Pros: Easy to Use, Easy to Clean, Durable, Good starter kit
Cons: You will need more items as you get deeper into the process.
Canning vegetables, jellies, fruits and other items can be a lot of fun and a great way to make the most of your garden. There are some basic tools that you will need to get the job done correctly and this is a nice starter kit. It is suitable to give as a gift to someone that is getting in to canning or wants to try their hand at it but if they are going to stick with it chances are they are going to buy individual pieces that will work better for their specific projects. This is just an intro kit; if you are going to go balls out with it you are going to have to invest in more things down the road. It is a nice pick if you are thinking about getting in to canning but it is not even close to "complete".
What do you get with the Back-To-Basics Home Cannign Kit? The kit includes tongs, a canning funnel to allow food to go into the jar instead of all over it, a jar jaw that can be used to twist off rings, a jar lifter that is used to pull jars from a water bath or after they are sterilized and a tube like magnet that you use to remove the canning lids so they are not touched by your hands. If you are buying this as a gift you might want to check out some of the starter packs of canning jars and the rings and lid sets that are sold in most larger retail stores. It is a decent starter set, a lot better than some of the ones I have seen recently at the farmers markets in the area. The piece are well made and should last a couple of years if you take care of them but they can break if you are tossing them around or not storing them properly.
One of the nicest things about this kit is the ends are rubber-wrapped so they stay cool to the touch and are easy to work with. The set sells for about ten to fifteen dollars but you might be able to find it at a discount if you shop in a store that sells a lot of canning products. They sometimes have these at 50% the normal selling price as an incentive for those getting in to canning. You can get them in a variety of colors so if you have someone that is in to color coordinating their kitchen gadgets there are color options available. It's a better deal than buying the pieces individually and makes for a nice gift. If someone has a large garden chances are they already put up items for the winter; something like this wouldn't really be a great gift for them because they'll already have everything that comes with the kit.
I have had this set for a couple years now and there are a couple of pieces that I still use when ever I am doing any type of canning. These tools can be used with any type of canning jar so you don't have to worry about something being too large or too small. The funnel might be a little too small for the super wide mouth jars but if you are using those types of canning jars chances are you are a pro and have your own personal picks to get the job done. If you have kids and they are interested in canning, you are going to have to be there to supervise the whole process from start to finish. That means from prepping the jars to working with the food and then sealing them. There are way too many things that could happen, not just to the canned items, but to the kids to allow them to go at this on their own. If you don't have the time to stay with them through the whole process then put it off until you can have a four to five hour chunk of time to can but at the same time explain the entire process to them.
There are a lot of benefits to canning; for me it is being able to have beets in the middle of the winter or foods that aren't jam packed with sodium. This is a nice kit but it is only a starter kit. It has everything that you are going to need to get into the process but if you stick with it, you are going to find that there are others things that you are going to want to pick up to improve the process and make it easier and more time efficient.
^V^ ©Freak369 - 2012 ^V^
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