Back when I first started canning, I didn’t know that you were supposed to remove the rings from your jars once they were cool. This led to some very frustrating moments in which I went to open jars and found them stuck fast. An irritating situation, indeed.
Now that I remove the rings for storage, as well as to check the seals and rinse the jars (if there was any pesky siphoning during processing), I don’t face that sticky issue. However, while I was working my way through those older jars, I discovered an easy trick to get those stuck-on rings. It involves a bowl, filled a third of the way up with warm water.
You simply invert the jar in the bowl and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Check the ring every so often, eventually it will turn easily.
Now, before you ask, here are the reasons you store the jars without rings.
1. To fully check your seals after processing.
2. Without a ring in place, you will know if something inside your jars has gone off. When bacteria grows it produces gas. Those gases will eventually loosen your lid and will make it easy for you to know that that is a jar that should be discarded.
3. Keeping rings on the jars can actually damage the quality of your seal, as it applies unnecessary pressure to the lid.