Getting started into canning

Hi Everyone,

I have been leveraging this site for a while now and it has been very helpful with my journey into being more prepared. As I lay here in my food coma from Thanksgiving dinner, I have been thinking about getting into canning. Searching on Amazon for supplies is overwhelming. Any advice for a beginner and which supplies/Brand you prefer that balances cost with quality?  Finally, any good websites or articles that you found helpful to get started?

I searched this site and forum for canning information and couldn’t find anything. If I missed something that already exists, please reply with a link. If not, hopefully this thread will help others as well 🙂


  • Comments (8)

    • 8

      I would suggest you download USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning and maybe purchasing Ball Canning Back To Basics.  I like Ball supplies and their books are very helpful.

      • 9

        As a follow-up to Redneck’s post. Here is a link to the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning. (looks like it is split up among many PDF’s at the bottom of the page.)

        And a link to the Bell Canning Back to Basics book.

        And then to add my own link, here is a video that I thought was pretty cool, and something I would like to try someday. It is using a brake bleeder to take the air out of cans for dried goods. Won’t work for wet things like fruit and meat, but probably will be a way that anyone could start getting into canning.

    • 10

      I’m also a beginning canner. Just finished getting my supplies and plan to start with Turkey stock since I have the ingredients for it. 

      I bought the Presto canner because I can’t afford the All American brand. Presto is a cost effective beginner canner at a little less than $100. 

      I’ve watched videos in YouTube and the ones by Linda’s Pantry has been my favorite.  

      I can’t wait to start my adventures. 

      • 7

        That’s helpful. Thanks!

    • 7

      My wife got one of these Presto digital pressure canners when they were first released. Unfortunately, they’ve been out of stock ever since. But it’s a great product. It takes out a lot of the stress and guess.


    • 9

      I personally think starting with water bath canning is an easy way to begin.

      The Ball canning books as well as USDA guide are great reference books. Your local Extension office might be another good place to look into.

      I personally love a series of books by Sherri Brooks Vinton titled Put Em Up. She has small batch recipes as well as fun recipes to use up what you do can. Going small gives you the ability to see what you do like / will eat before your committed to 20 quarts of applesauce.

      There are also lots of fun ‘fancier’ books out there too full of unusual canning recipes. I canned a rhubarb syrup one year we used for cocktails – it was delicious.

      Know that your altitude matters, obviously for processing time, but for what tolerates canning. I’m in a very high altitude location and the extra processing time absolutely destroys some softer fruits, it works better for me to dehydrate them.

      Fwiw I’ve heard bands and lids may be tough to find – or at least they were late summer / early fall.

    • 10

      What kind of foods are you thinking of canning?

      I haven’t gotten into canning myself, but remember doing it with my grandma growing up. She made the best jam and canned apples. 

    • 3

      At this time canning supplies are extremely scarce.  Jars are beginning to show up again, but lids remain scarce.  CAUTION:  It is best not to purchase canning lids from Amazon at this time because there are a great many inferior knockoffs of Ball and Kerr lids that fail to seal listed there.  This is the bona fide website for Ball and Kerr products, the two made in USA products that are the standard for canning in the US. https://www.freshpreserving.com/ You can find a list of preferred vendors here.  Kerr and Ball Products are virtually interchangeable, being made by the same company.  The company anticipates shipping more product by March.  In the meantime, if you can find the jars, they will come with lids and rings.  Canning is a very useful and satisfying hobby!