garage sale haul and questions

richardjSeptember 9, 2012


I'm new here, been doing some canning for the past year. Yesterday I went to a garage sale and bought a whole mess of canning jars, rings, and lids. The lids include the zinc lids and the glass presto lids with the red rubber seals. I also got the rings with the little windows for the glass presto lids. I have some questions. First will the red seals for other brands of lids work on these presto lids? Second, the rings have some light rust, can they still be used? Third, will the red rubber seals work with the zinc lids? Or do you just use regular lids with the zinc lids?

I did a count of what I got.

56 zinc lids

162 glass presto lids

21 regular mouth pint jars

13 regular mouth 1/2 gal. jars

1 wide mouth quart jar (bummer)

22 regular mouth quarts!

woo hoo!!!!!

There was also about 100 wide mouth rings

about 250 of the presto rings

and about 100 regular rings

Plus about a dozen collector jars.

Now to find something to fill all these jars up with. The weather here wasn't much better than last year, every thing burned up in 30+ days of 100+ temps and NO rain, so not much in the way of garden produce. I'll have to get some more red rubber seals, as most of the ones that came in this batch don't look great.

I like the idea of canning meat, as I hate buying meat and getting it out of the freezer to use it and it's freezer burnt!!!



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I'm pretty conservative when it comes to canning stuff. I'd only use NEW Ball or Kerr lids for each batch of stuff canned. They're designed for exactly one use only, and every food safety site reinforces that. I wouldn't try to reuse old rubber rings.

The ring does nothing but hold the lid (snugly, not excessively tightly) in apposition to the glass rim so that as the food is processed, steam escapes through the headspace; when the jar cools, the steam in the headspace condenses to make the seal. (That's the 'boink' sound you occasionally hear as the jars cool down.) So if there's a little rust on the ring, no big deal, as long as the ring can mechanically hold the lid down on to the jar rim while it's making the seal. BTW, some people recommend taking the ring OFF the jar once the jar is sealed; that way you can easily see if the seal ever fails. (With a properly formed seal, you can pick up the jar by the lid alone. If you can't, you don't have a good seal.)

Any of the jars that aren't designed for the Ball or Kerr lids: I'd just use them for bulk storage of dry stuff like beans or grains or pasta. I have a bunch of old Italian style canning jars, and they're great for that. Attractive, too.

Just my $.02

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 8:38AM
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I don't know about the red rubber rings, are you talking about bail type jars or just old flat lids and rings? I don't know about the bail type jars for canning, it works but you are more likely to get a seal failure on those. The zinc lids the same. As for the flat lids, if they are NOT rusty and look good then I would be OK using them after I sterilized them for 10 min. in boiling water. However, if they are old, using them could result in a failed seal and most of the time I don't want to risk that. As for the rings, I recommend taking them off after processing. If it is just light rust, can be removed with an SOS. But I hate rust on my jars so I recycle the rings when they get much rust on them. I would recommend using the old bail type and zinc lids for storing dried stuff. I store almost all my pasta, beans, rice, barley, crakers, etc. in glass jars. Keeps them safe and dry when it gets humid.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:21AM
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I also remove the rings when I store the filled jars, or they ometimes get stuck on and I can't remove them.

I never use the old rubber ring and bail type jar lids, the others are too easy and too readily available, although I can still get those old red rings at my hardware store.

If your jars will accept he modern rings and lids, I'd use those, they are much easier to use and replace.

Check the rims for chips, BTW, I've gotten some really nice old jars and some have chips on the rims that prevent a good seal.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:25AM
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Richard, your Presto/canner manual should tell you not to use the zincs or glass lids. You'd hate to lose and waste your product, not to mention your time and effort...

Using bands and lids -
"Avoid closures such as zinc caps and glass lids that require a jar rubber. These closures do not provide a proper method to determine if the seal is safe. Also, avoid commercial one-piece caps even if they have a rubber-like gasket because they are intended for one-time use only."

Here is a link that might be useful: Presto - lids

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:49AM
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I too agree with all the above posters. Don't use the rubber rings, use the modern flat lids and rings.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 1:48PM
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