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University of Illinois Extension

Canning Jams and Jellies: Equipment List

A cottage food operation is a business where the creation of products is home-based, rather than factory-based. Food products created by cottage food operations are often unique and distinctive given the fact that they are not mass-produced; they are homemade from scratch.

You will need:

  • Boiling Water Bath Canner
    • A water bath canner is a large pot with a canning rack and lid
    • Canner must be deep enough to fit jars, plus 1 to 2-inches boiling water
  • Liquid measuring cups, dry measuring cups and measuring spoons
  • Potholders, towels, etc.
  • Bowl for sugar
  • Colander
  • Large heavy, non-reactive metal pot such as stainless steel
  • Ladle
  • Jar lifter
  • Lid lifter or lid wand
  • Wide mouth jar funnel
  • Jars and lids (half-pint, pint, quart (what not to use =  non-canning jar, like mayo)
  • Boiling water canner and rack
  • Scales
  • Sieve, food mill, or fruit press (potato masher works too)
  • Jelly bag, optional
  • Thermometer - jelly or candy
  • Timer
  • Food processor, optional
  • Cutting board
  • Knives, long handle spoons
  • So Easy to Preserve, 6th Edition or reliable recipes from another source

Canning Jars

  • Use only standard, threaded home-canning jars
  • Use wide-mouth or regular
  • For jams and jellies; use ½ pint or pints jars
  • Some jars are no longer recommended; do not use:
    • Recycled commercial jars (like mayo),
    • Bail-type jars, or jelly glasses

Sterilizing Jars

  • All products processed less than 10 minutes must be filled into pre-sterilized jars
  • To pre-sterilize; place in water bath canner, cover with hot water and boil for 10 minutes
  • Jars can be left in canner until ready to fill

Canning Lids

  • Use two piece self-sealing lids (show me an example)
  • Lids no longer recommended:
    • Zinc/ceramic lids,
    • bail-type closures,
    • plastic lids,
    • glass lids 

Optional Canning Equipment

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