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Canning supplies

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Just went over to my local Costco. I would have thought they would have canning jars, and I thought I read elsewhere that others get their stuff at Costco. After walking the store and not seeing them, the first and only employee I found didn't even speak enough English to even understand what I was looking for. I found someone else that looked at me like I was crazy for asking if they had them, then said "I've never seen anything like that before"


I guess I will try WalMart tonight!

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This thread is old, but wanted to post...went Mennonite shopping today and found the half gallon tall Ball canning jars (I don't pressure can in them...only vacuum seal!) for less than 10$ for six.  T

Crafters use all sizes of Mason jars. It's kind of my style.    The only thing I've ever heard of being canned in them is homemade grape juice, water bathed. Basically some grapes in the jar

Yanno, Jeepers.  That's the most unique use for a canning jar I've ever heard.....   MtRider   ....I LIKE it!!!   

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I've never seen canning jars at Costco. Walmart for sure will have the jars (unless they're out of stock), and my grocery stores have always had them, although they tend to be a little more expensive there.

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I ended up finding them at my local hardware store. They had jars in tons of styles and sizes, lids, rings, all sizes of water bath canners, and even a couple of pressure canners for sale. They had pickling stuff, and all other sorts of accessories, seals, and even some tools.


I ended up picking up 12 qt jars, and 12 pint jars along with an extra 12 lids. When I got back to my house, my mother called me, and I told her what I had gotten. She told me not to buy any more lids, as she has "Hundreds, and hundreds of new lids" See, mom used to can her home made jelly. She then said that she would like to learn how to use the pressure canner with me, as she had only used WB canning and would like to put up some of her meat sauce instead of freezing it.


I think it will be pretty cool to work on this with mom! My mother was taught my my grandmother, but my sister has no interest in it. I think it's sad, because like so many other things in this world canning, and putting up your own food, and overall relying on YOURSELF is something that is dying, and dying at a much too fast rate.


I was just talking to my grandmother last week, and I was telling her that I was going to start canning. Of course we argued about the need for a pressure canner "My grandmother taught my mother, my mother taught me, and I taught your mother how to can with only water, it's worked for me for the last 70 years" is the argument I got, but I told her that I was going to buy the pressure canner and do it the way it's now supposed to be done to keep me safe. Anyway we got into a discussion about putting food by, and she told me what it was like when she was a little girl. Back then, it was an entire family operation that included hunting, farming, and no one in the family was above working in the kitchen to make sure they had what they needed, put away for the coming year.


Makes me sad to think how the world has changed. Makes me nervous about the people who rely on going to the store every day for that nights dinner. Scares me to death to think of what they would do in the event that the store wasn't open for weeks...

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I have been looking for a jar lifter for months - and finally found one today in the op shop (thrift shop for you lot!) for 20c. Yea!


So don't give up - those tools of the trade are out there!

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Over the weekend, I took a trip to WalMart to pick up a few things, and to see what they had to offer for canning supplies. To say that I was disappointed in their selection of jars, would be an understatement. I think total, they had 4 cases of jars, all of which had been opened, and there was either an entire jar missing, or someone had removed lids or rings. The entire isle was disorganized, but they did seem to have a great supply of pickling products...


I guess I will try another WalMart. There's one over the border in NH that I prefer over the one I went to, and as a bonus, they sell ammo in that one too..



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Originally Posted By: Adam_MA
Over the weekend, I took a trip to WalMart to pick up a few things, and to see what they had to offer for canning supplies. To say that I was disappointed in their selection of jars, would be an understatement. I think total, they had 4 cases of jars, all of which had been opened, and there was either an entire jar missing, or someone had removed lids or rings. The entire isle was disorganized, but they did seem to have a great supply of pickling products...

I guess I will try another WalMart. There's one over the border in NH that I prefer over the one I went to, and as a bonus, they sell ammo in that one too..

They definitely vary from store to store! Ours carries a nice line of canning supplies and they usually keep it stocked well.

My dh would be jealous that yours still seels ammo. They took out the firearms section of every Walmart here except for 2 in the tri-county area. Why they did that is beyond me!!! Dh says it just makes it more practical to take a trip up to Cabelas :banana2: LOL!!!

Have a good one!
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Leaving the rings on after canning is not recommended. Leave on for 24 hours then remove, wash, dry and store so they remain dry and they will last for years. I store my rings in 5 quart ice cream buckets. If you leave them on the jars they are prone to rust which can make them almost impossible to remove.


Estate auctions are a good source of canning equipment. I got a fair condition Squeezo last week for $1. In the past I've bought enough canning jars to fill my station wagon for $1. I also purchased 2 like new pressure canners at auction for $5 and $10. My price limit on canning jars is $1 a dozen but usually a box at an auction will have more than 12 jars in it. I also watch garage sales and bought a jar lifter for 25¢ a couple weeks ago.


One of the best ways to acquire canning jars is to ask older ladies in your church or neighborhood because they will often give you jars just to get rid of them. I always repay their kindness with a jar or two of jelly.

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Thank you all for an in depth conversation on canning. I took to this thread today and feel confident in my purchases and now will try my hand at canning.


Thank you



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Hey everyone!


Just wanted to give you a quick update. I got my order a couple days ago, and I have nothing but positive things to say about my experience with http://www.canningpantry.com Their prices were great, shipping was fairly fast, and the online transaction was smooth.


As for the All American canner... WOW! This thing is one substantial piece of metal! The second I opened the box, I was assured that I had made the right choice in spending more money up front, to get something that will last me a lifetime!


All of the tools I got (like the kit Darlene listed look to be of good quality, and should make the experience easier.


The Blue Book, is just PACKED with information, and I have been spending the past couple evenings reading it!


Now for the bad news.....

The other night, the large burner on my stove stopped working. I figured it was just a bad burner (I hate electric stoves) so I went out and purchased a new one. Well, it still didn't work, so I got out my meter, and it turns out that no power is getting to the burner (have I mentioned I hate electric stoves) The stove is a pretty cheap model, and was there when I bought the house 4 years ago. I have been wanting to replace the stove, but this winter I will be remodeling the kitchen in preparation to sell the house. I really don't want to buy a new one before the renovations are done...


I think tonight, I will take it apart, and try to see what part is bad, and maybe swap the bad parts, for good parts for one of the back burners that hardly ever get used!


I hate electric stoves!

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Welcome organic! We're glad that you've joined us and if there's anything we can help with, just let us know.


Congrats Adam! I know what you mean about the AA...it sure is a tank.


And yes, I know EXACTLY what you mean about electric stoves...they sux big time. I went from a commercial gas stove to this dinky electric counter top stove thang and other than using my 910 AA, I doubt I'll be able to can on it. There's a gas stove down in the guest house, so I can use that until I gut this kitchen.


I'm so excited for you!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good Luck on your canning venture Adam.

You have gotten all kinds of great info here,nothing that I can think of that has not already been posted. Have Fun and enjoy!!


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If you go to various state's extension service web sites you can down load in .pdf format tons of canning directions, recipes, etc. I have made myself a large 3-ring binder containing all my canning/freezing/drying/storing bulletins from the extension service. I also have the Ball Blue Book but there are often other ways of doing things that I prefer that I learned in extension bulletins. If you have any questions on canning procedures the extenstion service should be able to help you. Iowa State University has a hotline number so I imagine most other states do too. I usually just call the local number or drop in with my questions.

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  • 1 month later...

If anyone is interested. I got a catalog through the mail from a company called Kitchen Krafts.com. You can look them up on the web,too. I was looking today, and they have pectin for canning in 1# and 10# quantities. It said that the 1# quantity was enough for 8 home batches of preserving. The price was $10.95. I didn't check the shipping cost. They also had a Lite Pectin called Gel EZ. It was $13.50 for 10# and is supposed to make 8 batches. Does anyone think this might be economical? Katmom

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I just spent $3.19 each for boxes of no-sugar-needed Sure Jell - enough for 1 batch each... I think I'll go back to using unripe apples and blackberries like Gramma did...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I use Pomona's Universal Pectin because you only need about 4 tsp. per batch of jam. You can use sugar, no sugar, honey, anything you want. I use Splenda in mine.

Most of the time you order it online from Pomona's. You can buy in bulk from them or in packets. Packets can be bought at some health food type stores. One box will make approx. 20 cups of jam.


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  • 3 months later...

Darlene, the picture you posted of the canner and the accessories looks exactly like the set up I've got except for the wrench.


DH and I both love to can and try to do as much as possible every year. We mostly do green beans and tomatoes in every form imaginable.


Adam, I would look at garage sales and flea markets etc. for jars, etc. The only thing to be careful of when doing so is that the jars are in good condition and not chipped around the rim or cracked. I got 7 dozen jars for $7 last spring from an elderly lady who no longer canned. Only about 50 were truly canning jars in usable shape. The rest were either mayo jars, etc. or just not safe. But I still got over 4 doz. for the price of less than one usually costs new.

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I get great pleasure on cold winter days at looking at my shelves full of our home canned goodies.


Not to mention there's nothing better than putting a big bunch of bacon, onions and green beans on the wood stove and enjoying what you've accomplished.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow. You wonderful people were right again!


Following the advice posted early in this thread I posted on my local freecycle this morning. The post hit the list at 2;57pm, I got an email at 4:54pm from a woman sorting through her mother's estate. She knows her mom has 'the big pot for boiling jars in' as well as 'a bunch' of jars and lids.



Guess I'll be learning to can, as someone jokingly threatened me with when I started making bread again, huh? and for little to no cost!

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I thought I'd post a source for pectin. We get ours from Pacific Pectin, Inc. They are online at:




I ordered a 10 lb. box from them in April of 2006 for $54.00 plus $4.20 UPS shipping charge. If I remember right from this past summer a batch of jam takes 1/3 c. of their pectin. This is the equivalent amount to what a batch of Sure-Jel makes for quantity of jam/jelly. It came with a few recipes on a sheet too.


If I remember right they carry Clear-Jel too (thickener for pie fillings, etc.).


Might be worth a look-see although I would imagine prices are up from what they were then. I will have to order more this year myself so hopefully it didn't go up too much.


Hope this helps...



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