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Post by Guest 10th February 2010, 5:17 pm

A home made way of preserving is using "kilner jars" or bottles that have some sort of clasp and one time use seal. It cheap and as long as you follow the instructions well worth the effort as your own bottled pairs and tomatoes, plums and figs are the best available!
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid 10th February 2010, 6:12 pm

Can also be done with mason type jars with a reusable lid and separate collar. These are quite expensive to buy in the UK (although dirt cheap on the continent), but well looked after will last for years and years. The lids will wear out after several uses but can be replaced cheaply.

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Post by polgara 10th February 2010, 10:26 pm

Did see that our Pound Shop had kilner jars.
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Post by Green Rosie 11th February 2010, 9:57 am

We opened a jar of bottles strawberries yesterday - different from the fresh ones and exceedingly yummy for a February snowy evening.

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid 11th February 2010, 10:21 am

polgara wrote:Did see that our Pound Shop had kilner jars.

Be careful with buying cheap clip-top jars. Several of the supermarkets (Asda and Tesco certainly) were selling them 3 for £5 last year but they were not proper airtight sealing ones - okay for storing dried lentils and so on in but not for preserving. We bought some to bottle some sweet chill sauce we made and in the first batch one shattered in the water bath, another one sheared in half on the cooling rack when it came very gently into contact with another one, and the remaining two we rebottled because when we turned them upside down liquid dribbled around the seal. The cheapo ones are more decorative than practical IMO.

Proper Kilner or Le Parfait are the way to go for clip-top type jars IMO.

The two-part lid jars are more difficult to find and tend to be not cheap. The best place I have found to get them is Ascott's smallholding supplies, where they are £18 for a dozen. Also Kilner type jars at good prices here:
http://www.ascott.biz/acatalog/Glass_Preserving_Jars.html

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Post by Jaded Green 11th February 2010, 10:40 am

I'm a bit wary of bottling myself, but I do make jam.

Just made marmalade and am intrigued that of my 6 jars, 3 cooled and pulled the lid down and 3 didn't pull the lid down. I think I put the lids on properly on all of them (I am noted for struggling with screw lids, possibly because I am left handed) Any ideas why?

I am going to eat the less secure ones first, but it is jam, so should be ok.
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Post by polgara 11th February 2010, 10:55 am

The ones I saw were 2 part lids, glass top with metal screw outside.
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid 11th February 2010, 11:19 am

If you can get the two part lid jars for a pound, fill your boots, Pol.

JG, could be that the lids are no longer airtight -were they reused ones? I find that after 3 or 4 uses they very often have lost grip. We have a nifty little device though which is a big plastic collar with different sized apertures inside to fit most standard jar diameters, with metal ball bearings set in the inside - when you put the lid on the jar, you press this down around the edge of the lid and the ballbearings press the metal sides of the lid in snug to the jar again.

I would suggest rebottling the three that didn't pop down. Make sure the jars are good and hot before putting the marmalade in.

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Post by Guest 11th February 2010, 1:26 pm

I agree with not using the cheap ones for bottling. We pay about 2euros for 1l pots - the price went up when oil price went up! Even the good makes sometimes shatter...loosing the good product inside. Crying or Very sad

In France all supermarkets sell stacks and stacks each year. They only run out when we have an amazing harvest like last year.

Tomatoes are excellent bottled.
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Post by Jaded Green 11th February 2010, 2:38 pm

Thanks Billy.

Are you suggesting bringing the marmalade to the boil again? I made it 2 weeks ago. I gave my parents a properly done jar and they opened it immeidately, which was nice, but if I had known, I would have given them another one.

Can one still buy jam pot overs easily? I guess I could buy some new lids from Lakeland
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Post by polgara 11th February 2010, 2:53 pm

I got my jam pot covers in the local supermarket, but several of the cook shops sell them. That is if you mean the cellophane, wax & rubber bands ones.
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Post by Mike 12th February 2010, 3:18 pm

Wilhelm Von Rhomboid wrote:
polgara wrote:Did see that our Pound Shop had kilner jars.

Be careful with buying cheap clip-top jars. Several of the supermarkets (Asda and Tesco certainly) were selling them 3 for £5 last year but they were not proper airtight sealing ones - okay for storing dried lentils and so on in but not for preserving. We bought some to bottle some sweet chill sauce we made and in the first batch one shattered in the water bath, another one sheared in half on the cooling rack when it came very gently into contact with another one, and the remaining two we rebottled because when we turned them upside down liquid dribbled around the seal. The cheapo ones are more decorative than practical IMO.

Proper Kilner or Le Parfait are the way to go for clip-top type jars IMO.

Definitely avoid jars not made of glass of a quality suitable for canning. It's not that these can't be used in a pinch but would require great care to prevent thermal shock (care that takes much time). But the clips (on this type) like the screw bands on the more modern sort are just for keeping the lids against major shock in storage (like somebody trying to lift a heavy one by just the lid) and during the cooling part of the operation to keep the lid snugly in place till the pressure differential is enough to do the job. If properly "canned" the lid should stay on if you invert the jar and you always unsrew the band or flip the clip to test that. Dribbling around the seal means you didn't do it right or the seal too old to be reused. Even with good seals it's easy to get a speck of something on the jar lip (during filling) or the seal itself that will prevent sealing. Canning takes practice.

When deciding if a seal is still good enough to reuse you can try seeing if you can can plain water, discarding any that fail.

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Post by Jaded Green 12th February 2010, 3:54 pm

polgara wrote:I got my jam pot covers in the local supermarket, but several of the cook shops sell them. That is if you mean the cellophane, wax & rubber bands ones.
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Thanks Polgara. Those are the ones. I'll have a look for some
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Post by Guest 16th February 2010, 5:04 pm

Mike wrote: If properly "canned" the lid should stay on if you invert the jar and you always unsrew the band or flip the clip to test that.

Yep - once its cooled release the clip and invert (after a short payer!). It is annoying when some fail. We always use new - and not cheap seals - and the correct size (the array different types can be daunting in a French supermarket!)
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Post by Mike 17th February 2010, 1:28 pm

Or with the modern type, loosen the band and observe that the "button" doesn't pop up.

The rule of thumb "always use new seals" is because of safety and the likelihood that the seals were not promptly cleaned and put away under conditions likely to preserve rubber. Even under ideal conditions rubber will eventually become brittle (more bonds form between molecules) but the time for that varies between months (very improper conditions in storage) to perhaps five years (always kept under ideal conditions -- no light or air)

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