water bath starter kit comes with a simplified version of this if you are interested however, I am much more comfortable with using just my hands to eliminate the chance over over-tightening and losing a jar.)

(1) Lodge EC6D43 Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 6-Quart (Unless you already have a large stainless steel pot on hand I would recommend a dutch oven (remember, wanting to avoid chemical reactions). I do all of my cooking for canning in this thing! I recommend at least a 6 qt dutch oven (or pot of your liking).)

(1) Nutri Ninja Ninja Blender System with Auto-IQ, Includes 18oz, 24oz and 32oz cups (BL682) (Hey – I said optional! I LOVE this thing – it demolishes full onions in no time. There are many different package deals with the Ninja Blender but I love that this comes with a food processor attachment and is easily able to cut through the frozen fruits when I am making jams (or using the individual blender cups for smoothies in the morning) but I digress…)

(1) KitchenAid KSM150PSCU Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield – Contour Silver

(1) Stainless Steel Pineapple Slicer and Corer (See my review at Pineapple Slicer and Corer)