Monday, September 26, 2011

Gearing Up for Puttin' Up

I couldn't resist posting today; I received my new water bath and other canning accessories!  I'm so unbelievably excited to put them to use, I've been feeling like a baseball player without a bat.  For other beginners like me, here are the items I would recommend you should get to begin:

Water Bath + Accessories (from Ball)
Purchasable online from various sources.

  • Large "water bath."  A water bath is a large pot that you use to boil the filled jars in order to effectively seal the lids.  Calgon take me away - sealing is so much easier with a water bath!
  • Metal canning rack to lower the jars into the water bath.
  • Jar Lifter (similar to tongs, but rubberized and rounded in order to pick up the jars out of the water bath).
  • Jar funnel, to help place your jam, jelly, or items to preserve in your jars with less mess and to keep the rims as clean as possible.  I learned the hard way with this one.
  • Metal lid lifter (I LOVE this tool) to pick up the hot, sterilized lids out of hot water to place them on the jars - prior to putting in the water bath.
  • Large pot, short and wide preferably to cook/boil the fruit (so heat is distributed across the fruit you are cooking more evenly).
  • Spatula or stirrer with a flat end.

Other useful items:  Various sizes of liquid and dry measuring cups, tongs to pick up lids if you don't have a magnetic lifter, various sizes of lids, rings, and jars, and make sure to keep a lot of sugar around for spontaneous jam-making!  In my opinion, anything not listed above may just be a 'nice-to-have' and not a necessary I move along and learn more, I will most likely change my mind, so take what I say with a grain of salt, especially since I have purchased my fair share of unnecessary items, such as these absolutely adorable dry measuring cups.  So far, I haven't used them to measure a darned thing, but the 1/4-cup is perfect as a sunflower seed shell spitter.

Sometimes, you just need something pretty.
From CostPlus World Market


  1. I love buying canning supplies at old junky hardware stores - a bit cheaper and they always have them in stock!