Sunday, 1 September 2013

Kilner vs Weck

We've been busy preserving stuff for the last couple of weeks, and I'm getting to the stage where the sight of ripening damsons made my heart sink.

Tomatoes are probably the number 1 thing.   DH roasts them, then we turn them into passata, then bottle and pastuerise them.  So far we have 24  half litre jars in storage, 2 in the fridge, 3 that we've eaten already,  and lots more to go.

I used to use Kilner jars, but switched over to Weck jars a few years ago. I think my local Lakeland had a few in, I tried them , really liked them... and then found Lakeland weren't doing them any more. Fortunately I found a great supplier in Germany.

Kilner jars have a re-usable metal screw ring and a single-use metal lid.  They have a lot going for them. They look good; they are a good shape and size; their shape means that they are  efficient to load into the canner and they make good use of cupboard space; the replacement lids are easy to obtain.   The downsides are that metal screw rings show the wear of being pasteurised and washed, the hars don't stack that well, and it's not easy to tell if there has been a problem in the canning process until you open the jar.

Weck jars have reusable glass lids,  single-use rubber rings,  and reusable clamps (which only stay on until the canned jar has cooled down.    The good things about these are that they look great, they are easy to use,  the lids are interchangeable between sizes,  they stack securely, there's no metal to be corroded, and you can tell as soon as you take the clamps off whether the vacuum seal has worked; they .   The downsides are that their shape means that they don't use space as efficiently as the Kilners,   and I have to get the replacements from Europe.

After I had loaded today's canned tomatoes into the cupboard, I counted my remaining jars. Not enough for one more batch.    If I employ the 250ml jars I normally use for pureed apple, and the 500ml Weck bottles I normally reserve for fruit juice, I've got enough receptacles for almost 2 more batch of tomatoes.    We've got at least two more batches to go, maybe more.

I did find a stash of Kilner jars...I could use those if I need to.
I hummed and hawed, and then I decided to order some more jars.  I wanted to buy some replacement rings anyway, so it's not too bad.  

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