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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 few 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.

Related Reading: A Beginner’s 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 luckily we’re here to help you out. Here’s everything we recommend purchasing to get the ball rolling, from mason jars to ladles.

Ball 8-Ounce Mason Jars with Lids and Bands, $10.99 at Target

You should only use jars designed for canning, like these 8-ounce mason jars. Upon the first purchase of canning 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.Buy Now

Weck Mini Mold Jars, Set of 12 for $44.95 at Williams Sonoma

Williams Sonoma

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, rubber ring, and two rust-proof stainless steel clamps that are guaranteed to create an airtight seal.Buy Now

Le Parfait Screw Top 3 Piece Canning Jar Set, $29.99 at Wayfair

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

Canning Funnel, $7.95 at Williams Sonoma

Williams Sonoma

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.Buy Now

Stainless Steel Chinois Sieve, $49.99 at Bed, Bath & Beyond

Bed, Bath & Beyond

Easily funnel your goods through this sieve, all the while de-seeding any leftover pits and seeds from your jams and jellies.Buy Now

Canning Lid Lifter, $2.95 at Williams Sonoma

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.Buy Now

Related Reading: 17 Canning Recipes to Capture Peak Season Produce

Le Creuset Bi-Material Ladle, $25 at Sur La Table

Sur La Table

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.Buy Now

Multi-Use Waterbath Canner, $99.95 at Williams Sonoma

Williams Sonoma

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.Buy Now

Ball Jar Lifters, $3.34 at Walmart


Worry not about dropping jars with this lifter, which is built with non-slip rubber grips.Buy Now

Kitchen Towels, Set of 3 for $42 at Etsy


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.Buy Now

Related Reading: Canning and Preserving: What Is the Difference?

Norpro Wide Mouth Canning Bubble Popper and Measurer, $2.39 at Ace Hardware

Ace Hardware

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.Buy Now

Norpro 2-Piece Mini Spatula Set, $5.91 on Amazon


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.Buy Now

Header image courtesy of Target.

Amy Schulman is an associate editor at Chowhound. She is decidedly pro-chocolate.
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