A question about canning jars

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by Jason, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    DW and I are going to can some chicken here in a bit. In with our mason jars there are a few wide mouth mayo jars. I know that's what they are because a couple still have the labels on them.

    My question is this: I've always read that you need to use quality mason jars, like Ball or Atlas. Has anyone ever reused mayo jars or the like for canning? Do they hold up to the temps/pressure generated by a pressure canner? We have plenty of regular mason jars but they're standard mouth and DW wants to use wide mouth for the chicken fillets.

    Thanks for the help!!
     
  2. PamsPride

    PamsPride edirPsmaP

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    Some will say yes and some will say no.
    My one friend says they are better than Mason because the older mayo jars are thicker. My other friend says not to use them for more than 10 pounds of pressure.
    I have never used them.
     

  3. BasecampUSA

    BasecampUSA Sr. Homesteader

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    We have canned for decades, and have found that old mayo jars don't hold up well for home canning. A lot of the spaghetti sauce jars (750ml - not quite a quart) hold up well with regular mason lids and rings...

    Just personal experience... results may vary for others...

    - BC
     
  4. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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  5. OldCootHillbilly

    OldCootHillbilly Reverend Coot

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    We don't an grandma never did either. They would tend ta break an grandma said it wasn't worth the hassel.
     
  6. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    Personally I won't. If the jar breaks, you lose whatever was in it. I ran out of wide-mouth jars when I was canning 40# of boneless chicken breast last summer so I used the regular. It can be a pain to get out of the narrow opening but it beats throwing it away if a jar breaks.
     
  7. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    This was all kind of what I was expecting to hear. I think I ended up using one mayo jar and 1 regular mouth mason in the 5 quarts of boneless chicken breast fillets that are canning right now. I'll report back with the results. I just took the canner off the burner before I sat down to type this but I'll report back later in the canning meat thread (maybe even with a pic or two) to let everyone know how we made out.

    I'm really excited about being able to store meat of all things with no need to refridgerate it.
     
  8. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    I've used mayo jars for water bath canning, but for pressure canning I stick to official canning jars.

    Seems like a lot of jars nowdays won't fit the canning screw-bands, and maybe they do that on purpose. The threads are grooved different, or the necks are slightly different diameters.
     
  9. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    The jars all made it. I'm going to write up a more detailed post in the canning meat thread, where it belongs.
     
  10. unclebob

    unclebob Well-Known Member

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    Those jars work for hot bath canning but not pressure canning.
     
  11. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    I don't use mayo jars due to the fact that I have had them break on me but I have used them for my dry goods as the lids and rings fit well and hold a nice tight seal. Like for my seed collections or my herbs and spices and other kitchen stuff but I have also used them out in the shed for holding screws and nuts and bolts and stuff.
    But if you let family and friends know that you are canning you might end up with tons of free ones... I let folks know and I ended up finding cases of jars on my deck or in my car at family functions and now have tons of jars-some old ones are so ornate compared to the ones we can buy now. Most of the really pretty ones are used for holding stuff on my counters.
    Yard sales and estate sales and the flea market tend to be gold mines for jars.
    I just dip them all in boiling water for about a minute and if they are cracked they usually break when you take them out of the water and put them on the counter.
     
  12. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    Thanks for the tips, Emerald. We have a bunch of jars now but I'm always on the look out for more. One thing we do not have a lot of is the wide mouth jars, which is why I asked about the mayo jars. I'll tell DW about the boiling water thing-not sure if she knows this already or not, but I certainly didn't.
     
  13. lotsoflead

    lotsoflead Well-Known Member

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    real mason jars are't really that expensive, why bother with seconds? you can still get mason jars on craigslist for a couple bucks a dozen.
     
  14. goshengirl

    goshengirl Supporting Member

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    I've not had any luck with craigslist.
    And the canning shelves at the Walmart and two Meijers in the area, plus our rural Krogers, have all been practically cleared out of Mason jars in just the past week alone. All pint jars gone, and most quart. I find that interesting because winter isn't the typical canning season.... methinks the masses are getting wise. ;)
     
  15. PamsPride

    PamsPride edirPsmaP

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    I just checked out Craigslist and a guy wants $5 a dozen for his quart jars. He thinks he has 250 jars. He is switching to all pints. He put the add on Jan 14th and has had no bites on them. I offered him $3 a dozen and he did not like that offer at all. The lowest he said he would go is $4 a dozen. I asked him if I bought them all would he at least consider $3.50 a dozen. He said he would have to count them and see how many he has for sure and that he would call me back. I am thinking him saying he would count and call me back was a way to blow me off....so I am not holding my breath. I am NOT paying $4 or $5 a dozen since I already have a bunch of empty canning jars that I am not even sure if I am going to be able to fill this fall. Plus it is a 45 minute drive away...but of course EVERYTHING is that far of a drive for me! LOL!
     
  16. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    Lotsoflead: I agree completely. The only reason I asked was we have all standard mouth jars and we were looking to use wide mouth ones, which our mayo jars are. Real Mason jars, I'm sure, are the right way to go hands down.
     
  17. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

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    I got 4 dozen at Big Lots if you have one---I called and they have lots and still many cases in the stock rooms.
     
  18. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    We have 2 Big Lots nearby but I never get there very often. I didn't even realize that they carried jars and stuff.
     
  19. PamsPride

    PamsPride edirPsmaP

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    The guy did actually call back and said he would not go lower than $4. I told him I just could not go that high so he said that he was going to take them to the flea market and ask $6 a dozen for them. Oh well, maybe next time!
     
  20. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    You ought to go and see if they sell or not.