Home Canning Kit

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Canning can seem like magic—

raw, height-of-the-season produce is transformed into jewel-like jars of jams, jellies, preserves, condiments, and pickled vegetables. In fact, the process can be tricky, with its critical ratios of ingredients, intimidating cooking methods, and mysterious processing times. It’s no wonder people get anxious about canning, and it’s not surprising that there’s a high failure rate for many recipes (which we observed firsthand). Our curated canning kit will give you the tools, know-how, and confidence to become an expert canner in no time.

Roots and Branches Stainless Steel Multi-Use Canner


Reviewed June 2014

We purchased three nationally available canning pot/rack sets, including two stainless-steel pots and a classic enameled steel pot. We tested each pot’s capacity and stability, timed how long it took for the full pot to come to a boil, and evaluated the comfort and security of the handles as well as the functionality of the lid and overall durability.

*Item formerly called the Victorio Canner

Size: 14.5" x 16.5"
Weight: 10.3 lbs
Material: Stainless Steel
Thickness: 0.5"
A Roots and Branches Stainless Steel Multi-Use CannerA Roots and Branches Stainless Steel Multi-Use Canner

Ball Secure-Grip Jar Lifter


Reviewed July 2016

We tested each jar lifter and rated its stability, ease of use, comfort, and durability. Our winner had ergonomic handles that felt comfortable even when lifting full quart jars, and its wide, molded jar grips provided extra surface contact for an exceptionally secure grasp. It also featured a spring-loaded hinge that turned a two-handed job into a one-handed one and meant less time laboring over a pot of boiling water.

Length: 8"
A Ball Secure-Grip Jar LifterA Ball Secure-Grip Jar Lifter

Rösle Ladle


Reviewed May 2014

Throughout our ladle testing process, the critical factor turned out to be the angle of each ladle’s offset handle. Some, like our favorite, were deeply bent, offering a better grip and maximum control. In the end, our old winner kept its first-place status, thanks to its 45-degree-angled handle, 5.4-ounce bowl with a pouring rim, and hook for resting the ladle on the rim of a tall pot.

Material: Stainless Steel
Bowl Capacity: 5.4 oz
Handle Length: 10"
A Rösle LadleA Rösle Ladle

Foolproof Preserving Cookbook

Foolproof Preserving is a detailed, step-by-step guide from the experts at America’s Test Kitchen and is perfect for first-time and experienced canners alike. The art of preserving produce has come full circle, from grandmothers’ kitchens to a whole new generation now eager to learn how. You’ll get 110 foolproof recipes across a wide range of categories, from sweet jams and jellies to savory jams and chutneys, pickles, vegetables, fruit in syrup, condiments, and more.

Inside: 110 Recipes, 320 Pages
Item Number: CQ14BKS
An overhead shot of the Foolproof Preserving CookbookAn overhead shot of the Foolproof Preserving Cookbook

Roots and Branches Stainless Steel Multi-Use Canner

Ball Secure-Grip Jar Lifter
Rösle Ladle
Foolproof Preserving Cookbook
Item Number: ATKCAN
Item Weight: 15.1 pounds

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Several jars filled with a red berry preserveSeveral jars filled with a red berry preserve

Tips and Tricks for homemade preserving

Home preservation is all about maintaining the vibrant qualities of peak produce, whether it’s from the farmers’ market, the supermarket, or your own garden. To do this, you have to understand how the process works. Heating and cooling fresh fruits and vegetables in jars vacuum-seals them so that they can be stored for a long time at room temperature and enjoyed all year long. The key to preservation is staving off the growth of bad bacteria. Left to their own devices, bad bacteria will thrive and quickly take over. The easiest way to kill off microorganisms is to heat the food. This destroys the harmful microorganisms and deactivates the food’s enzymes, thus preventing further deterioration.

1. Heat the jars
Jars do need to be heated before being filled with hot jam, or the room-temperature glass may shatter. Jars can either be warmed in the canning pot or placed under hot running tap water.

2. Fill the jars
As soon as the jam has finished cooking, it needs to be portioned into the hot jars. Because the timing is so important here, we like to have the jars warmed and waiting for the jam.

3. Measure the headspace
It is very important to leave some space between the top of the food and the rim of the jar, known as headspace.

4. Release the air bubbles
If left unchecked, the air bubbles will collect at the top of the jar during processing and alter the headspace, which can prevent the jar from sealing properly.

5. Add the lids and rings
Overtightening the jar rings will prevent air from escaping from the jars during processing, which is a key part of the canning process.

6. Process the jars
Using a jar lifter, lower the hot, filled jars into the rack inside the pot of boiling water.

7. Let the jars seal themselves
As the food cools, it contracts, creating a small vacuum inside the jar. This vacuum pops the flexible metal lid inward, an indication that the jar has been hermetically sealed.

8. Store the jars
We recommend storing the jars without their rings. This way, you can quickly tell if the seal has been broken before using, which indicates that the jam is not safe to eat.