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Old 11-18-2013, 04:23 PM   #11
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Never heard of putting jam into a wet jar. Makes no sense to me what's so ever. It is definitely way to have a disaster on your hands. For my jams I ran the jars in the dishwasher take them out when they are dry, pure hot jam in and do not close until jams cools down so not to have evaporation inside the jar. I do use canning jars, but it is more out of convenience than anything else. My mother uses whatever jars she saves and she most of the times doesn't even covers them with leads. She uses some parchment paper and a robber band to hold it. I have had jams seating for 5 years never go bad, never had any mold, never crystallized.
I wonder if it was just show and they skip the drying step.
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Old 11-18-2013, 04:39 PM   #12
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Just like there is more than one way to skin that proverbial cat, there is also more than one way to sterilize. I don't boil jars at all. I put them right in the oven at 250 and leave them for 20 minutes.

I do boil the rings and lids, although simmer is probably a more apt term.

And yes, I put most everything in a water bath to ensure a good seal and kill any remaining nasties that might be lurking about.

Not that most of that is even necessary. Believe it or not, sugar is a fantastic preservative. Mold will grow on the surface of jam, but not in the jam itself. Back in the days of old, the only thing keeping the jam from exposure to air was a layer of paraffin. Canning as we know it is a relatively recent invention.
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Old 11-18-2013, 05:52 PM   #13
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I run the jars through the dishwasher, simmer the lids and rings, and can in either a steam canner or a boiling water bath. Nary a problem.

I remember my grandma and my great aunt making jams and jellies with the paraffin and open kettle method. And nobody died
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Old 11-19-2013, 06:24 AM   #14
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I used to use the paraffin method to preserve jam but I think I just put a lid and ring on at the end to prevent dust getting into the jars. Really can't remember now since it has been so long. These days I do the water bath.
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Old 11-19-2013, 06:40 AM   #15
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From a food science standpoint, anytime you can a product, sterilization is dependant upon the available organisms that promote spoilage. Killing those organisms is a function of temperature AND time. The higher the temp the shorter the time. There is a minimum temp where you would never kill even the most temp sensitive organism. Drying the jar will remove a very small contribution of organisms but it does remove water which the little bugs like. Most jams and jellies get very hot during the cooking process. If you put the jam in a warm jar and invert to make sure the lid sees the hot temp of the jam you should be fine 99% of the time. To go that extra step you can water bath to make 100% sure the littel critters are done in.
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Old 11-19-2013, 06:54 AM   #16
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Not wishing to date myself, we used to melt parafin wax to seal jelly/jams. Sometimes there was a bit of jel that would ooze up around the edges of the wax. Obviously not a hard enough seal. Thicker wax did not compute with a better seal. Don't recall if there ever as any mold, probably would have tossed the jar if noticed. Toast and Jam. I am still alive to write this.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:01 AM   #17
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We boiled the jars and filled them with the hot jam and added a thin layer of hot paraffin. No lids, bands or processing. If a jar or two weeped we added a second thin layer of paraffin before storing the jam.

My Grandmother used to wash the paraffin discs and save them. The next year she would melt them with a fresh bar of wax and reuse them.

The traditional jelly jars were just like drinking glasses and only used paraffin.

I noticed last year that the New York State Fair will no longer accept jars of jam sealed with paraffin for jam and jelly contests. All submissions must be sealed with lids and bands. Progress?
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:14 AM   #18
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I use any appropriate saved jam jars, wash in hot water and dry in a hot oven, fill and cool without lids then paraffin wax them about 1/4" deep. Never had a problem myself. Some of my French jam maker friends fill with hot jam, lid them immediately and then invert the jar for a few minutes which creates its own seal. I haven't tried this but it's quite a popular method here.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:56 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by bakechef View Post
Most canning standards here call for the boiling water processing. I've done it without this process, but I like the boiling water process to insure safety, overkill maybe, but I feel better about it!
The point I'm making is that processing the finished jam by canning it isn't deemed necessary over here and I was wondering why it was done in the States.

I wondered if it was anything to do with the climate as you have hotter summers than we do.

Perhaps it's a pressure thing as I know some of you live a what we would consider extreme heights - the highest house in Britain is at 1,519 feet above sea level which is peanuts compared with where PF lives, IIRC. Our highest mountain, Ben Nevis in Scotland is a mere 4,409 feet which is a pimple compared with mountains in the Americas.
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:00 PM   #20
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If the jars are sterilized, I don't see how putting them in the oven further sterilizes them. I do water-bath canning, too.
Well I suppose it just gilds the lily. If you put them wet into the oven they will be heated enough to boil off the water clinging to the jars and makes sure. The point is that it dries them which we are told is essential because of the mould issue.
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