Must-Have Canning Tools

One of the best things about Fall is the abundance of inexpensive, yummy fruit–fresh from the tree. If you haven’t tried canning or drying fruit, this is the time of year to give it a shot. Since I’m getting ready to bottle peaches and pears today, I thought I’d share my must-have canning tools. These tools make life so much easier!

Must have canning tools for bottling fruit {OneCreativeMommy.com} #canning #canningtips #canningtools

Must-Have Canning Tools

RELATED: Dehydrating Pears–the perfect snack!, DIY Fruit Roll Ups

I first began bottling fruit after I’d been married about four years. We lived in a tiny apartment with our newborn daughter, Steve was still in school, and money was scarce. I’ll never forget my friend, Jessica, who invited me and another friend to her home to learn to bottle fruit. I don’t remember what we bottled (I think it was applesauce), but I do remember learning to take care of my family when money was tight.

The fruit we bought was in season and inexpensive, and by bottling it, it fed my family all year. Besides the canning jars and lids that I had to purchase, I didn’t have any tools for bottling. It was okay, though, because I had a friend who was willing to share.

If you are just starting bottling, don’t worry about buying everything at once. Find a friend, a neighbor, or a relative who is willing to share! As you bottle more often, buy one thing at a time (starting with your favorite tool, or whatever you can afford) until you have everything that you need. Once you have your supply of tools, return the favor, and share with your friends and neighbors, too!

Water Bath Canner

The largest item you will need is a water bath canner.  It should have a metal rack inside and a lid.  Thankfully, these are not super expensive.  (Yeah!)  I’m sure you can find expensive versions, but the inexpensive versions work just fine.

Water Bath Canner

This canner can be found on Amazon.com for around $18.  I bought mine at Walmart for about the same price.  It holds 7 one-quart jars, 9 one-pint jars, or 13 half-pint jars.

Pasta Insert

Many people won’t think this next product is essential, but for me, it makes all the difference!  When bottling fruit, blanching it first allows you to quickly remove the skin.  I love using my pasta insert.  I place several pieces of fruit inside and into the boiling water and then set my timer.  When the timer goes off, I lift the insert and carefully pour the fruit into a bowl or the sink full of ice water.

Must have canning tools for bottling fruit {OneCreativeMommy.com} #canningtips #canningtools

If you don’t have the funds for one of these right now, use a slotted spoon instead.  The difference with a slotted spoon is that you can only take out one piece of fruit at a time.  That means that some of the fruit will remain in the blanching water a little longer than needed.  (I bought my insert from Ikea, but you can buy pots that come with inserts.)

I also use my pasta insert to freeze corn, broccoli and spinach.

RELATED:  How to Freeze Corn, How to Remove Corn from the Cob without the Mess

Canning Tool Kit

A good tool kit will have four basic things:

  • A canning jar lifter (used for lifting the hot jars out of the pot)
  • A wide mouth funnel (for transferring fruit or sauce into the jars without making a mess)
  • A magnetic lid lifter (for lifting the metal lids from the pan after sterilizing)
  • A bubble remover and head space tool (helps remove air bubbles and ensure that you have enough water in your canner)

Some kits also include a jar wrench (for helping to open jars).  My favorite tools are the jar lifter (if you only get one thing–that’s the most useful) and the lid lifter.  (The lid lifter is definitely not something you have to have.  It’s just really cool!

There are a couple more tools that I love for working with pears and apples. They aren’t essential. They just make life easier.

Must-Have Canning Tools -- Fruit Corer

My very favorite tool is my corer.  I use it mostly for pears, but it works for apples, too.  My kids also think it’s  a pretty fun toy. Before Lu ate her pear after school today, she cored it.

I also love my apple peeler corer slicer. It was given to me as a gift by the same friend who taught me to bottle. (Thanks, Jessica!) I just found out it’s officially called an apple and potato slicer. I never thought to use it with potatoes! If you are working with apples for drying or bottling, this is a great tool. (Even if you aren’t bottling, it’s really fun to make fresh apple slices for pies or just to eat!

What’s your favorite tool for canning? Did I miss anything?

Thanks for stopping by today! I’m so happy you are here. Before you leave, I hope you’ll check out some of my recipes and projects. (The images below are linked.)

Do birds get to eat more strawberries from your garden than you do? Learn how to protect strawberries from birds with my strawberry cage tutorial {OneCreativeMommy.com}

Companion Planting Guide--Which Garden Plants Grow Well Together? {Free Printable from OneCreativeMommy.com} #companionplanting

Perfect for Summer! Broccoli salad with Bacon and Cashews {OneCreativeMommy.com} #broccolisalad #glutenfree

Heidi

Comments

  1. This is a great introduction thanks. I’ve not tried canning yet and I thought it would be real expensive. I’m glad to hear that it’s not

  2. Oh, Heidi, I LOVE the idea of a pasta insert for blanching fruit. I have an old fashioned, enameled blanching pot with insert! Happy Canning!

  3. I have a foldable basket for my fruit. It works great if you don’t have the insert. Great tips!

  4. Great tips! Your pears look beautiful. I have very fond memories of canning everything from the time I was a young girl.

  5. That corer for pears looks awesome! We made strawberry jam with friends this summer and it was actually kinda fun!

  6. Thank you, for sharing your amazing tips! I am canning this week!

  7. I wish I would have had that for the pears. I hated canning pears I just made it all into pear sauce! Great post!!

    • Bottled pears are my absolute favorite, but I’d love pear sauce, too. If you really hate bottling pears, give dehydrating a try. I have a post on it, and it’s really pretty easy. (The result is sooo yummy!)

  8. I love canning. We do it all summer long, and it’s wonderful to enjoy the fruits of our labor all winter long! What a great idea to use a pasta insert for blanching!
    Great list!The only other essentials I would add to your list would be the jars and lids. We use a steam canner instead of a water bath canner. We also use a pressure canner for green beans. Another thing we love for canning is a propane cooking stand that came with a turkey fryer. We’ve found that it heats much more quickly than our stove and as a bonus, we do it outside so we don’t heat the house up!
    Found you at LPP.

    • Thanks for all of those tips, Kim! You’re so lucky that you can bottle all summer. My dream is to be able to bottle tomatoes and beans from my garden, but my climate just won’t cooperate! I’m not giving up yet, though!

  9. This is such a great post, especially this time of year!

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week! Don’t forget to enter to win a $25 Starbucks giftcard! :)

  10. Thanks for linking up at the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party.

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