New Canning Tools From Progressive International + Giveaway

April 10, 2012(updated on October 3, 2018)

new canning kit

When I teach canning classes, one of the first things I tell my students is that they don’t need a whole lot of special equipment to start canning. And truly, I believe it. During my first, tentative canning steps, I used tongs to move my jars in and out of the water bath and, horror of horrors, didn’t even use a rack in the bottom of my canning pot. It wasn’t ideal, but it worked.

lifter, lid wand and funnel

However, as so often happens when one specializes in something, my arsenal of canning tools has grown since those early days. Currently, it includes multiple wide mouth funnels, jar lifters, canning racks and variety of pots. Still, despite all the stuff, I mostly use the same wide mouth funnel and a jar lifter over and over again.

canning rack

Recently, my collection of equipment grew to include the new canning line from Progressive International. They’ve reworked some of the classic tools in an attempt to make them more useful and durable. The line includes jar lifter, wide mouth funnel with headspace markings, lid wand, reversible canning rack (one side holds four quart jars, the other secures seven pints, half pints and quarter pints) and scoop designed to easily get your products out of the bottom of the pot.


So far, I’ve found these to be perfectly useful canning tools. I like the lid wand and the funnel with its headspace markings is fun (and useful for beginning canners who are just starting to figure out how to estimate headspace). I don’t love the jar lifter because I feel like I have to apply a lot of pressure in order get a secure grip.

The canning rack is terrific, particularly if you’re like me and use a stock pot as your standard canning pot (though I’m still in love with my trivet as canning rack). It fits snugly in my preferred canning pot and I do like the security it offers the jars.

canning ladle

The canning ladle embodies a neat idea. It’s been developed to both easily get all the jam out of the pot while also delivering the exact amount to fill a half pint jar. Sadly, I didn’t find that it was that easy to maneuver and I still needed to use a rubber scraper to get the last bits of jam. I think I’ll continue to use my eight ounce measuring cup (like the largest in this set) and get the pretty much the same result.

Thanks to Progressive International, I have a set of these tools to give away to a Food in Jars reader. Here’s what to do if you want a chance to win.

  1. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post and tell use what one tool makes your canning process easier.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Friday, April 13, 2012. Winner will be chosen at random (using and will be posted to the blog on Saturday, April 14, 2012.
  3. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian readers.
  4. One entry/comment per person, please.
Disclosure: Progressive gave me two sets of these canning tools; one to keep and one for this giveaway. My opinions remain entirely my own. 

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927 thoughts on "New Canning Tools From Progressive International + Giveaway"

  • My fav canning tool would be my glass measuring cup set 1, 2, 4 cup sizes.

    I am really interested in the reversible canning rack. I am thinking about doing some canning up at the cottage this year.

    Thanks for a great blog.

  • My favorite canning tool is my bubble-removing bamboo chopstick, which was a favor at a dear friend’s wedding.

  • My favorite tool is the lid wand! The new funnel with the measurements looks handy as all get out!!

  • My favorite canning equipment has to be my tall heat resistant gloves! I can handle the hot jars quickly and easily. As a result, fewer finger burns and hot jam in jar droppage on my foot!

  • My one tool that I find to be so very helpful when canning is a single electric burner to have an additional pot on, usually an extra pot of hot water or the lids.

  • I actually do not have a canning ladle. This will be my third summer canning and gardening in an urban setting (in the heart of Chicago) and Chicagoans are always surprised that you can garden and can in the city. Progressive International looks AMAZING!

  • ANY tool would make my canning process easier, since everything I have now is improvised! Rubber-band wrapped tongs are my most useful “rigged” tool.

  • I love having a funnel… I would spill everywhere without it! Although, it would be sooooo nice to have one with the headspace on it. I am not good at just eyeballing it.

  • My jar lifter, closely followed by my funnel! I would sooooo love that new rack! My other one is about to fall apart.

  • Canning funnel is a big winner, I use mine all the time now for non-canning-related purposes, and could use an extra!

  • My favorite canning tool is a wide canning funnel that I got from my father after he passed away. He was an ardent canner, and I can still recall coming home from playing as a kid to the house smelling of warm vinegar and spices. I use the funnel for most of my canning, but it also gets put into use when pouring dry goods into my tall glass storage containers (bailing wire jars), when I make my yogurt, etc.

  • Jar lifter for sure. I have almost sent myself to the hospital dropping jars with tongs into hot water and splattering myself.

  • I use a combination of jar lifter/thick rubber gloves to grab jars out of hot water — not ideal, but it seems to work! These tools look fantastic! I’ve just started canning and look forward to expanding my repertoire!

  • I will be new to canning this year, even though I helped a neighbor can when I was a kid. (many years ago) I believe the most useful tool to me will be a jar lifter, since I only have the use of one hand. Thank you, I love your blog…..and canning jars.

  • Thanks for the chance! I don’t yet do any canning, but have been reading your blog regularly for inspiration.

  • Well, I have just begun my canning adventure, so I have NO specialized equipment. The handiest thing I have is a pair of tongs (not rubberized). This set would be really helpful.

    I also really need to figure out what people mean by “heavy bottomed pot” because wow did I make burned marmalade candy mess instead of normal marmalade.

  • Someone upthread said heat-resistant gloves – I want some. What have I been waiting for??!? I also need a good funnel. I love my jar lifter though – so simple, so handy.

  • I’m new to canning, but I know that round rack would fit in my stock pot and make my life happier too. And here comes jam season! Sign me up, and thank you for the chance!

  • My favorite canning tool is my homemade canning rack. It makes using my stock pot to can much easier. I want a trivet like yours, but my tied together jar bands do the trick for now. I love that these tools are functional and cool looking.

  • Funnel – without a doubt funnels. I had so many spills before I got one.

    This is a great blog – I have not canned for years, but this has inspired me to get back into the habit again. Thank you!!

  • My favorite canning tool is, hands down, the jar lifter. I used to use metal tongs and it was the part I dreaded the most…

  • The tool I couldn’t can without is, of course, the wide funnel, but my favorite tool is my jam pot. I have a 5.5 quart wide pot that I love making jam in.

  • Right now I just use a towel at the bottom of the pot along with my grilling tongs. I KNOW that some actual canning tongs would make my life so much easier.

  • As much as I’d like to claim that our homemade “canning rack” made of extra canning rings is the best tool ever, I am partial to a good canning rack for jar stability. The other “tool” that we find most useful is our outdoor coleman gas grill. It’s fantastic for processing our jars and frees up the stove for preparation.

  • they would make the whole process better the wand for the lids the jar funnel for no mess on the jar top and wand for getting the lids out of the water/pot and the ladle with the spout for aiming the goodies we make into the jars easier…

  • It is really hard to pick just one! I would probably have to say my wide mouth funnel, because I use it for so many things besides canning.

  • The jar lifter!! Hands down. As a short person working around boiling water, being able to manage taking the jars out and putting them in makes the whole process easier and safer.

  • I would love to have this set. I am new to canning and just bought my first pressure canner a couple of weeks ago. I am looking forward to this new learning experience !!

  • The most useful… my mom’s hands haha! She is so helpful when she come to visit! No seriously, I don’t use any tools. Just as you use to do, I lift my jars with tongs and have no rack for my jars. We’re still university students my boyfriend and I so I try buy only what is necessary. I must admit that these tools seam pretty useful though…

  • I don’t have a favorite canning tool 🙁 I became really intrigued with canning at the end of last summer, have lurked and tried to learn the best way to start during the winter, and am positively salivating, wanting to jump in and get started this year! These tools would certainly help 🙂

  • Wide mouth pint jars…..they are so perfect for canning so many things!!! Love these tools by the way. Happy canning!

  • My favorite tool is a wide mouth funnel. I keep thinking a lid wand would be nice but also subscribe to the theory that “special tools” aren’t necessary to can!

  • I would be lost with out my jar lifter! However, I think the funnel with the headspace markings could become a new fave. I am always looking us headspace guidelines before starting a new project. My goal is to do enough canning this year to drastically cut down on our grocery store dependency, last year I did over 350 jars so who knows how many I will do this year!

  • I would have to say my favorite tool is my jar lifter. I would appreciate the opportunity to win your products.

  • I’d say my favorite canning tool is my lid lifter. Probably the most bang for (half of a) buck that I get out of all of my various canning tools. Second is probably my canning funnel.

  • Mam oh man could I do some serious canning with those bad boys! My tools are soooo old I need some pretty new ones like those!

  • My favorite tool for canning is my homemade magnetic wand which I constructed out of two purple metal knife holders from ikea taped together to create one really strong magnet stick that lifts my lids and rings right out of a hot water bath. I’d love to win these new tools! They look so beautiful and durable. I could really use a real magnetic wand but that canning ladle looks so awesome 🙂

  • My favorite tools are my wide mouth funnels. I still remember how much more difficult it was before I had them, and now I have 3! I use all of them especially when canning enmasse at my church!

    In my crafting posse my husband’s favorite tool is the lid wand (gets super peeved if we can’t find it or forget it), my sister’s is the strawberry scissor slicer (or Ka-jooger as we call it).

  • The head space estimator would be where it’s at for me. That is the thing I struggle with the most! What a neat set!

  • My favorite tool has to be my canning funnel. In fact, I have several. Without them there is an awful mess!

  • My favorite canning tool is my foxrun metal funnel. It cleans up so easy, even fromsticky james and jellies!

  • Well, this year will be the first time I try canning so I’m not sure which would make it easier! But I’d love to win some tools to get me started!

  • Pick me! I am currently using my potato masher to remove jars from boiling water. Not too simple!

  • I honestly have only ever tried canning once, and I failed. I had none of the right tools and it just didn’t work 🙁

  • It’s the funnel – helps both young and old hands to fill the jars. This item saves finicky cleanup – always unsure if you got all of the residue from spills. 😀

  • I am new to the canning world. I have some tools, but I have not canned anything except refrigerator pickles. Yum!!

  • I am really new to canning & am getting so much info from your blog, but needless to say, I hardly have any supplies. I would love to win this kit to make my new hobby easier!

  • Jar lifter, hand down. Could not can without it. (Well, maybe but it would burn!) TY for a chance to win!!!

  • My favorite tool is my tongs to get the jars out of the boiling water. Everytime I go to buy the tool set, they are out of stock lol

  • I would have to say that mine is a pair and one is best when used with the other and that is my laddle and funnel. But I am going to have to look into those heat resistant gloves someone else mentioned. But, I would LOVE this set to use!!!

  • My favorite tools are the pressure canner, funnel and jar lifter that my mom used when way back when she canned herself. They still all function well even though I am sure they have been used for thousands of jars of the good stuff.

  • My wide mouth funnel. I hate to think what a mess my kitchen would be without one. These are beautiful canning tools!

  • My favorite canning “tool” is my Aunt, she is the one that shows me how to do it and we love the “new” tools that they use “now a days.” Like the magnetic lid lifter.
    That new head space measuring funnel looks like a new must have!!!

  • Jar lifter definitely! But I could see the funnel in this set being VERY useful with the measurements for head space on the side!

  • Ah… toss up between funnel and the lifter. Probably the lifter, because you could get by with wide mouth jars and a measuring cup. This is a great giveaway! I borrowed all the utensils from a friend last season, and am needing my own set this season! 🙂

  • My mom! She’s the best tool I’ve got to keep the process going fast & safe…and she’s great company besides.

  • The funnel!!!! I use mine all the time even though it is old and cracked. Fear it is going to fall apart soon. When I first tried canning it was strawberry jam. I had no funnel and made a huge mess. My neighbor told me I needed to use a funnel, so I did, not a canning one but one with the small opening. Needless to say clog after clog made me go back to spooning it in. After drying my tears call neighbor again and gave her a good laugh and she told me about canning funnels. Got a plastic one that was once my grandma’s. I have dearly loved that funnel and use it daily but it is soon to be put on the shelf with my old but dearly loved kitchen items I keep on display. If I win the items will be put to good use as I am teaching my daughters to can and a few of their friends.

  • I like the funnel. The head space is wonderful. I cannot fill my jars until I have the funnel. I am not as steady as the young people are.

  • I use an electric kettle a lot when I can. It brings the water to a boil so quickly and saving five minutes here and there, particularly the time you’re standing in a hot kitchen over a pot of steaming water, makes canning a much more enjoyable process and a more manageable project for busy people.

  • Not sure which tool is most useful. I haven’t really canned much but I plan to this year. I’m really enjoying your site. So much inspiration!