A Gift Guide for Canners (+ Giveaway)

December 9, 2009(updated on November 25, 2019)

canning gift guide

I’ve been talking a lot lately about what you preservers out there can put in jars and gift to your friends and loved ones. However, I think that you all also deserve a few treats under the tree or menorah*. Here’s are a few of my favorite canning helpers, from cookbooks, to the best floursack towels out there, to my very favorite 2-quart measuring cup. My thought is that you can send a link to this post to a generous spouse, parent or best friend with a note that says, “I’d like number 2, please!”

Additionally, as my way of saying thank you to all of you who keep coming back, leaving comments and generally making the process of writing this blog a joy, I’m going to be giving away one of those 2-quart measuring cups. Mine’s an older model, but I find that I use this vessel more than any other bowl in my kitchen. This giveaway will be open for entry until Saturday, December 12th at 11:59 p.m. Just leave a comment to enter (one entry per person, winner to be picked via the random number generator).

Starting from the top left corner…

1. Putting Up: A Seasonal Guide to Canning in the Southern Tradition This is one of the best canning books out there and is great for beginners, as it contains all the instruction you need to get started canning.

2. A Stainless Steel Jar Funnel. I like the metal ones better than plastic. Looks better and is sturdier in the long run.

3. Weck Canning Jars. These European jars are beautiful and functional. Extra thoughtful gift givers will also pick up a set of plastic snap-on lids, which turns these into the best leftover vessels I know.

4. A Set of Graduated Measuring Scoops. I prefer using a 1-cup measure like the one pictured when filling jars with hot jam. It gives greater control than a ladle does, and is the exact right amount for a half pint jar. The rest of the measuring cups are useful too.

5. Floursack Towels. Canning can be messy business so it’s always good to have a stack of clean towels on hand. I like these white floursack towels, as they are absorbent, fairly lintless and can be bleached clean when you’re all done cooking.

6. Ball Utensil Kit. This is an easy way to get a new canner started, or to help an experienced preserver refresh their collection of tools (that jar lifter takes a beating after years of use).

7. My Beloved 2-Quart Measuring Cup. I think I’ve said enough about this item. I just love it.

8. A Good, Sharp Knife. I’m a big fan of my Global, but any sturdy, sharp knife will do. When you’re processing a bushel or two of fruit, you want to use the best tool for the job.

9. A Roomy Stock Pot. Instead of buying a pot designed expressly for canning, invest in a good stock pot. That way, it can also work as your pasta or soup pot. But slip a rack in the bottom and voila, it’s a canning pot.

10. Wide Mouth Half-Pint Jars. I adore these squat, easy to fill jars. For some reason, they’ve become impossible to find in stores (I often order a couple dozen and keep them stashed under my couch, for when they’re the only jar that will do).

What are your favorite canning tools? What would you like to see under the tree?

*Yes, I do know that Hanukkah gifts don’t go under the menorah.

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129 responses to “A Gift Guide for Canners (+ Giveaway)”

  1. I am a young Mom working on making life healthier and safer for my children. I am in love with your site. Thanks for all the great tips

  2. Excellent blog,I enjoy the writing, AND the recipes. Thanks for all your efforts. My Cutco trimmer, and paring knives, are among my favorite kitchen tools. The Weck jars will be on my Christmas list. Great recommendations for the kitchen!

  3. I am intrigued by the Weck jars, would like a closer look at those. I love all the things you have chosen. I too am a fan of flour sack dish cloths. Its the only kind I use.

  4. My favourite canning tools? Oh boy… I’m pretty new to the canning business, so I’ll say the book. But I’m very keen of my knives and pots.

    So happy to have found your lovely blog! 🙂

  5. I too use my big 2 quart pyrex more than any other bowl. It’s just so handy, especially for pouring things like tomato soup into jars for canning. I love that it has a lid so I can put it in the fridge as well.

    I’d say my fave canning tool is a big stock pot for waterbath canning.

  6. I can every year, this year was beets, black raspberry jam and tomatoes! I would absolutely love the 2 qt measuring cup!

  7. I just found your blog through EveryBodyLikesSandwiches and I love it! And how perfect to find you on a giveaway day!

  8. Wow, quite the response to your generous offer. I realized about a month ago that my mom always canned with a steam canner; if I could start over, I would do that instead of the water bath. It saves energy, time and water. For applesauce and grape jam, victorio strainers are essential. Also, an immersion blender is an essential tool in the kitchen, especially handy for apple butter and soups. Thanks for posting so often lately. It’s fun to come back and there’s something new almost every day!

    Just so you know, current canning wisdom says that steam canners (while still available) aren’t safe. Steam doesn’t transfer heat as well as boiling water, so the USDA advises that food canned in a steam canner is not as reliably safe as that canned in a boiling water canner. -Marisa

  9. I haven’t started canning yet, but I’ve been reading up on it everywhere. Please count me in for the chance to win this. Thanks!

  10. Just started canning again this past summer. Love this site-so inspirational-would love to win a prize.

  11. I am new to canning and would love ALL of this under my Christmas tree this year to get me started on the right track. Thanks for all of your wonderful gift ideas- keep them coming!

  12. Too late for the drawing, I know, but just had to add that I completely agree that the 8-cup measuring cup is my all time favorite mixing bowl! Been using the same one for decades now, and cannot imagine life without it.

  13. Being a single gal, I made a rule when Mom gave me her pressure canner to only put up as much as I could eat or give away in one year. So that means smaller batches than in most traditional canning books/recipes. So I would ad to this list: “The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving: Over 300 Recipes to Use Year-Round”
    Its GREAT and has some super gift items in it as well.

  14. I’m late in posting to this as I just found this blog. I’d like to know where folks buy flour sack towels. I love canning and agree that many of the items listed are an absolute must. One thing I don’t see is what I call a magnetic wand – mine is a red plastic stick with a small magnet on the end. This I use to remove the metal lids that are boiled just before being put on the jars along with the metal rims. wendy

  15. I’m too late for the drawing, but thank you for putting right there in writing that we can use a stock pot instead of a canner. I’ve used mine a couple of times (as I’m just getting into this) and it makes me nervous. I feel a bit validated now!

  16. I was looking for a gift for my friend for the holidays. We just made jam and jelly together for the first time this fall. It was fun thing to do and love the results. I love your gift ideas! I also love the idea of having a chance to win one of those 2 cup measuring cups! Count me in! Merry Christmas!

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