Crazy Jar Lady
Updated: Mar 16
I found myself in a discussion with a keyboard warrior the other day. This person was just sure that NEW jars were what they needed to use AND they thought they had to use name brand lids. (I'm sure they wouldn't even attempt to reuse a lid.) And that's OKAY! This person was also sure this was the ONLY way to can; new jars and name brand lids. If that is what you choose to do in your kitchen, more power to you. You will end up with the same results I have at a much larger hit to the wallet. (I personally prefer Dodge vehicles. I pay for that, sometimes dearly.)
As we have discussed prior; I use any old jars that I can get my hands on. I use cheap Amazon lids**. I use the cheaper Presto pressure canners**. I've attached a picture from the EVP22 processing soirree and you can see all the different brands and shapes of quarts I was using. You can also see all the different colored lids and the rusty rings. (The Instant Pot** is there to keep my lids and rings warm while I'm working.)
Many of these jars have been used, abused, and reused probably hundreds of times over. MOST of my jars are 1980s and older. I very rarely buy new jars. If I do, it's because I'm needing more of a particular style; like wide mouth pints. Some of the jars I'm using are closing in on 100 years old if they aren't already. I waterbath and pressure can in old blue quarts and pints that have a smooth lip. I will even use glass top jars when I have the rubber rings available.
I don't check over the entire jar before canning. It gets a cursory glance. I do inspect the rim of the jar quite well. I want a good seal. I'm not worried about bubbles or manufacturing defects because they are usually sealed inside the glass; the jar wouldn't still be here if it wasn't. Occasionally, I do have a jar bust. It's a pain in the ass but it just happens. Eventually we are all going to get dinged up and finally crap out. Happens with jars too.
If you have a new today-aged jar and an old one, hold them up, one in each hand. Feel how heavy that old jar is? There's far more higher quality glass in that old jar than the new one. I've seen some cases of new jars bust almost immediately upon canning. The name-brand companies have been sold out. They don't manufacture to a high quality anymore. It's how many jars they can get cranked out, how fast and how cheaply. Then they want to charge quite a bit for them.
I would rather pay $1 for an old jar with no lid and no ring; than pay $1 for a new jar with a lid and ring included. Yes, sometimes you will come across some cute designs** and want to make jam for Christmas presents. Go right ahead; I will do it too! I'm saying for the everyday pantry, these old jars will do the job just as well as the new ones and still keep going. And let's face it, the rings multiply in the storage room while we aren't watching.... (Rings** can also be purchased in bulk lots, if needed.) Lids are also easy to buy in bulk.
Hunt down grandma's old jars. Clean the jars out of a barn or a basement. Even jars with food still in them can be successfully cleaned up and used. I am going to bet they will outlast any of the jars you bought new.
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