Canning kits are a great way to pick up everything you need in one package, especially if you are just starting to collect your canning equipment and supplies.
There are canning kits complete with a pot available. These include everything you need for water bath canning: a canner and all the specialty tools included. Sometimes, they’ll have extras like blanchers, timers, and other handy items to have around.
And then there are smaller kits that provide just the hand tools needed.
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Canning Starter Kits with a Pot
If you are just starting out, you may want to keep costs down. Most canning kits that come with a canner come with the black or blue speckled graniteware canner, as well as a variety of hand tools. These canners are not as nice as the stainless…but they do get the job done and are a great option for an inexpensive way to get started.
Here is a set with a traditional black speckled canner and hand tools. (Amazon affiliate link.)
In the past, I’ve seen kits come with stainless steel and even pressure canners. However…as I’m writing this page, I don’t see any other kits with canners on Amazon. No pressure canning kits or stainless steel. I don’t know if this has to do with the recent canning supply shortage, but look around, as I know I’ve seen complete kits before.
An easy fix is to just pick the pressure canner you’d like, and then then pick out a kit that includes just the hand tools.
I’ll link here to the canners I’d recommend, and then simply pick out a hand tools kit to go with it.
Presto 23 Quart Pressure Canner – for pressure canning
Ball Stainless Steel Multi-Use Canner – great for both water bath and steam canning.
Canning Kits with Just the Hand Tools
If you already have your canner (or have one picked out), there are smaller canning sets that will come with just the hand tools like a canning funnel, magnetic wand, and jar lifter.
These would be some options that I’d recommend. They all have all three of the essential hand tools, plus a few extra items that would be helpful.
- Norpro Canning Essentials Boxed Set, 6 Piece Set
- This red set also comes with a few lids.
- This set comes with a rack. If you have your own stockpot, it could be that this would be all you’d need for water bath canning. Measure your pot and makes sure the rack will fit.
There are many available. Just make sure whatever you pick has the three hand tools that are essential. I list them below.
The Most Important Canning Tools to Include in Your Kit
First, if you are starting out, you want a canner. This should be obvious. If you need help choosing the canner for you, check these pages.
If you are all set up with a canner and are just looking for the tools, there are three hand tools that top my list for must-haves. Be sure your kit includes: the jar lifter, a magnetic wand, and a canning funnel. The other tools you’ll often see in these sets are helpful but not essential.
A canning funnel has a larger opening to fit your jars. This is really something that would be hard to do without. It makes it a cleaner task to fill your jars. Keeps the rims cleaner. You must still wipe the rims to be sure you have not spilled, but there is less mess using one of these.
Not just for canning. I like to store leftovers in canning jars. The clear jars make it easy to see what I have, and this funnel is useful for filling jars.
I can’t imagine doing this neatly, can you? What a mess it would be. Of course, it is kind of messy anyway…but imagine without the funnel.
Jar Lifter & Magnetic Wand
The jar lifter is a tool that grasps your hot jars to safely take them out of a hot canner after processing.
The rubber coating on the jar end of the tool keeps it firmly and securely wrapped around the neck of your jar while you move it to a cooling area.
A magnetic lid lifter (I call it a magnetic wand) is a plastic stick with a magnet at one end. Use it to lift your canning lids from the hot water as you place your canning jar lids before processing.
I did not have a magnetic lid lifter for many years. I made due with tongs. The tongs worked okay. But the magnetic wand is so inexpensive and so handy. I’d suggest picking one up.
Canning Kits Tips & FAQs
Where to Buy Canning Kits
Online is a good place to look. I’ve linked to Amazon to some of my suggestions above. But there are other options. If you do a search for Canning Kit, many options come up.
Ace Hardware is a great place to get supplies that people don’t always think of and is where I like to get my supplies. Each hardware store is individually owned, so they have different items, but I know ours has a great housewares department, including canning supplies. Yours might too. You should check it out.
Canning Starter Kits are a great way to get everything you need for home canning, including some specialty tools that may come in handy.
I hope this was helpful! Let me know if you have any questions below in the comments.
Canning Funnel Review
Transcript – Edited for Clarity
Canning funnels are basic. They help you get your food in the jars without making a mess and slopping it all over.
What’s the Difference Between a Regular Funnel and a Canning Funnel?
This is a regular funnel with a skinny little mouth, while this is a canning funnel with a big hole or opening in the bottom.
See the difference there? You can use this for canning, if you’re doing broth or something liquidy. But you won’t be able to get peaches or green beans through that! That’s why they make specialized canning funnels.
This funnel fits in your jar. It’s narrower than the mouth, so it fits and makes filling jars super easy.
I’ve had this funnel for probably 20 years. I don’t remember how long I’ve had it. The plastic canning funnels are the types of funnels that come in many canning kits, the less expensive ones. It works great. There’s no problem with it. I love it, and I’ve been using it for years.
A week or two ago, I thought, “Yeah, it’s green plastic. It’s not real pretty. Maybe I should get myself a stainless steel one? I have Simply Canning. I do pictures for the website. It’ll look pretty in the images.” So I splurged and bought myself a stainless steel canning funnel, which is very pretty.
It’s a different shape. I couldn’t find a stainless steel funnel in this shape. It’s quite a bit wider and very flat. I didn’t think it would be a big deal. The opening is a little bit smaller. It’s still bigger than a regular funnel, but I don’t like it. Isn’t that crazy? It’s pretty and looks nice in the pictures, but I went back to using this one, because it’s more convenient.
This is so flat that I have to be careful not to slop in here. Pretty or more efficient? Which one do you want? If I ever find a stainless steel funnel in this shape, I’ll probably get it. Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with this. It works. It’s sufficient. It’s probably just because I’ve been using this for 20 years. The habit runs deep, so I just like it better.
Canning Equipment – Understand the Canning Equipment you must get and which equipment is unnecessary.
Canning Rack – Rusty canning rack? Replacements are available. How to create your own rack.
Water Bath Canner – Water bath canners are an easy way to start learning about food preservation. Learn a new skill and make delicious food! High-acid foods are safe to water bath can. SimplyCanning.com shows you how!
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Page last updated: 9/30/2021
Here’s my strategy for getting canning supplies & the hardware: I started collecting canning supplies about 5-7 years ago & slowly accumulated a pretty good amount of jars, rings & lids. I got most of the jars from thrift stores for 5-25 cents each. I also found extra canning racks, ladles & boxes of the lids at thrift stores, along with items such as an original antique Foley food mill, a corn stripper, a cherry pitter, a mandoline food slicer, etc. I bought canning jars even if they were cracked or chipped because they can be used for dry goods… Read more »
I forgot to mention that I buy the silicone seals for clip top jars at our local Ace Hardware store. It’s a tiny rural Ace but they were happy to order the silicone seals for me. When other people saw them & started asking for them, the store decided to add them to their regular inventory. So if your store doesn’t have what you need look it up in their online website. If they carry it online the chances are good that the store will order the items for you. Then all you need to do is buy it in… Read more »
I’ve gotten great deals on canning supplies at estate sales. Mask up and use restaurant or rubber gloves to keep COVID away. Try to get stainless steel canners: the enamel canners will rust through if you get one chip in the coating.