Canning 101: How to Can Using Weck Jars

March 9, 2011(updated on October 3, 2018)

weck jar laid out

Recently, after panting after them for years, I finally broke down and ordered a dozen Weck jars*. For those of you not in the know, they are a brand of canning jar that is produced in Germany and is quite popular across Europe. Instead of using a disposable lid with the sealing compound embedded in it (like our familiar Ball and Kerr jars), these jars depend on a rubber ring for their sealing power.

They are much like the bailing wire canning jars that were once quite popular across this country (I wrote about canning in those jars here, if you care to give a gander). One of their primary benefits is the fact that because the lid is made from glass, the only thing that’s in contact with your food is glass (just like the Tattler reusable lids, there’s no BPA-imbued surface to worry about when you use these suckers). They also feel a bit less wasteful than the Ball/Kerr jars, because the only piece you end up throwing away is the rubber ring, not an entire lid. The primary downside of Weck jars is that they are expensive. I have hopes that if enough people start buying them, they’ll become more accessible and affordable here.

weck rubber ring

The Weck jars are made up of four components. The first is the rubber ring, which is the analog to the sealing compound in American lids. And just like our lids, these rings need to be submerged in boiling water for a few minutes before use in order to soften up. Keep them in the hot water until the moment you’re ready to use them to maximize their sealing abilities. These rings should also be given a once over before use, to ensure that they don’t have any cracks or tears. Another way these rings are like conventional lids is that they can only be used once.

weck lid and ring

Next comes the flat, glass lid. Prior to use, make sure to give them a careful inspection, to ensure that the lid is free from chips, particularly on the edge that comes in contact with the rubber ring. Even the smallest chip can prevent a quality seal. Keep in mind that if you’re planning on processing something in these jars that will be in the boiling water bath canner for less than ten minutes, these lids need to be sterilized along with your jars.

weck lid and ring on jar

I have found that the best way to assemble these jars is to caress the rubber ring onto the lid and then place the lid on the jar. Before you settle it into place, make sure to wipe those rims. It’s just good canning practice.

weck with lid clamped into place

Now come the clips. All Weck jars come with two stainless steel clips. They do the work that our screw-on bands typically perform, holding the lid in place so that air can escape during processing and cooling, but no air or liquid can get in. I believe the best way to attach a clip is to hook it over the lid and then firmly (but carefully) push down. There should be a satisfying click when the clip is in place and there should be no wiggle or movement. I have found that it often requires just a hair more pressure than feels appropriate. Take it slowly and make sure to hold onto the jar (wrap a towel or pot holder around it so you don’t burn yourself) so that you don’t slosh the product on to your counter.

Once you have the clips in place, quickly check the status of the ring. It should still be flat and even between the top of the jar and the bottom of the lid. On one occasion, I have had the ring wrinkle up while I was finessing the clips onto the jars. Had I not caught it before the jar went into the canner, I could have compromised my potential seal.

testing weck seal

Now that your jars are filled and the rubber rings, lids and clips are in place, it’s time to process. This step is just like all other boiling water bath canning. The only caution I have to offer here is to take care with your jar lifter placement when working with Weck jars. I once nearly tipping several jars over while maneuvering in and out of the pot because my lifter caught on the clips. They hold tightly enough that you shouldn’t be able to dislodge one with the lifter, but it is something to be aware of.

weck jar tab note

Once the jars are finished processing, let them cool fully. Once they are totally cool to the touch, you can remove the clips and check your seals. There are two easy ways to ensure you’ve got a good seal. The first is to grab onto the jar holding onto just the lid and lift the jar just a bit (I will never be a hand model). If it holds, it’s good.

The other way to check the seals is to take a look at the tab. It should be pointing down, like it’s sticking its tongue out at you. Also note that Weck jars should be stored with the clips off when it’s on your pantry shelf. This is for the same reason that we store Ball and Kerr jars without their rings. If something happens to grow inside the jar, the off-gassing will break the seal and you’ll know right away that the product is compromised.

When it comes time to open a Weck jar, it’s incredibly easy. Just grab hold of the tab and gently pull it, until you hear air rushing in and the seal breaks. Do this slowly, so that you don’t run the risk of popping the lid off the jar with too much vigor. While the jar lives in the fridge, you can use the clips to hold the lid in place, or you can invest in some of the snap-on plastic lids that Weck makes as well.

For information on how to pressure can in Weck jars, read this post!

 

682 responses to “Canning 101: How to Can Using Weck Jars”

  1. Weck jars are so beautiful, wish they were more affordable. I’ve been wanting to make some lemon curd lately.

  2. Tomatoes!!!! I love these Weck jars, I haven’t had any in years. I may just have to get some more at any rate 🙂

  3. I recently bought a few of these great jars. I really enjoyed your post because I didn’t realize you could actually can with them. I’ve been storing homemade spiced nuts in them. So now that I know! I’d like to can some tomato sauce. I have a great receipt.

  4. Every year,the number of handmade gifts we give grows. If I had a set of these beautiful weck jars, I would can my first ever batch of pepper jelly to give to friends and family, co-workers and teachers. Thus sharing the beauty of these delightful jars!

  5. I am almost out of apple butter now so that comes to mind, but would be so long from now. I’ve been so interested in trying these jars. Maybe lemon marmalade. . . hmmm

  6. I’ve been itching to try out making some whiskey marmalade, or maybe just pickle up those beets that have been laying in my fridge. These jars are just too cute!

  7. Oh, I’d love to win some of those. I think I’d probably can up some rosehip jelly or maybe try making some wild rhubarb pickles!

  8. Thank you for this wonderful post, I’ve always wondered about those jars. I would probably use them to can peach jam, which is my favorite way to get a touch of summer in the middle of January.

  9. I’ll be making lemon curd soon too! This is the best time of year to be in Arizona, sunny 80-degree days and all that luscious citrus everywhere.

  10. I would probably can some peach jam or maybe some cherry jelly or preserves…they would look so pretty in those jars!

  11. Ooohh I love those jars! I’d use them to can strawberry jam as soon as the berries are in season here. I ran out this winter and can’t wait to make a new batch! These make great gifts!

  12. Going on my third year of canning; still a lot to learn. Would love to give these a whirl as that I try to avoid plastic containers at all cost…

  13. Couple of other points though reckon they’ll be lost amongst this amazing stream of comments! (Is canning popular or what?) As regards headroom, you should fill your Weck jars up to the lower edge of the jar rim, so really highly filled. Also Weck make their own jar lifters that are a bit different to others I’ve used and are easier to grip underneath the rim of the jars. I use their jar lifter all the time now as I think the design works really well across all the jar types.

  14. Oh, these jars are the perfect size for apple butter, OR one serving sized applesauce! Thanks for the giveaway~

  15. I was surprised to read about only being able to use the rubber just once, I would think it is reusable.

    I know this is off topic but are the Ball Jar’s lid really only usable once? I thought the seal was created by air pressure not glue. Also does a ball jar normally have BPA in it?

  16. I love the use them for canning salsa because the mouth is a little larger and you can use them as is instead of pouring the salsa into another bowl for dipping. They also make GREAT refrigerator containers. Just set the glass lid in place without a ring.

  17. I’d use them to make pickles! I’ve been perfecting a recipe to get them to taste as close to my grandmother’s pickles at possible, and it would be lovely to can them for gifting to family in these heirloom-looking jars.

  18. YAY! I can’t tell you how excited I am that Weck opened an online shop! (Although my bank account may be less excited.) I hadn’t seen that yet so thanks so much for the tip.

    I used about a dozen tulip-shaped Wecks for last summer’s canning: one tip I will offer is, the first few times you use them, measure your headspace with a ruler. It’s amazing how bad a judge I am of 1/4-inch when I don’t have the Ball jar rim to guide me, and several of my early attempts came out with far too big a headspace.

    And, of course, I would love to win free Wecks. I haven’t tried out this size, but I think they would be perfect for Springy pickled chard stems.

    (Added from Kaela’s second comment: And I just realized that Gloria commented on headspace as well [to fill Weck jars up to the lower edge of the rim, very high]; everyone should probably take her advice as she’s been using Wecks for far longer than I.)

  19. I’ve totally been coveting some of these jars! They are just so pretty! I would definitely want to can something really pretty and special in them. I have plans to try out jams and preserves for the first time this season. So I’d probably choose something like the Apricot and Vanilla Bean Preserves from Liana Krissoff’s “Canning for a New Generation” because it sounds delicious and the color would look pretty shown off in a Weck jar.

  20. Those jars sound wonderful. They look so good! The first thing I would can would be strawberry rhubarb jam from plants grown in my own backyard. There is nothing like fruit picked at the peak of ripeness . I read your blog because of the fruits and vegetables I’v planted in the yard. They are my treasures and I want to enjoy them through the year. Thanks for considering me for the jars. Ellenor

  21. My daughter wants to try her hand at carmel apple jam to enter for a county fair- these would make a beautiful presentation.

  22. These jars are so, so attractive. I can’t wait until this year’s blueberry crop is ripe so that I can make blueberry lime jam. I didn’t make any last year and have missed it so. There is no commercial jam that tastes like jam made from fruit you picked yourself and put by in your own kitchen. Thanks for the giveaway.

  23. It’s citrus season…if I were fortunate enough to win these, I would fill them with lovely marmalade and lemon curd.

  24. I would peach preserves in them. My peach tree is at the end of it’s blooming cycle. So, come June I’ll have peaches!

  25. Oh how I love these Weck jars…I don’t know what it is…

    Hmmm…what would I make..? Probably some strawberry jam as we have finally run out and we are ALL very sad!

  26. I would like to can tomatoes in these jars since I have not found a source of organic tomatoes in bpa-free containers.

  27. Oh, where to start? I think I would have to can marmalade, it’s so beautiful and I LOVE the weck jars and was just about to do an internet search. Thanks so much for this information! Please add me to the list of eager contestants!

  28. i would probably can some rhubarb jam or syrup first, since that will be the first can-able thing available here in minnesota! can’t wait !!

  29. I first saw these Weck jars at the Lufthansa Lounge at Frankfurt airport. They used them to hold fruit cups, without the top. I LOVED how these guys looked and when I got back to the US, searched for them and bought some. I would like some more please. 🙂

  30. Thanks for the opportunity to win!! Definitely our recipe for Ketchup from What Julia ate. So delicious and beautiful. 🙂

  31. Id do dilly beans or relish. I love to work with pickled things but dont get the chance much due to Ball/Kerr lids corroding. Yuck! These look like they would be great for anything. Thanks so much for your informative post. I love your site.

  32. I would LOVE these jars. The first thing I would can in them is blueberry compote- a nice healthy pick-me-up on a gloomy cold day.

  33. First thing I’d make is marmalade. After watching Gosford Park AND stumbling across your organge-ginger marmalade recipe complete with Gosford Park reference, it is meant to be.

  34. OOh, I lust for these jars! Preserves are at the top of my list of things to learn this year and I would love to use these beautiful glass jars. My first project is going to be a hard decision between pickles (already started my cucumber seedlings), earl grey jelly or mint chutney (or mango chutney or tamarind chutney or or Or OR OR…!!!)

    Great post, thanks for sharing. (I was lead here by a FB post by Local Kitchen and think I’ll stay awhile 😉

  35. Wow – thanks for the great post and information on the beautiful jars! I always knew to take off the rings after canning food, but I never knew why. If I owned some of the jars, I think the first thing I’d preserve is pickled asparagus. I’ve never done it, but I’ve been wanting to try, and hopefully asparagus season is just around the corner.

  36. I would need it to be something that lasted for a while and was really decadent. Maybe Smitten Kitchen’s peanuttella. Beautiful, glossy, chocolaty and homemade. Consumable in moderate amounts over a length of time so that I could really enjoy the beauty of the jar each day as I took it out of my fridge.

  37. I would love to win!!

    I would preserve strawberries in various jams I anticipate having an excess of come May!

  38. Ooh! I’d love these! I hope to start making strawberry jam this year, and these would be great for that!

  39. We’ve reached the part of the year here where it’s raining and dreary non-stop. Not quite winter, but not what one thinks of when thinking of spring either. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of weeks daydreaming about the strawberries I planted last year and what I’d like to do with them when they’re here. (Beyond just stuffing them in my mouth of course!) High on my list is a strawberry balsamic black pepper jam, which I will now put in Weck jars in my day dreaming . . .

  40. I can still get a lot of great citrus through my coop, so I’d say blood orange or cara cara orange marmalade. I’ve always loved the look of Weck jars, but never used them myself, so fingers crossed…

  41. Hmm…I like that glowing orange color…I’ve got some bitter oranges from a friend’s tree that I am afraid to try…these jars would be my motivation to attempt a bitter orange jelly!

  42. I live near the coast in Northern California, way north. The fisher people sell their catch in Eureka or Shelter Cove. I’d love to stack up some jars of tuna to use in my summer salads this year. Over my fresh lettuce from the garden, of course. Thanks for your review of these wonderful items.

  43. I would jar some plum jam. My neighbor always has a ridiculous amount of plums dropping on her front yard. She’ll let anyone cart them away. It would look so pretty in these jars.

  44. Meyer lemon marmalade from my new trees at my new house! Would be the first canning ever at this house.

  45. I would love these!! I think I would save them for Wild Plum Jelly! We discovered 4 Wild Plum Trees on our farm and I was able to make some Jelly out of the last of the crop last year and I’m looking forward to more harvest this year. It was such a BEAUTIFUL color!!! It would look marvelous in these jars!

  46. we’re nearing the end of meyer lemon season, so definitely marmalade and some preserved lemons!

  47. it’s just about April, so strawberries season in NC is around the corner. I would surely make strawberry jam (strawberry lemon jam, actually). the jars are lovely — I just don’t think I’d wanna give any away as gifts.

  48. What beautiful Jars! Never seen such a thing. Since its (still) winter in MN I would make some wine jelly, have some Wine already, can’t wait for an excuse! How beautiful would that be!?!

  49. My daughter and I make jam every year. I think the ruby red color of the strawberry jam would look spectacular in these jars! Thanks for the chance to win!

  50. Omigosh, choose just one?!: It could be hot pepper jelly, chile mango chutney, rosemary/honey balsamic reduction sauce, or maybe mixed citrus ginger marmalade… I’d love to have to make a decision.

  51. What a great offer, thanks for doing this! With a six month old finally seeing his food world open up a bit, I’d love to begin canning again. I only use BPA-free products for anything he make partake in, so this would be great for my kitchen! I’d probably make some berry preserves or even try those preserved lemons, the look AMAZING and I’d love to experience the flavor. I’m fairly new to canning, but feel like I could be successful using these Weck jars!

  52. I think jalapeno jelly would be gorgeous in those jars! Or maybe a pretty lemon curd, mmmmmm lemon.

  53. I have a favorite Plum Chipotle spread that I would love to make again and can in these jars!! it is the one “fancy” thing I can, and it seems fitting for such fun jars!

  54. I love how beautiful those jars are! Probably that orange jelly you had the other day. That looks so good. Plus, a little bright orange flavor could really get through the rest of winter doldrums.

    I think I may have to put these on my b-day list.

  55. I’m a canning novice, but I’ve been eyeing these jars ever since I started doing research and started canning, but I would either preserve some gooseberry jam or my grandmother’s raspberry jam.

  56. Long-term, I’d definitely can my low-sugar jams in it. Recently I’ve been wanting to make a pineapple-blueberry jelly. I haven’t learned how to make jellies yet – clearly now it’s time!

  57. Ginger jam! But really anything with a lovely color (the jars are so pretty, it would be a shame to forgo the aesthetic aspect).

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