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The Pueblo County Extension office provides assistance and programs for citizens in five main areas: Agriculture, Horticulture, Family and Consumer Science, Natural Resources and 4-H Youth Programs.

Using the Right Equipment   arrow

waterbath cannerWater Bath Canner: A large cooking pot with a close-fitting lid and a rack to keep the jars from touching the bottom.
Safe when used to process fruits, tomatoes, pickles, jams, jellies and other preserves. 
Must be deep enough for 1 inch of boiling water to cover the jars.
Diameter of canner should be no more than 4 inches wider than the stove burner.
Electric ranges require the canner to have a flat bottom.
Pressure CannerPressure Canner: A specially made heavy pot with a tightly-fitting lid to prevent steam from escaping and a rack to keep jars from touching the bottom. 
Used for safely processing low-acid foods such as vegetables, meats, fish/seafood and poultry.
The lid has an air and steam vent, a pressure gauge and a safety valve. (The pressure gauge will be either a weighted or dial gauge.)
Pressure canners are not all the same! Read the manfacturer’s directions for operating your canner. 
Canning Jars: Mason-type jars specifically designed for home canning are best to use to insure well-fitting lids and provide the strength needed for high processing temperatures.
Jars should be inspected before use and be free of chips or cracks. 
Pint and quart size jars are most commonly used for pickles, vegetables, fruits and juices.
Half-pint jars and 12 ounce jars are handy for jams, jellies and preserves. 
If properly used and cared for, jars may be used indefinitely.
Do NOT use commercial jars (like spaghetti and mayonnaise) which are designed for a single application and may not withstand the temperatures required for home canning!
canning lidsCanning lids: Two-piece self-sealing lids are the most commonly used for home canning. These consist of a flat metal disc which has a sealing compound around the outer edge and a separate metal screw band. 
NOTE: The flat metal lids should only be used once!
The metal screw bands may be reused if not rusted or bent.  
Follow directions for preparing and using lids provided by the manufacturer. 
canning utensilsCanning Utensils: The following are helpful for home canning:
Jar lifter for removing hot jars from the canner
Jar filler or big-mouth funnel to help pack foods into canning jars
Bubble freer or narrow plastic knife or spatula for removing air bubbles from the jars
Lid wand (magnetic) to help remove metal lids from hot water when preheating of lids is recommended by the manufacturer
canning suppliesBasic Kitchen Supplies: 
Colander, strainer or slotted spoon
Clean cloths and paper towels for wiping jar rims and for general clean-up
Knives for food preparation
Cutting board for food preparation 
Timer or clock to determine end of processing time
Hot pad holders for handling hot canning equipment