Supplies needed to can vegetables include canning jars, seals and rings for the jars. A water bath canner is need for high-acid vegetables such as tomatoes and a pressure canner is needed for low-acid foods green beans. Other useful supplies include a jar lifter, canning rack and wide-mouth funnel.
A water bath canner is simply an oversized stockpot that is large enough to hold canning jars and water to cover the jars. Small water bath canners hold at least 21 quarts of water, but much larger ones are available. The water bath canner should have a tight fitting lid. If purchased new, it should have a canning jar rack that holds the jars upright. Otherwise, purchase a canning rack to use with the canner.
A pressure canner is used when canning low-acid vegetables to ensure any bacteria present are killed. These canners reach extremely high temperatures, 240 degrees F and up. The lid locks in place and an external thermometer shows the temperature as the water boils inside.
Canning jars with new seals and ring lids are used in canning vegetables. The jars and rings can be reused as long as there are no cracks in the jars and the rings are not dented. The jars and rings should be cleaned before using if they are not new. Jar seals must be new in order to ensure a complete seal. If the jar does not seal completely, air can get inside which allows bacteria to grow and make the food dangerous.
A large-mouth funnel and jar tongs are not a necessity but do make canning easier. The funnel aids in getting the vegetables and liquid into the jars without making a mess. The tongs make removing the jars from the water easier and safer.