Kilner Jars

marymd7August 27, 2012

One of my lovely neighbors gave me a bunch of Kilner jars from Williams-Sonoma as a 'thank you' for all of the produce I give them. The gift was completely unnecessary, but very thoughtful.

However, now I have all of these bale-closure Kilner jars. I know they're used in GB for canning, but, as far as I can tell, they're a no-no by US standards. I guess I can just use them to hold honey or something similar, BUT ...

Williams-Sonoma is ridiculous. One of the jars broke in transit (they were shipped to me), so I returned the shards to the nearest W-S. I knew they weren't cheap, but I figured maybe $10 a piece -- try $24 for the litre size. I almost choked. Then, I said to the clerk -- you know these are a no-no under current US standards, right? He was flummoxed.

So, W-S is promoting canning with ridiculously expensive jars for which there are no reliable, tested US directions and which cost an arm and a leg. Yikes.

Would I be a bad person if I returned the whole lot in exchange for a nice pot of some kind?

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Not in my opinion IF it won't offend the friend who gifted them.

W-S is outdated on much of their canning info - the books especially as we have discussed here in the past. And they have known that for years but made little to no effort to change.

Now, that said, you can safely use the bail clamp jars (assuming good gaskets) for high acid fruits and strongly pickled foods. Pickled green tomatoes look great in them. Yes, it is not recommended by the powers-that-be because of increased odds of seal failure but it can be done.

I might be inclined to fill at least a few of them with a nice pickled relish or chutney or some canned peaches of some kind and gift them back to the friend and keep the rest for dry storage or use. At the same time you can let her know that they should only be used for that type of canning.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 2:19PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

To build on what Dave said, those is just the same as the old American bail jars. If you want to use them for high-acid foods, the only risk is visible spoilage. And even then it's unlikely.

The American jars were removed from the approved list due to unreliability, not for safety reasons. I'd guess the Kilner jars are more reliable than the old ones due to improved production methods.

I don't like them because unless you have a lot of practice, they're slower to use. (Speaking purely for myself.) It's just a lot easier and faster to plunk on a flat and a ring.

You could also exhange for other European jars of greater reliability which Williams-Sonoma also sells. The Weck jars are highly regarded and they also sell Kilner jars with two-piece lids.

Another useful option is the stainless rack for your boiling water bath, assuming it's the right dimension for you. I know I hated the rust and corrosion on my old base metal one.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 3:11PM
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Ooh, carol, thanks for the tip on the stainless rack! Now that's a canning product from WS I can actually use. My bees gave me 100 lbs of honey this year, so I can use the bale jars for that. And peach chutney might be just the thing for some of them as well.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 5:49PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

those is just the same as the old American bail jars

I can't believe I wrote that. Talk about an egregious grammar error. Too many hours over a hot canner.

Glad to help. I was so glad when those stainless racks became available.

Honey in those jars sounds terrific. I'm a sucker for home-produced items in lovely jars.

You are so lucky to have those bees.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 8:20PM
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I am pea green with envy over those jars. You know, there are certain non-processed pickles, like cornichons or pickled cherries, which would look terrific in those jars.

I have a Helen Witty recipe for pickled cherries and use a beautiful clamp type jar. It's not only delicious, but lovely in its pride of place on the counter.

Bees? I"m even more envious.

Carol, have you noticed how during canning season grammar and spelling vaporize? When I'm canning late at night I'm more likely to post while processing, then my subject verb agreement goes out the window. I even spelled the word Preserve as Perverse.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 8:44PM
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