Glass lids etc.

unasmithNovember 17, 2010

Does anyone know where to get glass lids and rubber gaskets for canning jars? I have a large collection of Luminarc "working glasses" and the plastic lids but no glass lids for canning. Do glass lids for this brand even exist? Or was this brand intended for acid fruit preserves sealed with paraffin wax?

I looked at the Weck line of jars online, and I am dismayed that they are described as "thick" glass with no mention of being tempered glass. They must be tempered glass, right? Also, the rubber gaskets seem to be hard to find and very expensive to replace (with shipping). Some websites say a new gasket is required every time you use the jar. Is that really necessary?

For what it's worth, the recommendation by US authorities to use BWB instead of inversion or paraffin wax is not for food safety, but for food security. The basis is purely economic: home canning ingredients and labor are costly, and these other methods have a higher loss rate when used by beginners. In my experience, that is true. My mother, who never did much preserving, used paraffin wax and her loss rate was rather high. My loss rate using the inversion method is much lower, but perhaps not as low as my loss rate using BWB. Whatever method is used, good preparation and practice make a big difference. If the food is still close to boiling hot when the seal goes on, spoilage is unlikely with any of these methods.

Another for what it's worth: none of these methods prevent botulism. That is why none of these methods are used for canning vegetables. Conversely, acid foods do not require pressure canning because botulism is not a risk with acid foods.

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readinglady(z8 OR)

You're preaching to the choir. Everything you're saying about safety with high and low acid foods has been said here many many times before.

The USDA recommendation against the old-style bail jars has to do primarily with reliability, not food safety. The old jars can be quite irregular at the rim and don't always form a good seal or as strong a vacuum. But as you said, the risk with high-acid foods is minimal.

While some sources say to replace the rubber gaskets each time, Weck says that is not necessary, and I think most old-time canners would say the same. As long as the gasket retains its integrity, there's no reason to replace it.

I ordered extra gaskets at the time I ordered the jars but have so far not needed to use them.

I found the company to be the most reasonably priced source of Weck products, though I know Lehmans' carries them.

I have used Weck. I have not asked if the glass was tempered, but it is indeed thick, and they do describe how to use them for pressure canning (use more clamps on the lid). I have not heard any reports of breakage. Melly is on this site and has probably used Weck more extensively than any member. If she does not post on this thread, you could email your inquiry through Gardenweb.

I have spoken with the company by phone; they were very responsive and pleasant, so you might just want to email or phone and ask about tempering.

In my experience Weck jars require more precision or there will be a higher failure rate. Additionally, the jars are not designed for American canning equipment; for example, they do not work as well with a jar lifter. But unless you're canning in really big batches and speed is of the essence, those are minor issues.

I have never seen anything other than the red plastic lids for the working glasses; AFAIK, they were only designed for drinking or jams and jellies with traditional seals - paraffin, waxed paper disks, or nothing except the lids to keep out dust.

Carol

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 1:29PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

The basis is purely economic:.

I don't know that I would agree with that particular statement. There are quality and shelf-time issues as well. But the issue is moot as far as I am concerned. Why not use the BWB method since it insures the highest quality end product?

Lehmans.com, as Carol said, or Goodmans.net are both excellent sources for rubber gaskets. But I agree with Carol that the working glasses are not intended for BWB canning or even for inversion, just paraffin or waxpaper seals with the snap on plastic lids. Personally, I see no reason to use them for any form of canning.

Dave

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 2:14PM
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unasmith

Why not use the BWB method since it insures the highest quality end product?

Pressure canning would ensure still higher quality, right? Why not use that method?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 3:51PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

It would depend on the product. Pressure canning would probably break the jell of a delicate jelly. Even BWB is a risk.

There are some products like tomatoes where pressure canning, according to the NCHFP, can yield better quality and nutrition.

But really, pressure canning is principally for safety (low-acid foods) or convenience, not quality. For example, I can pressure can 30+ pints of applesauce in one batch whereas with boiling water bath it will take 3 or 4.

Carol

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 4:00PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Pressure canning would ensure still higher quality, right? Why not use that method?

Not for jams and jellies. Trying to pressure can them would destroy them. And just as Carol said, it would be over-kill anyway since high acid foods don't require pressure canning for any safety reasons.

For the most part, pressure canning is a safety, not a quality issue. BWB is both safety and quality oriented. Inversion/paraffin seals are merely convenience oriented, not safety OR quality oriented.

Dave

PS: They must be tempered glass, right?
FAIK no brand of canning jars are made from "tempered glass". None of them shatter like tempered glass does -into small oval-shaped pebbles when broken.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 4:23PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

Canning jars are annealed not tempered glass.
Why risk getting moldy or fermented jam when using regular jars and lids will insure a true vacuum seal and kill molds and yeasts ?
You don't get any of those things with the outdated wax.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 8:00PM
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