The Joy of Good Tools

Funnel reduces drips.

I’ve been canning and pickling for about 15 years now — starting with applesauce when my kids were young and then graduating to jellies and jams, relishes and pickles. But I’ve never had legit canning tools until this year — and what a difference they make.

Magnetic wand helps you pick up hot lids.







I bought a tool set from Egg|Plant Urban Farm Supply, a fun store on Selby Avenue in St. Paul last spring. The store is full of gear for gardeners, chicken keepers and canners, both equipment and how-to books. This simple set from Ball, the kingpins of canning, included a brilliantly efficient jar lifter (no more burned hands), a magnetic lid grabber and a tool that removes air from jars and measures the headspace between the food you are preserving and the jar lid.

Jar lifter makes it easy to transfer hot jars from pot to cooling towel.

Monday I made eight jars of pickle relish, using my rather abundant supply of cucumbers, and today I canned 6 half pints of peach preserves. It’s a good week for canning, especially with the right tools.

4 thoughts on “The Joy of Good Tools

  1. What a wonderfully simple idea for canning. I always have such a hard time picking up the hot lids, this is really neat. So many great ideas in your posts!

  2. Mary, I finally tried canning a couple of weeks ago, and I’m completely hooked. I made both cucumber and zucchini pickles, pickled hot peppers, pickled green beans, and salsa. They all turned out great. Saturday I canned 17 more pints of pickles. Later this week I’ll make marinara. Now I find myself looking around at all my veggies thinking, “What’s next?”

  3. Tom — Woo-hoo! glad you are enjoying the canning. If you have red peppers, try the recipe on the top of the blog for red pepper relish — it’s amazing.

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