We always recommend “using what you’ve got” - beginners often have the basic equipment to use in their kitchens for home food preservation – but here is a list of starter equipment. Always check individual recipes for detailed instructions on food preparation, suitable jar sizes and processing time.
The type of cooktop used for canning will determine the water bath type, size and the batch volume (number of jars per batch). We recommend using a large cooking element to fit the large water bath canner – but always check your cooktop specifications before using a water bath canner, as the larger pots can become very heavy when full of water and filled jars of preserves. Electric canners could also be used if the benchtop is suitable (check benchtop material is suitable first).

To ensure your preserved food is safe for storage of a year or more, the filled jars must be submerged in boiling water and boiled for a certain time. After processing, cool jars on a towel surface overnight before labelling and storing. You could use a water bath canner designed to be used on the cooktop (or electric) or use a large stock pot (with lid) as a water bath canner (with a round rack in the base or a tea towel or two).
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Use good quality preserving jars with new lids for every batch. Ensure no chips or cracks in the jars and preheat before filling if required. You can use small jars for single servings, up to 4-cup capacity jars – we recommend 500ml or 1L jars for pickles, fruit, and sauce; 250ml or so for chutney, relish, salsa, etc. Remember: new lids for processing for pantry storage!
o  ONE PIECE LIDS i.e. Bormioli Rocco Quattro Stagioni and Twist-Top Jars;
o  TWO PIECE LIDS (seal + band) i.e. Ball Mason, and Kerr;
o  THREE PIECE LIDS (gasket + lid + clip/s) i.e. Fowlers Vacola and Weck.

A funnel to sit on top of regular/wide mouth jars as they are being filled, to reduce spills.
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Hold the plastic or rubber handles to grip wide or regular mouth jars with the coated (coloured) end, to remove them after processing in a water bath canner.
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This is one tool that removes air bubbles in jars before processing, as well as measuring the headspace (air pocket deliberately left at the top of the jar) by the different notches on one end of the tool. A chopstick (or non-metal spoon) and a “kitchen use only” clean plastic ruler can be used instead of this tool.
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A plastic tool with a magnetic tip, used to remove warmed lids/seals from boiled water safely.
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o  Sink for cleaning equipment, rinsing fresh produce;
o  Scales – measure to the gram (or ounce) for accuracy;
o  Cutting board/s;
o  Measuring cups;
o  Measuring spoons;
o  Knife - a good paring knife is essential for food preparation. Plus a larger knife for preparing ingredients;
o  Spoon (metal recommended) – long handled spoon for stirring, plus a dessert sized spoon for scraping the corner of the pot when making jam and other preserves;
o  Vegetable peeler;
o  Whisk;
o  Ladle for transferring prepared preserve into jars;
o  Funnel – a tapered smaller funnel for filling narrow/smaller jars or bottles;
o  Heatproof jug – helpful to pour hot syrup, jam, sauce etc. into jars;
o  Wooden board
o  Large non-reactive bowls – i.e. glass for storing salted vegetables, soaking fruit during prep;
o  Tea towels or hand towels (we recommend hand towels because they’re thicker).
These are not essential for canning but make efficient time management for bulk canning:
o  Thermometer – for testing jam gel stage (optional, we include instructions on checking gel stage in other ways in the recipes);
o  Apple corer/wedge tool - prepare lots of apple wedges;
o  Garlic mincer (or microplane, or fine grater);
o  Peach pitting spoon;
o  Citrus zester;
o  Zig-zag cutter – for slicing carrots and cucumbers for pickling;
o  Multi-dicing/chopping gadget – helpful to dice tomatoes for salsa, bulk vegetable and fruit slicing;
o  Jelly bag (on stand) or cheesecloth – for straining juice to make jelly, syrup, sauce, etc;
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o  Citrus squeezer – by hand or an electric model;
o  Cherry/olive pitter;
o  Juicer – we use a raw cold-pressed juicer for making fresh juices as well as bulk juicing for canning;
o  Stick blender or blender – for blending cooked fruit into smooth puree for jam (or use a potato masher);
o  Tomato press or food moule, or sieve/s – for de-seeding tomatoes;
o  Food processor – so helpful for mass batches of diced ingredients!
Author: Megan Radaich           
Image Credit: Megan Radaich            
Publication: www.foodpreserving.org

Kaya Wanjoo. Food Preserving kaditj kalyakoorl moondang-ak kaaradj midi boodjar-ak nyininy, yakka wer waabiny, Noongar moort. Ngala kaditj baalap kalyakoorl nidja boodjar wer kep kaaradjiny, baalap moorditj nidja yaakiny-ak wer moorditj moort wer kaditj Birdiya wer yeyi.
Hello and Welcome. Food Preserving acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live, work and play, the Nyoongar people. We recognise their connection to the land and local waterways, their resilience and commitment to community and pay our respect to Elders past and present.
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