hello. I have been canning jam (and cider) with recycled jars and lids (like store bought spaghetti sauce or other jars). What do you think? Is it safe? I have been doing it for years but I was criticized recently. A seal is a seal, right? If it is sealed it's safe, right? fruit only see-in a hot water bath after the jam is put up in the jars. Mostly blackberry. Any comments? thanks
I have used recycled jars & lids before and haven't had issues with getting sick or anything. But we did have jars that didn't seal and/or broke sometimes when I was a kid. So mostly I don't consistently do it because it's less predictable and I hate to go to all of that work and have to re-can or worry about broken jars. But the tomato jars/lids in particular come with a very tight seal so if you can get them open in the first place without damaging the lid, I don't see why not to re-use them. The governmental guides are VERY cautious.
I've been making jams and chutneys in re-cycled jars for many years with no problems I just store them in the fridge once opened. As long as the jars are sterilised before use I intend to keep on doing it, why bother buying new jars and lids when my old ones work so well and save me money.
i've been using the old jars for quite a while, as the other people mentioned, as long as there cleaned and sterilized and the lid seals are in good condition there shouldn't be a problem.
if you do notice deterioration of a seal you can get replacement lids, most stores that carry canning supplies have them.
lantz Mellon wrote:hello. I have been canning jam (and cider) with recycled jars and lids (like store bought spaghetti sauce or other jars). What do you think? Is it safe? I have been doing it for years but I was criticized recently. A seal is a seal, right? If it is sealed it's safe, right? fruit only see-in a hot water bath after the jam is put up in the jars. Mostly blackberry. Any comments? thanks
I've done it and I think as long as it's just jam it's fine with acidic fruit and all that sugar. It's pretty easy to tell when jam is turning bad, either a layer of mold or a fermented smell shows up. In both cases still edible if caught early and you're up for it
I think all of the canning books have dropped recipes for preserving jam with a layer of paraffin as seal but I know that works also. I wouldn't use paraffin anymore though and not sure of a substitute?
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There is no problem. We always did it when I was a kid. But everything has to be very clean (you clean before making jam) and I always filled the jars with hot water until I fill them. My mum used to turn over the jars for a while which makes a perfect seal but I would not do it since the jar lid is lined with plastic.
"Think Logically" is what I always say in situations like this.
A. What is the goal? (sealed canning jars)
B. What is the process? (inspection, canning)
C. What happens if you fail? (failure is clear, unsealed jars)
Obviously.... you can inspect your jars and lids before you start. If you can see the underlying metal through the seals, the lid is done for (likely), unless you want to put the lid on a hot plate and re-melt the seal. Which, actually, isn't that hard of a process. Make sure the hot plate or wood stove is level, drop it on, watch it melt and reconform, and quickly get it off the heat before it gets too hot. Now clearly, your mileage may vary.
For what it's worth, I've been re-using Ball canning lids for years and years. I've only thrown out about 2-4% of them per year... and that's because the lids were rusty. It takes years for rust to finally get through a canning jar lid. If you don't use them in a pressure canner for years on end, you can get at least 4 or 5 re seals out of them. The problem starts when you get down to the underlying metal through the seals. I personally have never gotten that far down, but others that I have read about have.
As long as it's sealed when it comes out of the canner and still sealed when you go to use it, who cares?
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