Editor's Note: Some readers have pointed out that using wax for sealing jars has fallen out of favor for food safety reasons.
Here's a note about this from an extension site: "Don't seal jelly products with paraffin wax. Over time, paraffin wax begins to pull back from the sides of the jar, creating openings where mold and yeast can enter and contaminate the product. Also, paraffin can catch on fire if overheated. If you detect mold growth, throw out the entire contents. Always seal jars of jelly products with a two-piece canning lid."
Source: NC Cooperative Extension To melt paraffin neatly and easily while making jam, secure it in a plastic zipper bag and float it in the pot of hot water that's sterilizing your canning jars. When the wax is melted, open the bag about an inch and pour the hot wax right on top of your homemade jam. A real cool way to deal with hot wax.
By Raymonde from North Bay, Ontario
That is one sure fire technique!. Will save me a lot of cleanup.
This old technique is considered to be NOT FOOD SAFE. It does not keep all impurities from entering the container. For short term use in the frig would be ok. But not to be trusted for long term use. Please be careful.
It is no longer considered safe to preserve jelly or jam with just a paraffin wax coating.
Around here my jam disappears so fast that spoilage is the last concern. Thank you for a handier way to do things.
I sometimes use paraffin when making a batch of refrigerator jam. Since we can only eat one jar at a time, and I don't want to freeze the rest, I will cover with paraffin before putting the lid on and putting the jar in the fridge. It adds a little of extra protection to keep the air out (oxidation), keeps bacteria at bay, and makes the extra jars of jam last longer.
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