When someone is thinking about starting to use home canning to preserve their foods for long-term shelf-stable food storage they typically get overwhelmed with all of the various types of canners and styles available, but let me try to make ait a whole lot easier for you.
Let's first start off with the different types of canners, and what makes them different from the others, and what they are used for.
The first style of canner we are going to look at is a water-bath canner. This is simply an inexpensive pot, with a rack or wire basket inside the bottom to keep the jars off of the bottom of the pot.
They come in several different styles including stainless steel and enameled. These canners can normally be found starting at around $30 and are good for new canners just getting started or those on a budget.
You can simply use a large stock pot that you may already have if it is tall enough to allow water to completely cover your jars and does not allow allow the boiling water to splash over the rim. You can purchase a basket or rack that will fit inside the stock pot to keep the jars off of the bottom, or you can also fold a kitchen towel and place it in the bottom of the pot under the jars to keep them off the bottom of the pot.
Water-bath canning is suitable for preserving pickles, fruits, jams, jellies & preserves, and salsa.
With water-bath canning, you are simply placing the filled jars into a pot filled with boiling water for a certain amount of time, depending on the food and the size of the jars used. The heat from the boiling water is what is processing the food for preservation.
One thing to keep in mind though is that the water-bath canning method can not be used for meats, poultry, fish, vegetables, or low-acid foods because the h