Wednesday, February 1, 2017

How to Safely Can Using Recycled Condiment Jars


"The array of pots rather amazed her at first, but John was so fond of jelly, and the nice little jars would look so well on the top shelf, that Meg resolved to fill them all..."
~ Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

I feel this article should start off with the truth. I have a weird obsession passion for glass jars! The beveled ones are near and dear to my heart. I also like the small, plump jars which are filled with just enough contents that it requires a bit of treasuring. With that being said, I have quite a little collection of condiment jars that I save and reuse for food storage and various herbal projects. These make lovely and gourmet looking gifts too! However, did you know that you can also safely can in your recycled condiment jars?  I know that those in Europe and Australia having been doing this for years but us Americans which have grown up on Ball jars may not be aware and so I write this little post for you. 



Providing they have the proper screw top opening (such as the samples shared in our pictures), all you need to do is purchase the appropriate and "new" lug cap size for your jars. Reusing the lids is not recommended as the gummy seal on the bottom of the jars has been compromised after the initial use. Finding the "new" lids had always been the challenge for me! However, this company HERE sells all kinds of sizes for bottles and jars (I am not affiliated with them in any way but was excited to share my findings with any fellow jar enthusiasts). Amazon also sells some similar designer lids though they are a bit more expensive. I will include links at the bottom of this post for those that are interested.


I have personally found the 82mm sized lid to be very useful! You can preserve in those beautiful Bonne Maman jars and many of the wide-opening store bought salsa jars (sadly we had too much rain and humidity to get a good tomato crop these last few years and needed to purchase our salsa). The lids come in black, gold and even red!



So, if you have a collection of beautiful condiment jars, perhaps you will want to put them to preserving status once again in your pantry! To do so...


Begin by sterilizing the jars (Two Methods):

Sterilizing Jars With a Dishwasher. If you have a dishwasher, simple place your jars inside, run your dishwasher with soap (like normal) and keep the door closed until you are ready to use them (keeping the jars nice, warm and clean inside). You will need to do this at the very beginning of your canning day and time it to where the jars are hot, clean and ready when you need to start filling them.



Sterilizing Jars Without a Dishwasher. Wash your jars in hot, soapy water, rinse clean and place them directly inside your canner rack inside the canner. Fill up the jars/canner with clean water making sure to cover the top of the jars by at least two inches. Now, put the canner on your stove to boil and let it boil for about ten minutes. When done, shut off the burner and keep lid closed (or turn to a simmer if you are not quite ready for them because you do want to start off with hot jars). Simply remove your jars with a jar lifter when you are ready to fill with your food.

Your jars are now sterilized and your hot water is boiled and ready to use for canning so two things have been accomplished by this method. Just keep this water simmering and ready to use for the final canning of your food product.


Prepare Your Lids/Caps:

Sterilize Lids. Wash your canning caps in hot soapy water prior to using them. Place your clean lids in a small pot filled with water and let them lightly simmer until you are ready to use them (I do this right before the product is ready to can so that I don't over cook the lids). There is a gummy substance at the bottom that needs softening. You can safely remove them as you need them by using a magnetic wand.


The only difference between these procedures and the one used for the 2-peice lids and caps is that the lids will be hot and you need to place them on the jars directly. I use a small kitchen rag to screw them in place so my fingers don't burn. Once that is achieved, process them in the boiling water bath like you do your "normal" canning. Once cooled, the jar lids will be concave. Some of the smaller style lids will even pop depending on what size you are working with. 

Note: I can not vouch for the safety of these jars/lids in the pressure canner.



Perhaps this has opened some possibilities for you? I hope so as it is quite fun to can creatively with different sized jars. Plus, this can be a frugal way to can if you have stockpiles of condiment jars and no true "canning jars".  I found that to make this really affordable, you do need to purchase the lids in bulk (at the time I purchased the lids from the website above, they had a discount for first time buyers if you signed up for their email which was very helpful!). Happy preserving and/or preservation planning!
All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The Scoop, Tuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersThe Homesteader HopWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou Friday, and Shabbilicious Friday. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them).

29 comments:

  1. Your jars are very pretty, and I prefer the one piece lids, too.
    Have a great day!

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  2. Dear JES,
    Thank you for posting about this! I had no idea one could buy new lids to fit condiment jars. I usually just throw them away (horrible waste of glass, I know!) because I didn't think they could be reused, except for little bits of dry goods or leftovers. Plus, it seems I can never get the smell out of the lids no matter how much I wash them or let them air. Problem solved! Thank you for the links, as well. I really like the gingham lids :)
    Love, Kelsey

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    1. Hi Kelsey, I am able to get the smell out of the lids by boiling them for 10 minutes in water with a splash of vinegar. Hope this helps! I also LOVE the gingham lids!

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    2. Thank you for the tip to get the smell out of the jar lids! I buy very large jars of peppercinis but can never get the smell out to use the jars for food products. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
      Sincerely,
      Melody

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    3. You are welcome! You can boil the jars in a large stock pot of water with 1 cup of vinegar for about 10 minutes (similar to sterilizing jars when you can). Take care! :)

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  3. Wow! I keep many of my glass jars and use them for kombucha or storing leftovers. I did not know you could buy new lids for them. Thank you for sharing the link to buy these! You always have such great articles :) Have a wonderful first day of February!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by! I hope this was helpful! :) There are numerous lids you can find to fit many jars on that website!

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  4. Hi Jes

    Thanks for the great article! We have been doing this for years in our house. Depending on the lid, sometimes you can even use the original lid that came with the jar. A pair of kitchen tongs can also be used to take the hot lids out from the boiling water.

    Kind regards,

    Sabrina from Godzgeargirls.blogspot.com.au

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sabrina, thanks for the added tip! :)

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  5. How awesome is this? Thank you so much for sharing! And I love the tip for getting out the smell...I've been hard pressed to reuse pickle jars because of the smell! Will have to give that a try!

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment Jenn! Have a wonderful week! :)

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  6. Absolutely loved this article! Never thought of doing it this way.

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    1. Thanks Marie! Have a lovely week! :)

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  7. This is probably a very dumb question, but how do I know which size lids I would need to order? Thanks for sharing. I am going to start saving my nice looking jars!

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    1. Actually, it is a great question and I should probably put it into my article! Measure across the top of the jar (in millimeters)... from one end to the other.

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  8. I had no idea, thanks for sharing!

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  9. Jes, thank you so much for this information! I have a friend who saves all her Bonne Maman jars for me!! Teri S :)

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  10. Such good jar ideas!! Thanks for the helpful hint about how to measure for the right size lid! I too am a glutton for glass jars 😊💕 Thanks so much for all your great posts 👍🏻👍🏻

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    Replies
    1. Glad to meet a fellow jar-a-holic! :) It is so surprising how many of us are out there!

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  11. Oh my goodness...you can CAN with condiment jars?! Yahoo! I must admit I'm a jar junky too. I have many jars of all sizes and shapes. I am so excited! Thanks for researching and sharing these great tips and ideas.

    Have a delightful weekend, Jes!

    Hugs, Amy

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    Replies
    1. So glad to know there are others out there who get excited about these types of things! :) Thanks for dropping by!

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  12. Dear Jes, I just love jars. Almost all my pantry storage is jars and most have been free and some I have collected and paid 50c for. The most ever was $4 for a huge antique one.
    I never owned a Ball jar until in my fifties.
    Here (South Australia) jams which I think you call jellies are not canned. They are boiled and go into sterilised jars with cellophane squares on top with a rubber band. Thats all Ive ever known. So I do pickles and jams in any old jar. I save all jars ever used.
    I love to decorate lids by painting them and adding a rose or some pretty image.
    I have loved jars forever. It is nice not to be the only one who understands this!
    With love Annabel.xxx

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    1. I knew there was a reason I liked you so much! :)

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  13. I've canned for years, but I've never seen those one piece lids used in home canning before. I have a ton of pretty little jars from buying Lemon Curd. (It is my husbands secret addiction.) Those will be great Christmas gifts filled Strawberry Lemon Aid Preserves. Thanks for the great information!

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  14. Where is the "link at the bottom of the post for those that are interested"?
    Thanks Carol L

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    1. HI Carol, I had to add some new links back in (they are pictured at the bottom of the post)! Its seems the old lids I had originally shared from Amazon sold out. The ones I show now seem to be the only ones left at this moment... Happy preserving! :)

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