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2steps



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 5349
Location: Surrey
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 13 9:31 am    Post subject: Canning/bottling jars  Reply with quote    

Does anyone know if I can use normal jam jars for water bath canning of fruit and veg? Would it be ok for things like homemade curry pastes and pickles or would I be better off sealing them as I do Jan with waxed discs and cellophane covers?

oldish chris



Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Posts: 4148
Location: Comfortably Wet Southport
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 13 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I use ordinary jars and lids, typically from jars of mayonnaise or bolognese sauce, for jams, bottling in syrup and chutneys. The metal lid will only last one year before the chutney corrodes it. (I haven't bought a jar of jam in 37 years!)

I process the stuff in an oven.

Jamanda
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 34920
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 13 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I re-use ordinary jars for everything. I've never quite understood cellophane discs.

Nice to hear from you btw How's things?

pollyanna



Joined: 03 Nov 2012
Posts: 221

PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 13 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm not absolutely sure I would use random jars for water-bath bottling in case an imperfect seal was formed. It is so easy to test a dedicated jar after processing by undoing the clip or screw band and seeing if a vacuum has been formed.

I would not be entirely sure how far to loosen the lid for processing. A quarter turn, perhaps?

Though if the lids of 'second-hand' jars pop down after cooling I think you can assume all is well.

For jams and chutneys I use whatever comes to hand; old lids and all.

I thought cellophane and wax discs had gone into history by now. Not sure why you can still buy them.

quixoticgeek



Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 296
Location: Canterbury
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 13 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

pollyanna wrote:
I'm not absolutely sure I would use random jars for water-bath bottling in case an imperfect seal was formed. It is so easy to test a dedicated jar after processing by undoing the clip or screw band and seeing if a vacuum has been formed.

I would not be entirely sure how far to loosen the lid for processing. A quarter turn, perhaps?

Though if the lids of 'second-hand' jars pop down after cooling I think you can assume all is well.

For jams and chutneys I use whatever comes to hand; old lids and all.

I thought cellophane and wax discs had gone into history by now. Not sure why you can still buy them.


Most jam jar lids have a button on the top that allows you to check the seal. As the jar cools, the vacuum created pulls the button down with a very reassuring pop. I leave my jars in the kitchen, and can hear the pop while reading in the lounge, count the pops, and you know everything is sealed.

J

Last edited by quixoticgeek on Sun Oct 06, 13 3:36 pm; edited 1 time in total

Luath



Joined: 03 Dec 2009
Posts: 758

PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 13 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm not sure the glass in ordinary jam jars would withstand 35 minutes of boiling. Right tool, right job, ie Kilner jars, Mason jars, or Le Parfait.
I use wax discs and cellophane for most of my jams and marmalades - enables jars to be re-used even when the lids are lost/missing. Not suitable for pickles, as the air gets in and dries the contents out fairly quickly.

You can't water bath veg - you need a pressure canner for safety against botulism. Curry pastes and pickles shouldn't need processing as the vinegar/sugar acts as the preserver. Ordinary jam jars wouldn't stand pressure canning.

HTH

quixoticgeek



Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 296
Location: Canterbury
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 13 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Luath wrote:
I'm not sure the glass in ordinary jam jars would withstand 35 minutes of boiling. Right tool, right job, ie Kilner jars, Mason jars, or Le Parfait.
I use wax discs and cellophane for most of my jams and marmalades - enables jars to be re-used even when the lids are lost/missing. Not suitable for pickles, as the air gets in and dries the contents out fairly quickly.

You can't water bath veg - you need a pressure canner for safety against botulism. Curry pastes and pickles shouldn't need processing as the vinegar/sugar acts as the preserver. Ordinary jam jars wouldn't stand pressure canning.

HTH


Normal glass jars are fine with heat, and with cold, they just don't like changes in heat. If you take a hot jar and cool it rapidly, it won't like it. But as long as you don't take it out the oven and put it straight on a cold metal surface you'll be fine.

J

2steps



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 5349
Location: Surrey
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 13 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jamanda wrote:
I re-use ordinary jars for everything. I've never quite understood cellophane discs.

Nice to hear from you btw How's things?


Hello We moved down to Surrey in 2011 and love it here. Don't have quite as big a veg garden as I but do have a very productive pear tree, used/preserved loads ourselves and gave away 10 carrier bags full on Freecycle! Working as a freelancer writer and jewellery designer, still doing my OU degree and home educating my youngest who has autism and epilepsy.

Thanks for all the help everyone I have Kilner jars but run out and have a load of normal jars that I have saved or been given. Most don't have lids so I bought some, so the seals should be ok. I've always re-used jars for jam and never had a problem - a we've just opened a 2 year old jar that had got lost at the back of the cupboard and it is fine. I wasn't sure if the normal jars would be ok being boiled or if the lids would let the steam out ok with them being one piece.

2steps



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 5349
Location: Surrey
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 13 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

quixoticgeek wrote:
pollyanna wrote:
I'm not absolutely sure I would use random jars for water-bath bottling in case an imperfect seal was formed. It is so easy to test a dedicated jar after processing by undoing the clip or screw band and seeing if a vacuum has been formed.

I would not be entirely sure how far to loosen the lid for processing. A quarter turn, perhaps?

Though if the lids of 'second-hand' jars pop down after cooling I think you can assume all is well.

For jams and chutneys I use whatever comes to hand; old lids and all.

I thought cellophane and wax discs had gone into history by now. Not sure why you can still buy them.


Most jam jar lids have a button on the top that allows you to check the seal. As the jar cools, the vacuum created pulls the button down with a very reassuring pop. I leave my jars in the kitchen, and can hear the pop while reading in the lounge, count the pops, and you know everything is sealed.

J


Good to know that they will pop down again. I also have some new lids from Lakeland but they don't have the button in.

VM



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 1748
Location: Lincolnshire
PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 13 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think if they are just normal jam jar lids you should probably just put them on loosely, have the water in the water bath come up to the neck of the jar rather than over the top and then screw lids on after processing.

I have seen this described, roughly. Don't think you can be sure of steam escaping if you put them on normally and then process.

But then I've never tried.

Dee J



Joined: 22 May 2005
Posts: 342
Location: West Devon
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 13 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Anybody use these folks for preserving jar spares?

http://www.preservingjarparts.co.uk/

Suggest there that Leifheit metal lids fit old Kilner dual purpose jars... never knew that..

Dee

chickenann



Joined: 28 Aug 2013
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 13 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I used normal jars (any kind saved or given to me) for canning. The lids "suck" down as they cool.

Is first year I've done it - I just left 1" headspace, put warm stuff into warm jar, put lid on firmly, put into warm (ie blood-tem-ish) water then brought to bboil and boiled them for 20mins or whatever., When they cooled the lids got sucked in.

I didn't have any explosions and nothing looks iffy. have I just been lucky?

Jamanda
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 34920
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 13 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What are you preserving? If it's jam or jelly you don't need to do the putting it in to the water and boiling. If it's meaty then I think you do.

oldish chris



Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Posts: 4148
Location: Comfortably Wet Southport
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 13 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

quixoticgeek wrote:
Normal glass jars are fine with heat, and with cold, they just don't like changes in heat. If you take a hot jar and cool it rapidly, it won't like it. But as long as you don't take it out the oven and put it straight on a cold metal surface you'll be fine.

J
In my experience, which includes working in a jam factory, what quixoticgeek says is totally correct. Those of you who have come across really old kilner jars will notice that the thickness of the glass can be somewhat variable, and that is what makes gradual heating and cooling so important, which also explains why classic (i.e. re-war) books on preserving go on at great lengths about it. As for modern jam-jars, just imagine what its like in a factory, with thousands of jars whizzing along conveyor belts! The jars are designed to take quite considerable heat shocks. In 40 years of lackadaisical home preserving I've never had a problem.

Luath



Joined: 03 Dec 2009
Posts: 758

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 13 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jamanda wrote:
What are you preserving? If it's jam or jelly you don't need to do the putting it in to the water and boiling. If it's meaty then I think you do.


Only preserve anything meaty by pressure canning; water bath/oven method not safe.

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