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All the things.


General Kitchen Tools & Equipment

The following general kitchen tools are ones we'll be using throughout the class. The only one that you may not already have is a scale. This is a very important tool for this class, so I recommend investing in one*. I'll follow this list with lesson specific tool and supply lists.

I've provided purchase links for all the items that are either exactly the same as the ones I use, or the closest thing available to the more senior items I use that are no longer available new, like my white enamel pots and vintage jar lifter.

A Note on Kitchen Scales

The most accurate way to prepare the correct amount of ingredients for the desired number of jars, is to use either a manual or digital kitchen scale. Both work well. The only disadvantage to having a digital scale is that if you zero out your scale for a bowl you'll be loading up, then cut up your ingredients and start loading up the bowl, the digital scale can just turn off, erasing all memory of the bowl's tare weight. This means you have to weigh the bowl and write down its tare weight so you can subtract it form the total weight. Not a big deal, but math. With the manual scale, once you zero out the weight of the bowl, it's there until you manually adjust it for the next thing.

*Pro tip: You can also use the scale in audreyobscura's Bread class!


Boiling Water Bath Canning Tools & Ingredients

Tools

The list of specialty tools for boiling water bath canning is wonderfully short. Which means that there's a very low barrier to entry, both in cost and time invested to track down what you need to get started.

NOTE: All purchase links for this list are below in the descriptions.

  • Deep canning pot
  • Round jar rack
  • Canning jars (5 half pint & 6 pint)
  • Magnetic Lid lifter
  • Jar lifter
  • Canning funnel
  • pH meter (optional)

Deep Canning Pot

The 3 most useful sizes of canning pots: 5.75-quart (5.4 liters), 11.5-quart (10.9 liters), 21.5-quart (20.3 liters)

I recommend choosing the size you buy based on how many people are in your household and the kinds of things you'd like to can.

  • The 5.75-quart pot (10.5" W x 5.5" H) fits seven 4oz jars that work best for jams, jellies, spreads, and fruit butters.
  • The next size up, the 11.5-quart pot (11.75" W x 7.25" H) will hold seven 1/2 pint or pint jars, which I like to use for spreads (8oz), whole fruit, applesauce, as well as picked veggies like dilly carrots (see next lesson).
  • The 21.5-quart (14" W x 9.5" H), fits seven quart jars perfectly and works for whole fruit, tomatoes, pasta sauces, etc.

Because there are only two of us at home, the largest canning jars I use are the pint sized ones, because I'm confident that once opened, we'll eat that amount before it goes bad in the fridge. If you have more mouths to feed, then you will want to consider using the quart sizes for recipes that accommodate that.

If you only want to invest in ONE pot to get started, I recommend going with the 10-quart, as it will cover most of your beginner canning needs without taking up too much cupboard space.

There must be at least 1-2" of space for water above the jar lids for proper/safe canning to occur.

The only important thing to remember is that whatever pot you choose, it MUST BE big enough to allow for 1-2" of water above the jars you're using in order to properly, and more importantly SAFELY, can.

Round Jar Rack


Official racks are made to accommodate 6-7 jars.


Top view of loaded rack. A seventh jar could be added in the center.

Adding a round rack to the bottom of your canning pot (to raise the jars up off the bottom of the pot) is necessary to prevent the jars from cracking. You don't have to buy an official one (some canners I know use 7 lid rims tied together with baker's twine), it just has to be something that is approximately the size of the pot bottom and will elevate the jars without floating to the surface and getting in the way of the canning process.

Other options: How about a round silicone trivet or a round pastry rack? Even a dishtowel will work in a pinch!

Canning Jars

There are many different sizes and shapes of canning jars. There are both wide mouth jars and regular - the regular having a 'shoulder' on the jar where it goes in to meet the smaller lid. This can be helpful for avoiding 'float' in which the canned food floats up and out of the canning liquid. (This isn't harmful, but it can cause the exposed fruits or vegetables to dry out and/or discolor.)

Choose your jars based on the serving sizes that you want or need for your family size. If the recipes I provide in this class don't align with the amounts you want to make, a quick check on the internet will help you find the correct info (size and number of jars along with canning times) for making a bigger batch.

A note on lids: The flat sealer lids are meant for one time use only. Never reuse these. Always use brand-new and clean lids every time. The rings may be reused without issue.

Magnetic Lid Lifter, Jar Lifter & Canning Funnel

These little specialized canning tools are inexpensive and SO USEFUL! Definitely worth getting to make your first time canning a pleasant, tidy, and pain-free experience. (Remember, this is called BOILING water bath canning.) :)

The magnetic lid lifter is used to pick up the metal sealing lids out of warm water and place on the jars. This hands-free exchange prevents potential contamination and saves your fingers from having to take a dip in hot water.

The jar lifter, in my opinion, is essential. It's used to put in and remove the jars from the boiling water bath. Its shape is designed to fit to the contour of the jars, and therefore, safely move them without risk of dropping them back into the hot water which could splash on you or your hands. That's some pretty inexpensive safety!

The canning funnel sits comfortably in the opening of all jar sizes and helps tidily corral whatever you're canning into the jars. Less mess is best!

OPTIONAL TOOL:

Digital pH Meter

If you plan on only following recipes when canning, then you will never need this tool. But if you are an inventor at heart and want to come up with your own recipes to can, you will need a good pH meter in order to know whether or not your creations are acidic enough (below 4.6 pH) to be boiling water bath canned.


Vinegar Pickling Tools & Ingredients

Tools
The list of specialty tools for this class is even shorter!

Note: We will be canning one of the recipes, so you will also be using the specialty tools from the canning lesson.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of small pickling cucumbers*
  • 2 pounds of carrots
  • 1 large bottle White wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Light honey
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • Whole mustard seeds
  • Whole black peppercorns
  • Grape leaves**
  • Fresh or dried dilll
  • Dill seed

*You can substitute these small, jar sized cucumbers for pretty much any vegetable! Carrots, green beans, cauliflower, and asparagus are all delicious options, to name a few.

**Grape leaves are sold in jars packed in water or oil. I found mine at Whole Foods, but any Mediterranean market will also carry them. They are optional - they help keep the pickles crunchy - so don't worry if you can't find them!


Lacto-Fermenting Tools & Ingredients

Like the Pickling specialty tool list, this one is super short! :)

Tools

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh green beans
  • 1 head of green cabbage
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 cups of de-chlorinated, distilled, or filtered water*
  • Kosher salt

*The chlorine in unfiltered tap water can kill the good 'lacto' bacteria, inhibiting proper fermentation. To de-chlorinate tap water, leave the amount you need out on the counter (uncovered) overnight and the chlorine will evaporate. If you forget to do this ahead of time, use filtered water or run out and buy distilled water.


Freezing Tools & Ingredients

Tools

  • Freezer safe moisture-vapor proof containers:
    • glass, plastic, metal containers with secure lids
    • heavy duty freezer bags
  • Butcher or freezer paper
  • masking tape

Ingredients

  • Whatever you plan on freezing (fruit, veggies, meat or fish)
  • Ascorbic acid (only if freezing fish)


Drying / Dehydrating Tools & Ingredients

Tools

*Please read the section 'Using a Dehydrator' in Lesson 7.

Optional:

  • Craft wood as spacers (1/8" or 1/4" x 1/2" x 16")**
  • Craft wood as leveler (1/4" x 1/2" x 16")**

**These are used for a little system I made to get my leather to be a uniform thickness. Check it out in the fruit leather step! Similar wood strips are available at art supply or hardware stores.

Ingredients

  • Fresh herbs
  • Ripe Pears (or apricots, peaches, plums, berries, apples)
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • Tomatoes
  • White vinegar

CLASS PROJECT

Share a photo of your finished project with the class!

Nice work! You've completed the class project