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Thread: Canning jars

  1. #1
    Senior Member ncredbird's Avatar
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    Canning jars

    I know that the official word is to never use jars other than those specifically manufactured for canning. That being said I know that there are many canners that use jars that were manufactured for grocery store food products in the canning process. How many of you have used the food jars and how much breakage or how many bad seals do you get with them? I have used all my official canning jars for this year but have access to a large number of empty food jars that I am considering using. Don't want to waste time or food product if I am not going to have positive results. Thanks, Ann in TN

  2. #2
    Super Member ShowMama's Avatar
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    I have often used pint jars that were saved after the purchased food in them, such as mayonnaise, was gone, but I've only used them for hot water bath canning, not with the pressure cooker. The regular sized lids and rings fit them and the jars have held up very well for the most part. There has been occasional breakage, but that happens with regular purchased canning jars too. My mother also "recycled" mayonnaise jars in her canning, at least as far back as I can remember. Some of those jars were used over and over, year after year, and worked just as well as Kerr or Ball jars.

    I don't see a problem with this as long as you check each jar for cracks or nicks and handle them carefully while canning, which should be the rule for ANY jars you might use.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowMama View Post
    I have often used pint jars that were saved after the purchased food in them, such as mayonnaise, was gone, but I've only used them for hot water bath canning, not with the pressure cooker. The regular sized lids and rings fit them and the jars have held up very well for the most part. There has been occasional breakage, but that happens with regular purchased canning jars too. My mother also "recycled" mayonnaise jars in her canning, at least as far back as I can remember. Some of those jars were used over and over, year after year, and worked just as well as Kerr or Ball jars.

    I don't see a problem with this as long as you check each jar for cracks or nicks and handle them carefully while canning, which should be the rule for ANY jars you might use.
    I agree, when I canned, I used mayonnaise jars, etc. to preserve food, but only using the boiling water bath procedure. I never put any jars into the pressure canner except for the Kerr or Ball jars.

  4. #4
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    better grab them while you can, the last few times I bought mayo was in a plastic jar. Glass jars are getting hard to find.

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    Glass mayo jars are just fine to use for hot water bath in canning. They are going to be hard to find, though, as they are plastic now.

  6. #6
    Junior Member glassdriller's Avatar
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    I've been re-using the squaty jars that salsa comes in when I make my zucchini relish. Just the right size and my canning funnel fits in the wide mouth.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncredbird View Post
    I know that the official word is to never use jars other than those specifically manufactured for canning. That being said I know that there are many canners that use jars that were manufactured for grocery store food products in the canning process. How many of you have used the food jars and how much breakage or how many bad seals do you get with them? I have used all my official canning jars for this year but have access to a large number of empty food jars that I am considering using. Don't want to waste time or food product if I am not going to have positive results. Thanks, Ann in TN
    I like my mother have canned for years and yes she used jars that came from mayo, sauces and other things. I have never had a jar that broke or blew up and I pressure can everything. I have canned many fruits and veggies over the years and use my jars over and over year after year. I have gone from canning 600 plus jars of food a year to about 150 jars now. Use those jars you have available to you. I know you won't be sorry. Happy Canning......

  8. #8
    Super Member Dodie's Avatar
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    to bad we don't recycle like we use to I to use to use mayonaise jars for water bath canning now every thing is plastic
    I read someplace how many million barrels of oil it takes just to make the milk jugs I for one would like to see the return of glass to recycle not all of this plastic then complain because of an oil shortage what ever happened to the good old days

  9. #9
    Super Member Caswews's Avatar
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    I used to use the "mayonaise" jars in my canning, but then they broke in the hot water bath and I quit using those-so DH's Grandmother would save the small jars for jelly.. and they do make great jelly jars. But I prefer to use the Ball/Kerr jars, lids etc for safety sake now. I have not ever pressure canned so I cannot tell you on that one .. Enjoy your canning session and make it a memorable one. My DD's still tell me about all the canning sessions we had with his grandmother and laugh at some of the "incidents". LOL
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  10. #10
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    i have always reused commercial jars that fit standard canning lids. i have found that salsa and pasta sauce jars seem to be the ones that work now. mayo jars used to but now they seem to be either plastic or made from a thinner glass. I generally saved the Kerr or Ball jars for pressure canning however. Some of the commercial jars are made by Ball and say so on them. double check your fit on the lids, some of them the screw tops don't go flush against the canning lid and those won't seal. i found that on some of those, if i put the canning lid on and then used the solid commercial top over that they will seal. Be sure and check the rims for nicks, won't seal if there are any. Thrift stores can be good places to pick up jars, if you check them well.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Bonnie's Avatar
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    I have used mayo jars for pressure canning and they work just fine. Just check them out as you would the kerr and ball jars. I have used them over and over for years and have had very few ever break, but I have had some of the kerr and ball jars that would break too. As long as the two piece lids fit you will be just fine. Happy canning.

  12. #12
    Super Member Feathers's Avatar
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    I wish you lived near me....I bought about 80 dozen Kerr/Ball canning jars quarts and pints for $1.00 a dozen a couple years ago. I was teaching food canning and preserving classes at church and in the community so needed lots of jars to send home with some of the students. Each student got a jar of whatever we canned to take home with them. Like everyone has said, mayo jars should never be used in a pressure canner. Extention Office says ONLY can in Kerr/Ball jars but I've been canning for years and did use mayo jars for all those years and had good luck...an occasional broken jar but usually had good luck. Enjoy your canning!
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    I use any jar that the regular & wide mouth rings fit on & never had a problem. I have canned for years Had only a few break. I am working on peaches now. What really saves us money it we don't have to buy what I can. I belong to a gleaner group that picks the not perfect products that normally go to waist. We get a portion of what we pick & the rest is donated to 2 food banks, a small community for downs adults, a soup kitchen & the senior center. We picked close to 90 boxes of peaches today. Have any of you caners used the new lids with rubber rings? Both the lids & rubber rings are reusable. They are like what my grandmother used. I just got some to try & if I like them I will get more. They cost a little more, but as long as I can use them over & over, They will be worth it as our lids in this area are getting high.

  14. #14
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    I can approximately 500 jars of food a year, and I use the reusable jars, mayonnaise, etc. Remember when Miracle Whip came in wide mouth glass jars. I saved every one of them, plus everyone else saved them too, and I use them all the time. I have never had any break, either in water bath canning or in a pressure canner. Of course, I break a jar or two every year, but most of them are name brand jars. You can'tenter them in fairs if they aren't name brand jars, but I have plenty of each, so I pick out name brand ones for my fair entries.
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    I've also used mayonnaise and spaghetti sauce jars for canning and I pressure can everything as well, never had a break. That being said, I have noticed two things in the last couple of years. One, the glass isn't as heavy as in previous years. Second, the rings don't fit on most of the newer mayo and spaghetti sauce jars. I think this is to discourage people from using them in the canning process. Since I noticed the thinner glass, I haven't tried the "new" mayo jars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karen1956 View Post
    I've also used mayonnaise and spaghetti sauce jars for canning and I pressure can everything as well, never had a break. That being said, I have noticed two things in the last couple of years. One, the glass isn't as heavy as in previous years. Second, the rings don't fit on most of the newer mayo and spaghetti sauce jars. I think this is to discourage people from using them in the canning process. Since I noticed the thinner glass, I haven't tried the "new" mayo jars.
    I made salsa for the first time yesterday and used the spaghetti jars as well as the lids. I sterlized the jars in the oven and used tongs to remove them to fill with the hot salsa. I had boiled the lids for a few minutes and put them on the filled jars. Used hot-water bath for 20 minutes. All "clicked" with in 15 minutes after removing from the hot bath. One jar wasn't completely filled but it sealed and I will use it first. I previously used these jars and lids for jelly and it has always sealed.
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    Senior Member Noiseynana's Avatar
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    I've used empty jars that had mayo and pickles and whatever . I've been doing this for 30 years and never have had a jar bust or food to spoil. So I keep using them.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member ncredbird's Avatar
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    I had never heard of reusing the commercial lids! Interesting and may be worth a try someday. There is a new reusable seal and lids available but they are pricey and I am hoping the price will come down on them.

  19. #19
    Super Member OHSue's Avatar
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    I have always bought my jars. After all you can use them for years so the cost is an investment. I am still using jelly jars I purchase over 20 years ago.
    I had a friend who told me it was OK to reuse commercial jars. She gave me several jars of tomatoes, only some of them exploded.
    But to be honest we have gotten away from using a lot of prepared products, those two jars of mayo I use a year won't be much help when I can.
    If your environmental conscious bothers you and you hate to throw those jars out you can use them for short term storage or you can take them to an area recycler. We are lucky to live in an are which has just gotten curbside recycling, but before this we could take them to local fire stations and grocery stores where they had bins for them.
    Last edited by OHSue; 09-03-2012 at 12:07 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilovequilts34 View Post
    I made salsa for the first time yesterday and used the spaghetti jars as well as the lids. I sterlized the jars in the oven and used tongs to remove them to fill with the hot salsa. I had boiled the lids for a few minutes and put them on the filled jars. Used hot-water bath for 20 minutes. All "clicked" with in 15 minutes after removing from the hot bath. One jar wasn't completely filled but it sealed and I will use it first. I previously used these jars and lids for jelly and it has always sealed.


    My Mom always said you could use those lids from the jelly, spaghetti sauce, etc., one time but after that they don't seal very well. She never had any problems with food spoilage, but always checked to see that the lids had sealed.

    themachinelady

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