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Canning jars questions

chris_harper

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I was looking at canning jars, since I want to get into canning this year. I was at Wal-Mart the other day and looked at what they have. They have Better Homes & Gardens jars, Kerr (I believe that it the name), and of course Main Stays (their brand). Which one would be the best to use? As far as price they were less than a dollar in difference across the board. Also, regular or wide mouth?

I am planning on mostly quart size and a few pint size. 

 I will be canning peppers, salsa, tomato sauce, and maybe pasta sauce. We eat a lot of pasta in my house, so I could make my own sauce and not have to buy it all the time. Plus I could use up more tomatoes that way. I have four different kinds of tomatoes in the ground. I don't even eat them. I was going to give most of them away, but decided to make stuff with them and can it. I will still give some away too most likely.

Also they have the 16-quart Presto pressure canner/cooker for $69.95.
 

biaviian

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I have only used Ball or Kerr but I am sure they are all the same. I do know that some are able to be used in the freezer and some are not. That could account for some of the price difference. Even only certain Ball jars are freezer rated.
 

chris_harper

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I won't be storing any in the freezer. I have an extra room that we don't use, that has shelves on one wall. I thought about making shelves on all the walls and making it a store room for food.
 

bassman

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Chris, I use Ball, Kerr, Mason; whatever brand name I come across.  Before you spend a lot at the store, you might want to check around at some yard sales.  Jars can get expensive when buying new.  I like to use large mouth for tomatoes, simply because they come out of the jar easier.  Other than that, no difference.   I don't can much anymore other than tomatoes and maybe some pickled beets. It sure is nice to look at all the full shelves at the end of the season though.  Good luck, and if you need help, just holler.
 

daveomak

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Another thing to think about in canners. Check to see how many jars will fit in it comfortably. I think 7 quarts is the norm.

As far as freezing in jars, only tapered jars are for freezing. The taper allows the ice to expand upward. They should be filled only to about 1 1/2" from the top to allow for expansion.
 

chris_harper

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They are ~$10 for 12 here, with lids and rings. That is the quart size. Pints are a little cheaper I believe. That is less than a dollar per jar, lid, and ring. I'll probably go with the Kerr, since they have the wide mouth. They are $10.44/12. Regular mouth is $9.67 or so.
 

biaviian

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[quote name="DaveOmak" url="/forum/thread/105197/canning-jars-questions#post_617020"]
As far as freezing in jars, only tapered jars are for freezing. The taper allows the ice to expand upward. They should be filled only to about 1 1/2" from the top to allow for expansion.
[/quote]

Actually it isn't near that easy to know what is recommended for the freezer. All of the Ball regular mouth jars are freezer safe except for pint and quart jars. The only wide mouth that is freezer safe is the pint. I recommend you follow the manufacturer's recommendations because, if not, the jar can crack or explode. I've seen many instances of that and it wasn't due to expanding liquids inside the jar.
 
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baboy

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Both the Ball and Kerr are made by the same company now so it probably does not matter which one you purchase. I do not know if they also make the store brand jars.
 

chris_harper

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I will probably go with the Kerr, since they have the wide mouth quart jars in stock local. Be a lot easier to get them peppers out when I want some. I saw the spot on the shelf for the Ball Blue Book, but they were sold out. Only like $5 for it.
 

rw willy

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There is ton of stuff on the web, along with the Ball book.  Read and head!

I like the wide mouth jars.  Also I use my turkey fryer pot and burner to sterilize the jars and to "cook" the jars.  It really speeds up the processing and keeps the heat out of the kitchen.  I start the water for the pressure cooker on it then move the cooker into the house.  The stove top burner is easier to control.

Good luck and enjoy.
 

roller

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I have always used the regular mouth jars and that is partly because I am old  and when I started we did not have the wide mouth. I buy alot of jars at junk shops you can get them really cheap. Just be sure and check them for chips and cracks...I like food put up in jars.
 

beer-b-q

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I would check  Craig's List... around here they are always listing Canning Jars...
 

chris_harper

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I check Craigslist daily, in several sections for different things. I have never seen jars on there. I always look at these sections: auto parts, free, barter, general, household, farm/garden, electronics, materials, sporting, wanted, and tools.

I will buy them new to start with I guess. I mean, $10 for a dozen isn't bad.
 
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 HEY! DO NOT WAST YOUR TIME OR MONEY ON THE MAINSTAY JARS WITH THE LID'S! SPEND A DOLLAR MORE AND BE ASSURED TO GET THE RESULT'S YOU EXPECT. I USED THE MAINSTAY AND EVERY LID BUCKLED JARS CRACKED AND CHIPPED AROUND THE EDGES. SO THINKING I DID SOMETHING WRONG I TRIED AGAIN AND SAME RESULT'S! GOING TO WALMART WITH PROOF AND DEMANDING MY MONEY BACK ETC. GOOD LUCK AND USE A WELL KNOWN BRAND KEER AND BALL ARE BEST.
 

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