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Old 08-07-2008, 07:38 AM   #1
Cindyh
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Canning question - can I do it without a rack?

I'm brand new to canning and have a question for those of you in the know. I've gotten a bunch of the Weck jars http://www.weckcanning.com/ instead of the Ball jars because I wanted to use the glass tops as opposed to the regular metal tops that seem to contain a bit of BPA. My question is this, I got the Tulip style jar which is much wider and shorter than a regular Ball jar which means that they don't fit in the Ball jar rack. Is it necessary to use a rack and if so, does anyone have any suggestions on what i can do to make it work? I've read online that people suggest using the metal tops...but I don't have any of those since I'm using these jars. Also - since these are so short, I could fit two layers stacked...do I need a rack in between those as well?

Thanks!

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Old 08-07-2008, 01:00 PM   #2
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Re: Canning question - can I do it without a rack?

nak
you do need something in between the bottom and the jar but not necessarily a rack. I'm not sure about stacking, but I would leave space there too. I know someone who puts silverware in the bottom of hers. I have used wooden shishkabob sticks before for separating layers and for odd shaped jars.
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Old 08-07-2008, 04:54 PM   #3
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Re: Canning question - can I do it without a rack?

Great ideas! Thanks for responding. Do you know if I have to worry about the jars hitting each other when it's boiling as well? I didn't even think about that one, I guess I'm just going to give it a try and hope for the best.
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:01 AM   #4
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Re: Canning question - can I do it without a rack?

i have always used my racks but i can remember my grandmother using kindling wood in hers before when her one did not have a rack,,LOL
she just used lil thin pices of wood. so my guess is as long as it is not touching the bottom of the kettle you should be ok,,,if you realyy want to test what ever you find to use try it in another enpty jar you have sitting around(spaghetti jar or something fill them with water and try it to make sure it won't have your good jars breaking in the water.also if your dh or you have metal cutters maybe you could use a cookie cooling rack and cut it the shape of the kettle?
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:14 AM   #5
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Re: Canning question - can I do it without a rack?

I can tons of stuff every year and have never used a rack or anything to separate the jars from each other or from the bottom of the pot and I've never had any trouble at all
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Old 08-08-2008, 04:49 PM   #6
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Re: Canning question - can I do it without a rack?

The idea of using a rack is to allow as much surface area of the jar to be in contact with the boiling water - so it heats the contents evenly (and make sure it's safely canned). It's best to use something to lift the jars off the bottom of the pot and separate the two layers for this reason.
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:47 PM   #7
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Re: Canning question - can I do it without a rack?

those jars are cool!! how much were they, if you don't mind sharing? are they comparable to ball? probably not, huh?
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:53 AM   #8
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Re: Canning question - can I do it without a rack?

Weck jars are meant to be stacked. You need to use clips to hold the lids in place. More info
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:56 PM   #9
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Re: Canning question - can I do it without a rack?

Thanks for the advice all. I canned yesterday with silverware on the bottom and used one of those metal steamer thingies for the second layer (sorta kinda). I must admit, it was a massive pain in the butt because the pot I had was not QUITE tall enough for 2 layers so I ended up having to heat 2 pots anyway. I was told that the water you put the filled jars in has to be about the same temp as the stuff inside the jars to avoid cracking. I didn't know how literally to take this so I just did them in two pots and got it over with. Does that make sense? What a mess! Anyway, it appears like it worked although I guess I'll find out in the next week or two if I killed all of the baddies (the cool thing about those jars is if there is still bacteria in the jars, it will apparently pop the top off as theirs nothing holding the top on except for the vacuum seal. Hope it works!). I am definitely going to try to buy the appropriate rack and jar lifter if possible. Although it was not necessary, I think it might have made the entire process a lot easier. I used a silicone glove to take the jars out and although the thing claims to be good up to 500, apparently that's for about 2 seconds. I was scalding my hand while getting the jars out! But other than discomfort, no damage done.

As for the price, they're definitely more expensive than the Ball jars but since it was BPA free and I'm hoping to get good at canning and use them a lot, I considered them an investment! You can download the price sheet directly from that website. What's actually in stock may vary from the sheet but the prices were accurate.
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:10 PM   #10
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Re: Canning question - can I do it without a rack?

Wow, I haven't seen these jars since I was little. I remember tearing the tabs in half and pulling them out to open them. Wow. I can't believe they're back, or still around...whichever. We used the Ball/Mason jar "rubber ring" ones before they stopped selling them. I was under the impression that they had to stop making them. Maybe they just weren't allowed to sell them in the US?
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