Monday, September 1, 2014

Canning With Old Crown and Corona Jars

I bought this mixed box of old crown and corona canning jars this spring.  I had been wanting to try the old style jars for canning salsa, because no matter how much head space I leave, by mid winter my salsa tends to develop a tinny taste.  I had already removed most of the lids when I decided to take pictures.
12 complete jars, $3
I prepared the salsa for canning, then thought maybe I should read up on how to use these...  There's not a lot of info out there, and most of it says not to...  I asked Mom, and she said she never had good luck with them.  But I did find this, which said it's just like using tattler reusable lids.  Well, I read a couple of blogs by people who've tested the tattlers.  I went and read through those posts.  Ok.  I think I get the idea.  Just to be sure, I went and checked tattler's website.

I washed and sterilized the jars.
Jars ready to use
Of the 12, one jar had a bit of a dip in the rim.  It didn't really feel broken, but not quite right.  One lid had a small crack in the edge, and one ring didn't tighten- just kept spinning.
One 'broken' jar
 I scrubbed, then scalded the lids and gaskets.
Scalding lids
Uh oh.  My funnel is just a tad too big to fit inside the corona jars.  It just fit in the crown jars.  I removed the gaskets from the scalding water just before I started filling the jars.

Gaskets go on the freshly wiped rims.  I used a pair of tongs to lift the lids out of the scalding water and set them on top of the gaskets.
Setting the lids
I tightened the rings just finger tight, then loosened 1/4 inch.  Then into the canner.

4 quarts of salsa with old style jars, 1 regular pint.
As soon as they were done processing I tightened the rings as much as I could.
Out of the canner

There were a couple of interesting parts to this experiment.  I remember when I first started canning properly, instead of 'the way Mom did it'.  Mom and Dad would come over and see canning jars on the counter, and Mom would tell Dad, 'tighten those up for her'.  And I'd yell 'no' and rush to protect my jars, lol.  I'm guessing that was a remnant from the old glass lid days.  I think my grandpas must have tightened a lot of jars for my grandmas.  Dad always tightened moms jar rings after they had started to cool.  By the time I was old enough to remember canning Mom was only canning fruit and jams, freezing all the veggies- except for one tomato juice disaster that exploded all over the kitchen.

It's interesting that the gasket boxes say that the gaskets are for 'fruit jars'.  Most of the issues I read about involved pressure canning.  Perhaps they should only be used for water bath canning.

The other interesting thing, I think, is using 'new' technology to figure out the 'old' technology- the tattler lid method.  I'd still like to buy a few sets of tattler lids some day, but if the glass lids work for me, this is a much cheaper method of solving my salsa problems.

After cooling, I removed the rings and gently tilted the jars over the sink.
Finished product
First one was good (Yeah!).  Second one dripped.  (Ugh.)  Third one was good.  Fourth one dripped.  Hmmm...

I took the lids off the two drippers, wiped the rims, warmed the gaskets, and reprocessed.

When I took them out of the canner, the ring was TILTED on one of the jars.  Crap.  I straightened it and tightened it anyway.

This morning...  One sealed, one still dripping.  Not a big surprise.

I think the problem is the rings are worn out.  I will attempt marking them to tell which rings are on jars that seal, and if other rings repeatedly fail.  And I'll take a peak on amazon and see if I can get replacement rings.

As for the last unsealed jar, I will set it in the fridge and attempt reprocessing this afternoon with a batch of pickles.

Have you ever used these old style jars?  Is the method correct?  Any other thoughts about what might be going wrong?

UPDATE:  The last jar was sealed.  Four out of four.  They sat on the table over night.  The next morning I checked the seals again, intending to take them to the cold room.  Three out of four were no longer sealed.  I decided not to chance it, and reprocessed the salsa in pint jars with regular disposable lids.  Then I went on amazon and ordered three sets of wide mouth tattler lids.  (Shipping is much cheaper for Canadians through amazon than through tattler.)


  1. Well, I thought you were canning in cigar boxes or that cigars came in canning jars.. I have read of 50% fail rates with Tattler. I won't be trying them. I am at Burger King and they want me to leave....sigh.

    "Fruit jars" are synonymous with canning jars--no difference. At least I have canned beans in fruit jars all my life. Bye for now.

  2. Your brother and I were at CT and guess what I saw ...TATTLER lids!!! I don't know the price sorry he was nagging at me and mumbling something about not needing anymore jars...bah insanity! Love ya Jac

    1. Cool. I'll have to take a look. I ordered some from amazon.