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New Canning Jars

 
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cattle trees bee
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Hello all!

Every year we can all sorts of things and have an extensive collection of jars; mostly ball jars. Lately we have been needing to buy some more to add to the collection and figured I would ask opinions on here about jars. We pressure can and water bath can so i need a jar that can do both.  I looked up the ball website and boy there are tons of options I didn't know about. I also believe some of them are only meant for decoration and not canning purposes.  I know I am WAY overthinking this but wanted to take some time to have a discussion nonetheless.

Does anyone know anything about the ball collection elite jars i.e the amber ones? Are they thicker glass than regular?
Does anyone know if the aqua and amber jars can be pressure canned or just water bath?
Lastly, is there a better brand out there of mason jars than ball (not Weck jars)?

Anyway, thought I would get some opinions on this before purchasing several dozen.
Thank you for your time.
 
gardener
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Location: Central Texas zone 8a
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I can't speak for brands but size and mouth size is worthy of consideration. I tend to go wide mouth for ease of filling, emptying, and cleaning.
 
Kaleb Claxton
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cattle trees bee
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wayne fajkus wrote:I can't speak for brands but size and mouth size is worthy of consideration. I tend to go wide mouth for ease of filling, emptying, and cleaning.



I hear ya wayne. We have a few dozen of the small mouth jars still hanging around but I have big hands and they make things much harder. We only buy wide mouth jars!
 
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I use the small mouth canning jars that work fine using a canning funnel -

https://smile.amazon.com/Stainless-Funnel-Wide-Mouth-Kitchen-Canning/dp/B07P81DNM5/ref=sr_1_9?crid=2HE1UZCKOM1HU&keywords=canning+funnel&qid=1581026961&sprefix=canning+funnel%2Caps%2C977&sr=8-9

I pick up jars at thrift stores just checking the jar rim for smooth surface. I really like finding the little 10oz. jars that can just the right amount for 2 people. The little standard 'half pint' jars may be good for jam, but they don't hold 8 oz., more like 6 oz.which isn't good for most recipe uses like tomato sauce etc.
 
Kaleb Claxton
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cattle trees bee
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Jain Anderson wrote:I use the small mouth canning jars that work fine using a canning funnel -

https://smile.amazon.com/Stainless-Funnel-Wide-Mouth-Kitchen-Canning/dp/B07P81DNM5/ref=sr_1_9?crid=2HE1UZCKOM1HU&keywords=canning+funnel&qid=1581026961&sprefix=canning+funnel%2Caps%2C977&sr=8-9

I pick up jars at rift stores just checking the jar rim for smooth surface. I rly like finding the little 10oz. jars that can just the right amount for people. The little standard 'half pint' jars may be good for jam, but they don't hold 8 oz., more like 6 oz.which isn't good for most recipe uses like tomato sauce etc.



Thanks for the tip I will look into that!
 
Jain Anderson
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Not only do I find that the small mouth jars are cheaper, and frankly not all that more difficult to use,the lids are cheaper too. And as far as the sealing bands go - as soon as the jars cool all the way down - REMOVE the bands! (wash and dry to prevent rusting) If the jar isn't sealed you want to know and really the band doesn't provide any function after that. The only exception I know of is for sauerkraut where leaving the bands on is recommended (probably due to fermentation?) Using slightly rusty bands on sauerkraut might be a good way to use those.
 
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Location: South of Winona, Minnesota
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I've found that small mouth jars are easier to seal as there is less circumference to seal. We used to can sauerkraut but have switched to doing smaller batches through the year and keeping it refrigerated so as to maintain a live culture. For that we prefer using wide mouth jars, usually half gallon size.
 
Kaleb Claxton
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cattle trees bee
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Larisa Walk wrote:I've found that small mouth jars are easier to seal as there is less circumference to seal. We used to can sauerkraut but have switched to doing smaller batches through the year and keeping it refrigerated so as to maintain a live culture. For that we prefer using wide mouth jars, usually half gallon size.



How long will the sauerkraut last in the fridge? I find that interesting for we make a lot of sauerkraut.
 
Larisa Walk
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Kaleb Claxton wrote:

Larisa Walk wrote:I've found that small mouth jars are easier to seal as there is less circumference to seal. We used to can sauerkraut but have switched to doing smaller batches through the year and keeping it refrigerated so as to maintain a live culture. For that we prefer using wide mouth jars, usually half gallon size.



How long will the sauerkraut last in the fridge? I find that interesting for we make a lot of sauerkraut.



Yesterday we used the last of the radish ferment we made in the fall, about late October. Instead of using winter radish for this batch, we had a bunch of spring radish that had self-seeded that were in prime condition, needing something done with them before a serious freeze. It was a half gallon batch, stored in the root cellar. If stored in the fridge, the temps would be quite stable and storage conditions would be optimal and may keep even longer, although the flavor can intensify over time. In my opinion it's best to make a batch size that you will consume in a couple of months max rather than going for a longer storage time. Working in smaller batches you can use veggies from the root cellar to start another ferment a couple of weeks before the current batch is about used up. If you do get a bit of funk on the top, spoon it off until you're at a good looking layer that smells right. And make sure that when you're done that the "kraut" is pushed down under the liquid to minimize spoilage.
 
pollinator
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Location: Southern Oregon
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While I agree that regular mouth jar lids are cheaper, and I use these for many canned products. I like having some wide mouth, particularly pint jars around for freezing. Because the wide mouth pint jars have no shoulders, the quarts have small shoulders, the pint jars have never cracked for me when freezing things in them. And double using them for freezing, I can reuse the lids.
 
master pollinator
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We have some blue and amber ball jars as well as clear ones. There may be a difference other than color, but I don't see one.
 
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