Pickles, sauces and preserves aren’t just something you can buy at the grocery store. You can actually make them from home, too. So if you’re looking to cut costs, or you just want to make sure that there’s always some jarred foods in your pantry, then it might be time to invest in a dedicated water bath canner.
Water bath canning is a process that makes jars of fresh fruits and vegetables into pickles and jams by submerging them in boiling water. If preserved food is acidic enough and sealed properly, these can last for months—even years. The only downside to the process is that it can take up an awful lot of time and kitchen space.
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A dedicated water bath canner, however, makes it easy. The appliance will allow you to prepare multiple containers at once—at least seven individual quart jars—and includes a rack that makes retrieval safe and easy.
So, if you’re ready to start churning out batches of your own preserves, then you’re going to want to add a water bath canner to your kitchen’s arsenal. Here are four of the very best.
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1. Homeplace Stove Top Water Bath Canner
If you’re already a seasoned canner and looking to take things to the next level, then Homeplace’s water bath unit is exactly what you’re looking for. This rectangular canner can hold 15 quart jars at once (compared to the usual seven). Its industrial look won’t be for everyone, and it takes up two burners worth of space, but it’s perfect for those looking to produce a big batch of preserves at once.
2. Roots & Branches Stainless-Steel Harvest Canner
Roots & Branches is all about giving the home chef options. Its multi-purpose Harvest canner allows you to process via hot steam or a water bath. Fitted with a flat clad bottom, it can be used on any cooktop, including induction. It promises even heating and also features a built-in temperature indicator to eliminate any guesswork. The pot itself has a generous capacity and can hold seven one-quart jars or 20 quarts of liquid. It has a tempered glass lid, too, so you can watch the magic unfold.
3. RSVP International Endurance Water Bath Canner
RSVP International’s canner may not look like anything special, but it’s the little details that set it apart. One tidbit that really stands out is its rack, which is designed specifically for canning. It includes notches that ensure each quart glass is held in place during the boiling process, as well as a rest so that the rack is supported on the edge of the canning pot, making jar removal exponentially easier. The unit also includes a tri-ply base, which promises even heating.
4. Ball freshTECH Electric Water Bath Canner
If you’d rather not give up a stove burner for your canning hobby, then Ball’s electric option might be the one for you. Although the electric canner will take up counter space, it’s a more energy-efficient alternative to the stove (20 percent more efficient, actually) and gives you greater control over the entire process. What’s more, it also works as a steamer for pastas, soups and seafood.