Which canning medium is the best?
A pantry filled with the jewel tones of perfectly preserved fruits and vegetables is the mark of a skilled gardener and cook. If you find yourself with an abundance of fresh food, canning is a simple process made easier with the right tools.
The Prepworks by Progressive Stainless Steel Reversible Canning Rack is sturdy and versatile for canning everything from bushels of apples to a few pounds of tomatoes.
What to know before buying a canning rack
Bain-marie vs pressure canning
Not all canning racks will work with all types of canning.
Pressure canners use less water and require a different type of rack than a hot water canner. Typically, pressure cooker canning grates are flat metal discs with holes 0.25 to 0.5 inches in diameter, while hot water bath canning grates are cage-like. made of metal.
It is important to note that the type of food you are canning will dictate the type of canning you need. You need to store low-acid foods in the higher heat of a pressure canner to adequately kill any potential bacteria.
Canning container size
The size of the jar in which you can put matters. Before purchasing a canning rack, you will need to know the available diameter of your jar and whether the sides are straight or angled. There’s no sense buying a rack that won’t fit in your pot.
Also, if you plan on stacking two layers of jars, you’ll need to make sure your container is deep enough to accommodate this. For double boiler canning, you will need to leave at least 1 inch of boiling water on the top layer jars.
Quantity of jars
Some people like to pack just a few pints of jams or jellies each year, while others stock the pantry with glittering canning jars filled with every type of fruit and vegetable you can imagine. For best results, you will need to match the size of your canning rack to the amount of food you store each year.
What to Look for in a Quality Canning Rack
Reversible canning racks solve the problem of keeping different jar sizes stable. One side typically accommodates pint jars, while the other is best suited for pint and a half jars.
If your canning rack is stackable, you’ll be able to store twice as much food in half the time. This saves time in a hot kitchen at the end of summer.
Handles that stay cool
Once the food is processed, you will need to take it out of the canning container. You can buy a separate jar lifter, but the best canning racks come with stay-cool handles to make lifting the jars easier.
Easy to store
Look for a rack that can be folded flat and tucked away for easy storage. Even if your canning rack has legs, it should take up very little cabinet space.
Some racks are made of lightweight aluminum that won’t rust but bend and dent easily. Stainless steel is a better choice for durability.
How much you can expect to spend on a canning rack
It’s the affordable equipment you didn’t know you needed for food preservation. Expect to spend $10 to $15.
Canning Rack FAQs
How to use a canning rack?
A. Check with the manufacturer to see which method they recommend.
In general, for bain-marie canning using a rack with handles, load your filled jars onto the rack and gently lower them into the boiling water. If your grid does not have handles, place it at the bottom of the container before adding water.
In a pressure canner, place the rack on the bottom of the pot, load your jars, and proceed as directed by the manufacturer.
Do you need a canning rack?
A. Canning in a water bath is an easy way to preserve a large amount of food for long-term storage. Many home cooks are hesitant to try this method due to concerns about bacteria and proper processing times. Following the USDA’s complete guide to canning helps, as does a canning rack.
Not only does the stand hold the glass jars to allow water to flow freely around them. It also prevents jars from cracking when vibrating in boiling water. It keeps them steady and stable for the duration of the treatment.
Plus, a canning rack with handles makes it easy to remove hot jars from boiling water. Some home cooks try to line the bottom of the pot with a towel to keep the jars from banging together. However, this does not solve the problem of collecting them from the water when they are finished.
What is the best canning rack to buy?
Upper Canning Rack
Prepworks by Progressive Reversible Stainless Steel Canning Rack
What do you want to know: This versatile rack allows you to easily handle multiple pot sizes simultaneously.
What you will love: It is made of durable 18/10 stainless steel and will not rust. The rack is reversible, designed to hold quart jars on one side and pint and half-pint jars on the other. Stack the racks on top of each other to double the number of jars processed at one time.
What you should consider: It requires at least a 16-quart pot.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Best canning rack for the money
Norpro Small Canning Rack
What do you want to know: Use this rack for small batch or occasional canning.
What you will love: Its smaller 8-inch diameter is better suited for small batches of preserves and jams. It features coated handles for easy removal when treatment time is up.
What you should consider: It gets crowded quickly because it can only hold two quart-sized jars or four pint-sized jars.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Impresa Products Canning Rack for Pressure Canner
What do you want to know: This is perfect for storing food in large quantities in a pressure canner.
What you will love: The perforated disc is stainless steel and stackable (this set includes two canning racks). Each rack holds eight pint-sized jars.
What you should consider: It is designed for pressure canning and not for hot water canning methods. It also requires at least 11 inches of space at the bottom of the pot and will not work for smaller pressure cookers.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.
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