I have found that the pint size canning jars were the most useful for me, like for grinding and keeping fresh ground coffee beans (ask online how many seconds to grind beans for what type of coffee you want). I have used other sizes too. I have some of the small 1/2 cup ones that works well for my grandson's homemade baby food too. I also bought a box of 12 canning lids that twist, not expensive, and not the usual two part canning jar lids, and they are great for covering anything left over put into the refrigerator.
My Oster blenders have always been able to use canning jars for me. I don't know about the other types of blenders, so just check and see if they will fit. I'm pretty sure there are others that will fit too.
Be careful with using boiling water in blending in the canning jars. I didn't have any problems with it ever, but I thought it was best to put a towel over it before blending, just in case.
By kas2 from Grand Rapids, MI
Also, all my baking supplies are in mason jars. You can go to garage sales or second hand shops. I have even been given them free from people who don't can anymore.
By Marymargaret from Scotland, Ontario
Source: 30 years of canning.
By love2can from Sweet Valley, PA
Make sure to test any jars you plan to reuse by sterilizing them in a canner and then inspect them carefully for cracks or chips. If they can withstand the heat, they will probably work fine for canning. Make sure you always use new lids. The rings that hold down the lids can be reused also.
Containers that are great to save and reuse are olive oil bottles. Just remove the labels and clean thoroughly. They work great for salad dressing or any liquid that you don't want to pour quickly. Be sure to save the the little plastic piece that impedes the flow of olive oil.
Quart sized jars make nice storage containers for many items, packs of Kool Aid, tea bags, spice packets, sweeteners, any little packets that get lost in the cupboard. Any clear plastic containers and jars can be useful to use for food items you buy in bulk (peanut butter, oil, honey, syrup, beans, or dried peas). The bulk bottles can be quite heavy. Just keep refilling the smaller containers as needed.
After canning, always test the seal. It should cause a "popping: sound when cooling. That let's you know it is vacuum sealed. If you have one or two that don't seal, all is not lost. Simply refrigerate and use soon.
This will salve money, since jars can be costly.
Also, I find canning jars and sometimes new boxes of lids/ and or bands at rummage sales, yard sales, and sometimes on sale at the end of canning season in the grocery store.
By Grayce from Fort Pierce
I was wondering if I can use some old mason jars I got for free to do some canning. Will the metal lids work? Should I get new lids? Some have rust on them. I really wanna be able to use some of my tomatoes from my garden this winter.
Jennifer from Illinois
I have always reused my canning jars providing they are in good shape. I also do that so called no-no of using just about any jar that the ring and seal will fit on. I figure if the company that originally filled and processed them didn't break them, I should be able to use them.
Rings I reuse until they get pretty rusty. As long as they are capable of holding the lid down, why spend the money to replace them?
It seems I read somewhere that you could sterilize canning jars in the oven. Does any one know about this? At what temperature and for how long?
Thanks for any help!
Shona from Ocoee, TN
f course a really hot dishwasher is always nice for removing germs from dishes when someone in the house is sick with something contagious (like mono). But always remember to turn the hot water heater back down (especially if you have small children) so you won't scald yourself or waste energy.
* And as for your original question. I'd say about 350 degrees F for an hour would be MORE than enough time and temp to kill any lingering germs, but REMEMBER to NOT preheat the oven (as you normally do) because you don't want to "shock" the glass and have it break. Just put the jars in, THEN let the oven heat up and cool down with them in it. I've heard that it's best to but about an inch of water in and around the jars (while they sit in a baking pan) but I don't know why this is done. If it were me, I'd go on to a forum-based website that specializes in cooking and canning and ask this question. (09/05/2008)
I put a dutch kettle on the stove when I am canning, bring it to a boil with what ever pints are needed. I can in smaller amounts so a canner full can be easily cleaned to germ free. Boil water 10 minutes gets you sterilized jars. They must be immersed totally. You can do the same with a larger kettle/canner for quarts. You don't have to worry about burned fingers, exploding glass. Been there, done that.
I can pints for quantity needed now.
I usually have run the jars through the dishwasher in the first place, and use the added kettle water addition if they sat and cooled a few hours. A hot jar will process faster when you put hot items into it to pressure cooker or water bath. My dishwasher has a heat water cycle built right in so the temp is disinfecting to start with. (09/05/2008)
I have always turned them upside down in a shallow roaster with about 1 inch of water allowing the steam to sterilize them.
Another note you can reuse baby jars that have the pop off lids for jellies. They will reseal at least one more time. (09/06/2008)