If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the home canner in your life, look no further! We’ve got a great selection of gifts that any canner would love to receive.
Home canning is a great way to preserve food for later. It is a simple process that anyone can do with the proper equipment. Many different types of home canning equipment are available on the market today. This article will provide gift ideas for the home canner on your list.
Canning equipment is a good investment for preserving food. Whether you are buying for a seasoned canner or a beginner, you will surely find something on this list. If you know someone who loves to can their own food, here are some gift ideas that will make their life easier.
Pressure canners are used to home-can low-acid foods, including meats, vegetables, soups, and stews. You can also use pressure canners for water bath canning.
Stick to trusted name-brand pressure canners, including All American, Presto, and Mirro. Avoid no-name brands that you may find at discount stores and online because replacement parts are difficult or impossible to find, and there is no way to test the dial gauges for accuracy.
If you are learning about pressure canners, this article is a great reference: Using and Caring for your Pressure Canner by Pacific Northwest Extension Publications. Here are some things to consider before selecting a pressure canner as a gift:
How much food will be pressure canned?
Consider how much food will be preserved at a time when selecting a canner. For our household, a smaller Presto 16-quart pressure canner is perfect. It holds a canner load of 7 quarts or 9-pint-sized jars. If your recipient plans on preserving a lot of food, a larger capacity canner will hold more jars allowing more food to be processed per batch.
What type of stove will the canner be used on?
All canners will work on gas stoves and electric stoves with coil burners. However, many smooth, ceramic, or glass top stoves recommend against pressure canning because it may damage the stove. Check the stove’s manual or even call customer service for advice.
In addition, you cannot use aluminum canners on induction ranges. So far Presto brand makes an induction-compatible pressure canner. Hopefully, others will soon follow.
Is there enough space above the stove?
The canner needs to fit on the stove, centered on a large burner, with plenty of space between the hood, microwave, or upper cabinets. Using my kitchen as an example, the tall canners that are 21 to 23-quart and larger are too tall to fit under my range hood.
If the type of stove is an issue, canners can also be used on a portable, stand-alone burner, or consider the Presto Digital Electric Pressure Canner below.
Dial gauge or weighted gauge?
Some pressure canners use a dial gauge to measure the amount of pressure, some use a weighted gauge, while some have both. Dial gauges need to be tested yearly to be sure they are accurate. However, finding a place to test the gauges can be challenging. I recommend going with a weighted-gauge canner or one that uses both because while the gauge may be off, the rocking of the weight is always accurate.
All American Canners
All American brand pressure canners have been around since the 1930s. They are considered the Cadillac in canners and are often passed down from generation to generation.
There are several models ranging from 10-quart to 41-quart capacity. The most common models are the 915, 921, and 925. All have both a dial gauge and a weighted gauge.
Presto Pressure Canners
National Presto has been making pressure canners since 1905. They come in various models, including dial gauge, weighted gauge, and one for induction stoves.
Mirro Pressure Canners
There are two models of pressure canners currently made by Mirromatic, a 16 quart and 22 quart. Both are weighted-gauge canners. Please note that Mirro pressure canners have a concave bottom and won’t heat properly on a glass or ceramic stove. They also do not come with canning racks, so you’ll need to purchase one separately.
Presto Digital Electric Pressure Canner
As far as electric canners, there is only one I trust and can recommend so far. It’s the Presto Precise Digital Pressure Canner. Although it hasn’t been independently tested by the USDA Cooperative Extensions yet, it is included in a recent publication by the Pacific Northwest Extension.
I trust Presto products and feel confident recommending this canner. I have been using the Presto Precise Digital Pressure Canner for a year now, and it works wonderfully for both pressure canning and water bath canning. Jar capacity: 10 half-pints, 8 pints, and 5 quarts (Half-pints and pints only for boiling water method). It will make a very nice gift for both experienced and new canners.
Water Bath Canners
Boiling water canners are used to home-can high-acid foods such as tomato sauce, salsa, pickles, fruit, relish, jellies, and jams.
Water bath canners are large pots that are deep enough to submerge the jars completely under water as they are boiled. They are usually made of aluminum or porcelain-covered steel. Some have ridges on the bottom, while some are flat and smooth. Flat-bottomed boiling water canners work on most types of stovetops. Check with the manufacturer of the stove to be sure.
Victorio Roots & Branches Harvest Multi-Use Canner
This is a good quality heavy stainless steel canner with a smooth bottom that works on almost any cooktop, including induction ranges. It can be used as a boiling water bath or steam canner. You may find this canner under several brand names, including Victorio, VKP Brands, Roots & Branches, and Harvest.
Granite Wear Water Bath Canners
The Granite Wear speckled enamel canners have been the traditional pot for generations of home canners. In addition, they offer several canners specifically for water bath canning. Please note that all Granite Wear canners have ridged bottoms and are not recommended for smooth or glass top stoves. Some of the most popular models include the following:
- Granite Ware 15.5-Quart Water Bath Canner (320682): Comes with a jar rack and holds up 7 pints, 7 half-pints, or 4 quart-sized canning jars.
- Granite Ware 21.5-Quart Water Bath Canner (F0707-2/319814): Comes with a jar rack and holds 9 pints, 12 half-pints, or 7 quart-sized canning jars.
- Granite Ware 33-Quart Water Bath Canner (F0709-2/319802): Holds up to 14 pints, 17 half-pints, or 9-quart jars.
- Granite Ware 8-Piece Canner Kit (F0710-2/319815): Includes 21.5-quart water bath canner with lid, jar rack, and 5-piece canning tool set.
- Granite Ware 12-Piece Canner Kit (F0719-1/): Includes 21.5 quart water bath canner with lid, jar rack, blancher, colander, and 5-piece canning tool set.
Canning and Preserving Books
Safe canning starts with updated canning recipes that have been scientifically lab-tested and determined to be safe for home canning.
Unfortunately, anyone can publish canning books or recipes on the Internet, and some contain unsafe canning practices and modified or untested recipes. Therefore, choosing a canning recipe book to give as a gift can be tricky.
The books listed below are resources you can trust and feel good about giving as gifts to the home canner on your list:
Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving
The Ball Blue Book has been a trusted resource for generations and will be a valuable addition to any preserver’s kitchen. It was originally published in 1909 and updated frequently with recipes tested for safety.
This is a classic reference book with over 500 recipes for preserving food. It includes recipes and easy-to-follow instructions for canning, pickling, freezing, and dehydrating all types of foods. There is a mix of water bath and pressure canning recipes.
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
This is an excellent book of research-tested recipes for canning and preserving at home. It includes detailed instructions for beginners, tips for experienced cooks, and 400 safe water bath and pressure canning recipes, including jams, jellies, salsa, relish, pickles, tomatoes, vegetables, meats, soups, stews, and sauces.
The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving
This book is a more recently developed publication by Jarden Home Brands, the current parent company of Ball. It deviates from the traditional recipes found in other publications by introducing more modern recipes for preserving food.
This book includes about 350 preserving recipes, including canning, fermenting, freezing, dehydrating, curing, and smoking, along with ways to use preserved food.
Ball Canning Back to Basics
This is an excellent book for beginner canners with easy-to-follow recipes for water bath canning. It contains 100 recipes for jams, jellies, fruit butters, sauces, and pickles.
So Easy to Preserve Home Canning Book
This canning book is published by the University of Georgia’s Cooperative Extension and includes updated scientifically tested recipes that follow the U.S. Department of Agriculture safety recommendations. This book has over 185 lab-tested recipes for canning, pickling, freezing, and dehydrating food. Be wary of copies sold online. The only authorized place to purchase this book is at the UGA Extension Publications SETP website:
USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning
This publication contains all the research-based recommendations and recipes for safe canning from the National Center for Home Food Preservation website and is updated regularly.
I will warn you that there are a lot of counterfeit copies of this book out there for purchase. Some have errors that could impact the safety of the canned goods. The only authorized source to purchase the print edition of this book is the Purdue University website:
It can also be downloaded for free in PDF format at the National Center for Home Food Preservation website. You could place the PDF files on a thumb drive and take them to a copy center to have it printed into a booklet.
Mason Canning Jars
Canning jars are molded glass jars that are used in canning to preserve food. They are designed to withstand the high temperatures and long processing time required for canning and can be reused repeatedly.
Unfortunately, many new and unknown brands of mason jars are flooding the market, attempting to take advantage of the shortages that have occurred over the past several years. From the reports I have read in my canning groups on social media, the quality is questionable, resulting in broken jars and wasted food.
Therefore, I highly recommend sticking to the following brands for jars: Ball, Kerr, Bernardin (Canada), and Golden Harvest.
Home canning jars come in several standard sizes and two mouth openings. The most common jars are 32-ounce quarts, 16-ounce pints, and 8-ounce half-pints. Pints and quarts are handy for canning most foods, while half-pint jars are most often used for jams, jellies, and relishes. Wide-mouth jars have an opening that can be easier to fill, but most canners use a mix of wide and regular-mouth jars.
The canning jars are sealed with a two-piece lid. The lid is a flat metal disc with a sealing compound around the edge that seals to the rim of the jar when heated. The screw band holds the lid in place as the jars are processed.
While the jars and rings can be reused, lids are only good for one use. So new lids are required for every canned jar. I find that you cannot have enough lids. They also make great stocking stuffers!
Just like the canning jars, there is an upsurge of generic canning lids flooding the market. Unfortunately, some of these are not good quality and will not seal properly or buckle when processed. So again, I suggest sticking to Jarden brand lids, such as Ball, Kerr, Bernardin (Canada), and Golden Harvest.
Even if your receiver already has some canning tools, extras are always appreciated in case something gets lost, misplaced, or broken. Many canning tools come in a set, or you may purchase them separately:
- Jar Lifter: Special tong-like tool with a rubber-coated gripper to grab and securely hold the jars when moving them in and out of the hot canner.
- Stainless Steel Canning Funnels: Special funnels with a wide opening for ease in filling jars with prepared ingredients before processing in the canner.
- Bubble Popper and Measurer: Plastic tool used to gently stir the contents in the jar to release air bubbles before canning. It also doubles as a headspace measurer to help correctly measure the space between the food and the top of the jar.
- Large Stainless Steel Ladle: Used to scoop hot contents out of a pot and into the jars for canning.
- Large Canning Rack: Extra canning racks come in handy for layering when double-stacking jars in a canner.
- Small Canning Rack: Ideal for small batch canning using a large saucepot as a water bath canner. For small batch canning, I use an 8-quart tall pot with an 8-inch canning rack. It can fit 4 pint sized canning jars. Which is perfect for small batch jams and jelly recipes.
Even advanced canners will appreciate receiving the following canning supplies stuffed in their stocking:
- Pectin is used for making fruit jams, jellies, and preserves. There are different brands and types of pectin, including powdered, liquid, and low-sugar. Having a variety of boxed pectin on hand makes it easy to preserve many different fruits.
- Canning salt, also known as pickling salt, is a type of salt used for canning and pickling. It is a fine-grained salt that dissolves quickly and evenly, making it ideal for preserving food. Canning salt is also free of additives and preservatives, which can alter food flavor and make jars cloudy.
- Pickling spice is a blend of herbs and spices used to flavor pickled foods. The typical pickling spice mix includes cloves, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and mustard seed. You can buy pickling spice pre-mixed or purchase the individual ingredients so your receiver can mix their own.
- Citric acid is used in home canning to adjust acidity to preserve tomatoes and tomato sauce safely.
Kitchen appliances, equipment, and prep tools that make canning easier.
Cadco Burner: This 1500-watt portable burner is highly recommended in many of my canning groups for those unable to can on their glass-top stoves.
Large Stockpot: Perfect for simmering a large batch of tomato sauce or making chicken stock. It can double as a water bath canner by adding a rack on the bottom.
Steam Juicer: A steam juicer is a kitchen appliance that extracts juice from fruit. The juicer works by boiling the fruit in water and then collecting the liquid. Steam juicers are handy for making home-canned juices, jams, and jellies.
Food Scale: A food scale is an important tool for home canning. It is used to weigh the amount of food that will be canned.
Food Strainers: A food strainer is a kitchen tool used to puree food and remove seeds and peels. These tools are a huge time saver when used to prepare large batches of tomatoes for sauce, puree apples for applesauce, and strain fruit for jams, jellies, and preserves. There are several tools that do the job:
- Victorio Food Strainer: This food strainer attaches securely to a table or countertop. It has a large hopper where you place the food and a crank that pushes it through a sieve that removes the skins and seeds and crushes the flesh into a smooth puree.
- Foley Food Mill: A food mill has a bowl with holes in the bottom and a crank with a blade that crushes the food and feeds the puree through the holes, leaving behind the seeds and skins.
- Kitchen Aid Food Strainer: An attachment that works with a Kitchen Aid mixer that separates the skins and seeds from the pulp.
Vegetable Chopper: This tool comes in so handy for slicing, chopping, and dicing food to make home-canned sauces, relishes, and salsas.
Stainless Steel Prep Bowls are ideal for holding big batches of food, are lightweight, easy to clean, and will not stain or retain food odors.
Large Colanders helps rinse and drain large amounts of fruit or vegetables.
Large Measuring Cups: Measuring cups come in all sizes, but a large measuring cup is especially useful for home canning. Look for one that is durable and easy to read.
Jelly Straining Stand and extra strainer bags: A jelly straining stand is an apparatus used to support a jelly bag or cheesecloth while the heated liquid drains from the solid foodstuff inside.
Candy Thermometer: Helpful for measuring the temperature to properly heat foods for canning and for monitoring the heat for making jams, jellies, and preserves.
Rubber gloves are extremely handy for handling hot peppers and beets to prevent burning and staining.
Kitchen timer: Helpful for keeping track of cooking and processing time.
I hope these gift ideas help you make the perfect purchase for the home canner on your holiday gift list. They will surely appreciate such a thoughtful gift that will make their canning projects easier and more enjoyable.
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