Major Change in Canning Procedure!

There has been a major change in the procedure for canning in Mason jars.  I’ve been pondering hard on why I’m having too many jars not seal when canning lately.  I’m very careful with my process, so I’ve been very upset to have jars not seal.  As it turns out, there was a change in process that wasn’t widely publicized.

I’ve always trusted my grandmother as the expert on all things canning.  I’ve followed her recipes and advice to the letter.  The same thing goes for my mom.  These ladies have me on experience by decades.  I’d be a fool not to listen.  This new change has taken us all by surprise.  I guess we learn to adapt and overcome!

This change involves the lids we use on our jars.  For 100 years, the process has included simmering the lids in a saucepan of hot water on the stove.  We do this to sterilize the lids, and until recently, to soften the rubber so the lid would seal.  This is now WRONG!  100  years of tradition is gone now.  If you simmer new lids, there is a decent chance they will not seal.  I’ve experienced this a lot lately.  I’ve had a ton of jars not seal while following the process I grew up with.

After all the failures, and researching online to get the new information, we’ve just been washing the lids with warm water and putting them on jars.  We’ve processed a couple dozen jars this weekend and have had no seal failures.  This is a big change, since we’ve had a lot of failures to seal this summer.  I was really getting concerned about my abilities to can.  I’m happy to report, it wasn’t anything I was doing wrong, just a change I wasn’t aware of.

I wish the lid manufacturers would have made a better attempt to inform us of the change, but at least I know now and can pass the information along.  If you are having issues with lids not sealing, stop simmering.  We have, and it has made all the difference.

It is rare that I post two articles in the same day, but I thought this was worth sharing immediately.  If I can spare one of my readers the hassle I’ve been experiencing with canning and having failures, then I will feel a lot better.

Here are a couple of links explaining the change.


14 Responses to Major Change in Canning Procedure!

  • Carol says:

    I just purchased several dozen new lids that were rencently manufactured. I still boil my lids.
    Out of 68 quarts so far and not one lid failure.
    Sorry, but I think your wrong and I will continue to boil my lids as always with no problems.

  • Dan says:

    Darn that’s good to know. I was having the same troubles so I switched to dehydrating to skip the water bath canning process altogether. At least I can start canning again and have more success.

  • Justin says:

    Carol, if your method is working, then I’m a firm believer in sticking with success. The reason I started researching this issue was when I started having seal failures. Out of the 80 or so jars we’ve canned, I’ve had 12 or 13 not seal. This was the first year it happened, so I went looking for anything different I was doing. Since I started rinsing lids with warm water, I haven’t had one fail yet.

  • Travis Riley says:

    I have always heated mine but if it’s on the Ball website, they should know.

  • Mike says:

    Thanks for the information. Second year of canning my garden produce and was having a lot of trouble getting new lids I bought to seal. Did the old water bath on them before using. Now I know. Thank you

  • Felicia says:

    Over the years different companies have made lids. I have tried some of the new brands and found that the Mainstay brand does not seal well. It is hit and miss with this brand. I now buy the tried and true brands like Mason and Ball. I know that they are a little more expensive, but it is worth the cost if you figure in the amount of wasted labor and food on the others that don’t seal.

  • RGassen says:

    I was always suspicious of boiling so I just heat water to almost boiling and then put lids in after it gets off strove but not immediately. Has always worked fine but my years in food service taught me to be very cautious. It still gets sterilized but not boiled.

    • Justin says:

      Sounds like a solid plan on handling sterilization. I almost always pressure can, so I just make sure the lids and jars are clean and warm. The temps inside the pressure canner will ensure all the nasties are killed. I’m a lot more cautious with water bath canning.

  • Stephanie says:

    When did this start? I have old lids, how can I tell which one’s I need to boil & which one’s not to boil?

    • Justin says:

      Stephanie, it looks like it was last year. If the box says “Made in USA”, has an American flag on it, or says “BPA Free” it is a newer lid. From what I researched, even the old lids don’t require boiling or simmering to work. They were just less sensitive about it.
      If in doubt, just wash them with hot, soapy water; rinse well and use them that way.

  • Kim says:

    Boiling the lids is not necessary at all. A soak in hot water will do. If you’re concerned with sterilization you can immerse the lids in a mild solution of bleach water (1 tsp
    Bleach to 4 litres water) for 1 minute before you put them in the hot water soak. This is a approved process in the food processing industry, which I work in.
    Same goes for jars, no need to boil them to sterilize and heat them, just pop them in the bleach solution then heat them on a cookie sheet in the oven until they are hot and any bit of water has evaporated. This actually does a much better job heating them, and saves a ton of time.

  • Thank YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • katrina says:

    I was having issues with non sealing also last year and took a closer look at the ball lids and the ones that didnt seal were flawed u could see it clearly , check the lids before using them, i emailed ball and they sent me more .

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