The Joy of Good Tools

jar lifter on jelly jar
You can lift super hot jars safely and confidently with this jar lifter.

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.

canning jar lid on magnet
Grab those lids out of boiling water with a lid magnet.

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.

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.

pouring jam into a canning jar
A simple funnel makes loading jars up easier and neater.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.