Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600497


     Food  may be canned in glass jars or metal  containers.
Metal  containers  can  be used  only  once.   They  require
special  sealing  equipment and are much  more  costly  than

     Regular  and  wide-mouth  Mason-type,  threaded,  home-
canning  jars  with self-sealing lids are the  best  choice.
They are available in 1/2 pint, pint, 1-1/2 pint, quart  and
1/2  gallon sizes.  The standard jar mouth opening is  about
2-3/8  inches.   Wide-mouth jars have openings  of  about  3
inches,  making them more easily filled and emptied.   Half-
gallon  jars  may  be  used  for  canning  very acid juices.
With  careful  use  and  handling, Mason jars may  be reused
many  times,  requiring only new lids each time.  When  lids
are  used  properly,  jar  seals  and  vacuums are excellent
and jar breakage is rare.                                   

     It  is  recommended that mason-type jars  designed  for
home  canning  be used for preserving food  by  pressure  or
boiling-water-bath   canning.   However,   some   commercial
pint and quart size mayonnaise or salad dressing jars may be
utilized for canning  acid  foods in  a boiling-water canner
when new 2-piece  lids are used.  However, you should expect
more seal failures and jar breakage.                        

     Commercial  mayonnaise  jars are weakened  by  repeated
contact  with  metal  spoons or knives  used  in  dispensing
mayonnaise.  Seemingly insignificant scratches in the  glass
jars  may cause the jars to crack or break  during  boiling-
water canning.  Commercial jars are not recommended for  use
in  pressure processing.  It is recognized that some  people
continue  to  can  products  successfully  using  commercial
mayonnaise  jars  with new 2-piece lids.   However,  use  of
mason-type  jars designed for use in home canning ensures  a
safe product and break-free jars during processing.         

     Other  commercial  jars  with  mouths  that  cannot  be
sealed with two piece canning lids are  not recommended  for
use in canning any foods at home.                           

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