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Canning Supplies For Jam

Hi --

So I have a lot of time on my hands and have decided to start making jam! Problem is I just moved back to Toronto and have NO CLUE where to get all of the supplies.

I've already bought the jars and labels (from Wal-Mart) and know that you can get pectin just about anywhere. But where can I find the following:

Jar Tongs/ Lifter
Canning Rack
Canning Funnel

Price is important -- I don't want to spend a ton yet since I'm not sure how into the jam making I will be. Location is somewhat important. It has to be TTC accessible (I don't drive). I live at Yonge & Eg but will go anywhere on the TTC bus route!

Thank you!

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  1. I actually was able to find a canning funnel and jar tongs at my local Dollarama (College Park). Try there first.

    1 Reply
    1. re: xtal

      i didn't even think of dollarama... i love that place. thx

    2. I would recommend tongs, good safety item with all the hot water, but the rest I've never used, I made a funnel out of a plastic bottle, inverted with the base cut off and I cut a wider hole at the neck...

      4 Replies
      1. re: Recyclor

        good tip... but what did you do about sterilizing. did you have a makeshift rack to put in the bottom of your pot?

        1. re: wontonfm

          It was a few years ago, I was making antipasto (very acidic), I think I just boiled them in the pot standing up 3 at a time, no rack, I threw in the tongs reco because I do recall lifting out hot jars full of boiling water to be dangerous and difficult...not that I think a rack is a bad idea, you mentioned keeping costs down...my methods might not have been the best but they worked well enough, it's not rocket science right...

          hmmm, now I want to do some of that again, maybe a salsa?....

          1. re: Recyclor

            I've used a similar technique, no rack, but used the tongs to grab the jars out of the water. Any tongs will do, as long as the 'business-end' is rubberized. Though, the Dollarama find was a spectacular one.

            Maybe Tap Phong on Spadina?

          2. re: wontonfm

            Sterilizing the jars is simple. Wash themwell in hot, soapy water; rinse thoroughly and dry them; set them on a cookie tin; put them into an oven pre-heated to 210*F; leave for 10 minutes; turn the oven off, and let sit til ready to use. Include any glass tops as well.

            Sterilize rubber rings or rubber rimmed lids by boiling for 5 minutes and leave them in their pot until ready to use.

            This is a good method for cold-pack pickling as when doing mushrooms.

        2. Canadian Tire usually carries all the gear. Canning racks usually come packaged with the enameled canning pot. Sometimes the surviving streetfront Home Hardware stores carry loads of this stuff in Italian or Portuguese 'hoods(e.g., St Clair W, College, Dundas W.).

          1. Yes, I got this set at Canadian Tire.

            Most handy are the tongs and magnetic picker upper. I believe the rack usually comes with the pot but I also use the round cooling racks from the dollar store in my stock pot.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Mila

              ummmm, magnetic picker upper?...OMG that's brilliant! I recall spending frustrating seconds/minutes trying to pick up HOT flat lids off the counter...

              1. re: Mila

                when in doubt ... canadian tire. i'll check them out tomorrow. thanks!

              2. If you are new to canning, look for BERNARDIN's "Guide to Home Preserving" (ISBN 0-9694719-3-9) Has many, many recipes and outlines the pitfalls of home preserving. Basically pretty simple........keep everything sterile. Got my copy off a Wally Mart junk table for $2 a few years back. Excellent guide to keeping everthing safe.

                1 Reply
                1. this is easy... Canadian Tire and Home Hardware. They will both have the supplies you need.

                  1. ^^lol- hope it went well- if ou're still looking-

                    You can also try Fortinos @ Lawrence square( and allen- right at lawrence w subway)- the "canning stuff" section is right near the bread- saw it last week.

                    If not there is always the Can tire as already mentioned in the same plaza

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: EPIcureanTO

                      I have to jump in here and brag a little bit too...

                      At the time of the initial post, I had been looking about getting into "canning" so it was opportune. I went to the dollar store as xtal recommended and got the funnel but had to buy the tongs and jars at Canadian tire. Picked up some peaches from St Lawrence and made some wonderful Lavender Peach Jam. It was fun. I am thinking about moving on to pickles.

                      The Bernardin book was available at Cdn Tire about $6 but I found this website instead and free:


                      1. re: Apple

                        yah... i'm kind of obsessed with the canning too. if i go at the rate that i would like i will run out of shelf space VERY soon. and also become obese :(

                        1. re: Apple

                          What is pickling Salt? Will Kosher or Sea Salt work??
                          Also, what type of vinegar is best to use when pickling cucmbers/pickles??

                          1. re: leslievillian

                            If I'm not mistaken, regular salt (including Kosher and Sea) include additives to reduce the hygroscopic properties of salt. Unfortunately, these additives can cause canned items to brown slightly. So, pickling/canning salt lacks these additives and therefore keeps the aesthetic nature of your canned items as high as possible. Regular salt will do the job just fine though, and will have no effect on taste.

                            I've found pickling/canning salt in Kensington market in the past. One of the dry goods stores had it, and I'm pretty sure it was the one that's the eastmost of three, on the North side of Baldwin, just East of Augusta.

                            1. re: xtal

                              You can get pickling salt at the Loblaws at Queen Quay. My husband bought me a large bag of it even though I needed a tablespoon... but it has come in handy- i've done - sweet carrots, beets, and at his request, pickled eggs! (haha) (all in the last two weeks)

                      2. I thought I might add this note to the canning thread for anyone canning vegetables.

                        We got 3 bushels of beautiful Roma tomatoes at Joe's Garden Center for $14.99 a bushel. They also had bushels of peppers and eggplant for $14.99.

                        They are located at 1921 Davenport Road at Laughton Avenue which is just past Landsdowne. 416-656-7250