Sustainable Canning Jars
I got a pressure canner for Christmas 2010 and for the last 9 months I’ve been canning meat almost weekly. Sometimes I’ll do 3 batches in one day so I’ll have a month’s worth stockpiled. This helped a lot during the 100+ degree heat of the summer.
In addition to meat, I also regularly can dry beans. Beans are cheap and we use them 3-5 times a week, especially since I came up with a chili bean recipe that we really like.
As you can imagine, we go through a lot of canning lids. Three to four dozen a month just for meat and beans. When I start adding juice, jams, vegetables, fruits and everything else I want it will start getting ridiculous. I will soon have to start buying new rings as well, because these discolor and rust with frequent use.
I haven’t found a good use for used canning lids. I’ve also discovered they’re coated with BPA. These two things make me very unhappy. Not only are the lids unsustainable, they’re also potentially hazardous to our health. So I’ve been looking for alternatives.
I’ve heard great things about Tattler reusable lids. I was leaning in that direction but I honestly do not like plastic. It doesn’t fare well in a hot, arid climate and there is still the issue of what to do with them when they wear out. I’ve also recently encountered discussions online about other potential toxins that may be on those lids. While not BPA, it is a relative if I understand correctly. I’m not an expert on plastics and cannot claim to fully understand all of the potential issues so please do your own research if its important to you.
For me, as soon as I came across Weck Canning Jars I was sold.
These are glass jars with glass lids. I am a HUGE fan of glass. They use an all natural rubber ring to create the seal and the ring is reusable. At the moment I have no idea how many uses I’ll get from each rubber but I do know that I can put them to use for other things once they wear out.
They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. My first set is the half liter tulip jars . These are close to one pint which is what we use the most.
The jars come in six packs. Each jar has a glass lid, rubber seal and two metal clamps. If I remember right the clamps are stainless steel and won’t rust. The clamps are used to hold the lid in place while you’re canning. Once the jar has cooled you remove the clamps and the lid is held in place naturally by the seal that was created.
You can tell the jar is sealed in two ways: the position of the rubber tongue tab and the lid. The lid will not budge on a sealed jar. You can lift the jar by the rim of the lid with no problems. The tongue of the rubber also points down when the jar is sealed.
You only need two clamps per jar for water bath canning but three is better for pressure canning. I forgot to order additional clamps so for my first attempt with these jars I played it safe and only used two jars. I put four clamps on each jar and used my regular Ball jars for the rest of my batch of hamburger. Normally I can fit nine pint jars in my canner at once. With the Weck jars mixed in I expected to fit seven total. I ended up with eight and I was happy.
And overall, I am head over heels in love with Weck Jars!
These jars are more expensive but to me they are well worth it. I plan to buy one or two packs each month for the next several years and slowly replace the cheap ones. In time, my entire house will be filled with beautiful, sustainable glassware that I can pass on to future generations.