Items Needed For Water Bath Canning

8 Essential Items Needed For Water Bath Canning Success

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Why is it important that you use the proper items needed for water bath canning? It is absolutely necessary that proper canning methods are always followed and the proper equipment is used. This is to avoid food-borne illnesses such as botulism when water bath canning at home. 

Common canning safety questions can be found at the bottom of this post. 😉

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. Please see my disclosure for more details.

I first got interested in canning back when we started to grow our own food in 2016. I knew a little bit about what I would need to get started from watching my grandfather, mother, and aunt can various things throughout my childhood, although I had very little of what I needed. So, one day I walked into Walmart and picked up a few starter items… boy has my collection grown since then!!

What Is Water Bath Canning?

Water Bath Canning is one of the three approved methods used to can food. The other approved methods are Pressure Canning and the newer method Steam Canning (more about these later).

To preserve food using the water bath canning method, one must control microorganisms and keep them from growing back. Only acidic foods can be preserved through this method such as jams, jellies, pickles, relishes, tomatoes, salsa, etc. 

When placing the prepared food into jars and placing it in boiling water, the acid works with heat to control the microorganisms. You can read more about the Science of Water Bath Canning and how it works in my post: Water Bath Canning For Beginners. Don’t forget to pick up your FREE Copy of the Canning For Beginners Mini E-Book while you are there!


Food can be preserved this way for up to a year, but you should always check the food for signs of spoiling before consuming it!

The 8 Essential Items Needed For Water Bath Canning

Here is the detailed list, for the beginner, of all items needed for water bath canning.

#1 Top Quality Produce

When making your list of items needed for water bath canning, the produce you choose is very important! When you want the BEST FINAL PRODUCT it starts with high-quality, fresh food. Examine food carefully for disease, mold, and imperfections. Not all food you bring into the kitchen from your garden will be perfect, so cut away any of these spots you may find.

The best fruits and vegetables to can are the ones that you have grown yourself or picked out from a nearby farm vegetable stand when foods are at their peak of quality. Although it is best to process your garden’s bounty while fresh, if you are anything like me, finding time is your biggest issue! If you can’t get to it right away, keep it in a shady, cool place.

You may be interested in: The Beginners Guide To Starting Seeds Indoors in 2021

#2 Current, Tested Home Canning Recipes

One of the most important items needed for water bath canning is a Current Tested Recipe. A “tested recipe” for water bath canning is one that has been used by an expert previously and has been tested for both temperature and PH.

For more information on safe canning practices, check out these recommendations:

You can also check out my recipes here on! Check back for even more recipes coming soon!! 😁

#3 Mason Jars

Next up in making your list of items needed for water bath canning is my favorite, mason jars or “canning jars”. Different recipes call for different size jars, so you will want to make sure that you have different sizes of glass canning jars on hand before you dive straight into canning for the season!

There are a few manufacturers that make mason jars specifically for canning such as Ball, Kerr, Bernardin, Golden Harvest, and Atlas. It really depends on what country that you live in. I normally use Golden Harvest here in Canada, as they tend to be reasonably priced and work well. I’ve added some links below for buying your first jar sets.

#4 Two-piece SNAP LIDS

The lids you use for your canning jars are a very important part of your items for water bath canning. This is what makes the seal to prevent your delicious creation from going bad. Yuck! 🤢

At first, you will not need to worry about your lids and rings as new canning jars will come with their own lid and ring. As time moves on, you will want to reuse those canning jars, so you will want to purchase new lids. You can reuse the rings a number of times. .. I always check mine each year and throw out any that are not completely circular anymore or ones that have gone rusty. However, I recommend never reusing your lids a second time. I’ve added some links below for buying replacement lids.

Another option is reusable canning lids. These are something that has been around for a long time but in the recent past have not been used that much. However, due to lid shortages in both the USA and Canada, they seem to be something that is coming back! I have yet to try these myself, but many bloggers and Youtubers have reviewed them over the past few months.

#5 Canner Including Rack & Lid

As a beginner canner, the number one thing you will probably think of when making your list of items you will need for water bath canning is the canner itself! There are two main types of water bath canners, the traditional stovetop, and the electric water bath canner. I use the traditional canner with rack, but I’ve added a link below to the electric one in case you want to check it out.

#6 Common Kitchen Utensils

Well, there are a few special canning tools that you will need in your items needed for water bath canning, there are a few common kitchen utensils needed that you most likely will already have!

This list could be quite extensive based on what you plan on preserving your first year, but I’ll name a few below with links including a few of my favorites:

  • Knives – If you like to cook at all, you will likely have a good set of knives that you can use to prepare your fresh produce for canning at home. After all my years of canning, I have to say that I use my paring knife the most!
  • Spoons – Spoons, Spoons, Spoons – You will need to have a few large cooking spoons and a couple small spoons on hand. Wooden Spoons or Stainless Steel spoons are your best options.
  • Ladle – I suggest having a really good ladle on hand with a nice long handle… things can get HOT when canning! I really think that this one looks cool… I’m thinking of grabing it since I don’t have one that allows you to pour liquides properly like this pretty ladle!
  • Apple Pealer – If you plan on canning lots of apple sauce, apple pie jam, apple pie filling, etc., a simple manual apple pealer will save you an extensive amount of time! I bought this one… It was the best $20 I ever spent and comes with a nifty core slicer!

#7 Special Canning Tools

As mentioned above, there are a few special canning tools that should be on your list of items needed for water bath canning. These include the jar and lid lifters so you don’t burn yourself, a bubble remover, a headspace tool, and a canning funnel. To read more about their uses and the importance of having them on hand, you can jump over to my post Canning For Beginners!

When I first started canning, a purchased a kit that included all of these plus more. I’m certainly glad I did as it saved me tons without the need to purchase them all separately.

The last Thing You Need To Know About Items Needed For Water Bath Canning

I’m sooo happy that you have made it this far! I hope this list of items needed for water bath canning has got you organized and on your way to preserving all that good food for you and your fam jam!!

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you and would be happy to answer any questions that you may have!

Don’t forget to grab your free printable Mini E-book below for your on-the-go reference!

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