I really enjoy canning. I love having all those clear jars with all of my produce. I like knowing where my food comes from.
This is not a tutorial on how to can. If you are looking for that, I highly recommend Pick Your Own's All About Canning. I have used it often when I was canning. The reason I am doing this now is so that you will be able to slowly get your supplies together so that you are ready when the produce is at its best.
Where to get jars:
The store - all major stores carry Ball or Kerr Canning jars including grocery stores, but this can be expensive. There are coupons that float around throughout the year so be sure to save those.
Craig's list - I bought a lot of jars from Craig's list. Always be careful when buying from Craig's list. Take someone with you if you are going to a house or meet in a public location. When you go to get the jars, run your fingers along the tops of the jars to check for cracks. Make sure they are actually canning jars. I know some people can with any glass jar but I don't just to be on the safe side.
Friends and Family - ask if anyone in your family has some that they don't use anymore.
Estate Sales - you will often find canning jars at estate sales because many people used to can.
Pressure Canner - I highly recommend investing in a pressure canner. It can be used as a water bath canner but it is also a pressure canner which you can use to can low acid foods. Also, you can cook meat and other things in it just as you would a pressure cooker.
Lids and rings:
You can buy the lids and rings at your local retailer as well, but I got the opportunity to try out Tattler Reusable Canning lids. These are a great investment. They are a lot like regular lids with a few exceptions. They are BPA Free and reusable. You use them with the metal rings. They are dishwasher safe!
There is a few differences from the regular lids. You have to put the metal ring on and then turn it back 1/4 inch to allow for venting and then when the jars are done processing you have to immediately tighten the medal rings. And there is no "ping" when they jars have sealed which I missed but that is okay since it will save me money in the long run. Also, when I did my beans I had 2 jars that did not seal out of 12. I tried again the next day and one did seal but there was one jar that did not seal. So be aware that may happen sometimes. If it does you can freeze that produce or refrigerate it and use it up within a few days.
One other thing is to be careful when opening the jars. I was opening one up and forgot that there was a special way to open them and chipped one of the lids. You have to use a butter knife and ease it in between the seal of the lid and gently lift it up. It works fine when you do it the right way I was just wanting to caution you. Another point is that Tattler lids are more expensive, but they are reusable so it will be a little bit of an investment, but it is just that an investment. And you could use them more than once a season. If you go to use your food in your jars you can just wash and reuse them! Here are the prices.
Home Canning Kit - to include jar lifter, magnetic lid lifter (which you wouldn't need for the Tattler lids), canning funnel and jar wrench.
Ball blue book of canning
Storage Caps (these are handy for when you need to refrigerate the jars after you open them
|Wipe your jars clean and don't forget to have 1" head space|
|Put on the rubber ring|
|Put on the Tattler Reusable Lid|
|Now tighten the ring then turn it back 1/4 inch|
Find Tattler lids at their website reusablecanninglids.com. Also, check out their list of retailers that carry them to see if there are any near you.
Disclosure: Tattler gave me one dozen regular mouth and wide mouth reusable lids to review but the opinions in this review are my own. Thank you to Home Joys and Homestead Revival who introduced me to Tattler lids.