The 12 Best Canning Products of 2022

Here’s everything you need to preserve fruit, vegetables, meat, and more.

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The 12 Best Canning Products for 2022

Amazon

Canning is an age-old method for putting up food, from pickles and pie filling to soups and even meat. In fact, you can use it for anything but food but dairy and high-fat foods, which gives you countless possibilities for food preservation, according to Christina Ward, the Master Food Preserver for Wisconsin and author of Preservation: The Art and Science of Canning, Fermentation, and Dehydration. You can even recreate some of your favorite jarred foods, like canned tomatoes.

Canning works by creating a sealed vacuum inside a jar, which prevents spoilage and keeps ingredients fresh for an extended period. Hot water bath canning is the simplest method and requires less of an up-front investment, but is not as versatile as pressure canning, which involves special equipment but allows you to process meat and low-acid foods. It's one of many ways to preserve your food, and alongside other techniques like dehydration and fermentation, can keep your summer bounty delicious and ready to enjoy year-round.  

Canning requires some initial research and the right tools, but that shouldn't scare you off! "I always end classes with an encouragement to try canning,” says Ward. “Better yet, try it with friends, family, and neighbors. It’s a great way to make the prep work go fast, build community, and have fun. Plus, everyone takes home jars of good stuff." Here, we bring together our top picks for everything you need to safely can delicious, healthy food, including jars, pickling salt, and the best resource book.

Best Pressure Canner

All American 1930 10.5-Quart Pressure Cooker and Canner

All American 1930 - 10.5qt Pressure Cooker/Canner

Amazon

Pros: Durable, high-quality canners from All-American have stood the test of time and are the top pick of food-preserving experts. 

Cons: The high price tag may put this canner out of reach for budget shoppers.

All-American's pressure canners are the gold standard among food-preserving experts and home-preserving enthusiasts, and for good reason. According to Ward, All-American pressure canners are the best for their durable construction and long life. Though the up-front cost is high, these canners will last a lifetime and are worth every penny.

We like this model because its 21.5-quart capacity is large enough to put up a batch of jars without crowding your countertop or cabinet. If you plan to put up a lot of food, try All-American’s 41-quart model (though bear in mind these large canners can be too heavy for glass-top stoves). If you want a smaller pressure canner, the 12-quart canner is a great choice. 

Price at time of publish: $420

Best Pickling Salt

Morton Canning and Pickling Salt

Morton-salt

Courtesy of Walmart

Pros: This salt is made specifically for canning recipes, and it has no additives.

Cons: It may not be not as versatile as the go-to salt in your kitchen.

When canning pickles and other preserves, the salt you choose is important. "All salts used for canning must be 100 percent salt. That means no table salts, as they have additional chemical additives to prevent caking. Canning salt, sea salt, and kosher salt are all good to use, but always double check that your choice is free from additives," says Ward.

Morton is a trusted name in salt and produces many varieties. Different salts have more or less salinity (your sea salt and kosher salt, for example, may not contain exactly the same percentage of sodium). We like this one because it's custom-made for canning, and it can be used in trusted canning recipes without modifications. It comes in a four-pound box, meaning you'll have enough salt for multiple canning projects. 

Price at time of publish: $1.86

Best Canning Jars

Ball Glass Regular Mouth 16-Ounce Mason Jars with Lids and Bands

Ball Regular Mouth 16oz Pint Mason Jars

Walmart

Pros: These affordable jars are the perfect size for jams, pickles, and more from a trusted brand in canning.

Cons: The 16-ounce size may not be large enough for whole vegetables or other large canning projects.

When looking for jars, it's important to use jars specifically made for canning, as these jars are sturdy enough to hold up to the heat and pressure of canning without exploding and cracks.

Ball is a go-to choice for canning jars, and the name has become ubiquitous with home canning here in the United States. When we're starting a canning project, we often reach for these, which can be easily found online and even at your local grocery store or hardware store. 

Ball jars come in a range of sizes, from tiny jam jars that are perfect for gifting to big half-gallon jars for large batches of pickles or for canning meals and meats, and everything in between. We love pint jars because they are large enough to hold a variety of preserves, without being so big that we need to invest in a large-capacity canner or process the jars for extended periods.

Price at time of publish: $27

Best Water Bath Canner

Granite Ware 21.5-Quart Water Canner with Lid and Jar Rack

Granite Ware 21.5-Quart Water Bath Canner with Jar Rack

Walmart

Pros: This attractive, affordable canner is the perfect size for home canning projects.

Cons: Hot water bath canners cannot be used for all canning projects, particularly for low-acid foods. Also, the porcelain that makes up this canner’s exterior can chip if dropped. 

Graniteware's iconic, speckled pots have been a top pick for home canners since the 1870s and are still loved today. But there's a lot to love about this pot beyond its looks. It can accommodate enough jars for most canning projects, it's compatible with a variety of stovetops, and it distributes heat evenly. It’s durable, too, though the porcelain coating may chip if the pot is dropped. 

I've had my Graniteware canning pot and rack for over 20 years, and both work just as well as they did the day I bought them. The pot comes with a jar rack that fits perfectly inside and has handles for easy removal. The pot is dishwasher safe, too, though the rack is best washed by hand. 

Price at time of publish: $25

Best Canning Set for Beginners

Concord 7-Piece Home Canning Set

Concord 7-Piece Home Canning Set

Amazon

Pros: This canning set includes almost everything you need to start preserving at home.

Cons: The set doesn’t include a pot or jars. Also, the grey color of the set isn't as eye-catching as some other options.

A great gift for yourself or a food-loving friend, this user-friendly set has just about everything you need to start making simple hot water bath-canned foods at home. We especially like this set because it includes a rack, which means you can convert an existing pot into a water bath canner. The only thing you'll need to purchase is a set of jars.

This set includes a lid lifter and a jar lifter, two important tools for safely grabbing your jars from hot water for filling, and a funnel for mess-free preserving, which makes this set a great value. We wish it came in more, brighter colors, but the subtle grey would be a great choice for many kitchens.

Price at time of publish: $25

Best Jar Storage

Roots & Harvest Canning Safecrate for Jelly Jars

ROOTS & HARVEST Canning SafeCrate for Jelly Jars

The Home Depot

Pros: This affordable crate takes up minimal space and keeps jars safe.

Cons: Plastic is not as sustainable as other materials.

The mantra in my kitchen is "the more jars, the merrier," but as any canning enthusiast can tell you, those towers of glass jars can feel precarious. To keep jars secure and separated, without them rolling together, I count on Lem's Roots & Harvest Canning Jar Safecrates. What sets this one apart is the lid, which snaps to the base to hold jars firmly in place even if the crate itself is bumped.

We also like that these crates are stackable for kitchens with limited storage space. And, for home canners on the move, they're easy to carry and keep jars from knocking together and breaking in transit. And they’re perfect for bringing your new home-canned preserves to friends and family to give as gifts. 

Price at time of publish: $18

Best Canning Rack

Granite Ware Canner Rack, 21.5-Quart

Granite Ware Canner Rack, 21.5-Quart

Amazon

Pros: This affordable, durable rack is sturdy enough to hold a batch of full jars and includes handles to safely lift them in and out of the water.

Cons: The 21-quart design will not work in smaller canning pots; handles can become hot during use.

The same rack the GraniteWare 21.5-quart hot water canner use is available as an affordable, standalone purchase. This rack is a great option if you already have a large, lidded pot you'd like to use as a canner, and it's the perfect capacity for many home canning projects.

We opt for metal racks over silicone or plastic because they're incredibly durable; this one will last through years of canning projects. We especially like this rack for its sturdy handles, which make it easy to lift the entire rack out of hot water to fill jars and put them back in the water. Make sure you use oven mitts, though, as the handles become hot during the canning process. The chrome rack is dishwasher safe, and the handles fold flat for easy storage without too much bulk.

Price at time of publish: $18

Best Jar Lifter

Ball Secure-Grip Jar Lifter

Ball Secure-Grip Jar Lifter

Walmart

Pros: Ergonomic handles protect hands from heat and make lifting jars a breeze. 

Cons: It’s more expensive than other jar lifters.

If you've ever tried to wrangle canning jars out of a hot water bath with a tea towel or hot pad, you understand how much of a lifesaver a jar lifter is. Jar lifters are a set of tongs specially shaped to grip around the neck of your canning jars to, as the name implies, remove them from water, while keeping your hands out of harm's way.

There are many jar lifters on the market, including others from Ball and from trusted names like Kilner (an English canning company), but we chose this one because of its sturdy, ergonomic handle. Unlike many jar lifters, this one has a thicker handle to help you get a secure grasp on your jars without digging into your palms. Plus, the coated grip keeps jars from slipping.

Price at time of publish: $16

Best Funnel

Harold Import Wide Mouth Canning Funnel

Harold Import Wide Mouth Canning Funnel

Amazon

Pros: The durable funnel is easy to clean and rust-resistant, and its wide mouth makes filling jars a mess-free breeze.

Cons: It doesn’t come with a detachable nozzle or strainer like some funnels

Canning funnels are a bit different than your standard kitchen funnel. Their wider opening means you can easily pour jams, jellies, and other preserves without spilling and without bits of fruit getting stuck in the funnel's mouth. 

We have many reasons to love this funnel, not least of all is its adorable little loop handle, which helps you hold your funnel in place and remove it without getting jam (or syrup, or jelly) all over your hand. We also love its rust-resistant stainless steel build, which is more durable and sustainable than plastic while still being dishwasher safe. 

Price at time of publish: $13

Best Digital Scale

Taylor Precision Products Compact Digital Scale

Taylor Precision Products Compact Digital Scale

Amazon

Pros: This waterproof scale helps you accurately weigh up to 11 pounds of ingredients while being compact and easy to store.

Cons: For large-scale kitchen projects, its 11-pound weight limit may be too low.

Taylor Precision Products is well-known for its kitchen scales, and users recommend this model for home and commercial kitchens alike. Measuring by weight rather than volume ensures that you're reproducing recipes accurately, so this scale is a great choice for home canners who want to make sure they're using the appropriate amount of salt and other ingredients. 

It requires AAA batteries, which are included, and is easy to set up and use. We also appreciate the scale's low profile: It's small enough to tuck away in a drawer or cabinet, and it doesn't take up much counter space. We especially love that it’s waterproof and has an easy-to-clean surface and removable weighing platform, so a spill during measuring won't be the end of the world (or at least the end of your scale).

Price at time of publish: $21

Best Cookbook

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

Amazon

Pros: Ball is a trusted source on canning, and this cookbook has been a resource to countless people before.

Cons: The pressure canning section is a little thin.

For decades, the Ball Blue Book was the standard for home canning books. Ball now continues its tradition of sharing canning expertise in this hefty volume that features over 400 recipes. We appreciate the thorough guidance for home canning as well as the many creative ideas for preserving at home. The hardcover book is sturdy, too, and will last on your shelves (and in your kitchen) for years to come.

Price at time of publish: $20

Best Magnetic Lid Wand

Norpro Magnetic Lid Wand

Norpro 606 Lid Wand

Ace Hardware

Pros: This affordable wand helps you safely remove lids from your canning pot. 

Cons: Plastic is less sustainable than other materials. 

Boiling your lids helps to prepare their seals for canning, but removing them from the boiling water can be a pain. Those little lids tend to hide behind jars or rest flat on the bottom of the pot, making them hard to see under boiling water. We've used all kinds of tools to fish them out, from a fork to barbecue tongs to our canning tongs, none of which have been an ideal solution. 

We love this magnetic canning wand because it finds those sneaky little lids and easily grabs them. It's long enough to keep your hands out of the water with most pots, too. Plus, its affordable price point makes this lid grabber an easy investment in your home canning practice. 

Price at time of publish: $6

Factors to Consider

Capacity

Consider how much canning you plan to do, and the size of jars you plan to work with, before investing in a water bath canner or pressure canner. If you are stuck between two sizes, choosing the larger of the two will give you more flexibility down the road. 

Pressure vs. Water Bath Canning

Think about what types of food you'd like to preserve before purchasing canning equipment. There are benefits to both water bath canners and pressure canners. A water bath can be done with a simple stovetop pot and is typically cheaper, while a pressure canner has a bit more of a learning curve but can also preserve a wider variety of foods safely. 

Extra Equipment

Once you choose a canner, you'll also need to think about the other equipment you'll need, like jar lifters, and of course, the jars and lids themselves. If you aren't sure where to start, a beginner's canning set includes everything you need to put up your first batch of pickles and preserves, and these sets make great gifts, too. 

Resources

Home canning is simple to do, but it's important to learn your stuff before you start to ensure you're doing it safely. Make sure to consult canning resources, including your state's Extension Office or Master Food Preserver, and trusted written resources like the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving and Ward’s Preservation. You can also find free guidance from trusted sources like the USDA's Complete Guide to Home Canning and the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

The Research

To find the best canning equipment, we drew on our own experience preserving food as well as input from canning experts. We focused our search on high-quality products that would be easy to use at a range of price points.

Pro Panel Q+A

What are the benefits of canning food?

"Whether you’re seeking a more self-sufficient lifestyle or exploring new foodways, canning offers a scientifically sound method to render foods shelf stable. Benefits include extending the harvest and reducing food waste, fewer chemical preservatives in your foods, interesting flavor combinations, connection to family traditions and cultural heritage, and making food last longer without refrigeration or freezing," says Ward.

What is the difference between hot water bath canning and pressure canning?

The processes differ slightly, and each process offers different benefits, according to Ward. "Water-bath canning is using glass canning jars with the correct lids submerged in boiling water to expose the food to high heat (killing off most pathogens) and a very slight pressure change to drive any remaining oxygen out of the sealed jar creating an anaerobic environment. A pressure canner is a mechanical tool that, using a pressure chamber, can affect higher than boiling (212 degrees Fahrenheit) temperatures to kill all pathogens and create more of a pressure change that drives out all remaining oxygen from the jar. All canning tools and techniques are about erecting barriers against pathogens,” she says. “Hot water bath canning is intended for preserving high-acid items. Pressure canning is used to preserve low-acid items."

What kinds of food can people can?

“Every type of food can be canned using the correct canning technique for that food.  The exceptions are dairy items and high-fat items," says Ward.

Can you reuse canning lids?

According to Ward, the short answer is "no" when it comes to most lids. "American canning lids — with the embedded rubber lining the edge — are intended for one-time use in a canner. Used lids can be cleaned and used for refrigerator or dry storage purposes. There are reusable lid and rubber ring combinations available from the Tattler brand. These cost more and have a bit of a learning curve to get right but are a viable option for folks."

What practices and guidelines do people need to keep in mind to can food safely?

Seek out trusted sources and follow them to the letter, according to Ward. "Do not deviate from the process! Headspace and processing time are critical to ensure safety. Do not cut short times or over- or under-fill jars. Confidence in the safety of the food you serve your friends and family comes from the knowledge that you executed the preservation technique according to scientifically proven standards,” she says.

What resources do you recommend for people to learn more about canning?

"The Center for Home Food Preservation is the clearing house for all the University Extension offices throughout the country to share their information. This is information attained through rigorous research and testing. When searching for a recipe, go here first,” says Ward. “If you’re interested in ‘chef-written’ recipes, always check the core recipe against the info from the Center for Home Food Preservation. Many cookbooks do not check the safety of recipes published. I’ve found far too many ‘yikes’ recipes in modern cookbooks. Just because a chef owns a fancy-pants restaurant, doesn’t mean they understand the science of food preservation. Always check!"

Our Expertise

Julia Skinner, Ph.D. is a fermentation educator, avid home fermenter, food preserver, and author of Our Fermented Lives: How Fermented Foods Have Shaped Cultures and Communities. She is the founder of Root, which offers online food preservation classes, a recipe newsletter, and more. 

Christina Ward is an author, editor, and the Master Food Preserver for Wisconsin. She is the author of Preservation: The Art and Science of Canning, Fermentation, and Dehydration, which explores the history and science of food preservation while sharing 100 fool-proof recipes that make the science real. She has appeared as an expert on Milk Street Radio, Padma Lakshmi's Taste the Nation, and numerous NPR programs. In addition, she has contributed to Serious Eats, The Wall Street Journal, Maggot Brain, and more. 

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