Canning 101: Why You Shouldn’t Can Like Your Grandmother Did

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When I first started canning in earnest, every few months, I’d wrap up a collection of full jars and ship them off to my parents. I just couldn’t resist sharing all the delicious things I was making with them. One evening, my dad took a moment to call and thank me for the orange marmalade I had recently sent his way. During that phone call, he also made a request. Could I possibly make grape jelly sealed with paraffin wax, like his Grandma Bartlett used to make?

I adore my dad and am nearly always willing to go pretty darn far out of my way to do something to make him happy. Sadly, this was one request that I had to turn down. The reason? It’s just not safe to do it the way Grandma Bartlett used to do it.

Some of the vintage techniques you should avoid include:

Open Kettle Canning: This is the sealing method in which you pour hot jam, jelly or other preserves into a hot jar, quickly wipe the rim and apply the lids and rings. Then you simply allow the heat of the product to produce a seal. While this will typically produce a seal, you don’t have the back-up of the boiling water process, which means that you run a higher risk developing mold or other bacteria in your preserves.

Paraffin Wax Seals: The method my father remembers so fondly. In this technique, you pour thin layers of wax over your jam, until you built up about 1/2 an inch of wax on top of your product. The primary issue with this method is that there’s no way to check your seal. Additionally, these seals have a high rate of failure. My mother remembers her aunt frequently opening jellies sealed in this manner, only to discover that they were furry with mold under the wax.

Upside Down Sealing: This is sealing method found most often in Europe and is a variation on the Open Kettle approach. In it, you fill your jars, wipe rims, apply lids and rings and then, instead of processing you invert the jars and cover with a kitchen towel until they’re cool. While this technique will give you a concave lid and a fairly firm lid, it does not always produce a quality seal (and again, you lack the safety insurance that the boiling water process grants you). Additionally, if you do this with a firm setting jam or jelly, you’ll end up setting your jam up against your lid and not down at the bottom of the jar where it should be.

Steam Canners: A steam canner is a piece of equipment that looks like a cake carrier. It has a very shallow base with a high domed lid. You place it on the stove, pour a small amount of water into the shallow pan, put your jars on top and then cover with the domed lid. The steam then circulates to heat the jars. However, while steam can be hotter than boiling water, it can also exist at much lower temperatures as well. Additionally, it doesn’t have the same heat penetrating abilities as boiling water, so the heat of the processing pot will not penetrate to the core of your jars. In 2016, Atmospheric Steam Canners were approved for home use. More info here.

The way I look at canning is this. We all invest our time, money and equipment into our canned goods. It just makes good sense to use the most reliable processing techniques available, to ensure the best outcome possible. As far as I know, the most reliable process (for high acid foods) is a boiling water bath for the length of time prescribed by your recipe.

I think even Grandma Bartlett would change her ways if she was canning in the 21st century.

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129 Responses to Canning 101: Why You Shouldn’t Can Like Your Grandmother Did

  1. 51
    hope says:

    I am still learning the canning methods…on my own as my grandmother always said ” I dont remember” lol so I started with a few books and then continued my search online. The problem IS that after all those books and all those sites….I seriously feel more confused that when I started lol All seem to have their own ways. I have done “open kettle” method and I have done “water bath” method a few times. I have no pressure canner YET. Anyhow, here is the question……what is really considered a water bath??? What I am asking IS at what temperature does the water in the pot need to be and how do u keep track of that temperature? I ask as last year I tried the water bath method with pickles…….it was a total flop. All of my lids did in fact stay in tact with the jars and the pickles all appeared to look fine through the jars BUT the issue seemed to be that bathing them in that water made all the pickles so soft and squishy that I ended up throwing all of them out. So I have been really trying to figure out the proper way to water bath them without boiling them to death resulting in squishy pickles that we wont eat anyhow lol I thought I was avoiding making us sick but in the end I lost out on money and time 🙁

    • 51.1

      The water bath canner isn’t about temperatures. It is the boiling water that is important. Since water boils at 212* F, then I assume that would be the temperature, though I’ve never tested that opinion. I do know that when the water is boiling is when you start timing the process, not when it is at a certain temperature. That being said, it doesn’t have to be at the hottest setting to boil, so maybe your stove was set too high and was boiling hotter than it may have at a lower setting?

      I had the same result with pickles the first year I tried them, and again the second time I tried them. After that second time I decided to focus on something else beside pickles for a while. Mine too were not eaten, and it felt like such a waste of time and effort. Not what you are wanting to hear, I know. Perhaps someone who is great at pickles can speak up and give you some pointers. I’m pretty sure my failure had to do with something else along the way – maybe my time was off, the pickles were too mature, let them sit in the brine too long, etc. I’m just not sure what when wrong for me, and haven’t been able to take the time to figure it out yet. I moved on to different jams/jellies and tomatoes.

      • Scott says:

        There is a product called pickle crisp, made by Jardin (Mason, Bernardin parent co.). It replaces pickling lime, which shouldn’t be used now. Works quite well.

        • Lindsay says:

          ‘Pickle crisp’ is unnecessary. I did a test a few years ago – with and without – and it made no difference at all. Except the ones with the pickle crisp had a funny aftertaste in my opinion.

          Since pickles are by definition canned in vinegar, you don’t have to worry about botulinum toxin. Choose a recipe with boiling liquid poured over room temperature cucumbers in hot sterlised jars (open kettle canning) and then seal them.

          The boiling water bath method is useful to make sure ingredients are at a temperature to kill any bacteria, but just ends up ‘cooking’ your pickles and making them soft.

          The ‘pickle crisp’ is also often pushed as ‘the same ingredient in commercially produced pickles’. Not in the pickles I buy!

          • Lindsay says:

            Sorry, forgot to add that you should wash the pickles and then nip off the blossom end of the cucumbers before using them. This is often where most bacteria occur.

            • Linda says:

              Is it possible to do peaches and pears without the water bath to?? I canned with a Morman lady one year and she showed me to put the fruit in hot sterile jars pour in boiling water and a drizzel of honey then seal. We ate them all winter and no one got sick. Was it just luck? People tell me they have to go in the water bath.

              • Marisa says:

                It was just luck. That’s not a safe or recommended way to preserve fruit. You should always do them in a water bath. Instructions are here and here.

                • N says:

                  My mom did canning for years and did not use the water bath or anything like that. Her canning method was filling the hot sterilized jars with the produce, putting the lids on and turning the jars upside down to seal. No problem whatsoever for all the years she was doing this. So I don’t see where this is not safe at all. Just a comment!

                • Marisa says:

                  That technique doesn’t kill off any present bacteria and doesn’t create as strong a seal. Additionally, chances are that your mom was making very high sugar preserves. In the current era of canning, sugar content is much lower. That’s great health-wise, but you don’t have as much sugar in a product acting as a preservative and so the boiling water bath step really does provide increased shelf life and safety.

              • Emily says:

                Fruit can only be 100% safely preserved if you are using a pressure canner, not just a hot water bath. A hot water bath only heats foods to 212 degrees (the boiling point of water) – no matter how hot you have your stove setting, boiling water will never rise above 212F unless it is put under pressure. This is the function of a pressure canner. Since fruit is low in acidity, you must heat it to a higher temperature to kill all strains of bacteria. If you hear stories of “My mother did it that way and no one ever got sick”, it is just luck. Just because it hasn’t happened to you doesn’t mean it hasn’t and won’t happen. Invest in a quality pressure canner – then all kinds of possibilities open up for delicious, safe food! Happy canning 🙂

                • Marisa says:

                  Emily, fruit is high in acid, not low. It’s only vegetables that require a pressure canner. Additionally, bacteria is killed at the boiling point. It’s only the botulism spores that don’t die at 212F.

                • Kathy says:

                  Marisa is right. Low acid veggies require a pressure canner. Botulism spores die at about 250 degrees F. Foods with high acidity and/or sugar content do fine in a water bath for recommended processsing time.

        • Dj says:

          If you want any pickling to come out crisp simply put a grape leaf on top. It works well

      • kate says:

        There is an approved pickle process that uses a lower temp for a longer time that gave me a better texture: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_06/low_temp_pasteur.html

        You do have to babysit the canner with a thermometer, but it seems to get the job done.

    • 51.2
      Stargazer says:

      My mom learned from her mother how to make refrigerator bread and butter pickles. She has a very simple recipe that does not require cooking the pickles. She does not use a water bath canner or any type of heating method, and the pickles are great, do not get moldy, do not go off, etc. They go into the ‘fridge for storage and last until they are eaten, regardless of how many jars she makes.

    • 51.3
      Laurie says:

      I had the same problem with mushy pickles. So instead of throwing them out, each time I opened a jar I drained them and threw them into my food processor. The result was I never ran out of relish. Hey “waste not want not” is a great old creed to live by.

    • 51.4
      Jim S says:

      Personally, I do not recommend canning pickles. Fermenting them is so much easier and they taste so much better. Have you ever tasted the difference between a canned pickle and a deli pickle? Deli pickles are fermented, not canned. Basically, you get your pickling cucumbers, wash them not too good (because they need the lactobacillus on the skin to ferment), pop them in a jar, pour a 2% brine solution over them, then cap. Leave them sit at room temperature for 2 or 3 to 10 days (2 or 3 days for milder pickles, 10 days for really sour) (in a bowl because when they ferment liquid will run out), then store them in a cool place (traditionally, the root cellar, but a fridge is better). If you used the right brine concentration, they will never ever go bad, but after a year or so the consistency is not as pleasing. There are a ton of you tube videos on fermenting pickles.

      • Kathy says:

        I agree. Fermenting vegetables and keeping them in cold storage is a great option, and is wonderful for things like cabbage for borscht, etc. Fermented vegetables will keep for many months that way.

  2. 52

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  3. 53
    Karen Alvstad says:

    I got a pressure canner for the first time this year especially to do green beans. I have done much water bath canning but never pressure canning. As I was reading your post about canning like your Grandmother did, I had to smile. As I canned yesterday in my air conditioned house when it was 93 degrees outside, I couldn’t help but wonder how my mother, grandmother and great grandmother survived the canning seasons with no AC, and not even a fan. Sometimes those women had what they called summer kitchens, but yesterday it would not have been bearable to be in one of those either. And how did they keep the flies out of those summer kitchens? We certainly have it good by comparison; and we choose to can. We don’t can out of necessity.

    • 53.1
      Colleen O'Brien says:

      You would put your stove out on a screened porch that was already set up with a stove pipe. Usually on the north side of the house. I learned how to do water bath canning on a Coleman white gas stove. Just had to make sure I was “fueled and pumped up” before starting!

  4. 54
    Fred says:

    I have used Wax Seals for years and don’t have that problem. I don’t know what you’re doing to make it go bad.

    • 54.1
      Marisa says:

      Wax seals are not recommended by the USDA.

      • Michael says:

        Neither is drinking raw milk. The USDA (just like canning companies) establish rules based on easiest idiot-proof safety. As an example, the date on a can is the date the company is willing to own the risk until. After that date, you are eating your own risk. If you want or need to operate like this that is fine, but you risk missing out on other sweeter things. If you abandon USDA protocol, you definitely risk, but the onus (and potential rewards) are all on you. When you make things yourself, the more careful (anal) you are about things, the better and safer the result. If you are new to this world though, I would definitely harken to Marisa’s warning.

      • Dave says:

        Whole milk is not recommended by USDA, guns are not recommended by BATFE, and collecting rainwater is not recommended by DOI…..I grew up eating jams and jellies sealed with wax, drank whole milk, shot pistols, rifles and shotguns, and we gathered all of our washing water from off of the roof of the house. I was never sickened by the Jams, jellies, and the milk. I was never shot and our clothes and ourselves were as clean and fresh as any using “city” water BTW all of our drinking water came from a well and was not treated….I am 74 years old …..Ergo, I challenge you and the USDA to support your warning

        • Jim S says:

          Dave, I did all those things too (I think you mean raw milk). I grew up with my grandmother who sealed jellies with paraffin, I milked the cows myself for our milk, and rainwater filled our cistern. People didn’t drop dead right and left for any of that, but some people did die because of that. Today’s methods are safer, and that is a good thing. Some of the things about the good old days are not as good as we remember.

        • Zona Lenhart says:

          Im 63 and my experience has been the same. I learned from my mother and Grandmother who raised 10 children. All 10 kids lived and their deaths had nothing to do with canning related issues. They all drank raw milk growing up, food preserved by my Grandmother, ate meat raised on the farm and drank water from a well. I feel very fortunate to have benefited from both my Mothers and Grandmother food preservation experience. I do it their way.

    • 54.2
      Earlene says:

      I have always used wax seals for my jellies, never had a problem.

    • 54.3
      Jim S says:

      Wax did works for a long time, and it still works. It just isn’t as safe as the more modern methods. If any of you are preppers, it would be good to stockpile paraffin.

    • 54.4
      Kathy says:

      Wax seals can be unreliable. Some people can get a good seal with them, some can’t–depends on how good you are at it. if the seal is poor, mold will develop on the underside of the wax, which although not super poisonous, does usually contain mycotoxins, which are likely carcinogenic. Color and flavor can also suffer with a poor seal. So if you have good luck with it, you’re getting it done properly. Many others do not know how.

  5. 55

    […] into the jar, seal it up, flip it over on it’s top, and let them sit a while.  Here’s some more options.  So much easier, yes, but terrifying for me.  Here’s the short version of […]

  6. 56
    Lindsay says:

    Hmm. All the newer canning books say these same things. And yet, my mother, grandparents and aunts all canned using the ‘open kettle canning’ method you describe and I don’t remember a single instance of mould or ever having to throw out a jar. I don’t see even the potential for problems – hot dishwasher cycle, boiling water in the jars and on the lids, sterilised cloths, and the lid seals. There’s not much room for error there unless you don’t understand what ‘sterile’ means or have a filthy kitchen.

    I have used this method for the last 15 years myself and never had a single problem. I’ve also taught this method to many ‘newbie’ canners and they’ve never reported any problems. I believe the issue is when it’s not done properly, which is probably pretty easy if people are stupid or lazy.

    The only time I every use a boiling water bath is when it’s something like tomatoes and since you can’t smell or see the bacteria that produce botulinum, I take every precaution.

    I think it’s people spreading all this fear that prevents so many from canning their own food. And I think there’s potential for a large debate over whether the crap from the supermarket shelf is ‘safer’ to eat.

    • 56.1
      Joyce says:

      Lindsay…can you e-mail me. I have been looking for someone who cans like my family canned when I was growing up. I have some questions. nightwritingjoyce@yahoo.com Thanks! Joyce

    • 56.2
      Louise says:

      I have no problem with the BWB, which isn’t hard at all, really, and takes away any doubt about my ability to properly sterilize jars and lids. That said, my problem is that when you BWB marmalade the heat makes the marmalade thin again, and the fruit floats to the top. Any advice how to prevent this? Using both the temperature and frozen plate tests my marmalade will set up fine–but it’s still warm and I’m looking at the floating fruit and wondering if there’s any solution.

    • 56.3
      Carolyn says:

      I agree completely. I’ve been using open kettle canning for 40 years as did my mother, her sisters, and my grandmothers. The jars are very hot, the contents are very hot, and I work quickly. If a jar doesn’t seal, it’s obvious and handled appropriately. It’s never caused an issue for any of us. I used parafin for jelly for many years and rarely had one go bad; when it leaked it was obvious. And I agree with the statement about spreading fear, it’s paralyzing people to the point they become afraid to do anything for themselves, or think on their own. Personal responsibility is a very good thing in all aspects of our lives. And yes, I drink raw milk too, as did all the people that came before me. Mom is 94, grandma was 104. I think we’ve made good choices.

    • 56.4
      Sue says:

      Hi Linsay, .. love your post, thank you.. I am so confused after reading too many sites about what to do and what not to do…. I also agree about questioning what’s safe with things we buy in the super markets today.. oy vey! My Mom used the wax method for jams and jellies with no problems ever and also I remember her turning jars upside down for other things… she also heated jars in the oven before using them… can you please shoot me your email address too … treemoss@hotmail.com I also have some questions… thanks!
      Marisa, thanks for a great website with some super info.

    • 56.5
      Kathy says:

      I agree with you that home canning can be very safe and results in wonderful products. But, even with a very clean kitchen and sterile jars, bacteria are everywhere. When you wipe the rim of the jar before you seal it, it is not necessarily probable, but possible to contaminate it. So a boiling water bath is a good insurance policy for high acid foods. A boiling water bath won’t do much for low acid foods, unless you’re boiling them for hours and hours, which will ruin your produce. Botulism spores don’t die until you hit about 250 degrees F, so you really need a pressure canner for veggies to be safe. It gets up to about 240-250 degrees.

  7. 57
    Connie says:

    I have been reading up on canning, and came across this site. I live in the desert, and have an abundance of “prickly pear cacti” …. recently touted on infomercials as the Nopal cactus. They are free and the birds eat every one of them, very quickly. So, I decided I wanted to try my hand at canning, and make some “southwestern cactus jelly” to send back east to family for Christmas. I’ve never canned, but have watched my mother and brother do it. They used the “cold pack” method, where they fill the jars with cold food, and then pressure can them. (I think the directions for this are in the canner instructions.) They used the paraffin method to seal the jellies. And they used the “hot bath” method, where they filled the hot jars with boiling food, sealed them quickly, and processed them in a pan of hot water. Mom said that the wax is good for jellies, but not really safe for other foods. The hot bath was good for things like soup, with or without meat. But the pressure canner was really the best option for anyone who has access to a canner and isn’t afraid that it will “blow the roof off the house.” I’ve used pressure cookers to make many meals, so if I can find a larger pressure canner, I believe I’d rather go that route, just to be sure. Why take unnecessary chances? That being said, it’s really a good idea to be familiar with all the different canning methods, so that you are ready to can whatever is available with whatever canning equipment you have on hand. Canning is something that all “preppers” should familiarize themselves with. So, I’m off to look for pressure canners, because the cactus fruit will soon start to ripen and I don’t want to miss them. Happy Canning, everyone!! 😀

    • 57.1
      Marisa says:

      The information your mom gave you is not particularly good. You don’t use paraffin wax for anything these days. You should use a pressure canner for all low acid foods, including soups, stews, stocks and vegetables. You can process high acid jams and jellies in the boiling water bath canner. Please do your research before you start canning!

    • 57.2
      Phil C. says:

      Pressure canning equipment will not “blow the roof off the house” if it is kept in good repair. With bad seals, they’ll simply never develop pressure, so in that sense they’re no more dangerous than an open pot of boiling water. As long as nobody has disabled or modified the pressure relief valve or stopper, the body and lid of a pressure canner will withstand several times the working pressure, by design, so there is a wide margin of safety.

  8. 58
    Rachel says:

    what about open kettle canning or invert and seal method for fruit or fruit pulp without any sugar or preservative?

    • 58.1
      Marisa says:

      I do not recommend open kettle canning or the inversion method, particularly for fruit products without any sugar. Sugar is a preservative and those products will succumb to mold much faster when not done in a boiling water bath.

      • Charlene says:

        We did the inversion method with a pear tree we had in our front yard. 10 years later I found a can I had given my mother-in-law still with no mold or any issues whatsoever!

  9. 59
    vddillard says:

    Diane, I need to know about blackberry jam after it has been sealed and after a few weeks you opened it and there is mold on top of the jam is it safe to eat.

  10. 60
    Lynda says:

    I am a Canadian living in Croatia…. no access to lids and rings. So what do I do now? All I can find are jars and all-in-one twist on lids. Thanks

  11. 61
    Dana says:

    New research has just been released.

    The University of Wisconsin has published research which indicates that an Atmospheric Steam Canner may be safely used for canning naturally acid foods such as peaches, pears, and apples, or acidified-foods such as salsa or pickles, as long as all of the following criteria are met:

    http://washburn.uwex.edu/2015/05/21/guidelines-for-using-an-atmospheric-steam-canner-for-home-food-preservation/

  12. 62
    Iris says:

    Reading all the comments, I can see why people don’t know who to believe. I agree wholeheartedly with the earlier comments about generating fear and I think it is wrong to tell someone that what their Mothers and Grandmothers taught them is wrong. I myself am in my mid forties, have eaten my grandmothers, my mothers and my own open kettle canned products all my life and so has my family. No one has ever been sick. Someone else said this was just luck. That’s one heck of a winning streak I’d say. I will keep canning as generations before did and skip buying a $200 pressure canner because someone else says to.

    • 62.1
      Marisa says:

      Iris, there’s a difference between doing an open kettle canning process on high acid, high sugar and processing low acid foods in a water bath. The first is more prone to spoilage, but nothing bad will happen to you if your jams get moldy. The low acid foods processed in a water bath are actively dangerous because they could potentially harbor botulism. Additionally, a good pressure canner costs all of about $70 these days.

    • 62.2
      Trish says:

      I was taught to open kettle can fruit jams and jellies by my mother who learned from her
      mother. My mother was born in 1916 and her mother in the late 1800’s. They made delicious jams and jellies all their lives. My aunts, sisters, and cousins and I all can this way. We have never had an issue. As an attorney I realize that we have gone overboard to negate risk to such an extent that we have lost the finer arts and culture from past generations. The FDA and Extension websites include statements that their recommendations are because they are trying to eliminate all potential for a jam going moldy based upon some studies on rats that the mold may be harmful. Instead of scaring the next generation wouldn’t it be better to encourage common sense – that if it didn’t seal or has mold throw it out? Needless to say, I will be continuing to make jam the old fashion way and teaching our family’s next generation this lost art.

      • Marisa says:

        Trish, just know that the jams and preserves made in your mother’s and grandmother’s time often had far more sugar in them than today’s recipes. Sugar is a powerful preservative and so those items often had a greater chance of staving off the effects of mold. When you lower the sugar, you increase the chances of mold. The boiling water bath kills off those spores and ensures that your preserves will keep longer and better. So there is a reason for it.

  13. 63
    Janet says:

    I used wax to weal my jelly yesterday. It is seeping out on To the wax. Can heat seal it in a water bath with the wax on it? Also it is cold now. Can I still heat seal it in a water bath?

    • 63.1
      Marisa says:

      Wax sealing is no longer a recommended method of sealing. At this point, the only thing you could do would be to pull the wax seals off, empty the jelly back into the pot, reheat it, fill jars, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner. However, this action could potentially ruin the set of the jelly. Beyond that, the only other thing you could do would be to freeze the jelly.

  14. 64
    Kris says:

    My mother-in-law in France makes all kinds of fruit jams that she stores in their basement, not in the fridge. The only sealing process is that when the jars have been filled with the hot jam, she covers the jars with strong plastic wrap secured by an elastic (no lid, no nothing). She stores them for months outside the fridge and my partner’s family has been eating them their whole lives (and before, since that was how my partner’s grandmother also made her jams). As a North American I was skeptical at first (like I was skeptical of raw milk cheese at first, LOL!), but now I’ve been eating them all the time too. My mother-in-law says that as long as you put minimum 50% sugar and 50% fruit, there is too much sugar for anything serious to grow. True? It seems to be – nobody in her family’s ever gotten sick from it!

    • 64.1
      Marisa says:

      If she is using a ratio of one part fruit to one part sugar, what she’s doing is safe. Sugar is an incredibly powerful preservative and so is preventing spoilage from occurring. However, as soon as you drop the amount of sugar in your jam, the risk of spoilage goes way, way up.

  15. 65
    Ruth Taylor says:

    Lots of comments here about not having had issues with the old methods. I get it, but I haven’t had any issues with the new methods either. I’d rather be safe than sorry. I can remember my mother sealing jams and jellies with wax; however, we did occasionally find mold. Must we insult each other claiming that a person is lazy or filthy to have a method go bad? I think not. Thanks for current information.

  16. 66
    Karel Pluhar says:

    Thanks for this article. Very helpful.
    Technically, I think the section on steam canning is not accurate. Steam penetrates better than liquid water, and transfers heat more quickly. BUT, vapors that you can see are NOT steam, which is why Marissa said that steam can be colder than 212. No, it can’t be. And it can only be hotter than 212 if you have a pressure seal (pressure cooker). In any case, your boiling water and your steam will be at the same temp.
    I think that if you leave your cans in a steamer you will get them just as hot, and more quickly, than you would in a water bath. Because you will get steam long before you would have a pot full of water at a boil. That’s how the physics should work out. Just don’t start timing based on visible water vapors, make sure your jars are not touching the sides of the steamer, and start timing based on a thermometer in the steamer, but above the boiling water.

  17. 67
    Lee-Anne says:

    Thank you for this article. I can’t believe all these comments from canners who believe they can safely continue to can the way their mothers and grandmothers always have because “they never had a problem”. I’m guessing one such person was responsible for the recent church potluck poisoning.

  18. 68
    Lydia Ruddy says:

    Marissa,

    I know this is an older post, but I have a question in preserves. My grandmother always used a water bath to process, and so do I; but she always cooled chunky jams, marmalades, and preserves upside down. When I asked why, she told me it keeps the chunky bits from collecting in the top or bottom of the jar. True to her word. I have found a more even distribution of fruit using this method. Since everything is water bath processed anyway, does the cause a problem with seals or good safety?

    • 68.1
      Marisa says:

      If you’ve done the boiling water bath canning process, there’s no harm in cooling your jams upside down. The only danger is that occasionally the jam sets so that you have an air pocket at the bottom of the jar, which doesn’t look great (and I don’t like having my product pushed up against the lid).

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