This beginner’s buying guide looks at three of the best canning kits on the market in 2023.
Do you want to know the best canning kits for beginners in 2023?
So did I! You may have been reading our blogs long enough to recall that I mentioned in my blog, real deal kitchen time savers, I have a secret fantasy of becoming a master canner; this begins with the right canning kit.
My passion for learning this new skill has led me down the canning rabbit hole! As a result, I’ve learned a lot about what’s needed and am eager to share with you what I’ve concluded are the three (of six) top canning kits on the market.
Canning is a perfect blend of art and science
Did you know expert canners consider canning to be both a science and an art? Thus, the best canning kit for beginners in 2023 should support both!
Many novice canners understand certain scientific principles and guidelines one must follow to ensure that the food being canned is properly preserved and safe to eat. For example, the temperature, pressure, and acidity levels must be carefully monitored and controlled during the canning process.
However, not everyone recognizes that there is also an art to canning. Because the process involves personal preferences, creativity, and experimentation, it consequently produces an end result that can vary according to the canner.
For instance, the type of produce being canned, the spices and herbs used, and the method of preparation can all be adjusted to achieve a desired flavor and texture, and this is dependent on your choices and preferences.
Overall, canning requires a balance between scientific precision and personal creativity to produce safe, delicious, and unique canned goods.
Now that we understand some of the components of canning, let me start by saying that determining the best canning kits for beginners requires a basic understanding of what canning supplies are needed. If you’re reading this article than you know that proper equipment is essential; to can food safely and effectively, you’ll need specialized equipment, such as a pressure canner or a water bath canner. It’s important to use the right equipment for the type of food you’re canning to ensure that it is processed safely.
How can you safeguard from safety risks?
Follow approved recipes!
Use only tested and approved canning recipes from reputable sources, such as the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Don’t improvise or alter recipes unless you are working with an experienced canner or have achieved this level yourself. While improvising is part of the artistry mentioned above, doing so without a thorough understanding of the science of canning can affect the safety and quality of the finished product.
Learn canning protocols and their purpose!
Did you know pressure canners ensure the safety of preserved low-acid foods? Or, that high-acid foods usually have a shorter shelf life than low-acid foods? As well, water bath canning is often the preferred method for high-acid foods.
Cleanliness is crucial!
Canning requires a high level of cleanliness to prevent contamination and spoilage. Clean and sanitize all equipment and surfaces thoroughly before and after use.
Use fresh, high-quality ingredients!
This seems like an obvious one, but not all canners consider the importance of food quality in order to achieve the best results. This comes down to even the pickling salt; some use pickling salt Morton canning salt or kosher salt for pickling and food preservation, but I prefer celtic sea salt. That said, I recently discovered this finely ground Pink Himalayan salts from Wildly Organic and I am slightly obsessed with how it’s working for canning…something about it is making the end result more balanced and gives it a slightly softer finish.
We often take such care in choosing the best canning supplies from the perfect canning jars, jar lifters, and plastic sticks, to the best canning rack or oven mitts, but then skimp on food quality. Of course, growing our own food is ideal, but that’s not something we can all manage. Home food preservation of farmer’s market finds is the next best step to assuring access to nutrient-dense fair year-round. In conclusion, use fresh, high-quality produce that is free from GMOs and pesticides. And always wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before canning.
Store canned food properly
Canned food needs to be stored in a cool, dark place. Label the jars with the date and contents. Check your canning jars regularly for signs of spoilage or leakage. If your process means you will reuse canning lids, make sure they are in perfect condition and not banged up or bent.
We often take such care in choosing the best canning supplies from the perfect canning jars, jar lifters, plastic stick, to the best canning rack or oven mitts, but then skimp on food quality. Of course, growing our own food is ideal, that’s not something we can all manage. Home food preservation of farmer’s market finds is the next best step to assuring access to nutrient dense fair year round. In conclusion, use fresh, high-quality produce that is free from gmos and pesticides. And always wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before canning.
Okay, so let’s get to the best canning kits for beginners in 2023
More than just canning jars and canning lids, you may want a jar lifter, canning funnel, canning rack, canning tongs, magnetic lid lifter, and jar lifters, to name only a handful of instruments to chose from. It can be daunting. And, while it’s true that you can find kits with more than 10 canning tools, you really only need five key tools to follow most basic canning recipes like this one from ANKARING
So what are the best canning supplies for a beginner?
Let’s start with the basics…
Canning jars are an obvious requirement, but what jar is right for the job? It really depends on what you’re attempting to can, but usually pint jars are sufficient. However, if you’re doing large batches, it may help to have quart jars on hand. And, it’s not a bad idea to get some 8-ounce jelly jars for jams, jellies and other soft spreads. I love this 15 pack of bevelled jelly jars from VERONES.
What sized jar is ideal for beginner canning sets?
Regardless if you’re using pint jars or quart jars, or eventually even four quart sized jars, just make sure they are glass jars. This is because glass does not interact with its contents the way plastic might. Deciding on what are the best canning jars for you will depend on what and how you are canning. Remember, canning is an exact science, so you will want to familiar with the recipe you are attempting before you begin.
Ball Brand Home Canning products offers excellent glass jars for canning and include canning jar lids for wide mouth jars. Ball also updated it’s book of over 350 canning recipes.
As mentioned above, canning jar lids are the next crucial item as you will want to assure your product is air tight sealed. Therefore it is critical to prepare ahead of time by testing the lid size for your canning jars. You may opt for hot jars (used to screw the canning lid tightly in place while canning.) Hot jars usually come with both canning lids and bands when you buy your canning jars. But, as you continue to can, you’ll need to buy more lids and eventually more jar bands too. I like to buy mine together to assure I have an equal amount of both that fit.
A jar lifter like this one from Ball is your next must have basic for canning. You will be grateful for your jar lifter when you need to get your jar out of the boiling water when water bath canning which is most likely what you will start doing before you graduate to steam canning or pressure canning. I found this one to be the best jar lifter, price for value. It’s sturdy and from the trusted Ball brand.
It goes without saying that you will need a canning pot. I always advocate for stainless steel, and especially if it’s not made in China due to repurposed radiated metals allowances. And finally, you will need a canning rack to keep jars off the bottom of the pot. This one from Kitchen Crop is nice because it’s stainless steel and is a small business brand.
Although it’s not considered a basic necessity, I highly recommend a canning funnel. You will thank me when it’s time to fill jars. A funnel makes this task a far less dubious and messy process.
I like this one from Prepworks. I admit, it originally caught my eye because I like the look of the design and color. But I soon discovered that it hugs the jar confidently. And, because it works with both regular and wide mouth jars, at $19.77 this double walled canning funnel is good value for the money. Oh, and it’s machine washable!
Canners are no longer just grandmas, homesteaders, or preppers!
Canning supports personal food security and reduces food waste!
With rumors of looming food shortages, as well a way to use food scraps and less-than-perfect produce, canning can be a very timely solution to both inflation and longterm food storage. What’s more, did you know that summertime isn’t the only time to can? I didn’t But, there are actually wonderful benefits to preserving your fruits and veggies year round. Of course, this depends on local availability in your area or greenhouse.
From applesauce to sausages, a canning kit is handy even in winter.
Now your hard efforts to make gift jams, or the perfect sauce, and pickles won’t be short lived!
Some canners profess that one summer Sunday devoted to canning could conceivably net you enough canned food to last an entire winter season.
It matters not if you are a veteran canner or, like me, just getting started with this craft. Having the right kit is essential for a successful end result.
Here are my top three canning kit choices available on the market today. Let’s dive in and see which one will help make your culinary dreams come true!
Preserve your preserves with these great canning kits!
1. My Inner Artisan ranks in first place as the best canning kit for beginners in 2023.
I admit it, I’m a sucker for smart branding, and this canning kit’s name speaks to me.
My Inner Artisan comes in seven parts that are food-grade stainless steal and BPA free plastic. Most all canning kits come with magnetic lids, but this one also comes with a lid lifter which protects hands from having to dish out jar tops in scalding water!
With seven tools specially designed for efficient food preservation, little components like the rubber handles keeps your grip steady–something I learned is an art when canning because getting hot food into jars, even wide lipped, can be a task. I would have several on hand so you always have a clean one.
The tools are also made from high-quality stainless steel, so you can be sure of a durable set that will last for years.
At $24.99, while not the most high-end of equipment, this all-inclusive kit is a no-frills, beginner’s kit that gets the job done.
2. Supa Ant Canning ranks second as the best canning kit for beginners in 2023.
This canning kit is US assembled, and like My Inner Artisan, is also food-grade stainless steel, though it claims to be the only one.
Why is food grade important?
It makes it resistant to corrosion with added protection preventing a change in taste from high acidity foods. It also affords a greater tolerance for extreme temperatures from boiling water in the canner pressure cooker.
How many pieces make a complete canning kit?
While I am featuring the 6-piece kit, Supa Ant also offers an 8 and 10-piece set. The 6-piece includes everything, but the canning pot, scoop, and rack. This kit is ideal for beginners offering the essentials needed to get started.
While they have their reasons for the green fluorescent colored plastic elements, I am not sure this would be my first choice as a designer, but as they say, it does help make it more visible when you are looking for them in a storage box….perhaps I need to write a blog on hacks for organizing storage next….
At $19.99 ( I loathe these one penny off price listings, do you?) it’s cheaper than most, but reviews suggest the plastic is cheap and can give way to inconsistencies in performance. That said, the company is family owned and sincere about wanting to do its best. They also want to keep all manufacturing in the US, (the plastic is made in China) but are having supply issues.
3. The Mason Jar Canning Kit ranks third as the best canning kit for beginners in 2023.
If you’re looking for a more traditional option, this canning kit is for you!
Canning is a tradition! It harkens back to early pioneer days pre industrial revolution when freezers were hard to come by. I have a reverence for these days, but I understand life was harder and I’d miss many modern luxuries if I were to travel back in time (wasn’t there a short lived reality show about this?) Still, I yearn for a life schedule that allows one to savor the important things more consistently like preparing food for our loved ones.
When I think jars, I think Mason jars….
But please know, as is with many things in these modern times, this kit does not hail from an American company like the origins of its Mason jars. That said, reviews suggest it’s well constructed with only one complaint that I saw about a cheaply made funnel. Still the company touts its “eco-friendly odorless heat-resistant plastic, which are more sturdy and durable.”
Another nice feature is that this canning kit comes with a book of easy to follow recipes, making it a perfect starter gift or choice.
At 36.99 it’s on the pricey end, but does include 8 canning jars and seven tools. This is purported to be an average savings of roughly $16.00.
If you’re a beginner, these three canning kits each have values that may suit your particular needs and fancies. Stay tuned for part two!