A Gift Guide for Canners (+ Giveaway)

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.

Related Posts:

  • Check the recipe index for more tasty preserves!

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

  1. Very nice selection.

    I highly recommend: Ball’s plastic screw on lids (for once you pop the top), the metal funnel you mentioned, Ball’s Complete Book of Preserving (or something to that effect), a magnetic lid lifter (I was doing it by hand). And every kitchen needs a good knife. I am so much happier for having our set.

    I’ve put the KitchenAid mixer attachment for purees/applesauce/tomato sauce on my list for Santa. We’ll see if he comes through. If not, I’ll probably just get it for myself.

  2. Those are some super gift ideas…I shall certainly pass them on to my special peeps – especially the book – Thanks for all the posts this year – been loving them!

  3. I came late to canning, learning as an adult, but it is a really important part of my kitchen life nowadays. I’d be hard put to choose my favorite canning tool, but my vintage jar lifter would probably be it. If I could choose just one canning gift it would be a good selection of Weck jars.

  4. I love my old Mouli food mill for removing skins and seeds from tomatoes. I basically have it out all August and September to help me process my garden tomato harvest.

    This is a great canner’s wish list!

  5. I definitely need to get myself one of those large measuring glasses… I can already think of many reasons it would be handy, even outside of canning.

  6. Just finished my canning for Christmas. Now I am bracing for the post-office bill when I send everything out! I definitely could have used such a great measuring cup.

  7. The plastic lids are nice for when you pop the top off a canning jar. I agree that you can’t find the wide mouth half pints very well in the store. I think they are pretty. I go back and forth which half pints are prettier though when food is actually in them. I guess it depends on my mood that day. Everyone enjoy your holiday season.

  8. What a great list you’ve assembled! That batter bowl looks really useful, and I wish I had gotten a stock pot instead of buying a canning pot.

  9. I am so in love with the weck jars, but have been too cheap to buy any yet. Maybe I can convince someone to give them to me for christmas.

  10. I’ve been canning for about 3 years, but I’ve only found your blog in the past 2 months. Thank you! I love it! I just wish I’d been reading during this past summer. I’ll be passing this list along to some folks…

  11. I just started really jarring this year. I am in love and put up everything now, but I tend to be short on equipment, so a 2 qt measuring cup would be awesome

  12. I just recently bought two boxes of wide mouth half-pint jars. Apparently the company wanted to update their look or do something special for the holidays, as the lids are silver and have a decorative swirl/flourish printed on them. They’re quite cute.

  13. My favorite canning tool is an awful looking ladle that I got just after highschool… Plastic, the brittle kind, and mercilessly stained a strange yellow from turmeric. For some reason, I just can not get a new one. I also love a bent and beat up jar funnel that my Mom used forever. She gave it to me in my very early 20’s when I first had a go at canning tomatoes, along with a burlap Ball apron that said “Yes I Can!”.

    You are the queen of giveaways- and always fun to read! Thank you for inspiring me to be a devoted canner for life!

  14. While the give-away is tempting, what I really want to know is if that 12 qt stockpot is big enough to fit a rack that holds (wide mouth) quart jars? I wasn’t able to can quarts this year due to my pot not being tall enough for the needed water level.

  15. I would love the ‘Well Preserved’ book from Eugenia Bone, or an actual ‘real’ canner as opposed to the enamel pot I use.

  16. I’m such a fool for weck jars, but I’m thinking a food mill might find itself under my tree. Thx for the list and the great posts that keep me coming back and canning more.

  17. oh wow, i could give any of those a good home! i’m especially fond of a good, sharp knife, and the wreck jars are beautiful!

  18. I’m messy so my funnel is a critical piece of my canning equipment. Also, I love the weck jars as well, but so does everyone else and they disappear. 🙂

  19. That measuring cup looks amazing! I don’t currently have a liquids measuring cup (I’m a broke college student who is finally living on her own — roommates always had one), & this one seems awesome! I can see how it would be so helpful with preserving!
    Thanks!

  20. Oh the Weck Canning Jars for sure are now on my list. Ever since I saw them on Tigress’ blog I wondered how to track them down!

  21. Thanks for doing the giveaway! I just started canning (literally, this past Sunday) and made your apple-cranberry jam. I’m super excited and now having to fight the urge to can everything I can get my hands on.

  22. Oooh, fun! I have that stock pot, and I do 95% of my waterbath canning in it. I need to get a second one before next canning seasons.

  23. Mom, if you are reading this, I already have a funnel and jar lifter and measuring cups and stuff, but I would love the 2-quart measuring cup! Also, towels are always handy and floursack towels would be lovely.

    Marisa, thanks for the list!

  24. What a nice give away! One thing I would love to find under my tress is another stove top! Okay I know it’s not going to happen. But it’s always a dream.

  25. I already have the 2qt. measuring cup so this isn’t an entry, but I just wanted to say thank-you for this post (and your blog:)

    I was looking for a replacement canning pot as well as a bigger stock pot and never thought of using the same pot for both jobs. Now I can simplify things and buy a better pot for both applications …..yippee!

  26. The Weck jars are so pretty, I’ve been wanting them a long time!

    I love using the half pint squats too, and usually can find them at my neighborhood Ace Hardware Store (it has a surprisingly nice selection of canning stuff).

    And what I’m searching for is a place to buy culinary cheesecloth in larger pieces than those tiny plastic bags in the regular stores. Maybe 10 yard pieces? 20 yard?

  27. Ooh ooh ooh stock pot please! Ours seems to have vanished and since our kitchen is about the size of my closet, well… it’s a goner. So a stock pot is definitely on my Christmas list.

  28. Love the site! I am making the rosemary salt and the tangerine dust for my sister for Christmas. I would love either the “Putting Up” book (?from the Univ of GA?) or the stockpot.

  29. I have looked at that measuring cup many times. One of these days I will get one 🙂 My BEST Christmas present this year has been people donating money to the vet for my service dog to get better. Zeke the service dog always watches me can…just in case I drop something yummy or he is needed for pre-wash 🙂

  30. I see a cookbook I am going to add to my want list! Thank you for being such a great resource. When I feel like it is too much work, I browse your blog and am invigorated!

  31. my favorite canning tool is probably my set of ball utensils, similar to those you posted above. i just love using the tongs and the little magnetic wand thingy! 🙂

    thanks for your blog! i really enjoy it.

  32. I laughed when I saw this post. I sort of need all of it 😛 I haven’t canned in years (since I lived with my parents), but I’ve been inspired recently to take it up again, not the least of the reasons being that canned goods make great gifts.

    So my plan is to go buy the basics as soon as I wrap up my classes next week. Of the stuff you have pictured above, though, I was especially impressed by the Weck canning jars. I’ve never seen them before–they’re so pretty!

  33. My mom got me the Ball utensil kit for my bithday this year and it is so handy! I am picking up in my mother’s footsteps of growing and stowing as much as possible, even more so now that the rat race is behind me and I am a new(er) stay at home mom. Enjoying my first look at your blog and have just added you to my blog reader list. Thanks!

  34. I can never have too many Flour sack towels for the messes i make in the kitchen. Also grand for strining things like stock.

  35. I could not live with out my jar funnel.I have even used it to fill freezer bags,you need an extra set of hands to help but it dose make liquids less messy.
    I have also been eying the Weck jars for gift giving.
    I recently found your blog and am enjoying it.

  36. I could really use the funnel; it would make filling the jars much easier, but I have most of the other things, although my measuring cup is way smaller than 2 quarts. I’m thinking of buying the Weck canning jars as a gift for someone else…maybe they’ll take the hint and buy some for me? It’s about time to make apple butter–the apples were only 47 cents a pound today.

  37. Oh man, that 2 qt. Measuring cup with a lid looks fantastic! My biggest canning splurge was a nice rack, one that won’t let little jars slip through, doesn’t rust, and is sturdy. I love your blog and find it immensly inspiring.

  38. I think it’s so cool that 99 people responded to this so far. Make that 100! (Unless someone else is beating me to it!) I love all my tools, but my funnel is def the best. Weck jars look so pretty; maybe one day I’ll have some. Great post, as usual, thanks!

  39. 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

  40. 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!

  41. 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.

  42. 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! 🙂

  43. 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.

  44. 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

  45. 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!

  46. 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!

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

  49. 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

  50. 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!

  51. 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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