OTHER CANNING EQUIPMENT
The other equipment you'll need for canning is mostly equipment you already have on hand. The following items are essential.
1. a wide mouth funnel and a ladle with a pouring lip make jar filling neat and easy. Many funnels sit down ½ inch inside the jar, so in some instances you can use the bottom for a head space guide.
2. A large preserving kettle, saucepan, or pot will be needed for most hot packed foods. Don't use iron, copper, brass, aluminum, galvanized zinc, or tin pans, they may discolor food or cause bad flavors.
3. Spoons will be needed for stirring, spooning, and packing. Use wooden spoons for stirring, slotted spoons for lifting, and smaller spoons for filling. Accurate measuring spoons are essential.
4. Knives are a necessity. A sharp chopping knife or chef's knife and a good paring knife will handle most tasks.
5. Kitchen scissors and a vegetable peeler will come in handy for many jobs.
6. Long handled tongs and/or special jar lifters are not expensive, and they are very helpful for taking jars in and out of boiling water. Don't try to manage without these helpers.
7. Measuring equipment should include both dry (metal) and liquid (glass) measuring cups. It's handy to have a full set; ¼, ⅓, ½, and 1 cup, dry measures along with a 2 cup measurer. A set of 1 cup, 1 pint, and 1 quart liquid measurers will simplify canning. Household scales that can weigh from ¼ lb (4 ounces) up to 10 to 25 pounds will help you measure produce.
8. A timer saves you from clock watching cooking and processing times.
9. A strainer or colander helps hold vegetables after they have been washed or rinsed, and may also be necessary for draining.
10. A teakettle or large saucepan will boil the extra water you may need to cover jars in a boiling water bath, to fill a pressure canner, or to cover vegetables in jars.
11. Hot pads, oven mitts, wire cooling racks, or folded dish towels protect your hands and counter tops from the hot jars. Some canners keep a pair of old cotton gloves clean and at hand to wear while filling and sealing hot jars.
12. A non metal spatula or tool with a slim handle, such as a rubber spatula, wooden spoon, specially made plastic bubble freer, or even a plastic knife, is needed to run down along the insides of filled jars to release air bubbles. Metal knives or spatulas could nick the jars.
13. A stiff brush will help you get vegetables really clean. And you'll need a sink or large dish pan for rinsing.
14. A food chopper, grinder, food mill, shredder, or blender or food processor may be helpful for some pickle and relish recipes.
15. A crock is needed in which to ferment some pickles and sauerkraut. Be sure the crock is clean, unchipped, and uncracked.
Brand new clean plastic buckets can be used in place of crocks. You may also need a large mixing bowl, new and clean plastic dish pan, unchipped enamel or stainless steel bowl, or another large container for short term brining of some pickles.
16. Labels help you keep track of the type of food and when it was canned.
17. Cheesecloth helps to hold together the whole spices often used in pickling. And a cheesecloth lining can turn a colander into a strainer.
Source: Vegetable Gardening Encyclopedia Typos by Dorothy Flatman 1995 Submitted By DOROTHY FLATMAN On 10-04-95
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