What To Use Instead of a Canning Rack: The Best Substitutes

When you’re canning foods at home, it’s important to use a canning rack. But what if you don’t have one? Fret not! Here are some replacements for your canning rack so that you can still enjoy homemade canned foods without one.

What are canning racks?

A canning rack is also known as a jar rack. It’s a tool for packing jars of food to be canned. These racks are usually made of metal and are designed to hold the jars of food off the bottom of the canner, allowing the water to flow under them better.

But what do you do if you don’t have one? Don’t worry! There are still ways to can your foods without this essential tool.

First, if you’re using jars with metal lids, you can use a rack that isn’t made for canning, like a cooling rack. This will simply support the jars as they are being packed and will fit inside your canner at the same time.

Second, if you have a wire rack from a toaster oven, you can use that as a replacement. Just be sure that it is tall enough to fit your jars.

Third, you could use a steamer rack or a cooling rack from a refrigerator. These will be low enough to fit inside your canner so that the jars can still be packed underneath them.

Last, if you have a wok with a small steamer basket, the steamer basket will work

A video is likely to be far better for you to implement a solution here, so please watch the video below for a short tutorial.

What are some substitutes for a canning rack?

These options are a little outside the box

A clean dish towel

A clean dish towel is an excellent substitute for a canning rack. Fold the dish towel in half and place the Jar on the inside of the towel, then fold the two ends over the top of the Jar. The towel will act as a cushion to keep your jars from touching the bottom of the pot.

Coffee filters

Coffee filters can act as an alternative to a canning rack. Place your jars on the coffee filter to keep them off of the bottom of the pot.

A jar lid

A jar lid can act as a substitute for a canning rack. Place your jar on top of a jar lid for support. This will keep it off of the bottom of the pot and prevent it from tipping over.

A cooling rack

A cooling rack can also act as a substitute for a canning rack. We recommend placing the jars upside down on the cooling rack so that they don’t accidentally tip over while they are cooling.

Do I need A Canning Rack ?

If you love to preserve fresh food throughout the year, then you probably use a canning rack. A canning rack will help with the preservation process because it elevates jars off of the bottom of your pot. This prevents heat loss and boiling over.

These racks are also ideal for other cooking processes like making quarts of fruit. Without it, you would be forced to boil over the top of your pot and could spill hot water on yourself. If you want to keep your kitchen clean and safe, then invest in a canning rack today!


To recap, a canning rack is a tool that holds jars, so they don’t touch the bottom of the pot or canner. It can also be used to hold lids and rings during the processing time.

As you go through the list of substitutes, remember to use a jar lifter to pick up jars from the boiling water.

• A clean, folded towel: To add extra insulation, add a layer of clean towels to line your pot or canner before placing your jars on top. Use a jar lifter to remove them from boiling water.

And finally, Id likes to leave you with this video as I think it’s great introduction to canning especially when you don’t have all the required equipment and well worth the time. Enjoy!