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stacking jars for water bath

Posted by zemmaj z5 QC CAN (mannick.pilon@sympatico.ca) on
Tue, Jul 25, 06 at 21:56

Okay, I have gotten some small jars, like a quarter pint, and would like to know if I can stack them in the water bath. Also, is the processing time the same for smaller jars, and what about processing time for the really small ones like the ones you see as gift sets. I was thinking of preparing baskets for xmas for family and friends and thought a bunch of different flavors might be fun. I just finished peeling 40 lbs of garlic, I am ready for some fun now :)

Marie


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: stacking jars for water bath

Smaller jars are ok to process at about the same time as pints. It does depend on whats in the jars too. Stacking to the height of a quart jar would require about the same processing time as quarts


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RE: stacking jars for water bath

Use the same processing time as recommended for the nearest size. So if you're doing 4-oz. jars and the only processing time is given for pints, as previously stated, use that time. If a time is provided for 8-oz. jars, then use that time.

If you're stacking jars, especially small ones, it's helpful to have a rack you can place on top of the lower jars and then place the next layer on that rather than stacking the added jars directly on the jars below.

Just be sure you can still cover all the jars with the requisite amount of boiling water.

Carol


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RE: stacking jars for water bath

It's always best to separate layers of jars with a rack of some sort. But if not, an alternative is to off-set how you stack them so that the next higher layer sits just on the rings of the layer below.

That is, when you add a new jar it should bridge the two underneath it.

Processing time is unaffected by stacking. No matter how high you go, so long as the top layer is covered by at least an inch of water, the processing times for small jars should follow the directions given for pints.


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RE: stacking jars for water bath

Just a note about stacking in relation to the size of the canner. This year, I purchased a new canner (old one was a bit rusty), but found it to be much shorter than my old one. It is OK for pint sizes, but with quarts, can't get 2 inches of boiling water above them.

So, if doing pints, there might be a problem with stacking - so be sure to measure the height of the "stack" before hand, so as to leave enough water above them.

No problem stacking the pressure canners. They are tall enough. It may be a good idea to use it for BWB in this case.

Just my 2 c's.

Bejay


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RE: stacking jars for water bath

thanks Bejay, but I don't think I have a height problem with my jars, since they are 4 oz or less. Actually, I am wondering if it is worth doing them, since filling and cleaning the rims will take forever.

Marie


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RE: stacking jars for water bath

Only time I use very small capacity jars is to make a few of something to give away. Most of my canning is in pints and quarts.


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RE: stacking jars for water bath

Marie, I personally don't see the small size as a problem. And they do make great gifts when arranged in a basket or such.

One solution: Do a recipe and fill mostly pints. Then fill the small jars with the same jam, pickle, relish, whatever, and layer them on top of the pints. A nice double dip.

If not, you can always send those small jars to me. Trust me, they'll get used here.


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RE: stacking jars for water bath

Lol gardenlad

last year, when I found out my store was going to happen after all, I sent my dad to every Walmart in the vicinity (Okay, and maybe further than that) to search high and low for more jars. I canned all winter with the frozen fruits I managed to put away last year and I am still out of both jars and jams. I wish there was too many jars lying around here, actually there used to be a time like that. Since I sell my stuff, very few jars make their way back to me. Small ones and big ones at the same time sounds like a great idea. I could just not see myself filling small 2 oz jars with a recipe that fills say 25 8 oz ones. I only fill pints for our own use (my kids can drink me out of grape juice in just a few months if I let them), or pickles, ketchups and relishes.

Marie


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RE: stacking jars for water bath

It depends on what the family's needs are as far as jar size is concerned.

Personally, I like the really small sizes for things like pimento, jalapeno, relishes. Also for small size applesauce (for one person) and small jam (again for one person). Opening up a pint size of plum/fruit jam in our household means having it around for quite some time. Older folks especially, aren't prone to eating a lot of sweets, but I do like them occasionally, and also a variety.

Otherwise, a pint size of many of those items might stay in the "fridge" forever after opening - (no, no, not that!).

They are also good for keeping horseradish (although not canned) in the refrigerator - for several weeks or so.
I like the small sizes - 1/4 pints for honey storage (I'm a beekeeper).

One other item that would do well in a small size, is tomato paste. We like tomato dishes of all kinds, and having small size cooked down tomatoes is a real convenience - pizza, etc.

Annie kindly gave me a recipe for ketchup recently, and this also might be a good item for small size canning. When I open a commercial sized bottle of ketchup, it is around a long time - for just a small family.

So - that sums up how I feel about them - as I said, depends on the needs of the family.

Just my 2 c's.

Bejay-


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RE: stacking jars for water bath

Where do you get the 1/4 pint jars in the first place? I've never seen them.

Marie: Given what you are doing, wouln't it make sense for you to buy jars wholesale. I'm sure Ball would let you know who the distributors are in your area.


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RE: stacking jars for water bath

I get the 1/4 pint jars at True-Value Hardware; fortunately they're stocked right along with the other sizes. Bimart carries them and I've also seen them at Walmart. Unfortunately, sometimes it's a local thing and not stocked elsewhere in the chain. gardenlad, I checked Ace Hardware's site because they'll often ship to local stores free, but no 4-oz. jars, just the more usual sizes.

4-oz. jars make great "sample" sizes, especially if you're marketing jams. People can try several different varieties and see what they like best. I like them for hot peppers, "exotic" condiments I use mainly in recipes in small amounts. It's also a nice size for pesto (frozen).

Carol


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RE: stacking jars for water bath

The 1/4 pint are 4 ounce jars and are very short squat type jelly jars with regular lids. As mentioned, they are mostly for small samples or for things too costly to can in larger sizes. Anyone for caviar?


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RE: stacking jars for water bath

So right Gardenlad.

Last year, I found a jar wholesaler who carried Mason jars and we inquired with him. His minimum order was over 50 cases and the best he gave me on that was 10% off his retail price, which even with the rebate was still more expensive than Bernardin at Walmart, and Golden Harvest is cheaper. We looked to find a direct link to a Golden Harvest supplier but could not find one. I have however, found the number for Bernardin in Toronto and will call them at the beggining of next week to get their prices, since they might ship according to their site to people who will take 500 boxes or more. Might take me a couple of years but if the price is right....Too bad not more of us live in the same area, we could order a bunch and divide them amongst ourselves.

Bejay, I agree with you that small families need smaller sizes. I don't even eat that much jam myself, maybe a jar or two a year, my kids, BF and dad all have to "sacrifice" themselves and finish all my half full jars. What a shame... Some people asked me for smaller jars, but strangely, the reason seems to be mostly so they can buy more flavors. However, the price of the jar is the same as the larger 8oz one, so I would think it makes things prohibitively expensive. As far as things like tomato paste, I make a lot of it, spread it on a cookie sheet over parchment and stick it in the freezer. When it is all but frozen, I cut it into squares and stick it all in a bag. I used to put it in icecube containers but hate washing them. I do the same with pesto. Less cleanup, same result.

Marie


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RE: stacking jars for water bath

zemmaj -

Great idea - the frozen tomato paste and pesto. That would free up storage containers.

I'm always looking for ways to "make room" or free up containers.

So using the freezer, when jars are scarce, and using jars to clean up more space for the freezer, is always an option.

I just had a few ripe tomatoes recently, but not enough for a batch of canned cooked-down sauce, so cleaned out several freezer containers of last years tomatoes, to fill in and canned 6 pints of cooked sauce.

Now if jars are scarce, I will store coming tomatoes in freezer containers (Bes-Pak and Stor-Keepers) until I have jars available or eat as is.

That's the nicest thing about having the option to either freeze or can, especially when it comes to container "availability" and ease of preserving.

The way I garden and can is with small amounts - my garden yields almost year-round, so it is not a big whoop-de-doo to get the harvest in before the freezing weather sets in. It makes for an entirely different situation for food preservation, which means small amounts to begin with and adapting recipes for it.

Fun ??

Bejay


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RE: stacking jars for water bath

Most stores around here carry the 4-oz jars, but yes, they are about the same price as half-pints. My favorite jars are the wide-mouth half-pints which look like short version of wide-mouth pints. Perfect for eating Annie's salsa out of the jar, and they stack on top of pints in my BWB canner, the cheap Walmart blue enamel stockpot.

I bought 4 dozen of those jars yesterday, hopefully the last I'll need to buy for a while. There's only one Walmart of our three that carries them, and it took me almost an hour to find the canning supplies in there (answer: toy section, and yes I asked someone about halfway through, but her answer was wrong). So I don't want to go back there anytime soon.

Melissa


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RE: stacking jars for water bath

I must assume that was a 'Super' Walmart store. We have none of these nearby here. The smallest one is no bigger than a small supermarket, while the biggest wWalmart near here still has a limited selection. The Super Walmarts are those that have groceries and other foods at one side of the stores. That one is 45 miles away in Salem NH.


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RE: stacking jars for water bath

Yes, it is a Super Walmart. We have three of those in Richmond, at least. My dad thought it was really cool because they had IBC black cherry soda. In NY where I'm from, the Walmart is a bit older, maybe it predates the Super Walmart concept. The Richmond ones are out in the suburbs where there's plenty of space for a big box, but BF tells me there will be a new unsuper Walmart near our house in a new building on a small lot.

16 of those new flat jars are now full of Annie's salsa, along with 15 pints and one regular half-pint, which I discovered fits in the center of a 5-pint circle in my BWB pot.

Melissa


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RE: stacking jars for water bath

Bejay

my biggest problem is always freezer space. I buy the fruits fresh, pick them when I can and can in the winter time, as much as possible. This year, I am up to over 200 lbs of strawberries (which I had to hull), raspberries, blueberries and started freezing blackberries(saves them from the kids too). I have candied 15 pounds of mango and have pitted and frozen 72 lbs of cherries. I just canned 123jars of pickled garlic. I have 4 freezers and they are all full. I have mango puree, pumpkin puree, even bananas and zucchini for the bread. We got an old extra large freezer for nothing last week , but alas, it does not work, which means I will have to get canning earlier than planned to save space for the coming stuff.

Marie


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RE: stacking jars for water bath

Marie -

Whee - that is a lot of berries - certainly can see why you need lots of freezer space.

I've never tried pickled garlic, except as an add to garlic dill pickles. Are they just brined, dilled and canned or frozen?

Also - know what you mean about the kids eating the berries. I have several containers of "unmarked" berries in the freezer - the only way I can save some for my morning cereal.

I like to freeze my berries natural - no sugar, just hull and freeze - almost as good as fresh (thanks to this forum, I saw the light on preserving those).

Bejay


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