Reusing pop top jars in preserving

Discussion in 'Recipes & Remedies' started by annette, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Well I just did my first batch of preserving. I'd been putting it off because I didn't have the "proper" jars like fowlers vacola or ball mason. I have been keeping pop top jars like the ones from pasatta, olive or relish so decided to use them. I had about 8 kilos of gorgeous oxheart toms so needed to do something with them.

    I sterilised them by boiling them and placed them on clean tea towels and proceeded to fill with the pasta sauce I had reduced down. I made sure there was no sauce on the rim. Then back in the big pot for 30 minutes to boil again.

    Out of 15 bottles, only one didn't pop down. The rest sealed perfectly.:clap:

    Just goes to show you don't need expensive jars to do this. These cost me nothing.
     
  2. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    Yep, these are really all we use and haven't had any trouble with them. Same principle applies, just make sure they are really clean. We never boil a second time though - just put the very hot pasta sauce in, lid on. Done!
     
  3. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    I've been doing it for decades.
    I usually re-boil them,to make sure as the passatta is usually pretty cool after its gone through the machine a few times.
     
  4. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Good on you Annette. We use them too for some preserves such as passata and jam and have found that for the csa customers new lids from Green Living Australia ensure all safety but just boil old lids for our own with success. The vacola is great for stone fruit and the like. For sauerkraut I use old coffee jars with the insert (Maconna I think) and put some holes in the insert to keep the cabbage under water. Gotta love preserving.
     
  5. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Yes I boiled the jars again so that the lids would pop down. I read that to stop botulism you needed to do this. I put a teaspoon of lemon juice in each one as well. This preserving thing has got me hooked.
     
  6. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

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    I love bottling!
    I do it the way my nana showed me, which is really easy:
    Put the jars in the oven at 100 degees celsius. That temperature sterilises them, but they can't get hotter than the boiling fruit and crack.
    Pour boiling water over the lids and leave to soak.
    Prepare fruit and bring to boil. If bottling intact fruits rather than a sauce, make sure there's enough liquid with the fruit to fill the jars to the brim.
    Put hot jars on a board, not a cold bench...and fill to the brim. I use a jug. Miles easier than a ladle!
    Wipe the rims and screw the lids on tight.
    If one doesn't 'pop', it gets eaten pretty soon!
    If bottling fruit like peaches rather than savoury things like tomatoes, check the lids don't smell 'savoury'. I find a tiny whiff will taint the jar.
    I collect old Agee jars (NZ version of Mason et al) and I can reuse the vacuum lid thing many times if I break the seal carefully with the side of a butter knife.
    As far as I know botulism only breeds in low acid environments and basically all the fruit that you'd bottle is plenty acidic enough to not be a problem.
    Those that aren't acidic will be after a bit of lacto fermentation!
    Most actual botulism cases seem to be in the USA, which has a long tradition of 'canning' low-acid things like meat, beans, potatoes...
    But they also pressure-can, which takes the temperature high enough to kill the bacteria. Or something:think:
     
  7. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    annette, those lids pop down even without boiling the second time (usually we hear them pop if we are nearby!) - but it's a good insurance policy to boil again; we're just lazy.
     
  8. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Oh do they? I didn't know that. So just the heat in the sauce is enough to make the lid pop down. I'll try it next time. If it doesn't pop I can reboil.
     
  9. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    I wouldn't mind trying the canning thingy. So much to do and so little time!
     
  10. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    When summer rolls around again, do some drying the easy and cheap way - put sliced whatever on a tray and put on the dash or back sill of your car. Leave in sun for a few hours. If it's really hot check regularly - the drying can happen too fast! Love doing it that way!

    Haven't tried the pressure canning....not sure about buying a good American canner although I'd like to have a go.... but too many variables for me to stuff up!
     
  11. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    I scored a dehydrator for $5 at a garage sale the other day. So that's next on the agenda, then fermenting, then maybe canning. Then some chargrilling and putting in oil. I can't leave anything around to dry naturally, even the car. Too many critters think my place is a restaurant.
     
  12. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    Pretty right on botulism
    It likes low acid ,low salt, low sugar and low air
    Commercially canned goods are required to undergo a "botulinum cook" in a pressure cooker at 121 °C (250 °F) for 3 minutes.
    Pressure cooker needs to have a heavier weight and seal to reach the 121 C (I dont know if a regular pressure cooker would reach that temp) Regular boiling water would only give you 100C

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botulism
     
  13. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    So I went to look at canning and it is really bottling in those pressure cookers. Am I missing something. When they say canning I have visions of, well, cans? Can you home can in cans? Is there home equipment to do this?
     
  14. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    yes
    but in the US canning refers to jarring too

    I remember an episode of gourmet farmer (SBS) were he went to France and tried all this home made canned(tin) produce and inquired about doing it in Australia ,the red tape made it impossible.
     
  15. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Thanks GH. Thought I was going nuts there for a while. I have seen programs from the US where they show their home canning in cans. Haven't seen it in aussie. Now I know why. There must be a way though. More research is required.
     
  16. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

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    'Canning' in the USA is pretty much equivalent to our 'bottling', except the tend to get into that fancy pressure-canning that allows them to bottle things I wouldn't.
    But then again, I imagine heating stuff to a zillion degrees doesn't do it many nutritional favours:(
    Smoking, fermenting and drying on the other hand...
     
  17. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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  18. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Eeeeeeekkkkkk. Canning looks expensive. May stick with bottling, and trying drying and fermenting for a while.
     

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