Canning 101 .....Here's the Rest of the Tools

The jar lifter:, not the CAR lifter, the JAR lifter!

Squeeze the handles together at the top
and the bottom grips the jars tight.
     Always use a jar lifter to take jars out of boiling water -- and to put them in for that matter.  I've tried fishing jars out with a spoon and potholder, now that's a great way to end up in the ER.  I have never had an accident using the jar lifter, they work great.

      We will talk pressure canners in a separate post.  To water bath can , (that would be your jams and jellies, fruits and sometimes tomatoes),  you'll need a deep pot.  Not necessarily a wide pot but a deep (tall?) pot.  In the picture is my large enamel water bath pot.  I have a smaller one too, that I use quite a bit.  You can use the wire "rack" that comes with it, (in front of the enamel pot in the picture) to pull your jars from the hot water, or, for me it's just as easy to only use that rack in the bottom of the pot, to make sure the jars aren't sitting directly on the bottom, and take the jars out with the jar lifter.  Every time I try to lift that rack out when it is full, I end up joggling jars all over the place.

     I use the stainless steel pot to cook my jams and jellies in, and also as a water bath canner.  (I usually use a smaller size stainless pot,  but there's chicken soup cooking in it right now :-)  The piece of metal in front of it is part of my pressure cooker.  I use it in the bottom of the pot to make sure the jars are not directly on the bottom.  You will be risking it if you put the jars directly on the bottom with nothing in between.  Jars will bust, and all your hard work will be gone.

     Side-Note...If you ever see that small piece of metal from a pressure cooker at a rummage sale, snatch it up.  Brand new they are $15.00 !  .....and if you ever see a pressure canner at a rummage sale, snatch it up ! All new parts can be bought for it, and you will end up with a great pressure canner for 1/2 the price.

     Of course some big spoons and ladles will be needed, and jars, lids, and rings are understood.  ....and don't forget the bubble freer we talked about in the last post of the series.  If you only get started water bath canning, you could put up lots of good food.

      Let's see, some of the things I water bath canned last year.  Dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, pickle relish, grape juice, apple juice, pineapple, peaches, cherries, applesauce, barbecue sauce, ketchup, blueberry spice jam, elderberry jam, strawberry jam, apple jelly, and apple pie filling.  I'm sure I missed something, and this barely dents what you can do with the water bath canner!  So, if you are eager to get your feet wet canning, this is the place to start! Next week we'll can some strawberry jam together.

Other posts from the Canning 101 Series:

Canning 101 -- Tools Of The Trade
Canning 101 ...Who Cares About Headspace
Canning 101 -- Why A Two Piece Lid?


Linked To: Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop # 44
                  Homestead Barn Hop #49


TexWisGirl said...

i'm glad you showed the jar lifter again - in its proper form. :) when you had posted that 'pickup' photo before i knew i should know what that was for, but just couldn't place it. :)

Candy C. said...

I have heard before that you can use crumpled up tin foil in the bottom of a pot so that it can be used as a water bath canner, true? It is sometimes a pain to get out the BIG pot to put up just a couple of jars of pickled jalapenos for instance.

labbie1 said...

I was wondering if a towel in the bottom would work. Just thinking...

Chatty Crone said...

Gosh your little guy is canning cars! lol Thanks for all your tips for canning. sandie

Rea said...

Good info. I, myself don't like the rack that came with my canners and only keep them for others to use if they need it. I toss a few lid rings in the bottom and use the jar lifter to get the jars in and out. I also use the jar lifter when I have been canning all day and suddenly realized (just before the timer goes off) that I have no counter space. I have carried the jars from the kitchen to the diningroom and never had an accident. Great post!

Michaele said...

The jar lifter is a genius invention. I just love mine.

dr momi said...

Tex..... :-)

Candy C. have the right idea, anything that will keep the jars from touching the absolute bottom of the pot. I'm still trying to picture crumpled tinfoil. Seems like the jars wouldn't be sitting straight and would joggle around in the boiling water. I guess I'm always thinking of pint and 1/2 pint jars that don't have too much weight to them.

labbie1....same idea as the tinfoil. It might work if the jars have enough weight to them.

Chatty Crone....Grandson Logan loves to play with the jar lifter. I gave him the old one and bought a new one for myself :-)

Rea....I never thought of jar lids!
The jar lifter IS a great invention :-)

Michaele....yes a genius invention. I hope whoever invented it got paid well :-)

Unknown said...

Your blog is always so warm and inviting! Today I nominate you for the Versatile Blogger award. Please drop by for details.

Clint Baker said...

Very informative post. Thanks for sharing!

dr momi said...

Simply Scaife....Thank-you so much for your kind words and the Versatile Blogger Award!

Clint....and thanks for dropping by!

Clint Baker said...

You are quit welcome and thank you as well!

Jamie Oliver (@va_grown) said...

Thank you for posting these "for beginner" posts. I'm going to start water bath canning this year and sometimes the posts I read assume that you know all kinds of little details that I DON'T know yet. Very helpful, I bookmarked the whole series.

dr momi said...

va_grown....thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for your comment! The goal with the series is to start someone from square one, and I try to write it like I'm explaining it to my daughters. Stay'll be canning away this summer!

Lisa Lynn said...

Cute Picture!

3rnigerians said...

Your grandson looks like a good helper. Thank you for writing this series on canning before gardens get hustling. I am really looking forward to your strawberry jam recipe next week... I love strawberry jam. Thank you for sharing this series on Farmgirl Friday.