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Thread: Jar Canning using used store bought jar lids?

  1. #1
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Kachemak Bay Alaska

    Default Jar Canning using used store bought jar lids?

    I was always told to use the two piece canning lid and ring set-up.

    My Bavarian wife claims that her family back in Bavaria just used old lids from used commercial jars.
    She claims they somehow got them to seal. In a water bath method no less.....

    Now she is insisting that I try it, because she has a huge cache of old small fancy looking jars and lids.

    I, on the other hand, think it is a good way to end up sick or dead.

    Has anyone ever done this ? Or is it just another German fairy-tale?
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  2. #2
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Tanana Valley AK


    Seems like the gasket rubber used in commercial twist off lids is usually softer than what's used on Ball/Kerr home canning lids, so maybe there's a slightly better chance of getting them to reseal. That said, I think reusing them wouldn't be hugely different than reusing used two-piece lids/rings...often you can get them to seal, but not with enough reliability for my liking. If pressed, I'd be comfortable experimenting with used lids for jams/jellies, but not for meat/fish/vegetables, etc. In the grand scheme of things, new lids are pretty inexpensive.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014


    I agree that new lids are inexpensive compared to the risk. I wouldn't do it, and I'm almost half German. I started canning in 4H back in the 1970s, and I have always tried to be pretty conservative and safe. We use pressure cooking for just about everything we do. We can (in jars) ALL of our salmon, plus lots of tomato sauce and other garden vegetables, and sometimes berries.
    It is quite possible that the Bavarians did this and made it work, but I just don't see that it's a really good idea. I agree with iofthetaiga that this would be OK for jams and jellies, but I absolutely would not do it for fish/meat or vegetables.


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