Reuse Canning Lids?

bellamartNovember 11, 2007

First let me say I adore this site!! This is the only site I know where I can ask questions and get answered within such a short time!!

Ok, my question is: I am fairly new to canning. It always scared me cuz of food poisonings, but I gave it a shot last fall with good results. (giving myself a pat on the back!) I was under the impression that you can reuse the lids and bands as long as they are not warped, dented or rusted however, a different site I was in said to only use lids once and then throw them away and buy more.

Has anyone ever reused their lids before with or without any problems? I guess I am worried again about food poisoning, but if I can prevent having to run out to the store to hunt down lids.....

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I have always read to get new lids since the old ones might not stick all the way around. Seems kind of dangerous to reuse a lid.

You can sometimes buy them on sale at the end of the season at a good discount.

If you look closely the rubber on the lid is dented in when used and smooth and flat when new.

Good luck

You can reuse lids for non food storage use. like if you want to fill a jar with old screws and need a lid. Or for non critical use like saving seeds in the jars etc.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 8:56PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

No, don't re-use lids. At the very least there's a likelihood of a weaker or compromised seal. Lids are cheap compared to the waste of seal failure.

But you can re-use rings as long as they're rust-free and not dented, so just buy the cheaper boxes of flats.


    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 9:22PM
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Dear Bellamart,
I always reuse my bands but I take good care of them. After canning and cooling the jar completely (12 to 24 hours), I wash and dry them well. Sometimes they catch food from a jar that boils out and you want to clean it well before it rusts. Store the bands in a dry place for next use. They rust very easily if stored on jars or in a wet place. Use them over and over until they are rusty on the inside. Once they are too rusty for canning, some people spray paint them for dry pantry storage to pretty them up and make them twist easier on the jar.
On occassion, I will use an old lid but only one and only on something that I am planning on eating right away if it doesn't seal. A jam that does not need to age is an example. A pickled okra with peppers and garlic that needs to age to blend flavors in new lids only as I need them to seal 100%.
As someone said above, look for year end sales at places that carry canning supplies to find sales on lids maybe. My wife found some fancy painted Ball lids on sale for $1.00 a dozen and I live in an area with no canning supplies. She called me and said they had a couple of dozen boxes left and she wanted to know how many she should buy. I said "Buy them all" as finding them that cheap again in a non canning area (So. Calif) would be difficult. So I'm stocked for a while.
On line purchases are OK but often more expensive because of Shipping/Handling charges unless you are buying a "ton" of items. The more you buy generally, the cheaper the cost per item. Don't bother with Ebay. Lids are always for sale but I am amazed that people will spend more for them there (and where shipping charges are almost 100% always inflated way over real costs to pay auction fees) when they could go to a local farm store, Ace Hardware, grocery store, feed store, Amish supply, fruit stand, or Walmart. You will have to get out the yellow pages and let your finger do the walking and make calls to see who in your area sells them and for how much. The only shortcut I could suggest is to find someone else in your area who already cans. They WILL KNOW where the best stocked and cheapest place is in your geographic area. Hope this helps. Regards Jim McNulty

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 9:26PM
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Thank you all for your input! I guess I'll have to go get some new lids.
Now my next dilema is... I made applesauce in the crockpot to can. I am not going to be able to get to the store for next day or two. What do I do with the applesauce - just put it in the fridge til I can get the lids? And then when I go to can - does it have to be heated to a boil on the stovetop (won't it burn?) or is it better to leave it in the crockpot for a couple of hours (is that long enough)?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 10:08PM
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melva02(z7 VA)

Bellamart, yes leave it in the fridge for a day or two. Then it does need to be heated to a boil--make sure it's evenly hot since it bubbles so much before it's heated through. Take it slow to avoid burning. I just put a lid on it to avoid getting burned by the little volcanoes, and wait a while until it's steaming and bubbling evenly all over. I'm sure there's a boiling temperature but I don't know what it is. It's not likely to be 212°F since it's not pure water.

I just did the same thing because my first attempt at this year's batch was too thick and chunky (trying to see how far I could take it since my brother likes it chunky). I put the unsealed jars in the fridge for a few days till I had time to put them back in the pot, reheat, thin out with a stick blender and some cider, and reprocess with new lids. Good luck!


    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 10:43PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Reusing rings aka bands - no problem. Reusing lids - BIG no-no. One of the cardinal commandments of canning. ;)

Freezing applesauce is also an option. It freezes very well.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 12:04AM
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Great!! I really don't know what I would do without this site!! Thanks again for everyone's help!!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 6:36AM
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david52 Zone 6

Oh well, I'll be the spokes-person for the reuse lid crowd. I do it all the time, and usually get 3 and sometimes 4 canning cycles out of a lid. The big trick is opening the jars without bending or warping the lids. I do this by inserting the dull edge of a knife blade or the tip of a large spoon under the edge of the lid and prying gently up, using a knuckle as the leverage point. Using a bottle opener will dent them and they can't be reused.

I run the lids through the dish washer then inspect them carefully. If there is a rust spot or any damage, they get thrown out. If not, I put the dry lids away in a box and use them next canning season, following the same process as new lids. I use those sticky mailing labels for labeling jars and these don't wash off, so this gives kind of a 'tree ring' history of the lid. I don't know what the record is, maybe 5 uses.

Newer lids, say over the past 3 years, have less sealing compound and the inside coating is thinner. They don't seem to last as long, and I'm seeing post-dishwashing rust after one cycle on the Ball ones.

This is one of these situations that if it didn't work, I would have quit doing it years ago. I definitely have worse sealing problems with new lids than reusing the old ones. This past season we canned approx 300 jars of assorted stuff. Every single seal that failed, call it a dozen jars, were with new lids.

I also buy up lids and jars when they go on sale at the end of the season. Major score with widemouth pints earlier this month.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 9:28AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

This same subject was just recently discussed here. Because the lids could have microscopic holes in the non corrosive coating, as well as a seal that isn't as reliable after a single process, your looking at unsafe conditions. Keep in mind that lids get exposed to the same high heat as the jars and contents and the sealing areas are not meant to be reheated, and reseated on another jar which could have slightly different tiny surface defects (quite normal). I never reuse a lid of any kind, as I feel that if I want the best and most reliable sealing possible, that using a fresh unused lid with no imperfections is the best way to go.

It seems lately, that many new posts are rundundent, so the same questions are answered numerous times within a short period.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 10:10AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I'm all for economy but for me, re-using lids is not worth it, though I do agree if lids are re-used for a high-sugar high-acid product like jams the risk of consequences from a seal failure is minimal. Maybe mold, but even that's not common, and is easily detectable if it does happen.

There is no way in the world I would re-use lids for low-acid products like meats, fish, creamed corn, etc.

I have done a lot of canning, hundreds and hundreds of jars per season, and have experienced maybe one or two seal failures every three to five years. I haven't had any problems with new lids of any brand except for a couple of bent lids off a new case of jars. That was my fault for failing to inspect their condition closely enough before use.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 2:37PM
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CindyLouWho(z4 VT)

I reuse the lids for freezing stuff. After I've used a top for canning (ie eaten the contents of the jar :-)) , I wash it off, dry it, cross off whatever was labeled on the top with a sharpie and write in big letters FREEZER ONLY. Then I toss it in with the cans that I freeze stuff in.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 4:06PM
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david52 Zone 6

I only can high acid water bath stuff. I don't use a pressure canner, I have no idea if reusing lids would work with pressure canning. And that may well be an important distinction.

But for what I do, which is high altitude (7,000 ft) water bath canning, I find better results with reusing lids than buying new ones. Honest. Otherwise, I wouldn't do it. And if I find that in the future that I don't find that result, I'll let everyone know.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 10:16PM
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I am with David52. I reuse the lids also and have for years and years. I carefully inspect the lids before reusing and throw out any that are warped, rusty or damaged. I never wash them in the dishwasher because I find that they are more prone to rusting then. When I open the jar I open just as David52 does. Then after the product is finished, I inspect the lid, wash it (if it passes inspection) in the sink by hand and dry and store. I always boil the lids in a pot on the stove before the next canning session and find that the rubber on the lid pops back up and can then be reused. If it does not pop back then I throw it out.

Rings are definitely reuseable and will rust if left on the jar so I never store them on the jar. Once the jar is sealed after processing I remove the rings and store the jar on the pantry shelf with only its lid on.

I also agree, if I am doing fish or chicken I would definitely use brand new lids. The lids on the jars that have been processed for a long time (as you do for meat) have the rubber totally squished down when sealing and so, its rubber on its lid can not be reused.

I am also with David52 in that I also do not do any pressure canning and so have no idea whether that would make any difference in reusing lids.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 9:14AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Did I misread? You process fish and chicken but don't use a pressure canner? You could boiling water bath for days and not kill botulism spores.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 11:07AM
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david52 Zone 6

Again, I'm not trying to change anyones mind, or be argumentative for the sake of it, just curious on a couple of things. Isn't a seal a seal? If its sealed, outside air can't get in, the lid is indented. If its a 'weak seal', its still sealed, isn't it? One may not be able to turn it upside down and shake it, but as long as the vacuum is there, its should still be sealed and safe, I should think. When the seal fails, of course, the vacuum is lost and outside contaminates and air enter.

Second thing, microscopic holes in the coating. Why would these show up after one use, and not be there all along? As I said in the previous post, I have the impression that the newer lids have less effective coating and less sealing compound, and I've found rust 'spots' after one use in the new lids, which would mean that the hole was there on the first use.

The jars I recently bought at the end of the season are the kind that come with the shrink wrap and were transported or held at high temperature, because the sealing compound had created some sort of barrier. They were manufactured at a lower altitude, and when I unscrew the rings, the lids come flying off with a really loud pop.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 6:30PM
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fedup321(7 NC)

I would not reccomend to do what I did....but the last batch on Annies salsa I did, I forgot to get lids from the store that day. When I got through with the mixing and started cooking for the time .. I got my jars and lids etc. out to prepare, and was 3 lids short, I use some old one out of the drawer and they all sealed. The biggest problem I have had with sealing is with rings!! Some had been dented from knocking them on surfaces to loosen from a tight seal others were a little warped.I bought dozens of jars and canning stuff at yard sales last year. Please pay attention to the rings. If you NEED to use a used lid... do it , if it don't seal, then put it in the fridge, if it does seal...EAT IT FIRST!! don't use used lids thinking your going to save, it could lead to costing you more than it was worth, especially if you become sick!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 7:50PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Rings are soft enough that they can be easily straightened if bent or warped. I will look at the larger opening and if it looks oval, will just simply squeeze in the right direction by hand, to reform the round. It always seemes to fit just fine after that, and I have no problems screwing on, or off, a ring. The sealing compound once initially indented with the impression of a glass jar will hold that shape, and if reused, could cause a poor seal. This problem can become worse if pressure canning was done and the lids were exposed to the higher processing temeratures. If your the same people who hate the way Ball and Golden Harvest are packing new jars with pressed lids and attached rings, then I am sure that you would be more concerned if the lid had a previous impression on it. Many toss these new lids out in favor of new ones that saw no glass jar contact beforehand.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 8:51PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

We're all going to make our own decisions, balancing out economy, function, risk, all those factors and arriving at the conclusion most suited for our situation.

One thing I do want to mention, though. A seal isn't just a seal, especially if you're talking long-term shelf storage. You can seal a jar of jam by pouring the hot jam into the jar and then applying the heated lid. But the likelihood of its popping at some point in the future is much greater.

Any seal is already going to be subject to certain pressures. For example, if you leave too much headspace the air won't be sufficiently expelled and the seal isn't as strong. If some of the product has vented under the rim, there's a seal, but again, it may be compromised. And if the seal isn't at optimal strength, then there's a greater likelihood the lid will pop at some point because of fluctuations in temperature as the jar sits on the shelf.

So there's the economy of re-using lids to balance against the risk of lost product over time. Each of us decides out to work out that equation. Since I have to store my canned goods in the garage where it's cold in winter and hot in summer, I want the strongest seal possible.

As far as newer lids are concerned, I haven't noticed any difference, with one exception. And that is the new shrink-wrapped packaging on cases of jars does tend to result in greater damage. That packaging has generated tons of complaints on this forum. Lids stick on, so there may be some loss of sealant and I've certainly noticed dented lids I've had to discard. But the separate lids I buy in boxes seem to work just the way they always have.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 1:23AM
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Wow - thank you everyone for all your opinions!! Now I am totally sitting on the fence!! lol The re-users have some very valid points and the one-time users are just as valid!!

Oh well, at any rate, I sent DH to the store to pick up some more lids and have since used those. It is true for so cheap a price for a dozen ($1.39), why risk it? But I did take my other lids and put them in a baggie with a big fat question mark on it!! lol I figure if I'm ever in a bind and desperately in need of some lids, they will be my fallbacks. (But I know I will be very paranoid about checking them frequently once something has been canned in it!) I guess I was just more upset with myself cuz I had quite a few that were brand new and were mixed in the dishwasher with ones that were used. This was before I heard about NEVER re-using lids. When I took them all out and examined them, I only found 3 that had a ring dented in the seal that were obviously used before. Which makes me wonder why that would happen when I canned more than 3 jars last year?

I also noticed people talk about pressure canning and BWB canners and what I have is a steam bath canner. Is that the same thing as a BWB, because I am still using some water on the bottom of the pot? I figured it would be better than a BWB cuz you don't have to fill so much water in the pot and wait twice as long to boil. Are these canners not as popular cuz it seems like no one ever talks about them?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 6:28AM
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david52 Zone 6

Thanks, Carol, head space and stuff that may have vented under the rim can give a weak seal as well, and I worry far more about jars that have vented the contents - those sure do fail more often.

When I finish canning a batch, I take them out to the store room and spread them out in a single layer. Every time I go in, I check the seals on the stuff I've canned. With rare exceptions, if its sealed after a few weeks, its sealed pretty well, and then I go ahead and stack them up.

Widemouth lids here vary between $2.40 and over $3.00 a dozen. So spending a hundred bucks just on lids each year is significant.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 9:20AM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)


I appreciate your comments on the why's of one-use lids a great deal, because I had the same thoughts David did. I don't actually re-use lids usually --- I can small amounts, I use mostly regular-mouth jars, and I can get lids cheaply --- but in a pinch I will do so.

I have to agree with David that logic suggests a seal is a seal --- as long as it is sealed. A weaker seal may well have a higher chance of *failing*, at which point it is no longer a seal. But as long as my jar has a concave lid when I go to use it then there is no reason to think it isn't OK, right?

Because otherwise, I would worry about all my seals; sometimes of those cheap-a## lids, especially if they've ended up in the heat on the way home from the store, might make a less strong seal, for example. I want to know that I can count on my seal being safe as long as it is, well, still a seal... (Hm. I am starting to sound like the 'known unknowns' speech.... ;-) )


Well, you will not want to hear this, but you've brought up another controversial topic when it comes to steam canners! The USDA doesn't recommend using them at all. But some people do, and I found a mention here of one fairly recent study that suggests they can be used the same way as water-bath (BWB) canners. However, I note this study is quoted on a page of a company that sells steam canners. Because I don't mind doing BWB (I usually do small batches), I haven't ever looked into this in detail.

Carol or someone can probably tell you in more detail what the USDA's objections to steam canners are and, as with the lids, you can decide if you agree!

I hope you'll keep telling us about your adventures in canning, whatever method you use.


Here is a link that might be useful: Steam Canners

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 10:08AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Barometric pressure also has an effect on the seal. Thats one reason that when you buy new jars with lids on them, some seen to have a lid thats on the jar uder a partial vacuum. Below is a source for wide mouth lids at $2.19 a box of 12. Buying a dozen boxes drops the price 10 cents each box

Here is a link that might be useful: Goodmans

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 11:33AM
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I never knew that about steam canners! Well, now I know why they aren't as commonly referred to as the BWB and pressure canners are. Why on earth don't they outlaw them if they are no good??!!

I just bought it last year and the only thing I canned last year was pumpkin apple butter and was planning on canning just pumpkin, but then read (right after I canned it) that you cannot can anything pumpkin. I ended up taking the canned jars of pumpkin butter and stored them in the basement fridge. I figured it would be ok since it did seal (and - knock on wood - it has been). Why the heck can't I ever research stuff before instead of after???!!! (kicking myself in the *ss) Yeah, yeah, I know - live and learn. As long as I don't give anyone botulism in the mean time!!!!!!!!!!!

Jeez, now I don't know if the apple pie filling and applesauce that I canned is safe now?

Well, now if I have to end up buying a different canner, can anyone suggest which one is better - BWB or pressure?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 7:12PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

The ONLY things I use my steam canner for is for highly acidic foods like pickles, jellies, and other fruit or vinegar based foods. MY canner has saved me many hundreds of gallons of water, as well as all the extra time and electrcity to get a big heavy pot of water back to boiling again.. I had done many tests a long while back and was amazed at the results. I used scientific grade temperature sensors called thermocouples placed at different locations within the steam canner, and the results and conclusions I got confirmed to me it was as safe as you would expect from a canner that was processing acidic foods. I would never expect to use a steam canner for foods that were low in acid. I do not own a pressure canner and don't ever plan to get one either, nor do I ever do any low acid canning.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 8:16PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I'm not sure I want to get into the Steam Canner issue. BTDT.

It's not recommended because the standard authorities (i.e. Extension agencies, the National Center for Home Food Preservation, etc.) don't feel there has been sufficient testing to give it their seal of approval. For them it's not like an individual making the decision; they lay themselves open to lawsuits if there's a problem they haven't identified. The specific concern is that all the processing times for tomatoes, apples, jams, etc. have been calculated for a boiling water bath. Without re-testing EVERYTHING they can't be positive those times are always sufficient for a steam canner.

They don't say a steam canner is unsafe. They say it's insufficiently tested. And, as Zabby mentioned, the most often quoted study was sponsored by a company which sells steam canners. Any time you have a sponsored study the results are suspect because the party paying for it has a vested interest in the outcome.

Practically speaking, if you're talking about something like jams, a high-acid and also high-sugar product, the risk is neglible even if you didn't do more than put the boiling product in a jar and slapped the heated lid on it. Few Europeans boiling water bath their jams, jellies, etc. and they're getting along just fine.

So where the steam canner becomes a big issue (as an unknown) is with products that are suitable for boiling water bath but perhaps on the margins of acidity.

As far as pumpkin-apple butter is concerned, I have no idea where that falls on the spectrum. Pumpkin is notorious for its variability (water content, pH, density). With refrigeration it should be fine, assuming nothing started growing in the jars between the time of processing and the time of refrigeration. So if it sat on the shelf a day or two that could be an issue.

However, whenever you're concerned about something like that, a way to deal with it is to open the jar (don't taste the contents), put it in a pan and boil it for at least 10 minutes. If there are botulism toxins, that will kill them. Besides, a pumpkin butter has already been cooked so much, 10 additional minutes isn't going to substantially affect its quality.

Plain pumpkin can be processed, but of course you have to have a pressure canner to do it.

I hope this helps. Everyone here decides the degree to which he/she does or does not adhere to what are USDA-based recommendations. It's a matter of comfort level. My best recommendation for an inexperienced canner, though, is to follow the guidelines religiously. Then you can feel safe with everything you serve and gift.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 8:53PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)


Yes, it comes down to what we define as "safe." It's not that there's evidence that steam canners are UNsafe, but that the agencies that do the testing for BWB and pressure canners haven't tested the recipes in them, so they won't guarantee that they are safe.

As Carol says, we've discussed them several times on this forum --- maybe, bellamart, you can find some of those old threads if you search? Not that anyone is trying to evade your question or that your queries & comments aren't totally welcome as a recent member of this forum! But you can probably see how some of these safety questions have the potential to generate some, um, heated debated, and maybe even get people to, um, blow off steam and land some debaters in, um, hot water.... ;-) ;-p

Personally, I would eat your pumpkin-apple butter. ;-)
And your apple pie filling falls into the really low risk category --- all that acid fruit and sugar. As Carol says, in Europe, the standard --- sanctioned by the major agencies, equivalent to the USDA --- is to do jams and jellies simply by heating the jars in the canner or oven, filling them, capping them, and inverting them once. THe USDA doesn't recommend this method because you have a higher chance of some jars not sealing and of some of the sealed jars unsealing (and the chance is still low, mind you). But you can TELL if it's unsealed when you go to open it, and you can TELL if any mold has grown on it, and that's the worst that can happen to a high-acid food like that.

So don't panic, and please don't give up on canning! If you decide you aren't comfortable with the steam canner, remember that BWB canners are very inexpensive, and indeed you can use almost any large pot to do BWB canning --- maybe even your steam canner, for small jars.

For pumpkin, the USDA does approve canning cubed pumpkin with a pressure canner, though those are more expensive to buy.

I love pumpkin too, and I understand the desire to preserve it!



    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 10:51AM
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prairie_love(z3/4 ND)

Hi Bellamart and welcome to the forum! This is a wonderful place to ask questions and get advice and great recipes. I hope you stick around.

You asked about whether you should get a pressure canner or a boiling water canner, should you decide not to use the steam canner. It really comes down to what you are planning to do. If you are going to do all high acid foods, you don't need the pressure canner. If you will be doing low acid foods, you need the pressure canner. There are some things, like green beans, that can only be canned with the pressure canner. I know there are some previous threads discussing what needs a pressure canner and what can be done with BWB.

I have both. I thought I had progressed to a point that I needed a pressure canner, so purchased it. However, I really have found very little use for it. Just the things I am interested in do not (so far) include many that need the pressure canning. However, I have found that I love the pressure canner pot for use as a boiling water bath. It holds more jars than my old black speckled BWB, and it has a nice platform at the bottom to keep them up off the bottom. Just for a variety of reasons, I prefer it. So I use it as my BWB.

Now, one question for you. I am not familiar with the steam canner, but can the pot for it be used as a boiling water bath? That is, could you simply fill it more full, so that the jars are submerged, and boil them that way? If so, perhaps you could use it for the time being and think longer about whether you want a pressure canner or not.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 11:05AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Steam canners are not really not recommenmended, its because they have not done adequate testing on them, as Reading Lady has stated. The USDA has no concise data, so they don't say anything about them except that they have not been fully tested. Fully testing would involve a lot more than what I did, as I only tested for the things I can here. The pot, is actually a domed lid, and even for that could be used upside down, except it has two tiny holes near the rim to allow steam to escape. The base, which would now be the top is about 3-4 inches high, which would not be shallow enough to be used as a lid. Upside down, the canner would only be able to do pints due to its height. Here's a photo.

Here is a link that might be useful: Back To Basics

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 11:28AM
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I know this will not be popular lol but I just wanted to add my experience with canning. We have two water bath canners and two pressure canners. We also have an Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator I have going a lot of the time as well. We can enough to last about 9 mos to a yr. We can a lot. I have two canners going right now lol one with turkey broth and another with dill pickles. I reuse lids a lot. I even reuse store bought lids and jars. I can get a lot of uses out of my lids. With this said one must be careful in sterilizing and rotating. Because this I am always checking our food storage and ratation is important. There has been times things have not sealed so that was dinner that night haha but it really doesn't seem to happen too often. We also use a food saver to canister the dehydrated stuff. We recently started investing in Tattler reusable lids...LOVE THEM!! I have used them in my pressure canner even and they have done great!

just my experience thanks for letting me share ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: ��Our Urbantopia Homestead��

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 8:42PM
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Really jpeterson3153? I would have never thought of reusing a lid. I've thought about using the Tattler lids and it's good to hear from someone who has experience with them - I may now give them a try. But you also reused regular lids as well? Wow, wow, wow... How many times do you typically reuse a lid?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 9:10PM
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Re: "However, whenever you're concerned about something like that, a way to deal with it is to open the jar (don't taste the contents), put it in a pan and boil it for at least 10 minutes. If there are botulism toxins, that will kill them."

Beware, this is false. Botulism is NOT killed by boiling. This is why low-acid foods must be pressure-canned, in order to reach the 240 degrees which will kill it.

The boil-before-you-eat method is only useful for high-acid foods (which get molds and fungus, but not botulism).

For botulism, boiling does nothing.

Also, the toxins (which botulism produces) are just that -- toxins -- they are not bacteria, they can't be "killed" because they are not a living thing. Even if you re-pressure-canned such spoiled foods, you could not eat them, due to the toxins produced while they were sitting on the shelf.

Re-canning low-adic foods is only an option immediately afterward, not days later.

Botulism can be deadly. It is invisible and has no smell nor taste. Some symtoms are diffculty breathing, hallucinations, and death.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 3:00PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Beware, this is false. Botulism is NOT killed by boiling. This is why low-acid foods must be pressure-canned, in order to reach the 240 degrees which will kill it.

The boil-before-you-eat method is only useful for high-acid foods (which get molds and fungus, but not botulism).

For botulism, boiling does nothing.

Sorry to disagree but there is ample scientific evidence that botulism toxin is effectively neutralized by boiling although the time required has been upped to 15 min by some sources.

Because the toxin is heat-labile boiling or intense heating (cooking) of contaminated food will inactivate the toxin.

Lectures in Microbiology by Kenneth Todar PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Bacteriology: Botulism

Carol (readinglady) did not say that boiling killed the botulism itself. You are correct that c. botulinum spores are only destroyed by high pressure heat or lower heat over prolonged periods of time..

But she meant that the boiling will destroy, will neutralize the toxins rendering them harmless. The use of the word "kill" when applied to toxins is only a mis-colloquial use and Carol, who is very well trained, is aware of that I know.

Per the USDA the "boil before you eat" guideline is applicable to all food, not just high acid foods. Not that it is recommended, it isn't. The need to do so should be avoided at all costs. But doing so has saved many lives over many decades.

Re-canning foods is allowed only within the first 24 hours. That is a point that is often made here.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 4:31PM
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