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Canning -- Equipment

How were the bailed jars using in canning?

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For historical interest value only, the following is how the old fashioned glass-top jars with metal bails were sealed in canning. Two-piece metal closures are recommended for today's canning processes. 1) Jars were checked for rough or chipped spots and not used if any were not in good condition. Bails were checked to see if they held the lid on tightly. 2) New rubber rings were washed and then held in a pan of hot water until ready to use. 3) Jars were washed and held in a pan of hot water until ready to fill. 4) Rubber ring was stretched over the neck of the jar and adjusted to lie flat. 5) Jar was filled with food. 6) The glass lid was placed on the jar against the rubber ring on the jar rim. The lid was turned so the notch in top was positioned to catch the wire bail securely. 7) The longer loop of the bail was pushed over the lid and positioned firmly in the notch. 8) The jar was then processed. 9) When the jar was removed from the canner, the shorter loop of the bail was pressed down against the side of the jar to complete the seal. That is why older canning instructions said, "complete seal if necessary". Porcelain lined zinc lids also required completing the sealing step of tightening the lid when removed from the canner. THIS IS NOT A CURRENTLY RECOMMENDED TYPE OF LID. Neither the jar rubbers nor porcelain lined zinc lids are readily available. If you can find them, they should only be used as a canister for storage of dry foods and NOT USED IN CANNING. In 1993, Allied Plastic Products, Inc., Toronto, Canada, M6P 3T1 made jar rubbers and distributed them through their address at 925 Orchard Lake Road, Pontiac, MI, 48341.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University (August 2004)

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