It used to be that Weck jars were precious things, hard to come by outside of Germany. Then people started discovering how pretty and useful they are. Suddenly, stores from Crate & Barrel to Williams-Sonoma and beyond began stocking them.
No explanation is needed when it comes to storing dry goods in Weck jars, but when it comes to the actual act of canning in them, newcomers sometimes need a little help. A couple years ago, I wrote a step-by-step guide to using Weck jars, and while I have no intention of reinventing that particular wheel today, I do want to pluck out a few of the most commonly asked questions about canning in Weck jars and highlight them here so that they’re easy to access.
How do you tell if Weck jars are sealed? You can tell that Weck jars are sealed because the little tab on the rubber seal will point downwards. You can also test your seal in much the same way that you do with Ball jars. Once the jars are cool, remove the clips and grasp the lid of the jar. Lift off the counter an inch or two. If the seal holds fast, you’re golden. If it starts to lose its seal or breaks the suction entirely, that’s a jar that needs to be refrigerated.
Can you reuse the rubber seal? In all printed materials available in the US, they don’t recommend that you use the rubber seal for Weck jars more than once. However, I’ve been told the instructions printed in other countries tell you that it is reusable until it is stretched out or begins to lose its elasticity. Because I don’t like to take chances, I replace the rubber seal with each use.
Can you pressure can in Weck jars? I have not tried it personally, but I was told that it can be done, provided you add a third clip to the lid, in order to help prevent siphoning during processing.
Is it possible to buy replacement clips? It is! You can actually easily buy replacement clips, rubber rings and even lids for Weck jars. MightyNest, sponsor of today’s giveaway sells all the replacement parts in their canning section.
Because Weck jars are quite a bit more expensive than traditional mason jars, I tend to save them for my favorite preserves. These are the recipes that I like so much that I tend to either keep them all for myself or share them with only those people who are truly deserving.
Plum jam is one of my most beloved preserves, because its flavor reminds me of the rummy jam my mom used to make with the fruit from our backyard trees, in Southern California, when I was very young.
For this jam, I combined 5 cups of chopped plums (a mixture of yellow and red) with 2 1/2 cups of sugar. Once the juices started to run, I cooked the fruit and sugar over high heat until the fruit broke down and the syrup thickened enough to hang off the spatula in little pink windows. A squeeze of lemon juice went in at the end for balance. Processed for ten minutes in an array of Weck jars, this is one preserve I’ll be rationing this winter, to ensure it lasts until plum season returns.
If you’ve been contemplating adding some Weck jars to your kitchen, you’re going to love today’s giveaway. It’s provided by MightyNest, an online shop and community hub designed to help people find a world of products (everything from kitchenware to personal care) that are healthy and non-toxic. Here’s what MightyNest has put together for this giveaway:
20 quart canning pot with a rack designed to hold 7 quarts
6 1-liter asparagus jars
6 1/2 liter tulip jars
6 160ml mold jars
Weck jar lifter (these are great, because they don’t catch on the clips the same way that jar lifters designed for Ball jars can).
MightyNest is also hosting a giveaway of my book over on their blog this week. If you’ve not yet gotten your copy, make sure to click over to enter!
If you’re interested in entering this giveaway, here’s how to do it.
- Leave a comment on this post and tell me what one change you’d like to make to your kitchenware to make it healthier. If you’re stumped for ideas, head over to MightyNest and browse their many lovely kitchen items. You’ll be chomping at the bit for something new in no time (I want everything they sell).
- Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Friday, August 24. Winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Saturday, August 25, 2012.
- Giveaway is open to US residents.
- One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.
Disclosure: MightyNest provided the jars, canner and jar lifter for this giveaway at no cost to me. I have not been compensated for my time or this post. My opinions remain mine entirely.
Founded by two parents, MightyNest is an online store, resource center, and community dedicated to helping parents create healthy, safe homes. Our mission is to give families the ability to research, get advice, and buy natural, non-toxic products all in one place. From kitchenware to skin care, MightyNest’s safety experts have built the web’s broadest selection of products that are free from known toxic ingredients such as BPA, PVC, Phthalates, Lead, Melamine, Formaldehyde, Parabens, and more.
MightyNest is a place where people feel motivated and welcomed, not discouraged or judged; somewhere people are empowered to make changes in their lives, whether large or small. For the growing number of parents seeking high quality, healthy and safe alternatives to everyday products for their family, MightyNest is their most trusted resource.