Pots and Racks (BBB)


Getting started in boiling water bath canning is easy–you need little more than a nice big stock pot. You don’t have to have a special canner. You can buy special boiling water bath canners–but…. I have one. I quit using it some time ago. If you want to get into pressure canning also–just buy one canner, a pressure canner, and use it for BWB, too! That’s what I do now. The reason I quit using my BWB canner is because the racks sold with most of these canners are flimsy and terrible. I started putting my much sturdier and less frustrating pressure canner rack in my BWB kettle. Then one day I thought–why don’t I just use the pressure canner to BWB?! And I moved the BWB pot out of my pantry, relieving storage space by downsizing to one big pot that can do both. (To use a pressure canner as a BWB canner, all you have to do is not operate the pressure canning function. Put the lid on top of the pot, without clamping on, and don’t use the pressure. Then it’s just a big pot! And usually pressure canners come with better racks.)

If you’re not ready to buy a pressure canner or plan to only do boiling water bath canning, you can use any large stock pot you already own. You just need to add a rack. You can buy canning racks separately, or use any rack that fits your pot, such as a round cake rack. I recommend any rack other than one of those flimsy racks sold off the shelf for boiling water bath canners. (You can do a search online and find sturdier racks for boiling water bath canners than those sold off the shelf with the kettles.)

This is the kind of rack I’m talking about that I can’t stand. Please enjoy the rust and cobwebs. I abandoned this boiling water bath canner, leaving it outside. I think I need to turn it into a planter now.

What is with that? These racks are incredibly frustrating. Avoid them at all costs. They cause jar toppling, for one thing, because balancing jars on them is difficult. They’re flimsy and infuriating, and whoever invented them should be spanked. Hard.

This is the rack inside my pressure canner. Stable. Fabulous. This pressure canner is 50 years old, so it came by its rust the old-fashioned way, hard work.

The pot is aluminum and I only use it for canning, so I don’t worry about it too much.

Once you’re all set with your pot and rack, you need a BBB, too!


Ball Blue BookIt’s a Ball Blue Book Project day! Today’s Ball Blue Book is sponsored by Never Yield Gear–check out their stuff here.

For a chance to win: Leave a comment on this post and let me know you want it. You can just put (BBB) at the end of your comment or otherwise note that you want to be in the draw. One winner will be drawn by random comment number to receive a Ball Blue Book. Eligible entry cut-off is midnight Eastern (U.S.) time tonight (March 13). This post will be updated with the winner by 9 a.m. Eastern (U.S.) time tomorrow (March 14). Return to this post to claim your book if your name is drawn (or check the BBB Winners List).

Find out more about the Ball Blue Book Project and become a sponsor.

UPDATE 03/14/11: The winning comment number, drawn by random.org, is #94, northcountrygirl. Email me at CITRgiveaways(at)yahoo.com with your full name and address for shipping!



  1. Krista S. says:

    Thanks so much for the info on the racks! I would have had to learn the hard way.

    Would love to win the book!

  2. Richelle says:

    Yes, BBB Please!

  3. Jean - MN says:

    My Mom used to have both — not sure which she preferred tho — thanks for the info — BBB please — thank you

  4. Mark Garner says:

    I would love to win the BBB!

  5. Rose in Vermont says:

    Hmm, I have the old rack. If I win, maybe I will look for a new one, ha ha!!!

  6. susan says:

    Why didn’t I think of using just one canner, what a space saver to use just one! (BBB)

  7. Gem says:

    It has to be ME this time! BBB please?!

  8. Heidi says:

    My mom picked up The Farmers Wife cookbooks for me…can’t wait to start canning! BBB please!

  9. Bobbi says:

    Now why didn’t I think of that! 🙂
    <3 Love your site <3
    BBB please.

  10. Glenie says:

    I would love to have a new updated book of canning instructions. BBB please.

  11. Sheepie~Girl says:

    Please pick ME for the BBB!!!

  12. Teresa says:

    thanks for info — BBB please

  13. gfoulds says:

    Please Please Please and Thank You !!

  14. Pam C in Canada says:

    I think my mom has one like the one you threw away lol. I don’t remember her having a lot of trouble with it…but canning was something we got shooed out the door for (our kitchen was tiny and not set up nicely for anything). Not to mention hot water & little kids lol.

    BBB please!

  15. Bambitski says:

    Please enter me into the drawing. When I started using my new to me canner, it wasnt too pretty either. I had to buy a new insert for it, but I can’t believe that they want so much for a flimsy piece of wire now days. Ridiculous.

  16. Carol Radtke says:

    I bought a hot water bath canner at an auction that had a homemade wooden rackthat simply sat on the bottom of the pot. BBB please!

  17. Anke says:

    My canner has the same wobbly rack and I can’t stand it. I’ve bought a different one, hoping it would fit, but sadly it didn’t. Still looking though…
    BBB pretty please.

  18. Debbie says:

    I would love a BBB!

  19. Cindy says:

    BBB me PLEASE!!

  20. Pam says:

    I use the BWB canner. I agree that it causes the jars to be wobbly, but I still use it. Now all I need is the BBB!

  21. cricketjett says:

    BBB, please!

  22. aprilejoi says:

    So inspiring ! BBB, BBB put me in the drawing please! BBB!

  23. Denise says:

    BBB please :happybutterfly:

  24. Janice Jewett says:

    Please enter me for aBBB. Thanks Janice

  25. Jennifer S says:

    BBB please!

  26. Linda Goble says:

    pick me please. :happyfeet:

  27. Tricia in TEXAS says:

    BBB eventually it will HAVE to be ME!!! :heart:

  28. lavenderblue says:

    Okay, not to be sexist but, whenever my mom would get frustrated (or ‘flustated’ as she used to say, I guess it was a cross between frustrated and flustered, and she usually was when she said it) with something that didn’t work well in the kitchen or laundry or doing any type of housework, she would always say “You can tell a man designed this. It doesn’t work but he won’t have to use it.” And, back then they didn’t.

    Tell Weston if he ever finds himself designing household products in his engineering career to think of his mom and how easy it would work for her.

    Mom envisioned a company of female product designers who would actually have used what they designed. That was saying a lot back then. And if a man applied, his interview was going to be running a household for six months and having to put up with what he designed. Mom was a visionary. And kind of a complainer, too. 😆 BBB,please.

  29. Full Strut Farm says:

    What a great idea! Thanks, BBB please.

  30. Shonda judy says:

    I totally agree! Great idea. I am so ready to start canning this year. I would love a new book. Mine us about 15 years old. BBB!

  31. Melissa (N4M) says:

    BBB pretty please!

  32. Megan Duff says:

    Please enter me in the drawing!!! BBB thank you!

  33. Cindy says:

    I’d love a BBB!

  34. nbensley says:

    I would love a current canning book…I’ve been using my mothers and it is from the 1970’s! (BBB)

  35. marymac says:

    That’s how I use mine too!! BBB

  36. Marj says:

    Can’t wait for canning season. BBB please! Thank you for the chance.

  37. Jennifer M. says:

    Count me in. Thanks for the new info on the pots.

  38. Rebecca McGinnis says:

    Please enter me in the drawing. BBB, please. Thanks so much! :duck:

  39. justdeborah2002 says:

    Lavenderblue, great comment….and I agree, kinda-sexist and all, but oh so true…
    Would love a chance to win, please, BBB!

  40. Renee says:

    I want a BBB, please!!!!!!! :snoopy:

  41. morningstar says:

    Please enter me in to the drawing for the BBB thank you xx

  42. Clarissa says:

    Thanks to the sponsor “Never Yield Gear”. I would like to win a BBB.

  43. iowacowgirl says:

    enter me please…i use one of those crappy racks…this year i hope to graduate to a pressure canner!!!

  44. Barbie says:

    I got rid of my BWB pot, and used it for a planter. Sure would like a new BBB to use this year. BTW, I agree with Lavenderblue.

  45. Madeline says:

    This is a GRANDMOTHER BREAD question. I am finally gonna give it a try today– will start with the basic white bread recipe.. but we generally like whole wheat or a mix. of 2/3 ww and 1/3 white flour. Has anyone JUST used the 3 Tablespoonso f gluten for the dough enhancer vs. all the other ingredients in the homemade enhancer? When i used to make bread in a machine, I added 3 T. just vital wheat gluten to the whole wheat loaves so they’d rise well and it worked.

    think I can get away with that in your loaf??

  46. Nancy Stickler says:

    BBB Please!

  47. LeAnn says:

    BBB, please :yes:

  48. Cindy O'Dear says:

    That old pot would make a cool looking planter. BBB please.

  49. Diane says:

    I need a canning book to go with my neglected pressure canner please, BBB.

  50. Marie says:

    I have a BWB canner from my grandma…I am old so its very OLD. 🙂 BBB pleasssssse. Thanks

  51. SuzieQ says:

    BBB….pretty please! :fairy:

  52. Ramona Slocum says:

    I would enjoy a BBB. Please pick ME> 🙂 :fairy:


  53. LisaAJB says:

    I have my husband’s grandmother’s old bwb canner and I love it. BBB please!

  54. Nadeanne says:

    maybe if I win the BBB i will finally stop talking about canning and actually do it! 😀

  55. Miss Becky says:

    I’ve used one of those boiling water bath canners for years and the racks haven’t given me any problems that are more than I can deal with. I agree though that when using pint jars they do tumble a bit until I get the weight evenly distributed. quart jars fit nicely. but your rack looks a bit different from the one that came with my canner. and my canner was passed along to my from my mom.
    a great, informative post Suzanne, thanks. and thanks to Never Yield Gear for sponsoring this giveaway! BBB!

  56. Alison says:

    I agree about the rickity racks…they are frustrating.
    I would love a BBB.

  57. Mary Fran says:

    I think I will try my stock pot and not buy anything but a sturdy rack. I was wondering if you could substitute a stock pot. Thanks for the info. BBB please!

  58. Felicia says:

    I was lucky enough to inherit my grandmothers (possibly even my great grandmothers) pressure cooker last year. I haven’t done much more than hot water canning so I could so use the BBB to do some real canning! I have dreams of having a huge stocked pantry full of cream of’s, soups, veggies and more.

  59. Bonnie Schmidt says:

    BBB, please!

  60. AnnieB says:

    BBB me please!

  61. ann/alba says:

    Please BBB … I have learn so much from the Blog. Canning has always intimidated me Thought I had to have all the proper equipment to Can, I have my MIL chili-sauce recipe handed down from her mother now I feel more confident to make it & can It.

  62. B. Ruth says:

    I would have used the old BWB pot for keeping lots of jars hot until I got ready to fill them…but you must have a better pot…
    Put this pot to good use leave in the old rack, knock some holes in the bottom with a large nail…place a piece of worn burlap in the bottom and plant….Then you could set it by the planted old worn out boots….Mercy, I hope you like my TN hillbilly
    make-do ideas?…My friends used to get a kick out of my flower pots…especially the old enameled childrens potty pans with the little handle…I also used old rusty metal wagon wheels on top of the soil for planting herbs…even if they soon outgrew the spoke separations…most times the flowers will grow and fall over the pot and it is not recognised anyways….

  63. Suzanne says:

    Would love to win it to share with my daughter to use with vegetables from the farmers’ markets this summer.

  64. Zusiqu says:

    BBB Please? I have pretty much stopped using anything but my pressure canner. I love that thing.

  65. Susan W says:

    BBB please! You always make it sound soooo good. Thanks.

  66. CrystalGB says:

    I would love to have the BBB.

  67. Melanie says:

    I would heart a BBB!

  68. Pamela Adkins says:

    Planning a large amount of canning this summer. I may not be able to afford gas for my vacation, so I’ll just stay home and save even more money by canning! I could really use this BBB and appreciate the advice on the BWB/pressure canner.

  69. Tx Aggiemom says:

    :yes: YES, I would indeed love to win a BBB. Please consider me for the prize.
    :happyfeet: :happyfeet: :happyfeet: :happyfeet: :happyfeet: :happyfeet:

  70. Ladychef says:

    Thanks for another chance!

  71. langela says:

    Please enter me for the BBB. Thank you!

  72. Laura Pintor says:

    I agree-those flimsy canning racks are useless. My jars are always toppling over with them. Please enter my name in the drawing, Thanks`

  73. northcountrygirl says:

    Please include me in the drawing. BBB
    Thank you.

  74. Amanda says:

    I’d like the BBB.

  75. Lee in KY says:

    BBB please. Thanks!

  76. Jody Kundreskas says:

    I’ve been wanting to learn to can for a few years now… this would be a perfect way for me to start! :chicken:

  77. Jamie Dome says:

    Hopefully I will win this time. BBB please!

  78. Patricialynn says:

    BBB please! Spring is almost here and I am starting to get desperate for a canning book!

  79. Carol in NC says:

    I hate my crummy rack too but I never really thought to ditch it. Duh! Your solution make so much more sense! BBB

  80. BeverlyC says:

    BBB, Please & Thank You!

  81. ATL Cook says:

    I have a big blue enamel canner, rack, 20 doz jars of various sizes, and a BBB from a long time ago–maybe late 60s. Grew up in the town where they are from; went to HS and college there too. I sure could use an updated BBB.

  82. marylhall330 says:

    Hi Suzanne, please enter me in the BBB.
    Mary :shocked:

  83. Cheryl R says:

    I have the flimsy style of rack in my arsenal for water baths. I am on the lookout for a pressure canner. That way, as you stated, I will be able to do both type of canning with one pot. Love it. Also I would like the BBB.

  84. Joyce Miller says:

    I love your posts. Every year I say I’m going to try canning. Maybe this will be the year! Yes to BBB !!!.

  85. windspiritwhimsies says:

    Would love to win the BBB! Please enter me! Thanks! :happyflower:

  86. kindigo27 says:

    Can I get a BBB, please, oh, great random number generator!?!?

  87. Laura Newton says:

    please enter me!

  88. Sarah Beth says:

    BBB Please!!

  89. Rachel says:

    I so need this book…the confusion I experienced in reading that blog post was all the proof I needed!! Hahaha

    BBB please!

  90. Tammy F says:

    Would love to win this, just what I need for canning this year, BBB.

  91. Shar says:

    Thank you to the sponsor and Suzanne for another great drawing. Please count me in on the BBB!

  92. Lindsay says:

    Great info! I’ve been saving up for a pressure canner, here’s just one more reason! :sun: BBB please!

  93. rainss61 says:

    :sheep: BBB :sheep: BBB :duck: BBB :fairy: BBB :shimmy: BBB :snoopy: :snoopy:

  94. melody says:

    i would love to win a bbb.

  95. Lana says:

    Would love to have a BBB for my daughter-in-law!! Thanks!

  96. Jessica Womochil says:

    BBB Please! I love your site!! Thank you for the chance!!!

  97. Megan Duff says:

    Congrats, northcountrygirl!

  98. Judy says:

    Glad you won northcountrygirl…Congrats!!!!

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