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Can I use empty mayonnaise and spaghetti jars as home canning jars

A common question is "Can I use empty mayonnaise and spaghetti jars as home canning jars, if the rings and lids from Ball jars fit?

The short answer is, yes, if the lids and rids fit and the jars are sturdy enough.Classico Spaghetti Sauce

Some  commercial product pint- and quart-size jars can be used with two-piece rings/lids for canning acid foods in a water bath canner. I've used them for decades, myself. Here's what you need to know:

These DON'T work well when reused as home canning jars

  • Thinner walled jars like those used in mayonaisse,
    like "Miracle Whip", have more seal failures and jar breakage. These jars have a narrower sealing surface, are tempered less than Mason jars, and may be weakened by repeated contact with metal spoons or knives used in dispensing mayonnaise or salad dressing. Seemingly insignificant scratches in glass may cause cracking and breakage while processing jars in a canner. Mayonnaise jars are more fragile, and definitely not recommended for use with foods to be processed in a pressure canner because of excessive jar breakage.
  • Other commercial jars with mouths that cannot be sealed with two-piece canning lids are not recommended for use in canning food at home.

 

These DO work wellClassico Spgahetti jar

  •  The "Classico" brand spaghetti jars hold up VERY well - I don't think I've ever had one break, and I've been using them since the 80's. There ARE slightly smaller than 1 quart in capacity, but they are essentially free, if you like the spaghetti sauce.
    Interestingly, Classico's manufacturer used to have a page saying they do not recommend reuse of their jars, but in 2019, they removed the page!


 

 "What did Classico's page say (before it was taken down) regarding "Can I reuse the Classico jar for home canning?"
No. A coating is applied at the glass plant to reduce scratching and scuffing. If scratched, the jar becomes weaker at this point and can more easily break. This would increase the risk of the jar breaking when used for canning. Also, the lighter weight of our current jar could make it unsafe for home canning. "

I have no idea why they removed their advice, but the jars do work pretty well. That's the number one reason I buy their spaghettis sauce.  Maybe they figured that out!

Send me your feedback about other jars that do or don't work well!

Click here to send me your feedback about jars that worked or didn't work for you!

 

References

  1. National Center for Home Food Preservation (USDA at U.Ga.)
    Most commercial pint- and quart-size mayonnaise or salad dressing jars may be used with new two-piece lids for canning acid foods. However, you should expect more seal failures and jar breakage. These jars have a narrower sealing surface and are tempered less than Mason jars, and may be weakened by repeated contact with metal spoons or knives used in dispensing mayonnaise or salad dressing. Seemingly insignificant scratches in glass may cause cracking and breakage while processing jars in a canner. Mayonnaise-type jars are not recommended for use with foods to be processed in a pressure canner because of excessive jar breakage. Other commercial jars with mouths that cannot be sealed with two-piece canning lids are not recommended for use in canning any food at home.
  2. Clemson University repeats the exact same language as the NCHFP (above)
  3. University of Connecticut avoids the subject, but does suggest:
    Garage sales can be great places to locate used canning jars, just make sure they were designed for canning. Other items that come in handy for home canning include jar fillers, tongs, and lid wands.
  4. The University of Wyoming extension service says,
    Q.  I have several peanut butter, pickle, and quart-sized mayonnaise jars I would like to use for canning. Is it safe to use these jars in a boiling-water bath canner or a pressure canner?
    A.  No! Mason-type canning jars are best because these jars have been specially tempered to withstand the heat necessary in the home-canning process. The jars asked about, however, make good refrigerator storage jars and are a perfect solution for picnic packaging needs, or they can be recycled at a local recycling center.