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!
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!
THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED TO ENTRY.