Sunday, May 3, 2009

Accessorizing Your Canner

Safety is always Job #1 in home food preserving. Anything you can do to ensure your worksite is as safe as it can be, is good. From your experience in cooking, you know how important potholders are. They work by providing a level of insulation between your fingers and hot cookware. Canning, however, introduces another element: hot water. And we’re talking boiling hot.

When potholders get wet, they’re worse than not having anything at all. You may have had the unpleasant experience of grabbing a wet potholder to lift a lid on a hot pot and found that you dropped it fast. You may also have gotten a slight burn in the process.

You want a short stack of potholders by your stove, to be sure, and you want to be sure to replace them with dry ones as necessary. However, their use is limited. They’re designed to lift pot lids. To get those filled jars into the canner safely and to remove them safely once they’ve finished processing, you need a jar lifter.

A jar lifter is not a luxury. It’s a necessary item. It provides you with safe distance between the boiling hot water and the jars that have gone into and come out of it. Here’s a picture of one in action.

It works like a clamp, although one that opens and releases easily. Simply hold it in one hand and position the ends around the neck of the jar. It does exactly what the name implies. It lifts. It allows you carry the jar away from the canner and position it on a clean, dry surface where the jar will cool down.

You can find jar lifters at any store that sells canning supplies: hardware stores, the big discount chains (such as Walmart), and the larger grocery chains are some sources. You can also find them online.

Hint: when the canning season is over, store it inside the canner and you’ll not have to search madly for it next season.


  1. Hi,
    It is so difficult for me to comment on this subject, because I'm not a great cook, I'm not comfortable in the kitchen, and I would never even consider canning anything. But it is so interesting to read how to do it--just in case. I guess one should never say never.
    Karen Walker

  2. Gadgets! I love gadgets! I may take up canning JUST for the jar lifter!


  3. I'm liking this series of posts. And the visuals are good, helpful, too.

  4. I know what that interesting-looking gadget in my grandmother's drawer was! I'm enjoying your blog.


  5. I find your posts equally fascinating as well as very informative! I'm learning a lot.
    Thankz, Karen.

  6. Seems like silicon pot holders would be a good investment since water doesn't make them "wet" like fabric pot holders.

    Jennifer Taggart

  7. I had no idea there were so many useful tools our there. And what a bright thought to store it with the things you'll need it for next time.

  8. This is a really good, informational blog. I am looking forward to learning a lot here!

    NA Sharpe

  9. That jar lifter contraption looks great. Didn't know they existed. Thanks for a very useful tip.


  10. Great stuff! I used to watch my grandmother can fruits and vegetables; but, unfortunately, her knowledge died with her. Your blog gives both the information and the encouragement for those of us who might like to can but haven't got a clue where to begin.

  11. How timely! Just last night, my daughter and I took turns handing my wife bowls of ice cold water to dip her hand into - after she got burned accidentally picking up a hot pot!

    All success
    Author: "Think, Write & RETIRE!"


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~ I'm the author of Headwind: The Intrepid Adventures of OSS Agent Katrin Nissen. If you're a WWII buff, you'll like it here!