I personally use and recommend all of these products. I’ve provided links for your convenience, and some affiliate links take you to external pages. But I encourage you to buy locally when possible.
The Complete Guide to Pickling
Master the art of pickling with 125 classic and creative recipes. Create quick, fresh, and fermented pickles, as well as hot sauce, relish, salsa, sauerkraut, chutney, and more. By Julie Laing, creator of Twice as Tasty.
Paperback edition: $17.99 + S&H
The Pickled Picnic
Now that you have my pickling book, how can you use all of those pickles? This recipe collection shows you how to incorporate pickles and brine into snacks, drinks, and meals. By Julie Laing, creator of Twice as Tasty.
Digital (PDF) edition: $6
Learn more about The Complete Guide to Pickling and The Pickled Picnic here.
Glass Gallon Jars
Large jars (half-gallon and gallon) are the ideal size for many fermentations. These jars have wider mouths than Mason jars, making them easier to pack but requiring a tool hack for a fermentation weight and airlock.
Ball Mason Jars, Wide Mouth, 64 oz
Ball’s half-gallon jars have the same opening as their smaller wide-mouth jars, so they fit many fermentation weights and airlock lids. Many Ball products are out of stock at authorized retailers, and most available through spring 2021 are fakes or overpriced. You should not be paying more than $15 for a 6-pack of these jars.
Out of Stock
Stone Creek Trading Fermenting Crock, 2.5L
With water-lock lids and glass weights, modern crocks are effective, easy to maintain, and a snap to clean. I use this 2.5-L crock; a 2-L crock will still work for my half-gallon fermentation recipes.
Sauer System Bubble Locks
Bubble airlocks with BPA-free lids and silicone seals let CO2 escape while keeping oxygen out. These fit wide-mouth Mason jars; silicone stoppers let you also use the lids for storage.
MasonLock Pump Lids
MasonLock lids fit wide-mouth jars, have a low profile, and are easy to clean. The pump sucks out oxygen; the airlock lid’s seal keeps it out.
ChouAmi Water-Lock Kit
The all-stainless-steel Little Fermenter fits Le Parfait jars and acts as both airlock and weight: its press and spring keep food submerged, and its water-filled moat and cap keep out air.
A kraut pounder effectively tamps down cabbage, can crush whole spices, or make packing chili mash contact-free.
Yemoos Jar Insulator
Upgrade towel-wrapped jars and help manage temperature swings with a cozy wool insulator.
Learn more about my favorite fermenting tools here.
Many canning supplies and tools will be out of stock until at least spring 2021.
Ball/Kerr Mason Jars & Lids
Ball and Kerr jars, both manufactured by Newell Brands, are the most prevalent and well-tested jars on the U.S. canning market. I prefer wide-mouth pints and quarts for most pickles. Many Ball products are out of stock at authorized retailers, and most available through spring 2021 are fakes or overpriced. You should not be paying more than $15 for a case of 12 jars with rings and lids.
Out of Stock
Anchor Hocking Mason Jars
I started using these jars for chutneys and sauces this year, when my local hardware store stocked them as a Ball replacement. So far, so good. They work like, and should be similar in price to, Ball and Kerr jars.
Out of Stock
Tattler Reusable Lids
I’ve been using—and reusing—these lids successfully for several years. They fit Ball, Kerr, and other Mason jars but work differently than 2-piece canning lids, so be sure to follow the instructions.
Graniteware Canning Kettle
I still use speckled graniteware canning kettles that I inherited from my mom and great aunt. The design has stood the test of time and is readily available.
A jar lifter is crucial for moving full jars safely in and out of a
canner full of boiling water. My Norpro jar lifter has lasted years and moved hundreds of jars.
I often can sauces and chutneys in a stockpot. A few years ago I replaced my impromptu “rack,” made from old canning rings, with a Me.Fan silicone trivet, and I’ve never looked back.
Learn more about my favorite canning tools here.
These stainless-steel rings from Mason Jar Lifestyle look like standard canning rings but are rustproof and fit either narrow-mouth (regular) or wide-mouth Mason jars.
Plastic Storage Lids
Experience has taught me that it’s worth spending a little money on sturdy, nonreactive lids for Mason jar storage. They’re easy to clean and reuse, lasting many seasons. I own and use several brands, but my favorites are from iLids and come in narrow- and wide-mouth sizes.
Stainless-Steel Storage Lids
One-piece stainless-steel lids with silicone seals to keep brines and salsas from leaking—and reduce your plastic footprint. My favorites are made by Mason Jar Lifestyle for narrow- or wide-mouth Mason jars.
The storage lids I recommend fit Mason jars, and I generally repurpose empty vinegar, sauce, sake, salad dressing, and other bottles for hot sauces and shrubs. If I want a large batch of identical bottles to gift, I purchase ones like these from a local natural-food store.
Learn more about my favorite storage tools here.
I use a kitchen scale almost daily: for canning, for freezing, for sourdough baking, and more.
Wide-mouth funnels are useful not just when canning but also when filling jars with everything from quick pickles, to leftover soups, to popcorn. I still use my mom’s plastic funnel, but stainless-steel versions are also available.
Breville Immersion Blender
I no longer own an upright blender and rely on an immersion version for everything from salsa to falafel. The Breville model stands up to heavy use.
A thermometer is crucial in cheesemaking and helps in everything from making jam to baking English muffins. I’ve tried many over the years, but I most impressed by the ThermaPen (and carnivores tell me it’s the best for meats).
High-Accuracy pH Meter
To take away the guesswork as I test new recipes for water-bath canning and fermenting, I check pH with a high-accuracy meter from ThermoWorks.
Mandolines produce uniform slices safely and efficiently, particularly when you’re processing pounds of produce. My Benriner mandoline has lasted years without needing sharpening, and I’ve gifted it many times.
Cut-Resistant Kitchen Glove
If you buy a mandoline, you should also buy a cut-resistant glove for at least your slicing hand—mandolines are wicked sharp. A small fits my hand; George needs a large.
Closely woven butter muslin holds up to many washings and has myriad uses: spice bags for relish, a light weight for ferments, and draining layers for cheese.
I’ve owned my Oxo stainless-steel zester for nearly 20 years and use it for everything from zesting limes to grating parmesan.
I was late jumping onto the Microplane bandwagon because I loved my bar-style zester so much, but I picked one up at a sale a few years back and now love it for fine zesting.
I find fine-mesh colanders more useful than pasta strainers and use them when making pickles, relishes, and shrubs; draining cheese; and rinsing rice.
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