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Article updated on January 30, 2021 at 5:13 PM PST

Essential canning supplies to preserve all your summer produce

Squirrel away strawberries and blueberries for when you're craving fresh fruit in January.

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Amy Schulman
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Amy Schulman Associate Editor / Chowhound
I'm an associate editor at Chowhound. I can frequently be found with an ice cream cone in hand.
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Our Picks

$11 at Target
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Ball 8-ounce mason jars with lids and bands
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$70 at Amazon
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Weck mini mold jars (set of 12)
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$44 at Wayfair
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Le Parfait screw top 3-piece canning jar set
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$15 at Amazon
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Canning funnel
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$42 at Amazon
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Stainless steel chinois sieve
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$8 at Amazon
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Canning lid lifter, $2.95 at Williams Sonoma
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$30 at Amazon
ladle
Le Creuset bi-material ladle
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$81 at Amazon
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Multiuse waterbath canner
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$15 at Walmart
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Ball jar lifters
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$10 at Bed Bath & Beyond
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Cotton woven kitchen towels
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$2 at Amazon
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Norpro wide mouth canning bubble popper and measurer
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$6 at Amazon
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Norpro 2-piece mini spatula set
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Quarantine has shown that we like a good project. We've moved from growing our own sourdough starter to fermenting kimchi at home, time-consuming kitchen pursuits that fill the otherwise empty days we've all grown accustomed to over the past several months. So if you've decided to try preserving summer produce, you're going to need to invest in some essential canning supplies. 

Summer, after all, ushers in peak produce, but those glorious fruits and vegetables inevitably last just a few days. The best way to hold onto that taste of summer is by canning; a long-employed food preservation technique that transforms strawberries and cucumbers into shelf-stable pantry staples that are good for months to come.

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Williams Sonoma

Read more on Chowhound: A beginners guide to canning

The more you learn about canning, though, the more you'll realize that you'll have to stock up on some supplies before you can actually get started. Canning requires some basic equipment, and we're here to help you out. Here's everything we recommend buying to get the ball rolling, from mason jars to ladles.

$11 at Target

Ball 8-ounce mason jars with lids and bands

You should only use jars designed for canning, like these 8-ounce mason jars. You'll notice that they each come with a ring and self-sealing lid; you can reuse rings, but the canning lids are single-use only. There are plenty of other sizes to choose from, too, like this 1-quart Ball jar and these mini 4-ounce jelly jars.

$70 at Amazon

Weck mini mold jars (set of 12)

Another popular brand, Weck glass jars have been a staple in European kitchens since the early 20th century. Each jar is complete with a glass lid, a rubber ring and two rust-proof stainless steel clamps that are guaranteed to create an airtight seal.

$44 at Wayfair

Le Parfait screw top 3-piece canning jar set

This chic French brand of jars make canning (and storing) a breeze, thanks to the wide openings and sturdy closing tops.

$15 at Amazon

Canning funnel

You'll quickly learn that you can't simply pour those stewed raspberries straight from the sauté pan into the jar -- unless you want a huge mess. Instead, you should rely on a canning funnel, like this one from Williams Sonoma. This one is complete with measurements to help you properly measure headspace when filling each jar.

$42 at Amazon

Stainless steel chinois sieve

Easily funnel your goods through this sieve, all the while deseeding any leftover pits and seeds from your jams and jellies.

$8 at Amazon

Canning lid lifter, $2.95 at Williams Sonoma

Hygiene is of the utmost importance when canning, and using this canning lid lifter will help keep everything safe and sterile. This magnetic lifter not only protects your hands from heat but also keeps your equipment safe from outside contamination.

$30 at Amazon

Le Creuset bi-material ladle

This ladle comes in handy in two ways: You can fill jars with it, and the flexible silicone material makes it easy to scrape out every last smidge from the pot.

$81 at Amazon

Multiuse waterbath canner

Easily lower and raise jars into this water bath canner, thanks to the double-sided rack that allows for both steam and water-bath canning. The built-in temperature indicator means you never have to guess how hot it is, and the pot is big enough to hold 8-pint jars or 7-quart jars. Note: Although most people rely on waterbaths for canning, others prefer using pressure canners (which is different from a pressure cooker). So it's worth mentioning that an Instant Pot can't be substituted for your canning endeavors.

$21 at Walmart

Ball jar lifters

Worry not about dropping jars with this lifter, which is built with nonslip rubber grips.

$10 at Bed Bath & Beyond

Cotton woven kitchen towels

Grab a few of these cute, artist-designed kitchen towels, which you can use to wipe down jars and lids. These towels are also a useful barrier between the hot jars and your counters.

Read more:

$2 at Amazon

Norpro wide mouth canning bubble popper and measurer

Got some bubbles in one of your jars? No worries. Just grab your bubble remover, which both releases air bubbles and measures headspace in the jar. A wooden chopstick will also do the trick in a pinch.

$6 at Amazon

Norpro 2-piece mini spatula set

Having a trusty mini spatula always comes in handy for many tasks in the kitchen, but these small tools are super useful for scraping jam from even the most hard-to-reach corners and can also be useful as bubble removers.

Read more: Best places to buy plants online for 2022

This article was originally published on Chowhound.

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