Handling canning jars and lids

Yield: 1 servings

Measure Ingredient

HANDLING JARS

Always start with clean, perfect jars. Be sure to examine them carefully for nicks, scratches, or even the slightest imperfections and run your finger over the rims as well. If a jar isn't perfect, don't use it. Next, wash the jars in hot suds, rinse well, and keep them warm in hot water or in your dishwasher on the dry setting.

Don't warm them in the oven.

Remember that you are working with glass, and that sudden changes of temperature can cause cracking or breakage. That means you must always be sure the jar and the food being canned are close to the same temperature and that the jar is set on wood, a cloth, or a rack as you fill it. Never pour boiling water or hot food into a room temperature jar, never put a room temperature jar full of food into boiling water, and never put a hot, processed jar on a cold, wet surface; it could break.

Take care to protect your jars from contact with metal. Don't use steel wool to clean them and never use a knife or other metal utensil to remove air bubbles or loosen food from the jar. This could cause nicks or scratches that lead to breakage. Finally, use only jars made specifically for canning. No other jars are designed to withstand the heat and pressure of processing.

Lids and caps should always be washed in hot, soapy water and rinsed well. You must follow the manufacturer's directions to the letter.

Generally, you put vacuum lids and screw bands in a pan with water to cover and bring them to a simmer (180 degrees F). Having done this, remove them from the heat and keep them in the water until ready for use to protect them from microorganisms.

Source: Vegetable Gardening Encyclopedia Typos by Dorothy Flatman 1995 Submitted By DOROTHY FLATMAN On 10-04-95

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