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Why aren't Weck Jars used in North America?

 
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T.J. Stewart wrote:i buy new jars and lids for jams/jellies/fruit that we sell.  I get used jars free or 12 for 2.00 used at the Goodwill for personal use.  



Yes, it makes sense for jars that you are selling. It does give a better presentation. For the honey I'm planning to sell, the white plastic lids look so much better since honey does not need to be heated and sealed. I was using plastic bottles [the squeeze bear] but discovered that some of my honey was crystallizing. That was a mess when I had to buy back most jars that year!
I explained to my customers that a glass jar is more expensive, but if the honey crystallizes, it makes plopping in in the microwave for 20 seconds a lot easier than putting the whole thing in a hot water bath. The quality of the product is not affected [unless you boil it, of course!] and the sticker can just stay on.
Yes, glass jars are more expensive but I'm debating how to sell them: Give a credit for each jar returned? or just charge more for the glass jars, knowing that most of them will not be returned anyway?
Either way, the lid does not come back most times. It is one I'm wrestling with.
 
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This is great! I found Weck jars at a garden store and asked about them, and I couldn't figure out why anyone would buy a jar that's so much more expensive!

My main concern with Weck is safety. I can tell I've canned sucessfully, and there's a seal, by the metal lids popping down. I only can acidic things, but I wait for the popping.
I often have a couple in a batch that don't seal, and I put those jars in the fridge and use them before the rest, which go in the pantry.
I was taught canning by master canners, who are trained here by the University of Minnesota Extension Service, now not doing  nearly as much as it once did. The whole method depends
on the metal lids that you can see and hear popping. Every canning guide I've ever read was published by a canning jar company, like "The Blue Ball guide".
I remember canning with my neighbor, as a young housewife in 2004, and we just followed all the instructions in that manual, scrupulously.  
When I saw the Weck jars, I was interested in them, for not having reactive material in the lids, and asked the store lady who was promoting them,
"But, how can you tell they're sealed?" She didn't know. I figured they couldn't really be safe.
So, I propose that a main reason Americans don't use Weck jars is that our canning methods and education come from American canning jar companies.

-I do stack my wide mouth, and sometimes regular mason jars, but it is precarious! I have canned goods stored up high, and they are always threatening to fall.
-And we break them all the time. My sons are my main dish-doers. And we also use them as our drinking glasses. It happens.
-So I would like more stackable jars, and also don't like the reactive metal coated in who-knows-what on the lids of mine, though I do get more than a few uses out of them.
(reusing metal lids also not officially recommended)
-And, there are foods that come in l canning jars. Classico sauces, some jams--a basically free source of the metal-lid canning jar. I don't get this food much anymore, but I sure used to.
-Plus, I have a lifetime supply of jars in the basement from my Grandma, and all kids of other people who don't can themselves, so they give their jars to their canning friend or neighbor.

So, I'm excited to hear about Weck. I'd love to switch if possible for all the above reasons, if I can know the food I store will be safe.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Libby Jane wrote:This is great! I found Weck jars at a garden store and asked about them, and I couldn't figure out why anyone would buy a jar that's so much more expensive!
So, I'm excited to hear about Weck. I'd love to switch if possible for all the above reasons, if I can know the food I store will be safe.



The Tattler company makes such lids that will fit all sizes of Mason jars AND are reusable. You still need the rings to compress the rubber but there is no metal touching your food. The lids and rubber gaskets are infinitely reusable unless you nick the lid while opening the jar, but you must make very sure of your processing because you will not hear the pop of a sealed jar. It is great for more acidic foods like pickles, sauerkraut etc.
They are a bit more expensive than the metal ones but the big advantages are that once you have them, they will last and if you know what you are doing when you do your canning, the food is safe because the lid is non-reactive. I've had one mishap though: I overfilled a couple of them with beans. they didn't seal and I didn't find out until I unscrewed the metal band [yes, for that type, you can't remove the ring for storage]. I heard the swoosh and the smell was not quite right even though the food *looked* fine. So I can'thelp but be a little leery.
Here is a link:
https://www.farmandfleet.com/products/837844-tattler-reusable-canning-lids-and-rings.html?feedsource=3&utm_medium=pla&gclid=Cj0KCQiAovfvBRCRARIsADEmbRJtL00q78z_UhKaK0_yIW584xxljKRU5a9dcVoVGXwcdcQleTgNx14aAjW9EALw_wcB

There are also these stainless steel lids with a separate reusable silicone gasket. I have never used them and they are pricey but if you hear a pop when they seal, and stainless steel is not reactive, that is another option. If someone has used them, please let us know how they compare:
https://www.trueleafmarket.com/products/stainless-steel-wide-mouth-lids?variant=9092038819955
 
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Carla Burke wrote:

Dan Boone wrote:
That is the prevailing advice.  I do not follow it, however.  I strive to store my jars in a dry place, and old-style high-quality rings have not rusted for me under those conditions.  (The new poorly-made Chinese ones sometimes do.)  I also feel that the rings protect both the lids and the rim of the jars.  It's very easy for small mistakes in jar handling to pop the seal of an unprotected lid, and/or to chip the rim or threads of the jar.  The ring is armor against that risk.  In sum, I don't feel that my food storage is secure unless there is a ring on every jar.  


I happen to agree with you, on this. However, in humid climes, it can be difficult to keep *all* the humidity at bay. A few things I do, to mitigate said humidity:
Once everything is thoroughly cooled and checked for vacuum & leaks, I remove the rings, carefully & thoroughly dry the jars - especially the threads, take equal care with the rings, & replace the rings on the jars. Then, I pack the jars into totes, and dump about a cup of raw, dry rice around them, before sealing the tote.


I store rings on the jars for the same reason as Dan, but also because otherwise I'm overrun with rings. I also have high humidity, and have learned that the key is to place them loosely on the jar, not tighten them down. I feel like it gives a little added protection.

The Weck jars have always intrigued me, but, as has been pointed out, price is the deterrent. I use a lot of commercial mason jars, as long as the standard canning rings fit them. I do use Tattler lids. The Wecks seem to be more available in the US, and I notice on Amazon another brand, "Le Parfait Super Jars." They look like the old-fashioned American canning jars, but are even pricier than the Weck.

EDIT: I wanted to add that I think rings on jars are helpful for vacuum canned goods.
 
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Libby Jane, how you tell if weck jars are sealed is by the little tab of the rubber ring that sticks out. If it is pointing down, you have a seal. To break the seal when opening it, you just pull on the tab.

I am a big fan of “alternative” jars. My favourite are vintage GEM jars with glass lids and zinc rings. They use a red rubber seal ring which are still available for cheap here in Canada and can be reused. I use my GEMs for canning, dry storage, fermenting and freezing. Never had one break. They are a mainly western Canada jar I believe.

I like Weck jars and I have several, I especially appreciate the cute tiny ones because my old GEMs don’t go down to little jam size. Drawbacks are the price (holy shit, the small ones are like $8 in the local kitchen store. Mine are all from the thrift store), and the annoyingness of using the clips to keep the lid on a jar of jelly once opened. They do sell alternate lids/corks for them and it would probably be worth me buying one or two. I have also experienced one or two stretched out rings. They are quite thin imo and I’m not sure what I did to cause the stretching.

I also use old wire bail lightning jars for dry storage, though I haven’t canned in them because I don’t have a source for rings that fit (except for one awesome looking old box of them I found in a thrift store). Le Parfait wire bail jars are my go to for most fermenting and for taking food on the go because of their large mouth openings.

My main goal with my jars is to avoid any plastic contacting my food, especially during canning and long term storage. That white underside to mason jar lids is plastic, BPA, etc. That’s why regular mason jars fail in my eyes. I have plenty of them too, they are so cheap and available, but I want to get to a point where I don’t need them.
 
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Libby Jane wrote:

My main concern with Weck is safety. I can tell I've canned sucessfully, and there's a seal, by the metal lids popping down. I only can acidic things, but I wait for the popping.

So, I'm excited to hear about Weck. I'd love to switch if possible for all the above reasons, if I can know the food I store will be safe.



I live in the Netherlands, and waterbath And pressure can with weck and reused store bought glass. With weck its easy to check the seal, after you take the metal clings of, you can lift the can by only pulling the glass lid. If your seal is weak or non excisting, it wont hold. This is how is check my older cans in the pantry too. The re used store bought ones... i check the lids before hand, i look for the rubber inside the lid. Is t cracked? Dried out? Do i see any rust? If it looks good i will use them again, maybe 2 times. I have extra new lids for them (that i use about 3 times too).

Weck is designed for waterbath canning, and not everything can be wb canned. So when we got serious about preserving our yields, i ordered a pressure canner (in the states... cant buy them in europe!!), and just experimented with different kinds of jars!

If you have knowledge on botulism and other bacteria, and how to make sure your food is safe to eat. What you can wb and what needs to be pc, i think your good experimenting with weck and other canning glasses. (I have really old vegla glasses too for example 😊)
 
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Tereza Okava wrote:here in Brazil we can only get jars like the ones above ^^.
And they're not cheap (best I've seen them is 2.50 per jar). Lids are cheaper.
I love the all-glass ones, wish we had them here!!

i

If you google "weck jars Brasil" you"ll find them. But they are horrible expensive.  Even more expensive than buying in USA.
As for cheap mason jars in Brazil , buy them at beekeeping supplies stores... They are way more cheaper there.
 
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