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How to Prepare & Seal Canning Jars & Jelly Glasses

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 06 September 2018 at 15:09
How to Prepare and Seal Canning Jars and Jelly Glasses

This is from 1969, so it goes without saying that some of this information might be a bit dated; please feel free to discuss current practices, if different, in the comments below.

From Time/Life's Foods of the World Series:

Quote How to Prepare and Seal Canning Jars [and Jelly Glasses]

To ensure consistent results in home canning, use standard canning jars or jelly glasses with matching lids. An airtight seal is imperative. Examine each one carefully and discard those with covers that do not fit securely and those with edges that have cracks or chips.

Wash the jars, glasses, lids and rings in hot, soapy water and rinse them with scalding water. Place them in a large, deep pot and pour in enough hot water to cover them completely. Bring to a boil over high heat*, then turn off the heat and let the pan stand while you finish cooking the food you plan to can. The jars or glasses must be hot when filled.

To be ready to seal the [jelly] glasses, grate a 4 ounce bar of paraffin into the top of a double boiler (preferably one with a pouring spout) and melt it over hot water. Do not let the paraffin get so hot that it begins to smoke; it will catch fire easily.

When the food is ready for canning, remove the jars or glasses from the pot with tongs and stand them upright on a level surface. Leave lids and rings in the pot until ready for use. Fill and seal the jars one at a time, filling each jar to within 1/8 inch of the top and each glass to within 1/2 inch of the top.* Each jar should be sealed quickly and tightly with its ring and lid.

The jelly glasses also should be sealed at once. Pour a single* thin layer of hot paraffin over the surface of the jelly, making sure that it covers the jelly completely and touches all sides of the glass. If air bubbles appear in the paraffin, prick them immediately with a fork or a tip of a knife. Let the glasses rest until the paraffin cools and hardens; then cover them with metal lids.

NOTE: If there is not enough food to fill the last jar or glass completely, do not attempt to seal it. Refrigerate and use as soon as possible.

*See comments in replies below
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HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 September 2018 at 22:06
From a food safety standpoint, wax sealing is no longer considered a safe practice.

But, ya know what? They still sell a lot of paraffin out there. And thousands of jelly jars a year are sealed that way.

That said, the instructions for wax sealing are more than dated; they were wrong when first printed. Paraffin sealing requires two layers of wax, each about 1/8th inch thick. You pour the first, pop the air bubbles, and let it set. Then you add a second layer (again popping the bubbles). Traditionally, a hat pin was used for the bubble popping.

A what? I hear you say. Well, you see, back in the day........

As to canning jars, are they really suggesting that everything be filled with 1/8th inch head space? I think not, Mary. Depending on product, jars should have from 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace. And did back then, too. Just check the old BBBs and Kerr guides if you think not.

Because I learned back then, I still sterilize jars they way they suggest. But it's no longer thought needful. If they're clean, the boiling water batch will take care of sterilization on its own.

But, by bringing the kettle up to boil with the jars in it, I'm assured of 1. having enough water to heat the lids and rings, and 2. that the water will cover the jars appropriately. All while providing hot jars.
But we hae meat and we can eat
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 September 2018 at 08:19
Good advice, Brook - I'll add asterisks at those spots in the original post, with a note to see the comments below.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 September 2018 at 08:37
Also they no longer recommend boiling the lids as they've changed the rubber seal and boiling weakens it. The instructions now just say to wash the lids and rings in hot soapy water.
Mike
Life in PitRow - My often neglected, somewhat eccentric, occasionally outstanding blog
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 September 2018 at 08:46
True, Mike - I've added an asterisk there, as well.
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