space between jars in canner

pqtexAugust 4, 2014

Do you use a divided rack when canning?

I have the plain, flat rack that came with each of my presto canners. When stacking, I use the rack from the other canner.

I have seen the racks that are divided but don't have one. Looks like the canner won't hold as many jars when using those.

I have the Joy of Cooking cookbook, which I use a lot for regular cooking, but for the first time, began perusing the canning section (looking for a jam/jelly/preserves/marmalade recipe with a pear-calamondin combination...if you have one, please share).

I read something that surprised me. It said to have two inches of space between the jars. It says: "Unless you have a jar rack that will securely hold the jars, place a rack in the bottom o the kettle to keep the jars from touching the canner or each other. Leave a 2-inch space between them."

My jars are always closer than that, plus they shift around in the boiling water. Even if they are equally spaced, they end up all clustered together.

Is this a problem? After reading that, I looked in SETP and didn't find any mention of the two inch spacing or how to prevent the jars from touching each other or the sides of the canner during processing.


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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

No, you don't need 2" of space between jars. As long as they are all sitting flat on the bottom of the rack the rings can even touch lightly. You just don't want any of them tilted or suspended by the ring.

While Joy of Cooking is wonderful, it isn't really a canning guide.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 8:53AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Yeah spacing is predetermined in BWB canning by the lifter rack (if you use one) but otherwise I agree with Deanna that it doesn't matter. NCHFP guidelines don't include such a recommendation.

Consider the source of that info and how many years it has likely been since that cookbook has been over-hauled. :)


    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:06AM
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Thanks. My Joy of Cooking is the edition that was revised in 2006. No knowledge if the canning section was completely revised to up-to date standards, but a quick glance seemed to indicate they put a big emphasis on safety.

I have never used it for the section on canning, but was looking for a jam combination that has been very elusive everywhere else I've looked. It was only by chance that I came across that statement on the spacing, but it made me curious and I started looking for references to spacing in my "real" canning books.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:45PM
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