When you are ready to start canning, it is important that you have proper canning jars. Never try to use recycled jars from store-bought items. Sometimes it may even seem that your canning rings fit on top of these jars, but because they are made from a thinner glass, you will not be able to get a good seal.
Many people have made the mistake of trying to use jars procured from the grocery store while canning. It seems that frugal living goes hand in hand with self sufficient living. Every homesteader loves to save a few bucks. But when you try to use these cans, you risk a number of problems:
- The jar is more likely to become damaged if it is not a true canning jar
- You could have an explosion, as the glass is not tempered and cannot withstand the heat and pressure required for sterilization during canning
- The jar cannot provide a strong seal, meaning that your food will spoil and you will have wasted your time and effort. This is particularly demoralizing if you are relying on your canned goods in a survival situation.
Where to Get Real Canning Jars
Any homesteader will already have a collection of canning jars, and if not, she will be eager to get a few. You can pick some up locally at the super market, and even at some hardware stores. The best place to get a few of them now, though, is online.
Once you have acquired your canning jars, you will be able to use them many times. It’s always great for those learning to be self sufficient to realize they have made a purchase that will last for many years. The only component you will have to replace is the lids. Once you seal a can, the lid will become warped. This is natural, as it helps to form a good seal. But after you open the jar, the lid can never form the same kind of seal again. Trying to use the lid a second time will result in food spoilage.
Different Types of Canning Jars
You will find a number of different types of jars. Many of them will come with decorative imprints. These jars are rather easy to find, although they tend to be a bit more expensive than plain jars, as they are meant for gifting. Whether you get plain or decorated jars, you can reuse them again and again.
Sometimes canning jars are referred to as “mason jars,” after the original inventor of the technique.
It is always a good idea to clean your mason jars with soap and water immediately after using them. It’s also a good idea to preserve them, but this is really only required when canning jellies and jams. If you are using a pressure canner, the jar will be sterilized during the process, and the high acidity of many fruits, tomatoes, and pickled foods prevents the need for sterilization.
That being said, it doesn’t hurt to sterilize your jars each and every time you use them.
If you are looking to order more canning jars or lids, we feel that these are some of the best for the price: