Let’s Get This Canning Started!


Pick-Your-Own strawberry season is right around the corner! In this neck of the woods, it begins this coming weekend. For me that means it is time to take inventory of all of our canning supplies and make sure we are ready for the onslaught of fresh fruit we’ll be bringing home regularly for the next few weeks. We do a lot of canning in this house and are always looking to do more, so it is good to be prepared. With the CSA, I could come home at any time with a box of tomatoes or peppers or cucumbers that need to be canned immediately.

Most of the equipment that I use for canning lasts a really long time, so it doesn’t need to be purchased every year. I am definitely a no-frills canner and so I also don’t need to store a lot when it comes to winter. Here are some of the things that I use year after year, and some things I considered when purchasing them. These are things you should definitely invest in if you are thinking of canning. It is important to note that these are just the basics and you can add to your supply year after year as I continue to do.

Basic Supplies:

A Waterbath Canner –

Every bit of canning that I do is done with a waterbath canner. I have not canned meats before (nor do I plan to do so), so a pressure canner is not needed in my case. The waterbath canner that I have is the Granite Ware 21 1/2 Qt. model. It is one of the cheapest that you can buy on Amazon. Before I purchased this one, I just used my biggest stockpot. It worked just fine, but I grew out of it quickly, and I have to say, the frame that you put the jars on in the actual canning pot is well worth all of the money.

**Note: Before you purchase, measure the size of the burner that you will be using if you have a glass stove top. It makes a difference how much room is on either side of the pot when you put it on the burner. Here is a good article about this.

Ball Canning Jars –

I am partial to Ball because that is what I have always used. Once you stock up on these jars, they last. They only thing you have to purchase year after year are the lids (less than $2 for a pack). When I first started I purchased the 1/2 pint jars. These are great for jams. Now I purchase even smaller ones than this to give as gifts, and then pint jars for salsa, and quart jars for applesauce. A great place to get these can be Craig’s List or you can keep your eyes open for them at flea markets. Getting them used is fine because you will need to sterilize them year after year before use them anyway. This year I splurged and bought these beautiful blue Vintage edition jars…gorgeous!


Jar Lifter –

Though the metal basket in the bottom of the canner has handles, a jar lifter is still a good idea in case you need to “rescue” a jar mid can. :-) It also makes them easier to pull out at the end. Here is an example.

Funnel –

I am putting this in there because I am pretty sure most people use these. I have not had a ton of success with these, but I am thinking it is just user error. I received a collapseible one last year and was not a huge fan, so I may have to try a different brand or variety this year.

Ball Canning Recipe Book –

I am a huge advocate for this book. It has been around forever. Well, not forever, what I really mean is that Ball is the resource that you want to use, and it has been around for a long time. There are some great recipes in here and my goal has been to try a new one every year.

After you have the basic supplies, there are some necessities that go on my checklist that I stock up on every year. Many of them can be stored for a long time, so a great time to buy them is right after canning season in the fall when everything goes on sale.

Necessities to Stock Up On:

Lids – Like I said above, you can reuse the rings and the glass jars, but the lids you will need to purchase new each time. The nice thing about the Ball jars is that the lids are one size fits all. Last year a local grocery store was going out of business and they had Ball lids on clearance so I stocked up for years to come…SCORE!


Pectin (a gelling agent) – If you are cooking jams, dry pectin is the way to go. I use no-sugar added. Here is a great resource for how to choose what pectin you need. I usually buy a large jug of it and it lasts for…just strawberry season (but we can a lot with strawberries!) :-)

Lastly, if you’re planning on having any canning parties or if you have a glass-top stove that won’t fit a large waterbath canner, a Coleman camping stove is always an option. I bought one last year (mostly for camping) and use it when I can in super large quantities. I also plan on using it for my jalapeno jelly since the smell that filled the house while I was cooking it made the kids gag last year. :-)

What other canning items/supplies do you stock up on or rely on for canning season?

**This post may contain affiliate links which help to keep The Vintage Mom running (literally and figuratively):)

Because I love connecting with others, this post is linked up to Tuesday Greens and Pin It Tuesday!




About Lauryn Blakesley

A woman out to explore, celebrate, and enjoy everything that my community and living locally has to offer. Blessed with three beautiful children and an incredible husband, our family embraces adventure while dreaming of what is to come. Lover of knitting, running (although mostly after little ones right now), the color orange, fun accessories, fall, tea, and a clean kitchen floor. I spend my days in awe of my family and trying to teach my three to treat others as they would want to be treated.

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  1. How much time do you set aside to can? I feel like the anxiety of time keeps me from doing it every year. Maybe I’ll get there someday.
    Becky recently posted…Tuesday Greens #33My Profile

    • I set aside a few hours in an afternoon. Once you have done it once or even if you just plan it out, some of it can be done in steps so you don’t have to do all of that time at once. It is a really fun experience and your Tomato is at the age where she can absolutely help! Try it with strawberry jam…a really good place to start!

  2. My mom used to make strawberry preserves when I was a kid. I have been trying to find a match in the supermarket ever since. I guess making it myself would be my best bet! Thanks for the great post to help get me started!
    Cindy recently posted…Free burgers for Burgers at Smashburger on National Burger Day May 28th AND a giveaway!My Profile

  3. Hi ! Visiting from Pin It Tuesday. I am pinning this 😉
    Jei @ Cutey Patuty Crochet recently posted…How Crocheting Help My DepressionMy Profile

  4. I’m coming over!! I will bring lunch and you show me how to can!! I have ALWAYS wanted to learn but I want to watch someone do it so I don’t accidentally kill someone, lol!! This just seems like something I need to learn hands on.
    Colleen (Souffle Bombay) recently posted…Spicy Shrimp SalsaMy Profile

  5. The girls are I made strawberry jam for the first time last year and loved the process + results! Looking forward to cooking up batches of something new this year and stocking up on those good supplies. Love the vintage style jars :)
    kim @ DESIGN + LIFE + KIDS recently posted…COOKING WITH KIDS 22: rustic macaroni and cheeseMy Profile

    • Aren’t they awesome? I love the look. I am sure I will use some as decoration too! Strawberry season is right around the corner! Enjoy that canning!

  6. I love those blue jars! So far we have already canned some strawberries! It was supposed to be jelly – but is more like strawberry syrup for ice cream. Either way – it’s delicious!
    carrie recently posted…Free Father’s Day Card from Treat!My Profile

  7. I wish I had the skills for this! You make it look so easy :)
    Gina B recently posted…If Autism Is Medical, How Come I Feel So Bad?My Profile

  8. I love how genuinely excited you are for canning season!
    Jessica @FoundtheMarbles recently posted…How to Prepare for a HurricaneMy Profile

  9. I agree with Gina, you make it all look so easy!!!
    Sarah Hughes recently posted…Strasburg Rail Road #VisitLancasterMy Profile

  10. I LOVE canning season. I need to get some strawberry prices from you. Everything here is tourist prices.
    Hether M recently posted…How to Make Real Cheese SteaksMy Profile

  11. LOVE this. I have been dying to learn to can things, and now that we’ve bought a house, I can finally do it! Am bookmarking this for future reference. :) Thanks for linking up to Pin It Tuesday! :)
    Katie Vyktoriah recently posted…The Toddler DictionaryMy Profile

  12. Try a standard funnel (like the one that comes in the Ball canning kit.) I don’t know what I would do without one. This is a great list for canning beginners. Thanks for linking up with Pin It Tuesday.
    Pary Moppins recently posted…Pin It TuesdayMy Profile

  13. I have a metal funnel which I love. I use it all the time in fact, not just for canning.

    We’re growing pickling cucumbers this year to can dill pickles. I love the recipe from Summer in a Jar.
    Barb @ Frugal Local Kitchen recently posted…easy weeknight dinner: italian beef over pastaMy Profile

  14. I have wanted to try canning for quite some time. I have clipped this article so I can try some stuff this weekend.
    Janeane Davis recently posted…Help Inspire Others to Help you Take Action Now to Reach Your GoalsMy Profile

  15. I am SUCH a dork when it comes to canning season. I wait for it like a kid at Christmastime. Of course, by the time it’s 90 degree days and I’m on my 50th quart of pickles.. ehhhh.. don’t ask me then. That’s a great post for new canners – thank you for sharing. :)
    Nicole @ One Punky Mama recently posted…AbbeyPost Plus Size MarketplaceMy Profile

  16. Looking forward to trying this Lauryn. It will be a first for me. Not only would I like to do it so we can enjoy fresh produce in the winter but I am on a “Prepare for Emergencies” kick (I’ll be blogging about it soon) So thanks. This will really help.
    Denise @ Couponing 4 a Difference recently posted…6 Ways to Enjoy Wildlife in the Florida KeysMy Profile


  1. […] mouths. I couldn’t just let them all sit there, the urge to start canning after writing my Get Ready for Canning Season post was killing me so off I went to get the big waterbath pot. And off I went canning Strawberry […]

  2. […] year a wrote a post on making sure you have all of your canning needs ready before you actually need them, so I started to go back through that list […]

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