After four months of below average temperatures here in Minnesota, it finally feels like spring. It’s the time of year when I start thinking about fresh berries and jam making. The rhubarb in my garden will be ready for harvest in a couple of weeks, and at that point I’ll make my first batch of strawberry rhubarb jam for the season.
Water bath canning is the method of preservation used to preserve acidic preserves, such as fruit preserves and pickles.
For those curious about how to water bath can, I’ve created a short list of the basic supplies needed for canning at home.
Large Pot with Rack & Lid
The pot must have sides tall enough to cover the filled jars by at least one inch of water. If canning just one or two jars, you can use this pot. Otherwise, a standard canning pot that is sold at big box stores which typically comes with a rack, looks like this.
A rack is important because it keeps the jars off the bottom of the pot and allows water to circulate around the entire jar. I have this one.
A funnel helps when you water bath can to fill the jars without spilling much onto the sealing rim of the jars.
A ladle, preferably one with a pour spout, makes for even less mess when filling jars with sticky fruit preserves or pickling brine when you water bath can.
These are tongs made specifically for canning. They have a rubber or silicone coating over part to keep jars from slipping as you maneuver them in and out of the hot pot.
You will use the jar lifter tongs to clasp the jar with when placing jars into the hot canning pot and when lifting them out after the boiling water bath process is complete.
Canning Jars with Lids & Rings
You’ll use standard canning jars made for home canning, such as Ball or Kerr brand jars. The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends using brand new canning lids each time you water bath can, however the jar rings can be safely reused.
For more information and recipes on how to water bath can step-by-step, check out Stephanie Thurow’s cookbooks.