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Old 05-23-2010, 05:57 PM   #1
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Why No Metal?

Why No Metal

In my canning book that I received with my All American canner it says not to use a metal instrument to clear the jar of air bubbles. Of course the genius who wrote the book doesn’t explain why not metal, only don’t use it.

Will someone please fill me in on what problems using a butter knife or some other metal instrument will cause? I mean will it poison you, cause an explosion, upset the latest radical terrorist group, or what?

Thanks a bunch,

Ken

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Old 05-23-2010, 07:06 PM   #2
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Hi Ken, and welcome to DC. Just the kind of humor I like.

I'm just guessin' here, but maybe they think you'll break the glass with metal?
Try the handle end of a wooden spoon.

I'm sure someone with more knowledge than me, will have the real answer.
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:12 PM   #3
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I think it also might have to do with a possible reaction with the stuff in the jar. When you process rhubarb you don't use any metal either. Enameled pots and rubber spatulas only.
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:10 PM   #4
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I would go ahead and use your metal instruments to clear the bubbles from your jars. There's absolutely no logical reason for following the recommendations of the experts in the profession.

Personally, I use a chopstick since it is less bulky and has less tendency to cut into the food items or give it an odd taste, unless of course I forget to wash the chopstick after using it. :D
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
Hi Ken, and welcome to DC. Just the kind of humor I like.

I'm just guessin' here, but maybe they think you'll break the glass with metal?
Try the handle end of a wooden spoon.

I'm sure someone with more knowledge than me, will have the real answer.
Thanks Kayelle, I feel some what better knowing you don't think it's the radical terrorist group scenario. What humor?

Thanks you,

Ken
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mcnerd View Post
I would go ahead and use your metal instruments to clear the bubbles from your jars. There's absolutely no logical reason for following the recommendations of the experts in the profession.

Personally, I use a chopstick since it is less bulky and has less tendency to cut into the food items or give it an odd taste, unless of course I forget to wash the chopstick after using it. :D
Mcnerd, Mcnerd, Mcnerd…. Dear friend, no one was even hinting at the possibility of going against all supposed logic by not following the recommendations of the experts in the profession. Or at least the authors of a particular book supposed to be written by experts.

I really wish someone had the real answer to this question. If there is no explanation in the book and someone uses metal and later after the canning is done realize they weren’t supposed to they have no understanding of what to do with the canned food. Should they throw all the food out if there is only a possibility of causing the food to be off flavored? I wouldn’t think so. But, what if it did cause a chemical reaction that could harm you physically? I would certainly think all the canned food should all be thrown out then. But with no explanation in the book, I guess a person could go against all logic and just guess. Or possibly get on a canning forum and ask people with experience for there input, which is what I’m doing.

Mcnerd, you said you use chopsticks. I’ve personally seen chopsticks made out of plastic, stainless steel, wood, and ivory. You didn’t mention which you’re using, so that would put me back to square one.

I really do appreciate your reply. I’m getting ready to look in 3 more books. If you happen to find the reason before I do please post your findings.

Ken
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Alix View Post
I think it also might have to do with a possible reaction with the stuff in the jar. When you process rhubarb you don't use any metal either. Enameled pots and rubber spatulas only.
Alix, thank you for your reply. It would be great to know for sure. I'll keep reading.

Ken
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:06 PM   #8
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Apparently, metal utensils can scratch the glass, causing hair line fractures, or weak points in the glass, making it more likely to break during the canning process.

I took a quote from the following website:

Freshpreserving.com -|- Your complete source for all fresh preserving needs.


"What causes jars to break during processing?
Home canning jars are glass containers and therefore should be handled carefully. It is important to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when preparing and using home canning jars. It is also important to visually examine jars before use.

If jar breakage does occur, check the following points to determine if one of them is the cause:
Using commercial or old-style home canning jars;
Using a metal utensil to remove air bubbles;
Using steel wool or a brush with a wire stem to clean jars;
Using a metal utensil to remove food for serving;
Handling and storing jars in such a way to cause scratching on the outside of the jar;
Placing hot food into a room temperature jar;
Placing a room temperature jar into boiling water;
Lifting a jar out of the canner and placing it directly on a cool counter or a wet surface;
Using a processing method that is not approved for home canning;
Abusive handling of a glass container.

For detailed information about the proper use of home canning jars, see Canning Basics and Step-by-Step."

Not sure if there are any other reasons,

Hope this helps.

larry
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
Apparently, metal utensils can scratch the glass, causing hair line fractures, or weak points in the glass, making it more likely to break during the canning process.

I took a quote from the following website:

Freshpreserving.com -|- Your complete source for all fresh preserving needs.


"What causes jars to break during processing?
Home canning jars are glass containers and therefore should be handled carefully. It is important to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when preparing and using home canning jars. It is also important to visually examine jars before use.

If jar breakage does occur, check the following points to determine if one of them is the cause:
Using commercial or old-style home canning jars;
Using a metal utensil to remove air bubbles;
Using steel wool or a brush with a wire stem to clean jars;
Using a metal utensil to remove food for serving;
Handling and storing jars in such a way to cause scratching on the outside of the jar;
Placing hot food into a room temperature jar;
Placing a room temperature jar into boiling water;
Lifting a jar out of the canner and placing it directly on a cool counter or a wet surface;
Using a processing method that is not approved for home canning;
Abusive handling of a glass container.

For detailed information about the proper use of home canning jars, see Canning Basics and Step-by-Step."

Not sure if there are any other reasons,

Hope this helps.

larry
Larry, thank you sir. Very. Good info.

Ken
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bullet-slinger View Post
Why No Metal

In my canning book that I received with my All American canner it says not to use a metal instrument to clear the jar of air bubbles. Of course the genius who wrote the book doesn’t explain why not metal, only don’t use it.

Will someone please fill me in on what problems using a butter knife or some other metal instrument will cause? I mean will it poison you, cause an explosion, upset the latest radical terrorist group, or what?

Thanks a bunch,

Ken
Quite frankly Bullet, if you believed all you read, you'd be using your fingers to stir stuff and relieve air bubbles.
Myself, I'd be using a bamboo skewer to break the bubbles, but only because it's nice and pointy and can be thrown away. Use a knife, the flat end of a spoon... whatever you like that you can stick down the inner side of the jar. It's not going to poison you or wreck the mix.
All this business of "use an enamel dish", "a wooden spoon", "Don't use metal" et al, is pure nonsense. Use what is to hand. In your case....bubbles really don't care:P

Trust me. I've been cooking and preserving stuff for 50 years and my failures have been few and far between...and those certainly not because I've used utensils I've had on hand... but because I've disregarded the basic ingredient instructions.... :))) Like the time I nearly killed the whole family by doubling the spices in the Boston Baked Beans... Three of us ended up in ER that night with intense abdominal cramp!!!Oh Lordy!!! I can still relive the pain of that one.
Cooking is like any art... you just have to 'let go"
Cheers missM
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