Keeping Jars Hot
filling jars of green beans
Sharon, I don't usually can only one batch at a time so I have time between the processing of one batch and the next. In that time, my jars get too cool.
What's the best way to keep them warm enough not to break when they hit the water in the water bath or pressure canner?
I usually use the dishwasher to sterilize them, but they will still cool off after waiting an hour for a batch to process.
You could do several different things.
If you are using the dishwasher just run the rinse cycle for a few minutes before packing the second batch. Just enough to warm the jars.
Place them in a sink of hot water, of course the water may cool off. Just run fresh hot just before you fill them.
I've seen it recommended that you place your jars waiting in a warm oven. However I've checked into that and jar manufacturers don't recommend any oven heat for their jars. I've been told that the jars may be compromised with a dry heat. I don't recommend this method.
What I usually do... Just leave them out at room temperature. The whole point is not to dump hot liquid in so fast that the jar breaks. Fill them gradually with your hot foods. For example if I'm raw pack canning green beans. (meaning the beans are not cooked first, thus they are not hot.)
- I'll fill all my jars with the beans. (7 jars)
- Then fill each jar about 1/4 full of boiling water,
- and go back around and fill to 1/2 full,
- then go around one more time and fill to the top.
This fills the jars gradually enough that the jar warms as the hot liquid is added.
I've had success using this method with a variety of uncooked foods. Just don't fill too quickly. If your food is hot going into the jars then you must heat those jars first.
I've told some folks about this... and they look at me with fear and trembling! LOL but really it works for me. Just be cautious.
If you don't think that is very safe.... use one of the other methods. Not a problem!