The Simple Tool That's Absolutely Essential For Home Canning

Whether canning is old hat for you or you are just starting out, you will need the right tools to preserve your food using this method. For the uninitiated, the entire idea of canning may seem overwhelming. Worries over lack of experience and anxiety about food-borne illnesses can keep even competent cooks from canning their own food. But your canning supply closet need not look like a mad scientist's laboratory. You really only need a few tools to get started.

The first things you'll need for canning are jars and lids. Other tools, like funnels, tongs, ladles, and a canning jar lifter with rubber grips are also useful and affordable tools to have on hand, according to Mountain Feed and Farm Supply. But the thing you'll require most is a large pot to fit all of your cans in the boiling water. Another tool, that is equally essential for home canning, is the rack that keeps your cans off the bottom of the boiling pot.

The all important canning rack

According to The Prarie Homestead blog, a canning rack serves two main functions, both of which are essential for successful canning. The chief purpose is to keep the glass canning jars off of the bottom of the pot. Because the pot's base is so close to the heat source, it can break the canning jars, even if they are made of tempered glass. The canning rack allows enough room for the cans to heat up without risking one cracking.

The second purpose is that by lifting the cans off the bottom of the pot, the boiling water can circulate better. You want the water to circulate around the cans so that the heat from the boil will spread to the cans evenly. This allows for more even preservation, whereas if the cans were clustered together on the bottom of the pot, some would be exposed to more heat than others. Quality canning racks, most of which are round, can be found easily at stores that sell canning supplies, like Lehman's, or take Healthy Canning's advice and fashion one yourself with canning lids and twist ties.