Weck Jars

The Weck canning jar system consists of glass jars, glass lids, rubber gaskets (sealing rings) and metal clamps.

With their metal clamps, they basically operate in the same fashion as the Australian Vacola Jars, and the old Kerr Economy Jars.

You put your prepared food in the jar. Put a rubber gasket on the outer rim of the jar. Put the glass lid on. Use a few clamps to hold the lid in place (2 clamps for water-bath; 3 for pressure-canning.) Process the jar in the canner. Remove when done, let cool. When cool, remove the clamps and put the clamps away. Wipe the jar and store away. To check if you have a good seal, you simply lift the jar by the rim of the lid, as you would for a Mason jar lid.

The rubber gaskets have a tab on them. To open a sealed jar, you just pull the tab downwards.

Weck recommends using a new rubber gasket each time (the glass and the clamps are re-usable indefinitely.) Apparently some people do re-use the rubber gaskets: Linda Ziedrich says, “The rings shouldn’t be reused, according to the manufacturer, but you may find that like Tattler rings they last well through multiple uses. You know a ring is good when you take the clamps off the cooled jar and the glass lid stays on.” And Lisa Rayner, in The Natural Canning Resource Book, notes: “Used gaskets dry out and develop cracks.”  [Ed: “drying out and developing cracks” would likely only occur when people routinely use a rubber gasket ring repeatedly.]

Weck also says about the gaskets, “Packing the jars too high or excessive heating of the hot vinegar solution may have a negative effect on the rubber canning ring; the jars will not seal properly, because the rubber ring tends to become very wavy and stretch under the influence of the hot vinegar solution.”  Which means: leave some headspace, don’t pack the jars too full.

Lisa Rayner goes on to express surprise about Weck’s concern about whether its seal has worked or not: “The booklet says, ‘In the first few days after processing you should carry out regular sealing checks of your jars.. daily… later, at longer intervals.’ This is something that neither Jarden nor Tattler systems require.”

The jars are certified for pressure canning. “The booklet says that Weck jars can also be used for..pressure canning…. It recommends using three clips arranged in a triangular pattern to hold on lids during pressure canning.”

Rayner raises concerns about the shapes of Weck jars versus processing times: “The shapes of Weck jars are different from Jarden jars, so it is impossible to ensure that USDA processing times are sufficient for all recipes without microbiological and heat penetration testing.” She’s perhaps forgetting, though, about the squatter shapes of Ball’s new Elite line of jars, which to be fair, you’d have to raise the same questions about. Linda Ziedrich is perhaps more practical about it, in her usual no-nonsense but informed fashion: “USDA processing times are based on jars shaped more or less like Ball and Kerr jars. If this concerns you, either stick with the more standard shapes or increase your processing times a bit.”

You can double-stack Weck jars in a pressure canner. “Can I use Fowlers Vacola jars in a pressure canner? You can pressure can with any tempered glass preserving jar and this includes Fowlers Vacola jars.  Note that due to the clip on the top of the jars, you cannot double stack these in a canner like you can with jars with flat lids such as Weck jars and Ball jars.” 

The Weck name is very respected in Germany. In fact, home canning in Germany is so closely associated with these jars that canning is sometimes referred to as “einwecken” (put in Wecks). Though that word is not used by their competitors such as Leifheit, obviously, who prefer to stick with the actual real verb of “einkochen.”

If you can a single use item in your Weck jar, like pressure-canned green beans, then you open the jar, and that’s it. If, however, you have a multi-use item such as jams, pickles or relish, then you either have to put the metal clamps back on to keep the glass lid on, which gets boring fast, especially if people in your household are prone to losing small things like that, or, buy Weck’s plastic tops for their jars for storage while the food product is in use. Weck offers its  snap- on Keep fresh Covers that come in various unique sizes (60, 80 and 100 mm) for its Weck jars. They are white and BPA free.


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