How to Can in Hex Jars With Lug Lids

four sizes of hex jars

Today’s tutorial is a sponsored post from Fillmore Container. They are a jar and closure distributor based in Lancaster, PA and have long been a friend of Food in Jars. In addition to selling traditional mason jars and two-piece lids, they also offer an array of jars designed for commercial preserving, including four sizes of six-sided jars called hex jars. These are the jars we’re going to focus on today. While these jars aren’t approved by the USDA for home canning, they can be safely used in home kitchens for preserves if you know just a few things.

hex jars from the top

These are jars that should only be used with high acid preserves that need short spells in the boiling water bath canner (I try to keep the processing time to 10 minutes when using these jars). That means that I don’t use them for fruit butters or denser jams that need longer stints. They fill and process much like mason jars.

tower of hex jars

Fillmore Container sells four sizes of hex jars. There’s 1.5 ounce (perfect for samples and variety gift baskets), 4 ounces (which is the same size at the smallest quilted jelly jars that Ball makes), 6 ounces (a nice in-between size that you can’t get with a mason jar), and 9 ounces (think of it as a very generous half pint jar). Their faceted sides are smooth, which makes them perfect contenders for all sorts of label and stickers, which is a nice thing if you’re trying to create a more professional or uniform look.

single hex jars

Hex jars use lug lids that are lined with plastisol. The reason they’re best for shorter times in the canner is that the plastisol liner can’t take long periods of heat exposure or extreme heat. So while they’re perfectly safe for short periods of boiling water bath canning, but are a no-go for pressure canning. If you want to preserve low acid foods in jars like these, you use retort lids instead.

filling hex jars

I prep these lug lids the same way I do regular canning jar lids, by warming them with a little simmering water for a few minutes before applying them to the jars. The most important thing to remember with these lids is that you don’t want to tighten them too tightly. A gentle quarter turn is plenty to keep them firmly in place and leaves enough space for the oxygen to escape during processing and cooling.

six hex jars filled with peach and tomato jam

The mouth of these hex jars is a bit smaller than conventional mason jars which means that regular wide mouth funnels don’t work with them. The Kilner wide mouth funnel I featured last week has a slightly smaller opening and so does work with the larger of the hex jars. For the smaller ones, I ladle my product into a spouted measuring cup and use that to fill the jars. It’s not a perfect method, but it’s better than trying to spoon jam into tiny jars. Once your jars are filled, take care to bubble your jars, because those edges at the top like to trap air bubbles. A few gentle taps and a chop stick will do the job.

Once your product is in the jars and the lids are on, everything else about canning in these jars will be familiar to anyone who’s got a batch or two under their belt. The filled jars are lowered into the canning pot and processed for the amount of time called for by the recipe. When the time is up, you pull them out and let them cool on a folded kitchen towel. The lids have a button that goes concave as the jars seal, just like two-piece lids have. You know that your jars are sealed when the lids feel solid and don’t wiggle when pressed.

a tiny hex jar of jam

In conjunction with this tutorial, Fillmore Container is hosting a giveaway on their blog. The winner can choose from a 12 count case of  hex jars or 12 sided jars and get to pick out lids to fit (they come in a bunch of colors and hues). Click here to enter their giveaway.

How would you use hex jars in your home canning?

 

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87 Responses to How to Can in Hex Jars With Lug Lids

  1. 51

    […] mouth funnel. When I’m filling jars with relatively small mouths (like the lug lidded jars I wrote about here), I put the silicone funnel in the jar first and then perch a regular wide mouth funnel in on top […]

    • 51.1
      Liza Hirschman says:

      I’m really struggling with these lids & getting them to seal. About 1/3 of them seal & I’ve tried 3 different times. (With new lids). I left them overnight even. Is that long enough for them? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

      • Marisa says:

        I would try screwing the lids down a bit more tightly and processing them for an additional minute or two. Make sure that you’re leaving proper headspace as well.

  2. 52
    Paige says:

    Hi, I was wondering if these jars and lids would work for canning salsa? For like a 20 min water bath.

    • 52.1
      Marisa says:

      I imagine they would be okay. That processing time is on the longer side of things, but they should be able to withstand it.

  3. 53
    michelle kimbro says:

    I need some of your lug lids for some jars I already have. Do you sell them separate from the jars?

  4. 54
    N. F. McLemore says:

    My understanding of your article is that the jars should be processed only briefly because of the limitations of the lid. But I have a number of Atlas Mason jars that held Classico pasta sauce and cheese sauce, and they all have the lug lids. I was thinking of buying some of these from Fillmore Container (I checked out that company’s website only a few minutes ago) so as to use the Atlas jars, but I process my homemade pasta sauces in hot water for longer than 10 minutes–more like 30. If these lug lids won’t handle the heat, how is it that Classico is able to process pasta sauce in them?

    There’s likely something about commercial canning that I don’t understand, given that I’m only a home canner. Still, I’d like to know how the process is so different that I can’t use these jars (and Fillmore’s lids).

    Thanks.

  5. 55

    […] from Whole Spice, two Le Parfait 324 ml French Jam Storage Jars (you treat these like any other lug lid jar), canning labels, music downloads, and a grey flour sack towel. They also donate $1 from each […]

  6. 56
    Katya says:

    Hi,
    I’m starting a small jam production and in the process of doing research I came across your blog. I’m wondering about ” While these jars aren’t approved by the USDA for home canning, they can be safely used in home kitchens for preserves if you know just a few things.” This is not something I have thought about, or anyone has mentioned to me, that I couldn’t use certain jars. Does this mean, I can’t use these jars in a licensed residential kitchen to sell wholesale? Any information about this that you know of would be much appreciated. I couldn’t find anything on the USDA about canning at home to sell.
    Thanks so much!

    • 56.1
      Marisa says:

      Katya, the regulations for commercial production vary from region to region. You need to check with your local health board to determine the regs for your area.

  7. 57
    Annie says:

    I know this is an old thread, but I used those hex jars from Fillmore container and canned salsa and apple butter to give as favors for my oldest daughter’s wedding. They were a huge hit and I didn’t find using them to be very much different than using the “ring and flat” type closures. I only had two that did not seal, and I reprocessed them with new lids.

    Now, the real reason I’m here, this recipe sounds delicious. My granddaughter and I are looking for new recipes to enter at the County Fair, this might be a big winner, so thanks!

  8. 58
    Sammy says:

    I realize this is an old post, but I just tried canning with hex jars and lug lids and it was a failure! On the first batch, none of them sealed and a lid came off in the BWB. On the second try, one sealed as soon as I took it out of the BWB, two lids came off in the bath and the rest just didn’t seal (and had a lot of condensed water on the bottom of the lids when I removed, but didn’t appear to have taken in water from the bath).

    I simmered the lids ~ 10 minutes, processed 10 minutes (from start of boil), let sit in the bath for 5 minutes afterwards. The headspace was uniformly ~1/4 inch in all jars, no air bubbles and I attempted to tighten each lid exactly the same.

    Was I not tightening them enough maybe? Or too much? I tightened just until I could feel the lid connect to the jar. I tried on one to tighten further to see how much space was left, and it could only go a hair more, and it was then very tight.

    Thanks for any help! :(

    • 58.1
      Marisa says:

      If a lid came off in a BWB canner, you did not tighten them enough. Some lug lids also require that you invert the jars when they come out of the canner. I suggest flipping them upside down as you take them out when next you use these jars. Leave them that way for 10-15 minutes.

      • Sammy says:

        I suspected that’s what the lost lids meant. I’ll give them a little more tightness and try again, and do the flip as well!

        Love these jars so I hope I can work it out. Thanks so much for the reply!

      • Sammy says:

        Hi, so sorry to bother you again, but I’ve been trying to can with these lug lids again and it’s making me feel stupid :( I inverted them which got them all to seal. I was soooooo happy but then when I looked a little bit of jam was leaking down the side of each, and when I opened them the seal was weak and had jam all on the lid (inside and outside, around the threads).

        I tried again to do it again, this time without inverting and I noticed that the impression left on the plastisol by the rim of the jar on the ones that didn’t seal was partial but light or incomplete. Does this give any clue as to the problem? :(

        • Marisa says:

          Sammy, I don’t know what to tell you. How long are you letting the jars sit before you test the seals? And are you sure you’re twisting the lids on tightly enough?

    • 58.2
      Robert says:

      Try the plastisol coated lids. they are designed for food. the non-coated ones should not be used for canning as they are metal surface and have no sealing mechanism.

  9. 59
    Donna Perygin says:

    I have been using lug lids with pasta jars this year. I did not know that I could not pressure-can in them because they were used commercially for pasta. I have been pressure canning with them, and have not had any problems. I just process them like regular quarts. All have sealed fine, and I have used the products even after a month or two. Which retort lids do you recommend for the lug lid jars? I suppose I should order those. I love the convenience and cost-savings of using the pasta jars. Plus, they look very nice because they are plain with no writing on them.

    • 59.1
      Marisa says:

      Donna, you need to contact your local jar distributor to determine which lids are recommended for pressure canning. They will know.

  10. 60
    Robin E. says:

    Thanks so much for this post, Marisa! I just ordered a bunch of hex jars to make favors for my shower/wedding and then realized I hadn’t used the lug lids before. Very clear directions.

  11. 61

    […] home canning a professional look. For instructions on how to work with these jars, make sure to read this post. Another fun jar in their stock is the French Square Bottle. I love these for stashing batches of […]

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