In the process of canning, tongs are used to safely pick up mason jars of all sizes out of a pot of boiling water. Because the jars are not only extremely hot but also very wet and slippery, they require a tool that can reliably grip them and get them out of whatever vessel is being used. Doing this with your hands is not recommended!
Most kitchens contain a pair or two of regular tongs — commonly used for grilling and cooking — but they would be too slippery to get the job done. Fear not, says The Prairie Homestead, because you can modify the ones you have by finding 6-8 rubber bands and wrapping them securely around each of the ends of the tongs, thus providing enough grip to lift the jars out safely without scalding your fingers. This is a smart suggestion for beginners who might be hesitant to invest in special equipment before they are confident that canning is something they enjoy and will do in the future.
So don’t be afraid to make use of the equipment you already own — simply improvise by reaching into your tool chest and modifying the everyday tongs already residing in your kitchen.